Posted by: CJ | December 11, 2010

(Recent) Communication Issues

I always have communication issues. Occasionally they’re more apparent. I’m currently dating someone, so they’re much more apparent than usual. Here are some of the interesting ones I’ve noticed.

  • I usually don’t notice routines that other people go through. No idea why. It needs to be specifically explained to me, and why it’s done, for me to notice and remember. Otherwise it’s filed under “weird background stuff to ignore” basically all the time.
  • If I can’t understand what a person says to me, either because they’re walking away as they speak or not facing me or mumbling, then all hope of communication is lost. I won’t catch the zeitgeist of the moment, I won’t intuitively understand body language and comply, and I won’t make very good inferences based on context. My mind is usually somewhere else completely. I need to be told what’s going on to root it down to whatever time and place the speaker thinks I should be in.
  • I interpret things and say things rather literally. Consider the following exchange. I say, “I’m making some tea, would you like some?” Response: “Yes.” Me: “Okay, I’ll boil some water.” She interpreted that to mean I’d make her hot water AND tea. I meant what I said. I made her hot water. Repeat ad nausem throughout the day to appreciate the patient understanding of people that know me.
  • I do not respond well to being rushed. And if I think I’m being rushed because someone else didn’t tell me enough information to make it so I didn’t have to rush then I get really annoyed at that person. It’s best for all involved to avoid putting me in a position where I’ll feel rushed.

All of the above are vaguely related to my and my (paternal) family’s OCD/aspie-ish tendencies. I’ve found it difficult to communicate that those issues are real, persistent, and the sort of thing that has to be worked with and around rather than avoided or ignored. How do you convince someone that me, usually able to maintain a facade of only light non-normality, has issues that are recurrent, predictable, but stronger than mere preferences and not quite fixable? If the person is any sort of skeptic, that sort of knowledge comes from direct experience with my issues. But direct experience is precisely what I wish to avoid. Puzzling…


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