The first step to growing a good career in the face of Asperger’s Syndrome is to recognize that this is a social skills deficit, by definition, and work, by definition, is a social skills decathlon.

I have written before that for me, the biggest problem at work stems from my own sensory integration dysfunction — something that typically tags along with an Asperger’s diagnosis. But for someone with Asperger’s, it’s not enough to deal with sensory integration dysfunction; in order to succeed at the workplace, you need some guidelines for bridging the gap between other peoples’ social skills and your own.

So, based on my own experience, here are some concrete rules for doing better at work if you have Asperger’s, and maybe if you don’t.

1. Spend limited amounts of time with people.
One of the things that is alarming to non-Asperger’s people is how few friends and relationships people with Asperger’s have. But I have never heard anyone with Asperger’s lament this. (Temple Grandin is a good example.) It’s not something we feel a loss about. We only need a small amount of closeness in our life. What I do hear Asperger’s people sad about all the time is a lack of employment opportunity.

The way to improve this is to spend less time with people. We can be normal in small spurts. We can look charming and quirky in small doses but in large doses, it’s overwhelming. So go out to dinner, but then go home. Go to the company picnic, but just talk with people for a little bit. Then leave.

At work you do not need to spend tons of time with people. You can be the weird, smart one. As long as you’re not too weird. Get along with people for a little. Then go back to your cube.

2. Don’t tell your boss.
People don’t care about your random, personal crap. I know, that’s crazy to say on this blog. But I’m entertaining or useful, and when I’m at my best, I’m both. Also, your boss won’t know what to do. She can’t read 400 pages on Asperger’s.

Instead, ask your boss questions about social situations. For example, at Brazen Careerist, we just closed a small round of funding. And my boss, our new CEO, sent a thank you to the investors. I emailed him to find out: Should I send a thank you as well? And he said yes. So I did.

When you ask specific questions about social situations, your boss will appreciate that you know you don’t know. And your boss will think you’re coachable. That helps when your boss sees you being a social moron. The biggest problem with people who have poor social skills is that they don’t know what they’re missing, so they are not coachable. You will differentiate yourself from this crowd when you ask for help.

Ryan Paugh has great social skills. So I ask him a lot of questions, and I watch him. When Ryan Healy’s parents came to visit, I knew I needed to talk with them, because I was the CEO. I know that’s a social rule. But I absolutely completely could not figure out what to say. I listened to Ryan Paugh go first. He said, “What do you have planned for the weekend?”

That was a great line. I wouldn’t have thought of it. But I know for next time.

People who are typical will think this is an easy conversation to have. They’ve had it before, in another form. People with Asperger’s cannot generalize social rules. We have to learn the thing to say in every single situation.

3. Be great at what you do, and a little odd.
I write obsessively about how important it is to to be a star. It is actually more important for people with Asperger’s. This is the only way to stay employable. You will always be difficult to deal with. You need to make it worth everyone’s time.

Often, people who are really likable don’t have to be good at what they do. People just love being around them. And it’s fair, because someone who everyone likes actually does make the team more productive.

Many people who work with me know that I’m weird. The first thing Ryan and Ryan said when they got to Madison was that I am totally eccentric. They put up with it. They stayed because I have built such a good career for myself. They wanted to work with me because of that, so they excuse the poor social skills.

By the time you get to the mid-point in your career, it’s clear that the people who stand out as great at what they do are also weird, and they are thinking in odd ways. It’s what makes them stand out. So the more successful you are in your career, the more okay it is, and the more expected it should be, for you to be odd.

4. Do office politics by being totally direct.
There is office politics in every office. Because office politics is about how people get along. If you have Asperger’s, there is not a good way for you to know all the nuances—we don’t understand mean, vindictive, passive aggressive, these are all way too complicated. So we don’t do them. This should make people like us, if we do it right. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that much of how I act comes off as mean, even if this is not my intention.

