Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Social Sensitivity (or its lack)

Originally posted on September 7, 2013

Many qualities are enjoyed or missed by various people according to the varying distribution of talents. Howard Gardner, a psychologist, in 1983  wrote about eight that he identified in his book, Frames of Mind. One of these, interpersonal intelligence, is the focus here. My career in part is a healing of the wound, a compensation for what was a problem for me. I’m not good at people skills—they confuse me. Others are much worse and don’t care, or much better. I’m around 48% on a scale from totally out of it to rather sensitive and at ease. I have a rather mild case of social insensitivity. Here’s a cartoon by Scott Adams, about Dilbert, an engineer. dork1

I mean, why doesn’t the guy just say, “please stop explaining” if he already knew or wasn’t interested? Because he assumes that everyone else can read subtle nonverbal cues. Duh. But it turns out that reading, like dyslexia, is not as apparent to some people. It’s also one of a great many variables to be considered as a mind-spectrum.


Alas, this has been a handicap I didn’t know about until it was too late. Well, it all turned out okay, but there were some rough patches.

Although this is humorous, I think variations of social sensitivity contribute greatly to psycho-social dysfunction, even if it is mild. I call attention to this to my colleagues in the mental health fields.

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