Bruce (kor27) wrote,

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Mixed Signals

One of the problems I've always had is the lack of well-defined personal boundaries. This has been a problem in a number of ways, since I can't really detect other people's very well, and I truly don't want to violate them.

I've always done my best to change my surroundings as little as possible. As a kid, if I was in, say, someone's study, and found a book that looked interesting in the middle of an untidy pile, I'd extract the book, look through it, then return it to its exact previous location.

Where this has become a problem for me recently is inter-personal communications. I have figured out how to manage things for general light interaction - and even fairly serious interaction. But beyond a certain point, I find it really hard to determine if it's OK that I step beyond certain behaviors.

This wouldn't be so bad if I weren't so bothered those times it's become obvious I have overstepped. I might have more of a rep as a jerk, which I don't want, but at least I might get somewhere.

The general result is that I end up sitting on the peripheries of people's lives, hopeful they'll invite me in. And sadly, a nod, smile, or hint is generally not enough. I seem to be unable to move without a completely clear cut invitation, without conflicting behavior.

In fact, from recent experience, a series of clear hints followed by a minor complaint about lack of response and a pretty positive physical reaction won't do it.

I apparently need a written invitation.

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