So you need to really look at peoples’ faces. And if you get a bad reaction when you say something, even if you think it’s not a bad thing to say, you need to stop and ask if you hurt someone’s feelings. I ask this four or five times in any given day. “Are you angry?” Most of the time people are surprised that I don’t know. But I keep asking. There is no other way to find out.

5. Don’t get frustrated by the rules.
Recently, I’ve been reminded about how hard it was to learn business rules because I had to learn dating rules. I got frustrated about dating. Like I’ll never learn. For four dates I didn’t understand why people drink on a date. I don’t understand why you don’t say at the beginning of the date if you want to have sex at the end, so you know what you’re leading to. But I tried to just do what other people are doing. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I just try to fit in.

There are rules like this for the office, as well. Just follow them. Don’t ask for any rationale. It won’t make sense. That’s okay.

114 replies
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  1. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    THere are only 5 ways to be less annoying in this blog. (No. 3 is missing.)
    I’ll check back later to look for #3.

  2. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Agree with Mark on introverts. And actually, it is great info for people new to an office-oriented workplace. The social and business rules are different from, say, university and being a student or grad student — or working in the food/restaurant industry.

    Also, some of these rules are probably good if you change jobs. Asking your boss if you should send a note to a client, would indicate sensitivity to existing relationships as well as that you’re coachable.

  3. B
    B says:

    Right on.
    It may sound odd, but I’m constantly (as in *constantly* – often even while sleeping/dreaming) running dozens of simultaneous branching social-simulation scenarios in my head. I’ve done so for as long as I can remember – it was the only way for me to really integrate, socially. And it’s helped me tremendously (that, and training myself on micro-expressions), but I’ve never been what I consider to be too far “down” the scale. It’s not perfect… I occasionally forget to work in (to my simulations) the things I know I’m supposed to do, like ask what their plans are for Thanksgiving, how their weekend went, etc.

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I keep reading these Asperger’s posts and seeing a lot of my own non-Asperger’s self in there. I am completely unable to accomplish office politics and definite limit my time with other people for the reasons listed above.

    • Shannon
      Shannon says:

      I used to tutor autistic children and learned that there is a range of behaviors on the “autistic spectrum,” some of which may seem familiar. In small numbers, they don’t necessarily indicate a disorder. I can relate to PT’s social discomfort, but it’s because as an INFP, I am hyper aware of people’s emotions and it becomes overwhelming. In fact, the office environment can be challenging for anyone who doesn’t have the classic Type A aggressive personality.

  5. Marsha Keeffer
    Marsha Keeffer says:

    This totally applies to engineers in Silicon Valley and other geo locations as well.

    I’d add, to all people – Stop taking things so personally. We have no idea, really, what people’s life experiences have been that have led them to the concepts they hold and the way they behave.

    In short, no one has it in for you. Cut them some slack.

  6. Marsha Keeffer
    Marsha Keeffer says:

    This totally applies to engineers in Silicon Valley and other geo locations as well. Yes, I’m an introvert and find this helpful.

    I’d add, to all people – Stop taking things so personally. We have no idea, really, what people’s life experiences have been that have led them to the concepts they hold and the way they behave.

    In short, no one has it in for you. Cut them some slack.

    • Ellen
      Ellen says:

      No doubt, Marsha. A friend recently “broke up” with me because she thought I couldn’t remember the name of her sometime not-boyfriend… it was weird and frustrating to be branded insensitive when I just think differently than her (I have trouble recalling the names of things/people in conversations). As a business owner, I try very hard to accommodate the brains of others and encourage understanding with my staff. By being aware that not everyone thinks the same and by planning around the anticipated failings of others, rather than being mad that they do what they do, we end up winning a lot more in our business.

      • Marsha Keeffer
        Marsha Keeffer says:

        I know what you mean, Ellen – I often have trouble matching faces with names. Last week at a breakfast networking event, I didn’t recognize the woman sitting next to me…ack. I like that anticipation thing you and your team do – very smart!

  7. Gene
    Gene says:

    I have a question. If a person with Asperger’s doesn’t do well with people and has few friends, why would it be important to be a “star”? Why would it matter? It simply doesn’t compute.

