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The politeness balloon




Sometimes I wish everyone was as direct as an aspie. For all the times we miss the point and get it wrong and say the worst thing that comes into our heads, we spare people the run-around of a pointless conversation-loop.

I have just had one of those infuriating conversations with a non-aspie where they have a specific thing they want to know. They have it right there, sitting up-front in the big boy chair, waiting to be seen and answered. So, what do they do?

Rather than be honest and find out what they want to know, I am subjected to a mind-numbing exchange of questions and hum-herm-ah comments where my answers to the questions obviously aren't hitting the mark.

That's the funny thing about not asking a direct question, though - you don't tend to get a direct answer!

Am I meant to know what it is behind the questions? Or am I meant to be seduced into something resembling politeness and not be offended by them asking directly? Am I happier, now that we have gone all around the houses, back out the side gate and down the lane to Aunty Joan's before getting to the right answer? Do I sound happy??

If this conversation had been with an aspie, it would have taken a few seconds.

Aspie 1: 'Oh yeah - hang on, my shoe lace has done that thing I hate - there! Now, what time are we getting back from Mars on Friday?'

Aspie 2: 'Probably about five, I have to detour to Pluto to pick up my new hum-a-bing.'

Aspie 1: 'Great! I need to be back before six so that's perfect.'

There, wasn't that easy? No one was hurt, it took no time at all and we even had a few extra seconds for re-tying shoelaces. Isn't life simple when you ask the question that is really in your mind, instead of all the little questions that are meant to make life softer?

Of course, I am being generous to aspies. I know that half the time the aspie wouldn't ask the question and only remember they needed to be back by six when we were still trying to get out of the Mars carpark at five-thirty. But, in general, if aspies are not ditracted by the shoelace before they speak and if they remember to speak in the first place, then a direct question will be asked - and answered.

Now, non-aspies, please, I beg of you, take it on trust that we are unlikely to be hurt or discomfited by a direct question. It is the shimmying around with the politeness balloon that drives us absolutely crazy. Really, it does. Be offensive if you like, but be quick about it and be honest. Then we can all get on with our lives!

Amanda
  

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