Sunday, August 28, 2011

Appearance Is Worth a Thousand Words

Last week, I took a trip back to Long Island, land of my upbringing, to reconnect with a few people. Including a lady - I'll call her Felice - whom I went to high school with, and the very next time either of us contacted the other was last November (Hint: Rhymes with "Pace Nook").

By prearrangement, I stopped by her family business, and there she was - together with her mother. We introduced ourselves, then got to talking. Felice's mother mentioned wanting to retire soon, and given how young she looked, I remarked that it must be early retirement since she looked like she was in her mid-40s (which she does, at least to me). She laughed and pointed out that if so she must have been two when she had Felice.

Good point. Of course I should have kept that in mind, especially since Felice and I have already crossed the 40 mark ourselves. Thing is, Felice herself could pass for 30 if not younger IMHO. While I knew as a matter of objective fact how old Felice was and thus how old her mother would have to be at a bare minimum, I saw something quite different. And my thinking brain went with appearances, not facts...even though as an Aspie I'm supposed to be wired to pay even more attention than average to the latter.

Maybe I'm just rationalizing my forgetting a detail in the midst of a conversation. And maybe this is an illustration of how NTs so often think and act: By gut reaction based on what they see and hear, sometimes putting aside the statistics.

Something to think about when trying to make a good impression and otherwise persuade people.

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