    • Anthea
      Anthea says:

      In terms of employment, it’s very important. A “star” who lacks social skills is less likely to be cut in the latest round of layoffs than an unremarkable employee who lacks social skills.

    • Charles
      Charles says:

      I live it everyday. I work for a large company who has been hit hard in the recent economic down turn. I have Asperger’s and am hard to work with. I am “hidden” far away from from management as possible (in a different building from the rest of my department.) But I have made it through MANY layoff’s because I am a walking technical encyclopedia, have a very good memory, and I am incredibly fast on the computer. I able and _willing_ to do any job asked of me from technical, clerical to even manual work if required (I am a degreed professional). My employer continues to employ me as my other skills and willingness make up for my lack of social skills.

  8. mtg
    mtg says:

    #1 is really insightful. I’m moderately schizoid ( a personality disorder related to aspergers) and I’ve always had trouble juggling obligations. I’ll use this tip, thanks : )

  9. Heather
    Heather says:

    Sounds like hard work! Great tips that will make it easier for others to find their way at work. Great tips for people who work with someone with Aspergers. Thanks.

  10. Isao
    Isao says:

    Is it a good option for people with Asperger’s to build a work environment that works for them (through things like entrepreneurship)? I am wondering if that is what you have been doing.

    • Mark W.
      Mark W. says:

      Isao, I think you’ll find this article interesting – http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-10/ff_smartlist_sonne . It was a link in an article that was just posted over at Brazen Careerist in the Economics and Finance group ( http://www.brazencareerist.com/group/economics-and-finance#comment-150845 ) by Caroline Ceniza-Levine. Basically entrepreneur Thorkil Sonne’s son was diagnosed with autism and he was worried about him when he grew up. He quit his job in the IT field and started an IT consultancy that hires mostly people with autism-spectrum disorders. Evidently people diagnosed with AS have a greater chance to be a star or at least employable in the IT field.

      • Isao
        Isao says:

        Thanks Mark, I find the Wired article fascinating (in a hopeful way) and also reassuring (in a frightening way) – you really got to be a star player to survive. I myself do not have Asperger’s syndrome but as I am in my mid-30s with zero talent/interest in management, I find becoming unemployable due to insufficient social skill a frightening prospect too.

  11. Jonathan van de Veen
    Jonathan van de Veen says:

    Interesting. I do think several of these points apply to all successful people in an office environment. One thing that I keep wondering, how are you going to determine what drives someone if you have Asperger’s?
    I found this to be important in working with people to get to a certain goal or even deciding not to include some people in a certain part of your work. Also a lot of people wouldn’t tell you straight out what really drives them and with some people I even wonder if they know themselves.

    Great post.

  12. mike
    mike says:

    Is there a test available that determines whether you have Asperger’s?

    The reason I ask is because this advice seems applicable to anyone who isn’t absolutely refined in their business social skills. I mean couldn’t you just take out the Asperger’s context and replace it with recent graduates? Colleges generally don’t offer courses in office politics, detailed business etiquette, and emotional intelligence. More often than not, when I see fellow recent graduates thrown into the workplace without peers from the same generation, they are clueless on office social norms.

    Don’t you think that managers that read this will start mis-diagnosing or categorizing people with Asperger’s? I don’t know if I have Asperger’s. I am an introvert (I like to socialize but need to be alone to recharge), appreciate the quirkier things in life, and am still learning the ropes (25 yrs. old) on how to act appropriately in the workplace. I write better than I speak, but when I’m around people I can be real with and relate to, the words come out of my mouth smoothly. I’m incredibly analytical and am quick at learning things. So if my boss sees a limited part of me, will he think I have Asperger’s, when quite possibly I don’t? Could it be possible that I’m just a really smart INTP or INFP?

    I realize I sound blunt and critical, and I apologize if my comment seems to defy the friendly, supportive comments above. But, to me all of that advice is awesome and I think a lot of people might be missing out on something great just because it is labeled with Asperger’s. Or perhaps that is just their loss for failing to realize this can be applied to those beyond the syndrome.

