As part of my constant anxious analysing of my assessment process, one of the things I've been thinking about it the concept of being sociable and making small talk. I mentioned in my assessment that I was very self conscious, which I am a lot of the time to an exhausting extent, and I submitted some notes in which I talked about the fact I found socialising to be quite difficult in that I have to always think about what I'm saying and often even if I'm 'doing the right face'. I have realised though that despite this, I am a really quite sociable person. I do make an effort to make small talk with people to some extent, eg shop assistants, our neighbors etc (though those aren't situations where I'd end up having a full conversation) and I do enjoy it. Eg I had a driving lesson this morning and managed to chat away to my instructor though it wasn't spontaneous and easy to do. It sounds odd to say I enjoy it even though it's an effort. I have mentioned a bit about this in my assessment but not a lot, so now I'm worrying that I've made it sound like find it harder to be sociable than I do.
I didn't really have any trouble talking to the people who assessed me either, though I'm not able to make eye contact when speaking.
Bit of a rambling post, but I was just wondering what others were like in terms of this? It's one of my big 'if I can do this -insert thing here- then maybe that means I'm not Autistic' worries, ie if I enjoy chatting to people, even though it doesn't come naturally, does that mean my problems are caused by something else. I've just realised that by saying this it almost sounds like I'm implying that people on the spectrum aren't sociable, I don't mean this at all! I'd just be interested to hear other's views :)
I really struggle with small talk. I'm not really the kind of person to start a conversation at work but if there is topic that I'm interested in being discussed I try to chip in. I'm just never sure when to speak up and end up waiting for a decent break in the conversation. Another problem I have is trying to filter out background noise so if were out in a pub or somewhere else really busy I really find it difficult to keep up with the conversation, usually I catch up and think of something to say only to find we've moved on to another topic.
I really have no idea about what to talk about either. I've got in my locker football, music, science or some odd wee fact that I've picked up. Most people seem to talk about social interactions between others but you might as well be talking to me in Swahili.
Love that last paragraph, I have also become increasingly annoyed with people I meet-they always seem to be looking into their phones and if not, are probably thinking about doing so. A few months ago I was down in Brighton with my daughter we were having a meal in a pub and next to us was a family of 6-1 granny,two parents and three kids, every single one of them had their faces buried in their bloody phones or i-pads and this went on even as they were eating and there was not a single word of conversation. That devotion to social media appears to be what the Neuro-Typical world demands of its inhabitants nowadays if they want to smell like acceptable sheep and the superficial "connectedness" it offers seems a high price to pay for the estrangement from the day to day precious interactions we hope to enjoy with real, flesh and blood people.