“You’re so quiet.” Outside of generic pleasantries, it’s easily the most common thing people have said to me throughout my life.
Twelve years ago, I wrote in an email to a friend:
I never talk about myself either, and it’s noticed more than one realizes. A guy I see maybe once every couple weeks for work, just to pick up parts or drop them off, asked me how I was doing right after I’d started eating a cookie. And I just looked at him, and he said, “You never talk much anyway, I figured I’d get the same answer whether you had a cookie in your mouth or not.” It’s weird how much more people blab about themselves, or things around them. The opportunities to do so myself that I never even notice I’m missing. And it’s also funny how everyone says thinking before you speak is such a good quality, and they tell cheesy inspirational stories about god giving people two ears and one mouth, and all these other virtues related to being quiet or thoughtful. But no one really likes the people who are that way.
I had no idea at the time that I was autistic–I may not have even heard the word at that point, and if I had it certainly wasn’t in a context that would lead me to suspect it could have anything to do with me. But I’ve always been aware of being different, especially in social situations. Continue Reading