Conversation issues

I have recently been told by my employer that I sometimes respond sharply to my colleague, this is normally when I'm trying to do other tasks. I dont mean to be rude is this my Aspergers or am I rude I am trying to alter my behaviour but find it difficult.

Parents
  • Sounds familiar to me. When I'm interrupted from a task that I'm focused on, my brain seems to struggle to go into "social analysis mode", so my interpretation of what's being said and how I should answer is very factual - the part of my brain which would normally mask my autism and consider the social consequences just doesn't get engaged in time. There are times when I'm hardly even aware that I have spoken to the other person; I'll find myself minutes or hours later thinking to myself; "Did I just speak to X? What did they say? What was my answer?". This can even be for the simplest of things; if someone asks me "how are you?" when I'm flustered, it's not unusual that I'll respond with something like; "hot", "cold", "sweaty", etc.

    I think that the problem very often is that non-autistic people are looking for implied value judgements and "reading between the lines"; but when my "social processing" isn't on-line, I don't take any of that into account and expect my response to be judged literally for the words that I'm saying - any more than that requires a shift in attention that is difficult and time-consuming, especially if I'm desperate not to lose the "flow" of whatever it is that I was doing at the time.

Reply
  • Sounds familiar to me. When I'm interrupted from a task that I'm focused on, my brain seems to struggle to go into "social analysis mode", so my interpretation of what's being said and how I should answer is very factual - the part of my brain which would normally mask my autism and consider the social consequences just doesn't get engaged in time. There are times when I'm hardly even aware that I have spoken to the other person; I'll find myself minutes or hours later thinking to myself; "Did I just speak to X? What did they say? What was my answer?". This can even be for the simplest of things; if someone asks me "how are you?" when I'm flustered, it's not unusual that I'll respond with something like; "hot", "cold", "sweaty", etc.

    I think that the problem very often is that non-autistic people are looking for implied value judgements and "reading between the lines"; but when my "social processing" isn't on-line, I don't take any of that into account and expect my response to be judged literally for the words that I'm saying - any more than that requires a shift in attention that is difficult and time-consuming, especially if I'm desperate not to lose the "flow" of whatever it is that I was doing at the time.

Children