I am not looking forward to going to work today. I worked from home all week, last week, and it was wonderful. I didn’t move as much as I should have, and I ate more than was healthy, but I got to rest when I needed to, and I wasn’t subjected to inane interactions, like I’m about to be, in a little over an hour.
I detest vacuous social interactions that serve no purpose other than to make other people feel less lonely. It’s a distraction. But I’ll do it.
The good part is, I’ve figured out how to do it without investing a whole lot of energy. If I just follow this script, I’m all set.
This is how it goes:
First, I see someone approaching me. It’s always best if I acknowledge them first, because other people are very reactive. They like having someone else set the tone of the interaction so they can just follow along.
Me (smiling and looking in their general direction): Hi! How are you today?
Them: I’m good, thanks! And you?
Me: I’m great! How was your weekend? Did you have a good one?
Them: Something – something – something – something – something – something
Me (depending on their response): Oh, wow – that sounds great / frustrating / exciting (sarcasm used, if they had a terrible weekend)
Them: Yeah. Something – something – something – something – something – something
Me (whatever they happen to say): Oh, I know… Right?
Them: Laugh / meaningful look / some comment
Me: Tell me about it…
Them: Okay, well, have a great day!
Me: You too! Happy Monday!
And we’re done. That’s roughly how it goes.
Generally, I can get away with a few exaggerated expressions of “Oh, I know!” or “Right?!” that indicate I’m listening (maybe I am, maybe I’m not), and that I care. I do care. I actually do. But it’s a lot of energy, which I often don’t have, to get all invested in other people’s lives.
Especially when I fundamentally disagree with what they do with their free time and money.
I try not to belabor my interactions with judgment. Non-autistic people don’t understand, and it’s not a good use of time.
So, anyway, Monday awaits. I have to go in to the office today — Big Day for a project I’m working on, plus there’s some staff meeting I have to attend. Whatever happens, it won’t be boring. That’s for sure.
Although sometimes, boring would be fantastic.
Okay, off I go…