Signs of Aspergers Syndrome

The Uncanny Valley

Many people on the Autism Spectrum are encouraged to mask, to be a little more "normal". But in trying to fit in, people actually make more work for themselves. While the goal may be to not cause problems for yourself if you have Aspergers Syndrome, you can actually be hurting your chances of of blending in by masking as well as masking too mug can lead to the Uncanny Valley. There are a few scenarios we can split masking into: surviving and thriving. Let's take a look at both.


The surviving category would include work, school, people you depend on and so on. Running errands may fall into this as you need to go out in order to get food and the like. When we are in the outside world it is a give and take situation and we need to negotiate the terms of engagement. That is where rules of thumb and social conventions come in when we are forced to deal with other people. The culture you grew up on may determine what is and is not necessary as some are more straight forward and others are more heavy on masking (like Japanese culture). How loud people are and how close they are might also be included in this social constitution. You should try and take advantage of any loopholes the social etiquette of your country offers. Having said that, because your livelihood and your survival depends on this, masking may be required to get to the bottom of whatever you are dealing with and may need more social interactions.


Thriving means expanding from survival and up Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and focusing on socialization and "self actualization". As you are unique, this will look different for different people. For some, this may be getting friends, for others it may be finding a partner to go through life, and yet for others it might be pursuing other pursuits. Regardless, thriving means being yourself and putting away the mask. Things will not happen over night and you may need to experiment, but balancing what you are passionate about while not infodumping can be tricky.You can put small pieces of info out there and see how they react. If they started the interaction, that is even better! Try to focus on generalized ideas and wait to see if they latch on. Further even when you are not talking, you can be focused on that in your head and when combined with a smile and happy attitude it tends to attract the best people that you need, as they can pick up you have interests and are a decent person, even I you don't elaborate on that too much. We will delve into masking more in the next section and explain why it leads to the Uncanny Valley.

The Uncanny Valley.

When Someone gets into this valley, it means they masked too much and likely have traits that make them seem like a robot.Originally, the Uncanny Valley was a term meant to denote robots who looked very human like, but despite all this still looked odd because they were too human looking to be a robot, but to robot like to be a human. But you may think, well if I do X weird thing, people will think I am weird. That is true. However, if you provide no larger context to who you are, you will likely seem like a stiff robot. However, as people get to know you seem less and less weird as there is a context. You should be your absolute self in social situations as the alternative is to seem like a grimacing robot. So little by little you will want to release various part that were hiding. You you probably start with the least complex bits of you if you can help it. Maybe phrase it like "I have been thinking about X lately because of Y and Z, what do you think?" If the person shows more interest you might release a little more info cache. If you absolutely cannot hold back info dumping, you may take a step back in improving your socialization so you can figure out when it is appropriate to drop small pieces of info.

Little by little and dropping small hints about what you like, you can experiment and see what people are more receptive to and you can start breaking out of your personal Uncanny Valley. In a way, you could create a conversation first aid kit of what to say when and how based off how things go in general. This may vary by the sex of the person you are talking to as well. If you are talking to a guy, it will probably be easier if you are a guy and can geek out to things like sports, gaming, crypto investing, or other suh things. With a woman, you could try bits and pieces and just use the I have been thinking about X line we previously stated, as that does not show you are committed to it. This idea is called a trial balloon. Neurotypicals may use this to see what a person actually wants, a foot in the door if you will. They may ask what someone thinks of a recent law if they are trying to determine someone's politics. For you, this is just to determine which topics are safe to talk about things.


One area you probably should stay away from are vulnerabilities. This means anything about being on the Autism Spectrum, traumas, or anything people could use against you. I would reserve this for people you know extremely well. Bringing this up right away can leave you vulnerable to manipulative people. Also bringing stuff up about finances or other health conditions is probably not advisable either. A good rule of thumb is don't share more than the other person is sharing and even then be careful with touchy topics like health or embarrassing things.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors or licensed therapists and always suggest you reach out to a professional. This is here for informational purposes only.