The Care and Feeding of your Aspie

The Care and Feeding of Your Aspie: Part 67 – Communication Can Be Harder Than It Seems

I belong to the local BDSM community. No – this is not a post about sex, in spite of the backdrop for the conversation. This community that is relatively select in its membership. As such, it’s pretty close knit – this means EVERYONE knows everyone else.

Recently, I wad informed that I have a bad reputation in my local community. When I asked a close friend why, I was advised that it was because I am a know it all. The other side said I was standoffish.

This strikes me as bothersome for a couple reasons:

  1. I am not a know it all. I have lived my life by the concept that I should not talk when I am not informed on a subject. When you are talking, you can’t listen. So, when I don’t know much on a subject, I am silent. That way I can learn.
  2. I only really talk about a subject when I am well informed.

There are many subjects covered in this subculture (a non-comprehensive list of topics can be found HERE). I am, by no means, an expert in any one topic. However, several of these topics have been special interests of mine, so I am fairly well versed in them. As most of you know, this means that I have quite a bit of information on the subjects. In case you are wondering, the subjects are rope play, rope dying and treatment, leather working, and kink photography.

With my social anxiety, I really only speak to my friends at these events – unless someone approaches me and asks.

If it’s one of these topics… I am autistic. That is to say I will babble… endlessly. Without ceasing.

So… we come to the issue… Evidently, with NTs there is a magic amount of talking. If you talk too much, you are considered a know it all or arrogant. And if you don’t speak enough – you are considered standoffish … and arrogant.

In this series, I try to give advice on how to proceed, how to blend in, how to communicate effectively and resolve these issues. On this topic, all I can say is that I have no idea what the normal amount of talking is. I give up on this topic.

Maybe you should, too. I have found that if someone is worth your time, they will “get it”, as it were. They will understand that you are autistic and that your special interests tend to rule your levels of expertise. They will understand that your bank of information and knowledge will have a relatively “unnatural” series of peaks (representing information that you posses) versus valleys (information that you do not know anything about). As with most things dealing with autism, there is a lot more black and white than with the normal person, but those who matter will find this enjoyable and fascinating.

As long as you are not actually arrogant about the information you possess, you should be fine.