My initial thought was that there were mainly two types of conversation. One where the person just wants to be heard and the other where there is a further purpose, like problem solving or asking for help. I think most of these ones listed below fall into the second category where there is a purpose beyond needing to express yourself and be heard.


In The Patterns of Effective ConversationDave Pollard lists ten generic purposes of conversation.

The list below is an adaptation of his list, in which I have modified or expanded some of the descriptions and added additional items:

Real conversation serves one or more of the following purposes:

  1. Information: to obtain, surface, or convey information or understanding of facts (know-what), processes (know-how), or contacts (know-who). To learn from each other.
  2. Sense-making: to make sense of something (beyond just obtaining facts), especially a complex issue.
  3. Perspectives or viewpoints: to obtain different points of view or gain consensus
  4. Change: to challenge and shift someone’s viewpoint or intentions (mine or others’)
  5. Ideas: to generate ideas, surface and imagine possibilities
  6. Collaboration: to enable the effective production of some shared work-product
  7. Deepening or creation of relationships: to connect with other people, to build relationships
  8. Entertainment or fun: to have fun, banter, gossip, flirt
  9. Recognition, attention, or reputation: to obtain it or offer it
  10. Appreciation, empathy, or reassurance: to get it or offer it
  11. Decision making: to make decisions
  12. Problem-solving: to solve problems or figure out how best to respond to them
  13. Reveal problems: to reveal hidden issues or unintended consequences of our actions
  14. Search for opportunities: to search for opportunities.
The purposes of conversation | Conversational Leadership (

Language Matters

Is it a slur?

With all slurs, ask yourself: “Where is the noun?”

“Person” or another person word like “adult” or “someone” should always be the noun. The condition itself should never be the noun.

“I have ADHD.” The noun here is “I”, a person. If someone says, “Look at that <slur>”, the noun is <slur>. That’s what makes it dehumanizing. Instead of being recognized as a complex being that includes a trait, they are reduced down to nothing but the trait.

Cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation?

Did you ask someone from that culture what their thoughts are? And by “ask” it means first do a web search to see if someone has already answered it.

Language does change and evolve as it is used in different ways. It can be a barrier or a bridge.

1. Tribe

2. Tipping Point

3. No can do

4. Guru

5. Hold down the fort

6. Ninja

7. Powwow

8. Off the reservation

9. Call a spade a spade

10. Indian Summer 

11. Nitty gritty

12. Climbing the totem pole

12 Culturally Appropriative Words and Phrases To Stop Using Today – Yoga Journal

Examples of Cultural Appropriation and How to Avoid It | YourDictionary

Preferred Terms for Select Population Groups & Communities | Gateway to Health Communication | CDC

The Diversity & Inclusion Glossary [A List of 200+ Terms] | Ongig Blog

Inclusive Language Guidelines (

stub – extract relevant part from: single word requests – Alternative terms to “Blacklist” and “Whitelist” – English Language & Usage Stack Exchange

ECHO, Echo, echo…..

Echolalia is functional communication. It is often an indication of gestalt thinking, if you search for hyperlexia or hypernumeracy you might find more information.

Possible functions:

  • practicing verbal skills
  • auditory stimulation (stimming – it just sounds good)
  • communicating – if we’re not understanding, we’re not listening/paying enough attention or we need training

One example is my kiddo would say the exact same line if they thought that I wasn’t listening, or wasn’t understanding, or wasn’t giving the response they wanted/were looking for.

So now I’ll say:

“I’ve heard you say that multiple times now, did you miss my acknowledgement (either verbal or visual) or are you looking for a specific response or does it just sound good?”


“Great, thanks for letting me know!”

Autistic employee goes viral with office sign that breaks down ‘bad communicator’ stereotypes – Upworthy

I’m autistic.

I prefer direct, literal and detailed communication

If I am:

Not making eye contact

Not greeting you back

Not understanding your social cues, etc.

There is no malicious intent. It is the autism.

Thank you for understanding.

“This should be the norm tbh!! very proud of you for stating your boundaries and needs clearly,” Alastar wrote. “I wish everyone had signs telling me how to communicate tbh,” Bro added.

“How is it that we prefer direct, literal, and detailed communication, but somehow WE’RE the ones with a communication issue???” Reading cosmere! wrote.

“The funniest thing about the comment section of my autism sign video is the people who are asking me, ‘Are you self-diagnosed? Are you formally diagnosed?’” he said in the video. “Do you think neurotypical people would make a sign like that? Do you think that would happen? Do you think a neurotypical person would do that?”

Adult ADHD Diagnosis

This really resonates with me. I was managing until I became a parent, and when I finally came up for air – I found myself wondering if adulting/managing life was this hard for everyone.

