There’s this perception on here among neurodivergent people that neurotypical social behaviour is all fake and arbitrary. That it’s a cruel, baseless game played to “weed out” ND people or to cause pain and complicate things on purpose.

This is wrong. All of those social rules and nuances ARE communication. Sorry if this is rude but it’s not the NTs’ fault if things don’t gel- the gap goes both ways. Just because communication doesn’t make sense to you, doesn’t mean it’s random or purposeless. Remember this post?

Every interaction in an NT conversation has purpose, and communicates something, and I don’t understand why nobody ever explains this to ND people. There’s information on basic stuff like facial expressions, but never what any of it actually means.

Small talk about the weather isn’t about the weather. It’s about how nice it is to be around the people you’re talking to, or feeling out their understanding of the world, or just saying that you’re both present and people and you’re being people together. It’s not literal. The words are, but the broad scope isn’t.

A conversation is not just an exchange of words, it’s an exchange of acknowledgement, attention, and emotional understanding. Of course it confuses people when their part in that exchange is met with flat affect or unembelished words. It’s like looking in a mirror and not seeing your reflection.

While this article frames them in terms of romantic relationships, I find that “bids” often appear in relationships of all kinds. We may interact with those bids differently or have different expectations related to bids depending on the kind of relationship we have with someone, but realistically, a lot of how we interact with each other in the world, especially fiddly little social cues and expectations, have to do with these!

The way we choose to respond to, prioritize, and make bids within our various relationships can have a lot to do with how connected we feel with others, how effectively we are able to communicate our needs and capacities, and how comfortable/secure we are able to be with others.