Having spent a few days more thinking about my friend’s comment as Asperger’s and my reaction, I think I have a better idea of what I should tell people in the future about my social issues.
- I shouldn’t say anything about Asperger’s or OCD or depression. Those are words with very subjective meanings depending on the listener’s experiences. They’re extraordinarily imprecise and indirect ways of communicating meaning. Moreover, people are more likely to interpret such claims as me pre-emptively justifying future bad actions. Which isn’t the sort of person anyone wants to deal with, unless they’re attracted to pity cases.
- If something becomes an issue, then I can say specifically what my problem is, why it’s a problem, and what my needs/boundaries are. No ordering people what to do, they can figure it out on their own. No leaving implied or unsaid what I am and am not willing to do, capable of doing, and which is which.
- Find a way to tell people when I feel like they’re not listening to me. I want the people around me to challenge me to rise up to my full capabilities. Particularly in areas where I’m underperforming relative to my capabilities. (Well, and where improvement would actually help me. I’m underperforming in my bowling, I’m sure, but I really don’t care about that.) But I don’t want to deal with people who aren’t willing to trust that I know myself pretty well, and have a not-too-small range of experience.
I think I’ll be in much better shape if I can start doing those three things.