    Asperger’s or not, I think your blog is a godsend to many. I may not agree with everything you write, but I’ll admit it’s always worthwhile to regularly come back.

  13. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Super job – thank you! I’m sure this will make the rounds of the Asperger blogs over the next few weeks.

    We NTs (neurotypicals) could be more Zen and approach workplace situations with compassion. When someone is rude, or cuts us off in traffic, or says something inappropriate, we can remind ourselves that maybe their kid is on drugs, or their father has cancer, or their wife just walked out on them this morning. Or maybe they have Asperger’s. Or Tourette’s.

    It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Everyone has a lot to deal with. If we feel compassion first, we let go of our own anger and we open ourselves to the best outcomes, no matter what the situation.

    Cheers!

  14. Lynn Kennedy
    Lynn Kennedy says:

    Thank you very much for this. My son is Asperger’s (aged 15), and what an age! While he has a terrific sense of humour and his teachers use alot of humour to deal with behaviours, he is very blunt, and tends to turn his fellow students off by that behaviour. He does, however, express sorrow at not having many friends. But that is Asperger’s – everybody is on the spectrum. Thank you again for sharing your adult thoughts on this.

  15. Laura
    Laura says:

    I think the tips here ring true for all neurological types since we have created a culture where social niceties like in the Regency and Victorian era are no longer ingrained in our culture. I also think that there isn’t a good socialization culture because we are so individualistic in Western societies so that so many people run around not caring about other people in their day-to-day interactions (case in point, the NYC subway system). Technological inventions have also created super-shy people who would not otherwise be if not for the intrusion of technology. And I feel people mostly want to talk about themselves and aren’t really genuinely interested in others but only if other validate them.

    I know I find as I’m getting older that I find interacting with people exhausting because they are so demanding, especially in work relations. Everyone is out to get their way and it’s exhausting to try to make everything win-win. I’m not an introvert but in certain circles I am quiet and in others, I’m the life of the party; it all boils down to who is surrounding me and what time of the month it is. :)

    And for those who want to get tested: there are resources with autism related organizations like http://www.autismspeaks.org/diagnosis/index.php. You can call them and get referred to a qualified therapist that can evaluate you. There was NY Times article about a marriage where one of them was an Asperger’s person and it turned out his wife was an Austism therapist (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/fashion/17love.html?scp=72&sq=%22modern%20love%22&st=cse).

    • Kate Gladstone
      Kate Gladstone says:

      In my experience and observation, the organization you gave as a resource (autismspeaks.com) is much less able/willing to be respectful to/with adult autistics than is the other well-known autism group — autism-society.org (That may be one reason that autismspeaks.org didn’t allow itself to have any autistics on the board till just this year … then, after a few months of being their only autistic staffer, he left because of how much like a child they were treating him.)

  16. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    Add #6: Be a good listener.
    You touch on this in #2, when you talk about listening to what Ryan P said to Ryan H’s parents, and mentally storing it away for use at another time. Listening skills are key in business situations, not only of you have Aspberger’s or some other socialization deficit. Being a good listener is a skill everyone can use.

  17. chris
    chris says:

    #7: Make friends with people who are socially adept.
    Also implied in #2. The socially adept folks can compensate for you. It’s the same thing as hiring a good IT person if you suck at technology. If you are surrounded with socially adept people you can learn from them and also bask in the spillover good feelings they generate in large groups. (Ryan H’s parents probably liked Ryan P and figured that if they both liked you, you must have some redeemable qualities. :)

  18. alton
    alton says:

    The office environment can be challenging for anyone who doesn’t have patience. In terms of employment, it’s very important to work for a good providing company that socially adept to its employees,
    Working at AdShip is a fantastic place to work all employees is treated as the most valued asset. There team includes technology, operations, sales and customer service personnel. All share a passion for the work that they do and maintain an overriding commitment in realizing the company’s mission. The company is rapidly growing and offers competitive salaries and numerous benefits to its employees. Also, it is an equal opportunity employer and provides a great potential for growth and work-friendly environment for its employees.

