Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Positional Warfare and The Confidence in Others

It's been a while since I talked about the "positional warfare" so let me begin my stating what that is. There's a phrase out there that says, "people on the autism spectrum may appear uncomfortable in their own skin." I refer to this as the "positional warfare" and what that means is that, quite simple, I don't know how I should be in the space I'm in. It's like an itch that can't be scratched and no matter how I stand, and no matter how I have my arms and any other part of myself, nothing seems right.

Now looking at my title of this blog how does this positional battle and other people come into play? This happened rather frequently when I was younger and in school, but when I saw other kids move about in the classroom with confidence, or had complete control of their bodies playing soccer or basketball, I always became even more conscious of the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.

No idea, what does that mean? I mean this as literal as possible; there wasn't a second that I wasn't thinking about where I was in the space I am in. To watch others move effortlessly and without thought always made me more aware that I couldn't do that. I always tried to "try harder" when I saw other people move and anytime any person tries to think or try harder nothing good comes from it.

I remember always thinking, "how can they do that?" because every one of my motions is thought of, and analyzed, then debated, then acted upon while others always seemed to move with an air of confidence that couldn't be contained. Perhaps they didn't have confidence at all, but that is irrelevant because I perceived it which always made me feel rather small.

I have talked about others and I don't want you to take this as if this is any sort of complaint about those who moved with confidence. It's not. But my perception of how others moved about is the key thing here. I know, back then, I would have given anything to be able to just move, walk, stand, or sit with that same confidence. It became absolutely tiresome trying to always appear as if I were comfortable when I was not. And at that age I had no way of expressing this at all, and the fact that I wasn't diagnosed yet didn't help either but even still, had I been diagnosed, I don't know if I could have explained this.

This is a topic that, unless you've felt it, I'm not sure you can appreciate just how big of a deal this is. Imagine always have a self-conscious part of you that can't be satisfied because you don't know what is right or wrong in terms of walking, standing, and posture and the harder you try to fit in the more awkward the whole situation becomes. This is the essence of the positional warfare and for myself, when I was around confidence, or rather perceived confidence, it just got worse and I had no idea why and no idea why I was different.

1 comment:

  1. If you ask me, the "how can you do that" takes observation and and practice- just as you would practice your speeches. You have the work ethic to do so. The thing is, like golfers on the driving range, can you practice correctly?

    I will give you an example 5 days ago. I was walking along in a busy expo hall with an OT peer of mine in an OT conference. Out of the blue, however, an army OT (who is now a major) I know who is very well respected in the OT profession interrupted us to say hi to me. I gave him a greeting and did some small talk before we took a picture and he headed on his way.

    I will break down this little moment to you.

    1. I went into the expo hall fully prepared for anyone wanting to say hi to me and hit me up for a brief conversation. After all, I knew there were a few hundred people who might wanted to meet me. Even though I didn't know when, I was mentally prepared for such moments.

    2. I had positive experiences to recall on last year. Positive experiences can always help.

    3. I am very mindful of what I do maybe perceived by others. In such situations, being confident is the only option, especially that I considered him one of my idols.

    My overall advice- prepare for the unexpected and do the best you can. Also, instead of thinking about why you can't do such things, visualize what a confident person might do and follow through (like pro golfers visualizing a good shot before they hit the shot).