At work yesterday, I had an encounter with a man illiterate at reading basic social cues. My unqualified armchair diagnosis is that he may suffer from a mild form of Asperger syndrome. This is my second interaction with him, and I suspect that I will continue to see him professionally in the future. I have compassion for this man, but he makes me uncomfortable. After we complete our initial salutations, he just stands there and stares intently and asks inappropriate questions. His inquiry is well-meaning, but invasive. I struggle with how to respond. The awkwardness is compounded by the presence of other people listening. Even though I intentionally break eye contact and busy myself with other matters, he just. keeps. staring. The boundary-crossing interrogation continues until he is forced to stop by interruption of someone else requiring my attention. He is at once creepy, annoying, and harmless. Clearly the universe has repeatedly put this man in my path to teach me a lesson. Patience? Compassion? A test of my ability to maintain my own healthy limits when challenged? While I try to decipher this dharmic dickslap, I’ll try to remain polite yet resolved in the protection of my own privacy and integrity. Any additional insights from DC readers with experience in such matters is always valued and appreciated.
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