“Social dissonance”, “misfiring” in socialising and feeling a failure at relationships and friendships. Not the same as social anxiety in neurotypical people.

Not understanding the rules of socialising – you have to watch and learn.

Don’t understand that “Most people find getting close to someone can be exciting, intimate, unique, warm, reassuring, companionable, safe, secure, precious and so on” (Laura James, Odd One Out, loc 1044).

As a woman, finding (like Laura James) “neurotypical women slightly frightening, [so] most new relationships I form tend to be with men.” (loc 1034)

Difficulties with eye contact – and finding this excruciating if you’re in any kind of therapeutic group situation.

Being treated like a child/idiot/mental defective if you have to ask for instructions a number of times before it sinks it, and still often it doesn’t, e.g. complicated directions, new words in another language without seeing them written down.

Good at being alone – where you find inner security.

Feeling at peace when for example you’re out in nature, walking, away from people, soaking up the sunshine.

Needing hours or days to recover from prolonged or intense social interaction.

Better at being with people following a common interest, you dread the unstructured social aspects.

Limit to amount of socialising you can handle, depending on how comfortable you feel with the person/people.

Hating using the phone.


Can’t tolerate changes to plans.


Heavy sleepiness overcomes you.

Inertia – a whole day can go by sitting on the sofa and doing little else.


Princess and the Pea – everything needs to be right before you can sleep – bedcovers, darkness, silence.

Insomnia, and once awakened stay awake for a couple of hours.

Takes a few nights to adjust to unfamiliar bedrooms.

Need regular exercise to keep mood up and to sleep well.

Noise sensitivity.

Light sensitivity.

Reading helps you get off to sleep.


Feeling you could explode and if you don’t, you could implode.

Exaggerated startle response.

Noise sensitivity, loud sounds painful, e.g. sirens, underground, loud music, dogs barking.


Not knowing you’re angry – in your mind, you let off steam and it’s all over, and then you forget it.

Alexithymia and other diagnoses

You can’t put into words how you’re feeling – you just are, unless you’re feeling something strongly, such as joy or grief.

Could also be diagnosed with social anxiety, or OCD.


Info-dump. Can’t stop once gets going, on a pet subject, researched.

Study patterns – in carpets, nature, architecture, everywhere. (Doesn’t everyone who’s interested in art? Or are they all Aspies too?)

Things need to be done in a certain order, and items arranged and organised in certain ways.

Hate it when trains, for example, don't run on time, and meetings, workshops, etc., don’t start on time - and the ensuing small talk that’s expected, or feeling uncomfortably out of synch with everyone else.

Study how long it will take to get somewhere, and if e.g. internet says 40 minutes, you double it, just in case of delays and cancellations, and getting lost.

When you find instructions and directions illogical, you get lost and distraught.

Clumsiness – you keep falling over for no apparent reason, and this is particularly dangerous for older, post-menopausal women with the greater likelihood of osteoporosis once oestrogen stops being created.

Menopause can also be a time of heightened anxiety, depression, no libido, poor sleep.

Can’t tolerate light touch, leads to partner feeling rejected.

Prone to bouts of anxiety, inertia and depression.

Suggested reading
Prof Tony Attwood. The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome.
Laura James. Odd Girl Out. An autistic woman in a neurotypical world. Bluebird Books for Life.
Cynthia Kim (2015). Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate. A user guide to an Asperger life. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.
Steve Silberman (2015). Neurotribes. The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently.


Thanks to Marie Kondo for her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

The 2 Golden Rules of De-Cluttering:
Get rid of everything that is unnecessary and
Get rid of everything that you don’t like - you don't need these things!

Don’t do a corner or a room at a time, have a clean sweep.

Do it now, and do it quickly.

Keep what you like and use, and only live with items that you have chosen and which give you pleasure simply for being what you want now.

Choose items that make your heart sing, that spark joy, things which fulfil William Morris' criteria of beauty and usefulness.

Then you could follow this up with the 30 day plan that Katie Berry outlines in her book 30 Days to a Clean and Organized House.

When did you stop dancing?

Medicine men in the shamanic traditions ask the following questions of people who consult them for feeling disheartened, dispirited or depressed:

When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

These are so important for our well-being, and I would add that I find it calming and replenishing just simply sitting in stillness for anything from a few moments to ten minutes and gently breathing. No need to think about anything, and if you do just suspend the thoughts temporarily (they will still be there when you get back), and breathe as if blowing on a feather.

Thoughts on relationships

A woman instinctively puts her relationship at the top of her agenda. If her male partner consistently doesn’t do this, she will feel neglected and increasingly unhappy, until she leaves. And he will wonder why.

It seems to me that (in a nutshell) a woman wants to feel cherished, and to feel that her man is willing to go to the ends of the earth for her. A man, in turn, wants to feel that a woman sees him as her Hero.

A woman can make a man feel that he wants to be a better person. She doesn't do this by being clingy, compromising her self, nagging or criticism, but by example, knowing and learning about herself, her values and how to live by them, and how to cope with setbacks.

To be comforted, cared for, held, loved, someone to share laughs with, the highs and the lows, with mutual love and respect - how hard can it be to have this kind of relationship? And yet, if there's somewhere inside us that doesn't believe we deserve this, how can we allow ourselves to have it?

Our Inner Child (of whatever age/s) wants us to give ourselves love, care, attention, time. Our outer life reflects our inner experience so if we neglect this part of ourselves we cannot expect to have these things in our outer life.

©2017 Barbara Lowden is powered by WebHealer :: Last Updated 9/6/2017