April 11th, 2014

flamebusy

I am secretly a robot

Or at least sometimes it feels that way. I don't find interacting with other human beings to be natural or instinctive, especially not with strangers. I cope through a painstakingly collected menu of socially appropriate actions and responses.

For example, while out for a walk today, I saw somebody approaching from the opposite direction, and what went through my brain honestly felt a bit like this:

Attention! Approaching stranger! Expected social interaction from menu: Eye contact, nod, and smile.

Distance: too far to be optimal, current distance will result in creepily-long eye contact or in awkward need to pretend to be interested in something else.

Wait.

Wait.

Almost close enough.

There. Action engaged: *eye contact, smile, nod* Success!

"How are you doing?"

Attention! New input! Find conversational sub-routines, quickly! From menu: "Fine, thanks." *smile, nod again*

Wait. Error! Error! Did not read second portion of menu. Additional response expected: "And you?" Target is level with you, will be past immediately. Query: acceptable to turn to address target and give missing second portion? Y/N?

N. Turning is less socially acceptable than missing second portion. Continue without further action. You have failed to implement ideal social interaction. *BZZZT!*

Searching for further targets: None found. Social interaction is over.

Whew. Thank goodness.

Social interaction result: Acceptable, at least you weren't creepy. Still not ideal.

That is the best description I can give of what EVERY single in-person social interaction is like for me, save for those with people I know well and in situations I'm extra comfortable with.

This entry was originally posted at http://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1478125.html.