You know, there are times I think the rest of us are really the odd ones.
But back to the oddness. Ours, I mean.
Depending on the situation, we change our approach, our speech patterns, our way of handling people, and we mold ourselves to social situations as they come up. For example, dealing with a boss in a bad mood brings out a different kind of person in us than dealing with co-workers, spouses, or cranky children. We adjust, as the situation demands, in order to optimize our outcomes and just plain deal with other people.
That’s not always true of people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
They’re much more likely to maintain their own set of behaviors and thought patterns from situation to situation. This may be a disadvantage at times; the boss may not get handled as tactfully as might be desired, for example. The co-workers may be exposed to periodic blasts of truthfulness that perhaps should have been reserved for close (also forgiving and not-so-sensitive) family members.
But there are definitely times when remaining true to oneself – no matter what the setting, no matter who the people – can be an advantage.
You know where you stand with people like this. You know you can trust their assessments (no, we’re not over-budget, yes, we are behind schedule, and so on), facts, and opinions based on facts.
You don’t see the prevarication and tinting of information to make oneself appear better, more likeable, or tactful. You don’t see as much diplomacy and social “smoothness”, for lack of a better word.
I know my husband, for instance, is sought after for his honest grasp – and communication – of situations. People really do want to know the facts, and not just be given a rose-tinted version of how their business is going.
People who have a reputation for bluntness can also be valued for being blunt. It’s very freeing, I think.
Often, I think the rest of us lose ourselves a bit in our efforts to get along with everyone else in the world. We forget what’s important, and we learn to smooth things over, even if that’s not necessarily what should happen.
I admire the honesty and essential value of being true to yourself, no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing. And while we’d all like to see some rough edges smoothed (ouch, that person’s a little too plain-speaking, a little too honest), I think it’s also true that the rest of us could stand to be a bit more blunt, a bit truer to our own selves.
Maybe we’re all a bit odd. But if so, thank heavens for it. What a plain vanilla world we’d live in if everyone was the same.