Friday, July 3, 2009

About Face

I get annoyed/frustrated by my face because I feel it betrays me when I need it most.

Having slight autism has made it hard for me to use my face like normal human primates to express emotions. When I'm on the top of my game, feeling good, full of energy and spunk, I'm pretty good and my face is all glowy and adorably over-expressive and people like that.

But when I'm low on energy or just mulling over a problem in the back of my mind, my face can get "stuck" expressing an emotion that may have nothing to do with the conversation I'm having with someone and that gets a lot of people confused about how to take me. And it frustrates the crap out of me because I'm like: listen to what I'm saying! I can't say it clearer! And then they tell me my face looks like I'm feeling [insert inappropriate emotion here] and then I just feel totally incapable of functioning conversationally.

The worst part is that this happens with the people I'm most intimate with at delicate moments when all the sensitivity in the world that I can muster can't combat the stupid face I don't even know I have on.

I used to make my face a calm-looking mask that only emoted the strongest of emotional reactions, but once I stopped doing that comment after comment from friend, acquaintance & stranger alike reinforced to me how unhappily ill-suited I am to have chosen a communications job.

On the other hand, I probably choose it subconciously because I thought it would help me fix those problems. Too bad I decided that before I knew I had Asperger's and this isn't the kind of thing you can just fix, just negotiate around.

And that's my complaint about my face: It doesn't function properly! ARGH.

Related posts:
Asperger's and the Internet
Reaction Shots
Anxiety and my Genetic Inheritence

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1 comment:

Stacey K said...

I asked Teddy if he has ever had the same experience, but he says he mostly does the neutral face thing.