Do you struggle to connect with others, there is hope.
Growing up, I was an intense, impulsive, and blunt child. I turned people off without even realizing why. I had ADHD and Asperger’s (Autism 1) before most knew what those were. Over time, I withdrew more into my shell as my clumsy attempts at connection were met with confusion or frustration from peers. I felt like an alien trying to blend into a world with customs I couldn’t grasp.
It wasn’t until graduate school that I met my first social advisor – a fiery, tell-it-like-it-is classmate named Kathy. One day over lunch, she declared bluntly: “You can’t say that!” I was surprised because I thought I was just asking a question. Apparently I had crossed some invisible social boundary without realizing it.
Kathy became my guide, helping me identify the nonverbal cues, sarcasm, and unspoken rules I had been missing. I discovered I had been living in a social cave, oblivious to the intricate dance going on around me. For the first time, I felt hope that I could learn this bewildering language.
If this resonates with you, take heart. You are not alone. It’s been 20 some years since I first met Kathy and we’re great friends to this day. I’m often referred to as a “translator” by my clients because of how skilled I’ve become at helping both sides (ND & NT) of a misunderstanding to understand each other in an empathetic way.
The puzzling world of social interaction still confuses me at times. But I know what to look for and listen for better than ever. I love teaching these insights and skills to my clients. I love seeing the lightbulb go off when I teach them and even moreso when they implement it and it works.
You aren’t destined to be alone because you don’t know what you’re doing socially. There are workarounds that help you honor the way your mind works and skills that can get others enthusiastic about supporting you.
Let me know if you have any questions about this! I’m happy to help.
𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘋𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘚𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘺𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘈𝘋𝘏𝘋. 𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 5 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥. 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴, 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥. 𝘏𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘵 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘏𝘦𝘭𝘱.𝘤𝘰𝘮