This morning it occurred to me that what would be really useful is some kind of app or other automated system that would alert you to abnormal and appropriate behaviour. For example, if a colleague came into work declaring that their cat was dead and you just carried on typing it could tell you that you’re being weird and unsociable. Equally it could tell you you’re doing the right thing when you express sympathy and offer to put the kettle on. It might even suggest an appropriate comment to make.
Then I thought, that seems totally over the top and unnecessary. So what if we don’t always do the ‘normal’ thing? As long as we’re not being mean to people or breaking the law, does it matter if our responses are sometimes not what’s expected? It’s not as if non-Aspies have everything figured out anyway!
People have misunderstood my behaviour for years, thinking I’m stuck-up, shy, uncaring and stupid. So it follows that there are plenty of non-Aspies who have these qualities. But I’d never think an app would be necessary to tell non-Aspies how to behave, so why dictate how Aspies should conduct themselves?
I don’t advocate being completely asocial, but everyone has a right to be different.
If you tell me your cat has died, I will try to sympathise because I know that you must be upset about it, even if I don’t understand why.
Don’t expect me to get it. Just enjoy the fact that I’ve offered to make tea.