Small Talk

My whole life, until I was like 22 or so, before I was diagnosed [with Aspergers Syndrome], I thought that the reason people made small talk -- you know like standing in line at the grocery store and "Oh! It's a nice day today!"  -- was because they had nothing interesting to think about inside their heads.  

I thought that most of the rest of the world were a bunch of idiots with no thoughts.  

If somebody was friendly and said like "Oh, nice day!" I didn't really, sometimes I'd be like "Oh, yeah," because I just didn't see the point in carrying on a conversation when this person was being really rude. They are interrupting my thought process - I had interesting things going on up here and you know, they want to talk to me about the weather?  What?   

My dad explained to me people get little positive vibes from interacting with other people, even strangers and even on really benign things.  He said it's like when you play "The Sims" and they get little plus signs above their head when they talk to each other.   

I was like "Huhhh! So that was why people did that."  

I don't feel like I get little plus signs over my head when I talk to people and I still don't, but I understand that other people do, so now I engage in small talk more because I respect other people more because I'm understanding their behaviour, and I no longer think that people are idiots.
-- Katie Miller (http://ArtistKatieMiller.com/) in the film "Neurotypical" (2013)

 

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