  19. Belinda Gomez
    Belinda Gomez says:

    I don’t believe for the tiniest second that Trunk is on the autism spectrum. Being self-aggrandizing and self-involved aren’t the same as having Aspergers. Temple Grandin being told to wash her underarms isn’t the same as Penelope Trunk being told to hush up.

    If you have poor social skills, you might benefit from one of those executive manners courses. Or, think less about yourself, listen more, talk less.

  20. Dave Atkins
    Dave Atkins says:

    I like your advice to ask questions about what to do when you find yourself in awkward, incomprehensible social situations. A lot of us spend way too much time trying to mind-read to figure out what motivates the crazy normal people around us…which is distracting and depressing. It is what it is…admit that and find ways to deal with it.

    For some reason, this post reminds me of the old Bob Dylan song Positively 4th Street

    http://www.bobdylan.com/#/songs/positively-4th-street

    It really is a drag trying to figure out why people get all tweaked out about stuff. One of your commentators mentioned how we should all take ourselves a little less seriously–that’s good advice too. But many of us feel we are one “oops, did I say that out loud” moment away from being “found out” and that makes it hard to ask those obvious social clarifying questions. We’re not quite ready to let our freak flag fly, so to speak…

  21. ScottK
    ScottK says:

    To Belinda Gomex firstly – Troll. Unless you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of an Aspie try using a bit more of your own advice.

    Great post Penelope, your thoughts in this area are a godsend to those of us that live it every day. One other point I’d add that goes with limiting your time with people and listening is to try really hard to shut down the internal dialogue while you’re actively listening. I know many Aspie’s suffer from the never-ending running commentary that goes on in our heads, but if you can really concentrate on the person you’re with and limit how much time you’re with them you can get much better at listening.

  22. jrandom42
    jrandom42 says:

    I’m still wondering who diagnosed Penelope’s Asperger Syndrome. Was it her therapist, her neurologist or herself?

  23. charlie
    charlie says:

    i am shocked by some of the advice you are giving. i have asperger syndrome and have wanted nothing more than to make friends. in your post you are making a big generalization. some people with AS aren’t interested in social contact but many are. moreover, interacting with people is one of the best ways to improve your social skills.

    i also find it surprising that you say never to advise your boss about the condition – another huge generalization. this question does not have a yes or no answer. rather, it depends on a lot of variables. if you’re having trouble at work, your boss NEEDS to know – otherwise you could get fired. and there is no need for him to read a 400-page book on AS. a page or two summarizing the disorder along with your thoughts about some reasonable accommodations should be enough. if your boss “doesn’t know what to do,” tell him!

    for example, at one job i had, i was never given concrete tasks and as a reult had no idea what to do. the boss interpreted this as laziness and it was clear to me that she was fed up and was on the brink of firing me. when i informed her about my condition she was understanding and did her best to accommodate me. it was hard for me to tell my boss but it was either that or get fired, so i chose the former.

    again, i’m not saying you should come out with this info right away, but if things start to go awry at work it’s probably time to inform the boss about your diagnosis to lessen the chance of getting fired. practically every book i have read thus far is in direct contradiction with your advice.

    why do you say to be “very direct” with office politics? chances are that if you have AS you’re already too direct – if you want to fit in shouldn’t you try to tone that down a little? if you need to continually ask if you’re making people angry, i’d say the best approach is to say nothing.

    i am seriously concerned that you are leading people down the wrong path with your advice and i urge anyone reading this blog to check other resources.

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      Actually, I think it is an excellent question.

      I do not have AS, but my husband and daughter do. From what I have seen with them, read, and seen with other people, the answer is yes. My husband can be immediately comfortable and relaxed around a stranger/new acquaitance with AS whereas new people and situations are typically very stressful. I think it is because neither one is trying to follow myriad subtle social rules and it shows. They can both be straight forward and at ease.

