But maybe that's not what's normal for everyone. If you're working with people on the autism spectrum, perhaps a better "target" social style is embodied by an engineer or a scientist or a math major. I know (and like) many engineers ... my dad, my brothers, my brother-in-law, my uncle, not to mention all the engineering and computer guys I meet in the course of a work day ... and while engineer stereotypes are over-simplifications, they also hold a fair chunk of "real-world" truth. The best thing about engineering humour (of the printable kind) is that the engineers enjoy it as much as anyone (although their comment is more likely to be "well of course, that makes sense"). Here is a comment on engineers and social interaction that I think fits this discussion:
"Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction. "Normal" people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction: stimulating and thought-provoking conversation, important social contacts, a feeling of connectedness with other humans. In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions: get it over with as soon as possible, avoid getting invited to something unpleasant, demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects." www.engineeringhumor.comDoes this sound like anyone you know?
I have run a variety of social skills groups for the ASD population over the last 20+ years. In 2003, we started the Typical Teens groups for adolescents with a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.
"Well, being with other people isn't as bad, isn't as boring, and isn't as a waste of time as it may seem ... it's still pretty interesting in a different way ... and it was enjoyable. I would recommend these groups because it would help develop other people's social skills and their understanding that company is a good thing and that being with others is quite worthwhile".... an engineer's perspective if I ever heard one ... but a happy engineer who is convinced that there is a point to the exercise ...