Being an Overcritical Aspie: A Blast from a Christmas Past

I am reading a book on relationships for aspies, and like this from the section “Being overcritical.”

When I was younger I tended to micro-analyze anything and everything. I took this to such an extreme that I could not watch a movie without criticizing minor inaccuracies in the film.

Who could imagine such a thing!?! 😉

It reminds me of an exchange with my dada during a holiday break my senior year in college when my parents were entertaining neighbors.  A football game was on, and folks were chatting, having drinks, and sort of watching the game.  From time to time someone would comment about the play, which I was watching quite actively, and it was almost always some small talk pastiche that would lodge in my brain like a splinter.  I let several go, but also “corrected” various folks several times, providing a lengthy explanation of what was actually happening.

After a while my dad asked: “Hey Will, may I speak with you for a minute in the kitchen?”

Perplexed, I said “Sure,” and followed him into the kitchen.

When we arrived he spun, grabbed my bicep with his hand and said, with tempered exasperation something like this:

You know you can be a real asshole.  Few people understand the game of football as well as you do, and frankly they don’t want to.  They just want to chat and have some fun, and they don’t care to hear a dissertation.  Do you think you can pipe down some?

He then let go of my arm, and walked past me, shaking his head a bit as he rejoined the others.


My dad, jocularly grabbing my bicep to get my attention.

The irony is that my dad is almost surely on the spectrum as well (his online AQ score is the same as mine).  The embarrassing part is that I was flabbergasted.  It was like a veil was removed from my eyes.  I had never considered that people didn’t appreciate being “corrected,” and could suddenly see that he was right: I was, indeed, an asshole in such settings.


PS: My solution to consuming both movies and football has been to do so solo, and to try to warn people that I can be a right pain in the arse to watch football with, or to discuss a film with, right after having seen it.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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