      I think there can be a great potential for butting heads also if both people have gotten ‘stuck’ on a topic and each gets frustrated at being cut off. But overall, I think yes.

  24. Alex
    Alex says:

    Love this post. I don’t suffer from Asperger’s, but I especially agree with the bits about leaving before the party’s over (point #1) and being a bit weird. The most interesting people I met in my previous (teaching) career were the kids who were at the ends of the bell curve. And my favourite friends are a bit ‘off’. KWIM?

  25. Lori Davila
    Lori Davila says:

    Thanks for posting this! I believe my 58 year old sister has Aspergers. I am a top U.S. career expert for people over 38 years old, and I’ve tried to help her with a resume and some coaching years ago. She is afraid to work and has now gotten herself into severe credit card debt and has zero money left. And she’s stuck and not finding solutions. She is afraid to work and earn a living. Any advice would be welcome at lori@Loridavila.com or here.

    I love your posts and now that I understand you have Aspergers, I love you even more as I work to love my sister for who she really is.

  26. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    I just discovered this great site and comments. To answer the question why people drink on dates, to release their inhibitions. It sounds like someone w/ Aspergers has alredy released theirs and the 57% of introverts need it to release theirs.

  27. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Thanks a bunch for this. It all made complete sense. One of the challenges in living with Aspergers is that there is very little literature about dealing with it as an adult. So much of the stuff is about helping kids who are on spectrum somewhere.

    • ctempleton3
      ctempleton3 says:

      Are you asking to know or because you don’t believe she has Asperger’s? I assume the latter. If so why don’t you check out the “raw” interview with her on youtube. You watch that and the other videos on you tube and you tell me she dosn’t have it.

      Penelope: I love your blatent honesty! As a person with Asperger’s who works in the corporate world it has been a great help. Keep up the honesty and what neurotypical people would consider “over” disclourse.

      • awiz8
        awiz8 says:

        Raw interviews don’t do jack for accurately diagnosing a neurological condition where the brain is structured and acts differently. It’s like diagnosing someone is alert and aware through a television screen, like Bill Frist did with Terri Schiavo.

        Which neurologist did she consult? Who did the MRI scans? Who was the cognitive scientist who diagnosed her and what testing regime did they use?

        She hasn’t talked about that, and that leads me to believe she self-diagnosed her Asperger Syndrome.

  28. Katy
    Katy says:

    Oh geez Penelope, my diagnosis is actually ADHD but I can relate to a lot of what you are saying (and humorously so). There are a thousand situations a day that pop up and remind me of my ADHD and the fact that it gives me major plusses AND maaaaaajor minuses in a workplace. I’ve been trying to use that information to help me make some choices about how I want to shape my life going forward actually. Not to limit myself, but to put me in a position where I spend a greater amount of my time applying my strengths rather than feeling like a dumbass about my less fine points! I’m lucky right now to work in two places where my stengths are a good fit, AND my bosses are awesome people who get that every individual is an individual and as long as the work gets done, they don’t need to micromanage.

    I am really glad that you write about Asberger’s openly. I also blog about my ADHD and I think if more people are open about their experiences it would be beneficial in so many ways. Like you, I’m a smart, career-minded person with “a disorder”. There’s LOTS of us out there and many of us don’t fit the stereotypes. If more workplaces would realize that just a little acceptance of unorthodox working styles can go a long way, things would be a easier for us (mostly) pleasant eccentrics. Our openness can help to educate the masses.

  29. ASG
    ASG says:

    For what it’s worth, I loathe it when people ask what my plans are for the weekend. Loathe it. Hatey hatey hate. Because most weekends I have no plans, and thus no answer, and the conversation stalls, and I feel like I’ve been put on the spot. This is the case even though I’m perfectly happy enjoying a weekend alone at home.

    More generally, I hate small-talk questions that make me feel like I have to come up with some kind of ‘correct’ or ‘suitably interesting’ answer. The whole point of small talk is to avoid challenging people or making them uncomfortable. That’s why topics like the weather are considered safe, and why, IMO, “what are you doing?” questions shouldn’t be.

