Years ago I found an interesting theory that people mostly function on one of three “bandwidths”: at an emotional level, and intellectual level, or a physical level. Though people need all three to get by, they tend to mostly stay in just one of them, for their input/output, and how they communicate with others.
When two people meet, they “fine tune” their “frequencies” to try and get as close to the other person as possible. Importantly, the closer they can get, the better they can communicate with each other. If they can’t get very close, they can try to communicate all day but won’t have much luck. How much you can tune is based on how much energy you have.
While culturally we are educated to believe that communication involves the accurate transfer of intellectual data, this is really only important to those with an intellectual bent.
Emotional people are far less concerned with accurate data than with accurate emotional content. So if they are trying to convey an emotional lesson, they often twist the facts to make the emotional lesson clearer.
Physical people communicate with physical contact, be it hugging, grabbing, pinching, slapping, whatever. They try to communicate physically with others. Unfortunately, since most people are not physically oriented, they think of this as assault.
I had a friend with a physically oriented roommate, and my friend said that this behavior was very annoying, and he wished the roommate would stop touching him, punching his arm, etc. Instead I suggested that his roommate was trying to communicate with him, in a physical language, and that he should respond in kind, physically.
He did so, and quite unexpectedly the roommate suddenly saw him as his best friend in the world.
He described it as if his roommate was in a foreign country for years, and didn’t speak the language, then he met someone who spoke English. No matter who that person is, he is their new best friend, because he can communicate with them.
With this as background, it got me to thinking about the “violence” of some with autism. What if they are trying to physically communicate?
Interesting question. I don't know but your post was fascinating.
That’s a very interesting theory....I wonder how much gender plays a role...
I found your story very interesting. Communication, to me, is whatever non-injurious method causes understanding between two beings. Having traveled in foreign lands, I used hand signals, drawings, even singing to try to get my messages across. It was also an unique pleasure to work for an animal research concern for awhile, during which I read a great deal about interspecies and intraspecies communications. Certainly, every cat, dog and horse owner uses both words and touch, as well as certain forms of eye contact, to communicate with their pet, and the sensitive human can understand a wide range of animal body language.
You might enjoy the books of Dr. Temple Grandin, who has been mentioned in the article. She is an autistic woman with very odd speech and behavior who, nevertheless, used her unique non-verbal mental processes ("Thinking in pictures") to understand animals. She has written extensively about animal communications because she sees the parallels between her own autistic inability to understand the finer points of human social cues and the perceptions of animals who interact with humans.
That said, there is a difference between physically communicating and shooting Mom in the face.