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DON'T TALK!

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:17pm
I’m sitting in a meeting at work with lots of people. There is really nothing for me to say, but in true Aspie form, I have a comment for every topic and every statement some one says. It’s that relational thinking again. I’m also sitting here wondering everybody’s anthropological and linguistic origins. Why does the presenter talk so quietly and pronounce things the way he does. He sounds like he’s from Canada. Some one asked him to speak up. His volume went up slightly. I can produce enough volume to make people's ears bleed. Is that nature or nurture?

I’m off track here.

I have to keep reminding myself that I have nothing of business value to say. I keep telling my brain, “Don’t Talk.” I’m constantly telling myself, "Don't Talk". I picture an office worker at a desk inside my head. All of my comments are reviewed by this worker, and most of them are tossed in the trash. Some of them a forwarded on to my mouth.

I’m discovering that not all Aspies have that function operating in their mind. When I was a young person, I let everything come out of my mouth. I dominated conversations, and if no one tried to stop me, would speak nearly non-stop. One of my elementary school teachers called it diarrhea of the mouth. It all goes back to relational thinking. Words relate to more words in an endless stream of words and ideas, without thought to the relationship to people.

There is this constant urge to amass and then disgorge information. That’s the easy part, the hard part is understand who really wants or needs the information, and what parts of the information. I want to tell them everything that I know about a topic. Sometimes, nothing that I have to say is useful. That’s frustrating to realize, and I may irrationally start feeling put off. I start wondering, “Why doesn’t anyone want to hear what I have to say. No one ever lets me talk.” Often that isn’t true. In fact, the truth is that I don’t have anything to say that people will receive as valuable.

As an Aspie it helps to have a place in which everything you want to say is important and wanted. A personal journal is a starting point. Some Aspies hate to write with pen and paper, so they could keep a personal journal on the computer or talk into a recording device. I find my personal journal is often a “rant”. Nice place to have an Apsie melt down. I can say anything I want and then turn the page and move on. Journaling also helps me get a swirl down on paper, and make a little more sense out of it. Sometimes, it’s easier to pray this way. Especially if I can’t get my thoughts to run in any clear order, I find I can pray to God by writing it down. Often just letting it all pour out into my journal starts out as an Aspie meltdown, then turns to more thoughtful discussion as I work through stuff, then ends up as a praying to God in print. It can be quite cathartic.

For me, I find keeping a blog (which you are reading right now) is quite helpful. It’s an opportunity for me to disgorge on a topic. Anyone can set up a blog for free, and blog about any area of interest. I find that I have a lot to say about lots of different things. I’m also surprised that every so often, people really appreciate this or that blog. Every Aspie could have a blog as long as they can type. If they can’t type, there are ways to set up Audio blogs. Again, audio blogs can be set up for free. Almost every computer has a microphone input, and most every lap top computer has a built in microphone.

Writing this blog while I’m in the business meeting is helping me manage my emotions and behavior.

Finally, since most Apsies have an area(s) of interest, there is opportunity (as amateur or professional) to speak, teach or (in my case) preach to groups. An Aspie might like to write articles on an area of interest. Listen, fellow Aspies, you DO have something of value to say. Find the place and time that works for both you and your audience.

Adam Parmenter
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