two things that feel normal/healthy to me but seem to alienate people are 1. not verbally responding when talked to (like, just making eye contact and not saying anything after someone says something that normally someone else would respond to with small-talk/affirmation) and 2. not being able to have fun doing things most people find fun.  like i'll think, 'fun, what is fun' in a sitcom-alien tone in my head or i'll observe people seemingly having fun and it seems like i've been sent to gather information on fun but i'm just there thinking, 'i'm not having fun' (not in a spoiled, 'somebody please entertain me' type tone, more like just reminding myself and not trying to act otherwise.)  in other words, check please!! 


Jon Konrath said...

Instead of punctuating someone's conversation with a bunch of yeses to indicate you're listening, just periodically scream HAI like you're some kind of Japanese ninja throwing a kung fu punch. That works for me.

sam pink said...

another alienating behavior i do is whenever a group of people is having a conversation/debate on a current news item/something topical/abstract/ideological, and i dont know anything about it/can't understand what is concretely being said, then i dont say anything. or when asked what i think, i say, 'i dont know anything about that.' (bonus alienating behavior that results from this: sometimes when someone says something grand/sweeping about a political/news/social issue [like a school shooting, or the environment, or gender, or anything largely based on ideas and not in reference to anything specific, let alone the field that that person actualy knows anything about] then i'll ask 'how do you know that' or 'where did you hear/read that' and that is usually interpreted as me disagreeing with someone, and then they act defensively to me.)

double bonus: when i actually do know something about what is being said, i talk a lot. like if someone brings up boxing then i start talking about it a lot and that usually alienates people because i'll just keep talking and then when the other person doesn't talk i stop talking and go back to just looking at them, feeling like i've done something bad.

TRIPLE BONUS!!! my feelings are never hurt and i never get offended so i usually end up acting like an unlikable robot in conversations because i treat things like they're outside of everyone, already settled, and without regard to emotions/sensitivity.

SUPER BONUS: mostly when i'm out at a place like a bar or gathering or party or whatever, i notice that i'm watching out for people as though someone is going to attack me. like, i am constantly preparing myself to defend myself.

DeWitt said...

How do you know you're alienating them?