Living with an NVLD can have its complications. Misreading social interactions and picking up on social cues is one common challenge you may face growing up with an NVLD. This can cause you to either be too friendly or become too cold around others. Over the years I have faced this many times and understand that each situation brings its own challenges.
For example, during high school I couldn’t understand that both Coach Adams and Coach Sharrow had the same level of care and respect for me despite having different personalities. Coach Adams’ personality reminded me of my parents so I knew right away he enjoyed me. Coach Sharrow had a different personality. She was a bit more serious and matter of fact so it was harder for me to pick up her social clues. As a result, my relationship with Coach Adams was always much stronger and at times it probably seemed like he was my favorite which wasn’t always the case.
In terms of being too friendly, I tended to give big gifts or send multiple thank you’s to the same person when only one was necessary or a small gift would have been fine. For example, I would send something like flowers when only a thank you card was really necessary. Or I would write a lengthy card when only a quick text or email was needed. Throughout everything, I have realized that sometimes being too kind is just as hard on others as being unkind as both situations can make others feel uncomfortable although in different ways. I do take comfort in knowing that the receivers of my gift knew me well and helped me see my error in a kind and sincere way.
Next, sometimes I found myself being cold and too quiet when I am out with new people. In high school, at times I tried too hard to be friendly and turned some people away. As a result, I missed out on meeting some new people. Fortunately though, when others approached me socially I was able to begin conversations and have a good time. It can be frustrating though in larger or new social situations, I can’t always be the outgoing and friendly person my friends have told their friends about though it is better than trying too hard and having others be turned off by me.
Overall, these are examples of what makes NVLD a complicated disability as you are developmentally very close to others socially, yet not quite there. However, overcoming the complexities is easier if you can be honest about your limitations as you have an understanding of how important it is to be supportive of others and to have relationships. It’s certainly not easy though but by getting and staying connected, it makes the journey easier.
I just adore Jim Adams and am grateful he understood me so well!Share your own story