In college, my rule for when I wanted to try to "Play the NT game" and try to (as as this is to remember) fake my way through a conversation with someone I didn't know well, at least when I was lonely and desperate enough to actually want to try to do so and put myself into such a compromising position, (compromising because even if they talked to me to for 10-20 minutes it would never turn into anything more, and that hurt always) was "Think of something general that might be of interest to a college population or this particular person. Strip it of all enthusiasm, passion and details. Try to say something without really saying something. Try to say it as if you don't care whether you say it or not."
Sounds pitiful and pointless to me too. But it almost always worked. The few times I could actually modulate my voice and body posture and so on to seem "casual" and seem like I literally did not care about what I was talking about, the person would usually talk to me for a good while. Or at least several minutes, I don't know. As long as I could keep the demeanor up. The SECOND I STARTED CARING, and couldn't keep it up and got to be more of myself, and got to sound the least bit excited about something, the conversation would end. Come to an abrupt halt. See ya later hasta la vista baby. And I would be standing there thinking 'What the hell did I do wrong? Why again? Why always?'
I was as I said able to deduct a pattern as I laid out above. But what I couldn't figure out and still can't, although luckily now I get to stay away from most college students, is: Why the hell are people scared of people who show emotion? Who are knowledegable or passionate about what they talk about?
Why do you have to pretend to be a know nothing to get anyone to listen to you? I just hate it.
I was raised to believe knowledge and intelligence were good things. Passion and excitement were good things. Enthusiasm was good.
I seek out people like that now. I seek out over the top people who have enthusiasm and passion in their voice. Who talk with excitement and overt enjoyment about every mundane subject in the universe. I almost never find them, but when I do I enjoy it more than you could possibly imagine. I savor it.
A disporportionate number of these people seem to have ADD or some other neurological difference - I wonder why? Is it really a matter of differently wired brains? Can being enthusiastic and passionate really be considered a mental illness? I certainly hope not.
I seek out people who disregard social norms, who say it like it is, who are not put off by my enthusiasm and manner of expressing myself.
I talk in a dramatic manner a lot of the time, my friend said today. I agree. It just seems to be who I am. I don't do it purposely; but it is how I see and feel the world; in a somewhat dramatic fashion. If things are good, I express that fully; if things are bad I also express that fully as well. I see nothing wrong with it, except, well, most people don't expect it or understand it and are frankly often put off by it.
Why don't you change, then, you ask? Well, it's not like changing a pair of socks. You can change a lot of things about yourself, learn to follow social rules you might not have been aware of, learn to be more polite, more considerate of others' feelings, and so on, but changing the basic way your nervous system and emotional cognition center reacts to the world: not so easy. Even, it seems, with drugs. (Prescribed, not illegal!)
Suppress it? Very difficult. Very difficult if not impossible to supress the need to be very verbal about things, to express my feelings, to seek out people to reinforce and identify with my feelings, to seek an emotional connection with people in the only way I know how. And would I want to do it? No. I lose a part of myself, a BIG part of myself, if I do that. If I am going to interact with other people at all, I want it to be genuine. I want it to be meaningful. I want it to count. I want to enter the interaction coming as MYSELF - because otherwise, they're not liking me; they're liking a fabricated version of myself that I can't even reliably replicate. Why bother? My self is all I have; I'm not going to sell out a part of it to make others happy. THAT, I know for sure. Bending to meet others' needs? Fine. Meeting them half way? Fine. But changing the basic way I communicate? Not fine.
Communication is a topic almost too complex for words. Functional versus semantic communication: that is what it all boils down to. I am great at functional language. But I suck at semantic language: using nonverbal body language to communicate and understand nuances in communication. And my literalness can get me in trouble more often than I would like. People see my intelligence and assume I couldn't have any communication problems; that I am just being a smart aleck, or acting superior, or much, much worse.
Has anyone had similar experiences or thoughts on this matter?
3 hours ago