Long before I learned about autism, I was thinking about it. From the beginning I was a loner – when I entered school at 5 yrs old, I didn't keep to myself by choice, I did it by instinct. I was completely unable to have friends. As Chris Stone says in my novel The Birdcatcher, … Continue reading Autism | Could it be simple after all?
Nothing about shyness bothers non-shy people more than the reluctance of shy people to talk. "What's the matter with you? Speak up! Be assertive! Stop hiding from us!" - that's their common refrain in workplaces, at school, etc. Why are social people like that? I think it starts with their instinctual need for communication. Never … Continue reading Rescuing Shyness | Resist the hostility of the social world
Words are not the same thing for those of us on the spectrum as they are for other people. From the time I entered elementary school as a small boy, I was very conscious of this. I couldn't put my thoughts into words then, but fifty or so years later I managed to do it … Continue reading Autism and Words
What do I mean by this? It's simple really - instead of trying to suppress your shyness (what the social world has been urging you to do all your life), the best thing to do is to accept it – accept who you are. But that doesn't mean giving up and hiding at home. You … Continue reading How to be Less Shy by being More Shy
Why did I write another book about shyness when there are over 600 books about it published already? How could there be anything left to say? Well, because shyness is almost never understood the way I understand it. From the day I entered kindergarten I was acutely aware of how different I was. In my … Continue reading Why did I write The Shyness Guide?
Alan Conrad is me, though Alan Conrad is not my original name. During my last years investigating accidents and personal injury claims, when I was about to publish The Birdcatcher, a book that reveals some of the dark side of the personal injury business, I had to use a pen name to keep a lower … Continue reading Who is Alan Conrad?
Loners have a hard time in the modern, day-to-day world, yet not in fiction and film. Solitary men - who I think are shy and/or autistic men - are heroes in literature and the movies – James Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumpo in The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans. David Copperfield in the Dickens … Continue reading Loners |The one place where society welcomes them |Anneli Rufus and her book Party of One
Recently I re-examined the 'Big Five' personality traits. This was in a 2007 online article by psychologist Nathalie Nahai (A Large-Scale Personality Research Method, also published in the 2017 anthology, Know This, edited by John Brockman, published by Harper Perennial and the Edge Foundation). They aren't new. The idea began in United States Air Force in … Continue reading The Big Five Personality Traits | Where did the introverts go? What about autism?
This week I learned that UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres says the stay-at-home policy invoked as a defense against Covid 19 has resulted in a “horrifying increase in domestic violence.” Was that a surprise to anyone? Well, it shouldn’t have been. After approximately 200,000 years as ‘Homo Sapiens’ (the 'wise hominid'), we ought to know ourselves … Continue reading Rescuing Reality|Covid 19|mental health and the consequences of ‘stay-at-home’