I Just Couldn’t Help Myself

Small Talk Baffles Me

It’s time for another Aspie post here on RJsCorner. This one is about Aspie obsessions. I’m sure I have posted about this before, but I don’t specifically remember it. So, I will give you a brief story about Aspies and obsession.

Here is a quote from a reliable source about Aspies and special interests.

I recognized this trait in myself from an early age. I latch onto a thought and just have to study it in more depth. It becomes almost an obsession to learn more about the subject. The focus on a special interests continues even through today. Right now, I have a couple of topics that I am studying in depth. One is philosophy and the other is Avant-Garde Art.

All my life I have overthought many things. Overthinking is as natural to me as breathing. When I don’t have any special interests my life simply becomes boring. I obsessively need overthinking in my life.

These special interests have a varying lifespan. Some are resolved in a couple of months and some take years. My Avant-Garde interests probably spurned from my love of impressionism and that lead to Van Gogh, especially his painting “Starry Night” and his personal story. That special interest is now focused on Avant-Garde.

I think you get the idea of Aspies special interests, so now I will get on to the primary topic of this post.

I am seriously trying to become more involved in the social scene here at my RetCom (retirement community) home, but it proves to be an ongoing and almost overwhelming struggle. I go out of my way to initiate conversations with my fellow residents. One-on-one I do fairly well, but when it comes to groups, and especially in the roped-off dining room at my RetCom where everyone is crowded together. I have given presentations to some pretty large groups including hundreds of people or more. In my corporate life I lead many training sessions on the software tools I developed. These sessions were most often in groups of about 30 people. I have also given talks about deafness to groups of 100 and more. I did fine because I could structure the talks to the topic at hand.

But I struggle with the idea of small talk in groups of 4 or so. When I do get into these stressful situations, I mostly just become a bump on a log. But, sometimes I go on and on about my special interests and how I see the world. Because of my social ineptitude, I am always totally unaware when the people I am talking to have long since lost interest. Body language is just as foreign to me as someone speaking Russian.

This happened to me recently when I was talking to a husband and wife after a birthday celebration here in my RetCom. Afterwards, I felt like a total idiot that I didn’t see their lack of interest. They were struggling on how to escape me! I seem to be at least fairly good at recognizing these types of things after the fact, but oblivious to it when it is happening. I’m sure like many others before them, these two will never choose to sit at a table with me again. I do try to explain these types of things when I am provided the opportunity, but even that is probably of no interest to them.

I just can’t help myself…

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