Unless you have Asperger’s. If you have Asperger’s, you sometimes need a pass.
Because you can’t put your social skills on autopilot.
I’m not rude to waiters. But I am rude in everyday interactions, like when I’m ordering at Chipotle. I also respond in a short, clipped way most of the time when the barista at my favorite coffee shop tries to make small talk with me.
I feel like an entitled jerk when I do that. And I damn well know I look like one.
But I have off days. A lot of us do. On the off days everything is harder. It feels like we’re rationing our energy.
And I don’t think we can do much to change that.
There’s a good chance you aren’t friends with your neighbors. You want to be, but that requires being “on” all the time. Even when you leave the house or come home. Most people aren’t “on” at that point. Your not being “on” just looks worse.
I’m embarrassed when I see how some of my neighbors look at me. When I’m home, though, I just need to let go.
It’s not like we don’t know how to be polite. We do. Especially since people have spent the last 20+ years beating into our heads how rude we are. We know that good vibes from strangers can brighten our day and make our neighborhood a comfortable place.
But on some days those niceties just don’t flow very well.
We need to forgive ourselves for the days we can’t make it socially. Being polite is important. But our mental health is even more so.