I was surprised to read in the paper the other day complaints about people being rude, with an update on social etiquette to find out that it is understood that when walking on the sidewalk or standing on an escalator you are always to walk/stand on the right hand side. I am 44 years old and I never knew that; I have always just stood or walked wherever. I never knew there was any “rule” on this, or that people are to exit a bus or elevator before people go on. With my Asperger’s I am unaware of such things that others just seem to automatically know and I always wondered how,where,and when they learn things like this, or is it just something everyone but me knows? It probably also doesn’t help that my mom was never around to guide and teach me things and I was for the most part left to my own devices. I basically had to try and figure things out on my own and for myself, with no guidance.
I always commit these “social gaffes” and embarrass myself in public and people wrongly think I’m rude when in actual fact I just don’t know. I can’t read body language or pick up on social cues.I can’t “read in-between the lines” ,know the rules” or “unwritten” rules. I never know what to say to people,and what questions or topics are appropriate or not. I almost always end up offending people and they take things the wrong way, not the way I intended. I end up embarrassed, humiliated, hurt, wounded and scolded like a naughty child.I just retreat more and more into isolation. I WANT to fit in and be liked and accepted and to make friends, I just don’t know how. I also have trouble with money so when I buy things I fumble with the change and look really dumb not being able to correctly count it(thank God for credit cards!).I have trouble figuring out if there’s a line-up and if there is where it begins and where it ends. I struggle to find which end of the check-out counter at a store to go to.I have no idea how to do banking or taxes. ATM’s and other automated things are out of the question;they are way too confusing for me, and I’ll never be able to drive,either(I even have trouble finding my way around on a bus and get lost!).What is normal every day life for others is still a mystery and a struggle for me. What they take for granted I am clueless.It’s like they all know this secret that I don’t know, like about keeping to the right. I honestly had no idea.I have a very difficult time navigating thru life.I come across as rude, stuck-up, pushy, nosey, etc. not meaning to but I can’t relate to people and never know how to act, what to say, what to do, etc. I am always being misunderstood and can’t function like other people do. It literally is that everyone is going in one direction and I’m always going the opposite way. They keep to the right and I am always on the left.Almost like culture shock, only in your own country.Life is very challenging for me and I get swallowed up by it.