A friend and I were comparing notes on how people react to direct communication. On account of us both being very direct “pushy” women. This is not a bad thing. I seek out women friends who are pushy, strong, aggressive and otherwise fabulous as a balm for my grated nerves.

Seems like roughly 85% of the people I interact with anymore communicate indirectly. Not just body language, vocal tone and nuance of language, I mean they construct verbal parabolas and tuck the meaning safely inside the cone. (See Fig.1 on right)

So speaking directly, getting to the point or trying to not waste other peoples time can be construed as unfriendly and intimidating. Especially for a woman. And being perceived this way is down right exasperating.

I decided the other night my best strategy to get people to accept me as I am might be to claim a disability. I could say I have psycho-social disorder, I am “on the spectrum” for autism. I bet folks would be falling all over themselves to understand my “disability” (rather than disinclination) to make them comfortable.

I have tried, and still do, to manage and improve my emotional intelligence and social interaction. I am chatty and make small talk. I remember to inquire about children, spouses and pets. I bring in random treats. And I am still called humorless, intimidating and serious. And told that I should smile more. To that I usually answer that I am smiling on the inside.

Will my “disability” make these people cut me some slack? Will they get to the point in their emails or on the phone if they think I am incapable of understanding indirect communication? Will they stop holding agenda-less meetings? Or will they speak louder or more slowly as if I’m foreign? I am foreign to them when it comes right down to it. A stranger in a strange land.

Time to cook up a little “bad girl” cocktail party with all the pushy women I know. Rejuvenate. Maybe take over the world.