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7 ways Aspies can COMMAND RESPECT / Asperger's Syndrome

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Published on 26 Nov 2021 / In Science

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1. Respect your space

Aspies are known to be brutally honest. They almost never lie.

But I recall telling a bit of a lie.

I was, maybe, 12-years-old and was in the alley behind our home shooting baskets. (Some call it shooting hoops. Others, throwing a basketball at the hoop.) A neighborhood girl came up and playfully began grabbing at me and giggling. She was having fun. I was annoyed. And so I lied.

I held out my hand, stroked the back of my hand with my finger, and said, "See this pink? That's poison ivy. I don't want you to catch it."

The truth is, there was no pink coloration on the back of my hand. I didn't have poison ivy. What's more, unbeknownst to me at the time, one can't 'catch' poison ivy from others.

But it worked. The girl's giggles turned to a dour look and she was content to play a game of HORSE. No touching.

People with Asperger's Syndrome seldom like to be touched. We like our space and lots of it. We prefer people respect that, but neuro-typical people just don't seem to get it.

Nature has taught critters to make themselves look larger to attract mates or to look big and intimidating.

You can fan your feathers, so to speak, by owning your space.

When public speaking, I learned early to own the platform. I pace, use hand gestures, flail my arms for emphasis, and so on.

The same can apply when off the stage.

You display this, first, by reminding yourself, "I got this." You may use hand gesturing, body language, and facial expressions — not to intimidate — but to make a statement.

2. Focus on first impressions

When you're making a first impression (which is anytime anyone encounters you for the first time), exude confidence.

Be mindful that confidence and arrogance are not the same. There is no need to dominate others; just don't let them dominate you to the point of abusing you.

I have two wardrobes. One is the normal wardrobe. The other is the normie wardrobe. Normal clothes are those I normally wear: Sweatpants and a pocket shirt. Normie clothes are clothes others expect me to wear: regular trousers or jeans and a nice shirt. I wear my normal clothes to make me comfortable. I wear my normie clothes to make others — that is, normal people — feel comfortable.

When first impressions are a must, wear normie clothes; and consider dressing one level above what is expected.

3. Beware of shark bumps

I've heard that sharks will bump potential prey before they attack it. The reason: They want to determine if the prey will fight back. Criminologists say criminals will often "shark bump" potential victims. They want to see if the victim will resist.

People will often shark bump you. I think of it as micro-bullying. People seem to shark bump unconsciously. That natural reaction of an aspergian is to recoil. That sends the wrong message.

An example of shark bumping is when another will talk over you while you are talking. When you yield, you are telling the "shark" that you are easy prey.

That brings us to number four...

4. Speak to the period.

By that, I mean, finish you sentence.

5. Be square

When talking to someone (or when being addressed), make it a point to face them in near-perfect alignment; eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe; shoulder to shoulder.

6. Speak first

Be the first to speak and the first to make eye contact whenever possible. Make a game of it. When you're out and about, look others in the eye as they pass. If they look back, smile and say, "hello!"

7. Step in

This has to be the most powerful body language tool I've ever used. When talking to someone — especially if the other person began the encounter — step slightly closer to the person. Don't get so close as to 'invade their space' but close enough that their facial encounter displays discomfort.

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