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    • Willow

      Welcome to the forum!   09/17/2017

      Please come in from the rain and sit by the fire! We're happy you found us and hope you will feel at home here.  

Acquaintance's personality seems to match signs of AS

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I realize I am not making an official diagnosis, as I'm not at all qualified to do that.  From the reading I've done thus far, this person's personality reads very much like the typical symptoms of Asperger's.

I found this Reddit post and it finally clicked.  This person's primary personality trait is how much they talk.  Conversations with them are 99% one-sided.  They will talk for 5-10 minutes ceaselessly, in a very verbose stream-of-consciousness manner, in revolving and contradictory concepts (circumstantial speech).  Social cues like no eye contact, no response, and walking away, do not stop the talking.  It's quite off-putting to the people we know in common, and there have been some conflicts as others have quickly grown annoyed by this person.  I also notice cycles of verbal ticks, repeating "blah blah" or other nonsense noises for about 20-30 seconds (echolalia or palilalia).  They seem to get stuck in a loop for a little bit and then end abruptly with no sense of what just happened.

Subjects usually circle around a semi-veiled sense of narcissism - what a great thinker they are, how talented they are at their hobby, and how their antagonists are spreading negative energy.  I caught some hints today that they think they are smarter than me.  While they are extremely intelligent, and it would not surprise me if they scored very well on an IQ test, their personality proves to be a significant handicap to applying that intelligence.

I know they are not a bad person. In fact, they are overly nice to people, although usually in an overwhelming manner.  I am sympathetic to understanding mental health, as I am close to family that utilize a lot of mental health resources.  I have not met a person (that I know of) that has exhibited traits of Asperger's before.  Now that I potentially have, I feel like I should try to put forth an effort to understand the situation, rather than make it worse. 

However it's tough being around them.  The talking is mentally exhausting.  The clashes with others are painful to watch.  I hate to see the look on other people's faces when they interact with them.

What are some tips I can consider to interacting with them?  What's an appropriate way to set boundaries on conversations, or in other words, what's the best way to tell them to stop talking?  Anything I could do to help improve the situation - should I share this theory with other people we know in a respectful manner? 

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Are you sure they are not just rude?

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I'm kind of curious about your situation. I am assuming this person is a coworker or something, in the sense that it's not someone you can just not be around, anymore. I'll tell you right now, you've met people with Aspergers before. I guarantee it. Is the problem just that you're having to have awkward interactions with someone and you don't like it, but you don't want to be rude? Here's what I do: If an Aspie I'm talking to is caught in a loop, I mostly just sort of wait it out. They're not looking for much from you, anyway.  I don't make any effort to encourage or discourage, I just go about my business, and let them have their tangent. I don't even really listen, much. Keep in mind, this is in the specific situation in which they're stuck in a loop. That happens with my husband sometimes. When it does, it's often when I'm trying to go to sleep, so it can be pretty annoying. He goes on and on, basically saying the same things. I just go to sleep. In your case, just go about your business. You don't have to all out ignore the person, just don't pay much attention. If you have things to do and it's getting in the way, just be honest. I've had people pestering me when I tried to work or get something done, and I'm just honest. I can't carry a conversation and be productive at the same time, I don't possess that skill, and I just say so. But to give more advice, I'd need to know more specifically what situation you're in when this happens. Also, I'm curious. Tell me more about it, if you feel comfortable.

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