“When you mask ADHD, “good enough” standards of timekeeping, tidiness, and organization are not sufficient. The consequences of a minor slip-up, like forgetting to submit a form on time, can feel like the end of the world. I obsessed over carefully chosen outfits; cleaned my house to perfection before a casual coffee date; lived by a complex system of reminders, spreadsheets, notes, and alarms; and arrived two hours early to guard against being late, wondering why life was so exhausting and feeling like a failure.”,like%20a%20failure.


Instead of “I’m sorry for…” try “Thank you for…”

When you say you are sorry, the other person often feels bad that you thought they needed/wanted an apology.

When you say thanks you, the other person can feel good about you acknowledging and appreciating them.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.


  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.


  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I forgot.


  • Thanks for reminding me.
  • Thank you for touching base.
  • I forgot, I’d really appreciate support completing this.

We are all….

Made of stars (carbon based)

One (energy/matter)

A community/universe in ourselves (microbiomes)

Rube Goldberg machines

Experimenting (whether through action or inaction)

Made of sunlight (sun energy + soil are consumed by plants which are then consumed by humans or animals that are consumed by humans, therefore we are made of sunlight)

The Daffodil trait… I mean Narcissism

Narcissism is a trait, if you have none, then you can’t care for yourself, if you have too much, then you can’t care for others.

Empathy and compassion are learned skills.

A “Narcissist” is someone who needs to improve those skills.

Most folks learn some degree of those skills on their own.

Some ND/HSPs do not learn self-regulation without being directly taught. So some ND/HSPs with neglectful/traumatic/unhappy childhoods can develop narcissism as a coping strategy. NTs tend to be more resilient.

The core of narcissism is anger.

If you only understand your own mind – then if someone does something different from your expectations, it makes sense that you would assume they are being mean and get angry. Anger is an emotion that is supposed to protect us, encourage us to defend our boundaries. At the bottom I have an example of how this works.

Correlation is not causation. And being HSP doesn’t imply Narcissism. I believe being a Narcissist, especially the vulnerable kind, implies being an HSP with childhood attachment trauma.

PersonA & PersonB – both have autism.
PersonA may or may not be aware of it in themselves and is not aware of it in PersonB. PersonB is not aware of it in either of them.

Having a discussion.

PersonB replies to PersonA.

PersonA: You just hurt my feelings. (see trauma)

PersonB: (had no intention to do so, feels like they are being gaslit as hurting the other person is not their experience)
“<Explains why PersonA is wrong/mistaken/shouldn’t feel that way – without first acknowledging PersonA’s experience.>”

PersonA: (feels gaslit and ignored/unheard)
“Why is it so hard to apologize? Don’t you care that my feelings are hurt?”

PersonB: (Now confused and angry, why should they apologize for something they didn’t do? Feels emotionally blackmailed. In addition to feeling gaslit, is also hurt that PersonA thinks that PersonB would try to hurt PersonA. Gets defensive and lashes out in anger – says something deliberately hurtful = Narcissim.)
“Why would I care when you don’t care about what I’m feeling?”

This is why starting with I statements and sharing needs is so important. Both people had a chance to get things back on track.

PersonA could instead say:
I’m feeling really hurt, I need <support/connection/clarification>.

Or PersonB could have replied with:
You’re feeling hurt in response to something I said? Do you need a hug? And can you explain what part was hurtful and why? I’m confused and I want to understand because I care about you. Hurting you was not my intention, so I think there must be a misunderstanding/miscommunication occurring.

Post Oct 5 2022 ^

Edit Jan 10 2023

I can only speak for myself. Before I learned more about Autism, I thought my husband was a Narcissist. I think the reason most Narcissists don’t agree with that label is because it is a label of the external behavior that others observe more so than a description of their internal experience. So if you try to explain to someone exhibiting Narcissistic tendencies they will believe you are trying to attack or gaslight them, so then of course they get defensive and strike back.

Wood Fidget Working

Discussion on woodworking and needing to sand something:

the best way to do it was honestly just to run my fingers all over it and feel for burrs and rough spots. Doing so was deeply satisfying


I just got into woodworking because of this, I’ve been picking up little bits of wood and either using a small file, fingernail, rock, stick, whatever I have available to work on them. I figure I can make a “fidget wood” (driftwood) mobile when I have enough of them. 😀 It’s so satisfying!

I have been trying to do it outside so I don’t have to worry about dust, but now I’m thinking a mini pouch – like a drawstring bag that opens flat – to store the wood & tool in and catch the dust when working it indoors would be good. I think I recall research about touching wood vs manmade stuff that I’m going to go look for now that I’m thinking of it…..

I also like to use pet nail grinders, nail drills or a Dremel (heavier, so that’s why I like the nail ones) for when I want to work on something, but my fingers or hands are too tired.

I’m thinking I might try making some worry wood, like a worry stone, just to carry around in a pocket to rub.