    • Rudipherous Oxide
      Rudipherous Oxide says:

      I have to second this.  I don’t have Asperger’s, yet being asked this and similar questions really bugs me.  I admit I am an introvert who has become increasingly more introverted thanks to years of health problems.  Those health problems also mean I am far less active than I once was, with fewer acceptably exciting plans or activities to talk about.  Being asked about what I have been doing, unfortunately, just reminds me of how much my life has fallen apart.

      At the very least be prepared for the fact that not everyone is going to respond well to this question.

  30. kath
    kath says:

    You’ve never heard someone with Asperger’s lament having no friends? OK, I’ll bite. I most definitely lament this, and it is most definitely something I feel a loss about. So stop with the generalizing “we”.

    (Before anyone asks, yes, I HAVE been diagnosed, now back off.)

    • Jen
      Jen says:

      Thanks for verbalizing this, Kath, I totally agree with you, in the fact that I too would love to have more friends, and also I agree w/ you that ppl with AS should stop using the generalizing “we.” Giving up ownership of a word, a label, practically a cussword, AS, for me it is hard to do. (I won’t generalize) But I find I want to say, this is mine. This is who I am. I get to explain AS. But even that I don’t get to do. This problem manifests itself in such different ways for ppl who have it. I think being humble is one of the hardest things.
      Other than that, I enjoyed the article though.

  31. sam
    sam says:

    I have never been diagnosed with asperger’s, but certainly can relate to a lot of the ideas in your post. Social situations are stressful for me and I become easily frustrated in my interactions with others (even though I am good at hiding my frustration).

    I do agree very much with your statement about being a superstar at work. When you are the “weird one” at work, you have to make yourself indispensable. It won’t be the social relationships you have because for the most part, you don’t have them. When you are the star your work speaks for itself and is a reason for you to remain employed.

    I just discovered your blog. I enjoy reading your posts and find them insightful.

  32. ar
    ar says:

    Are you asking to know or because you don’t believe she has Asperger’s? I assume the latter. If so why don’t you check out the “raw” interview with her on youtube. You watch that and the other videos on you tube and you tell me she dosn’t have it.

  33. Online Classified Ads
    Online Classified Ads says:

    I believe that So you need to really look at peoples' faces. And if you get a bad reaction when you say something, even if you think it's not a bad thing to say, you need to stop and ask if you hurt someone's feelings.

  34. Alyson Bradley
    Alyson Bradley says:

    Penelope I always enjoy your articles, thought provoking, direct and to the point and I agree with this line, to the majority anyway “You will always be difficult to deal with. You need to make it worth everyone's time.” I do feel as I have found its almost like we have to overcompensate to be accepted, I always seem to have to over prove myself to get to point 1, when others have been given a free pass it feels to step 10.?

    and of course it should not be like this, but realizing how we impact on others help us adjust when we have to, but I so feel its about time the world started to be more adaptable to our needs… more on work siuations: http://asplanet.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&Itemid=83

  35. Eric Mills
    Eric Mills says:

    Practice what you preach. It's hard for anyone to take you seriously if you don't actually do what you tell other people to do. So go plant a tree or something else.

  36. Christie
    Christie says:

    I had an interview at Texaco a month ago. I’m terrible with math, and am socially challenged. I didn’t want the job. There are slews of jobs that I don’t want, but apply for. So, the manager interviewed me while sitting at the oyster bar sitting in the back of the store. She asked me why I would want to work for Texaco as a cashier since my previous experience puts me in a more valuable (and higher paying) field. I told her I now live outside of civilization (I moved to south Alabama) and need whatever I can get el pronto. She didn’t call me back about a position. I did see her at our garage sale a couple of weekends ago. I screwed up and tried to give her the wrong change for her purchase… oopsie.

  37. Maya
    Maya says:

    On work, at school, home … wherever we are we can be annoyed by someone. My opinion is that we should try not to care about all things someone says to us. Also, if you can not fix what you already done, the best advice is try not to think on that all the time. :)

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