When I have immense difficulty in communicating my ideas, either in person or online, I try to find some productive alternative to occupy me. And besides watching TV or playing a game next to my wife (who understands me even when I can’t express myself), one of the top contenders to help me feel socially active and productive is actually to read.
While that may not strike you as a very social thing to do, consider first what went into producing that book or article that you are reading. For that’s a very social act: putting your thoughts and feelings into words for someone else to see.
Furthermore, consider how often, when you come upon something while reading or browsing the web, you feel the urge to share it with someone. Because we are social creatures – even the shyest or most introverted – and we all crave connection with other humans. And a great way to connect quite intimately with someone is to read something they’ve written.
Also, as an autistic person who has difficulty keeping up or finding the right words in conversations, reading can be a wonderful gateway to being more sociable. It’s a way to learn and take in information which allows me to feel more confident and prepared for social interactions. Reading is also one of my “special interests” that I find myself coming back to again and again.
Finally, it’s not just about what the book brings to you, but what you bring to the book (or whatever piece of writing). That’s where we can see a dialogue taking place. And it can be one of the freest forms of communication, where our minds can come together with the minds of others in unique ways never seen before, or perhaps ever again.