Friday, July 1, 2011

Wing Man

Hey, How's it going??  Today I want to talk about Wing Men. But not traditional Wing Men.NNT Wing men.

I'm kind of fond of this concept.

and this photo.

So, we've talked a bit before about social skills and what is socially appropriate. 

Now I want to talk a little bit about surviving the social world and some coping techniques.

So parents are the ones we usually rely on, if you're NNT you may rely on them more than most.

Part of my life has been relying on Mom and Dad to be my Social Wing Man.

What does that even mean.

Well in some social situations a wing man helps you out with attracting ladies. Or gents.

In NNT world Wing Men sort of act as an interpreter of social happenings, an ambassador for the NNT and a translator for unspoken social behavior.

Karen you can't just ask people why they're white.

When you're little this is most often your mom. Mom's often point out social happenings when we go on field trips or when she would come and help out in the classroom.  This is important part of development, it allows children to help form generalizations about the world around them.  Like it's only appropriate to pick your wedgies in the bathroom. Not in public view. With parents guidance children can learn to "see" some of the unseen social things.

Now, obviously parents cant be with their children always. That would be an unreasonable expectation. So, as a NNT you learn who would make a good Wing Man and who would not.

This is a Tom Cruise themed post

So when you're young you first rely on your parents to find someone who has these qualities

1. Is socially competent

2. Is nice
3. Can explain what is going on adequately to NNT.
4. Has an unending amount of patience. 

This seems like kind of tall order. It is. Sorry. The first two are the most important. The rest of the list is super useful but not really needed. In a perfect world, you would be able to have a wing man who fulfills all these requirements. Most of the time however, we don't live in a perfect world.

In  a perfect world, I look like this.

When you find someone who meets some of these requirements you sort of start to play spy.  You undertake a secret mission to observe this person and learn from them. Observe what they do. See how they react to situations. See how they deal with NNT weirdness.

As you get to know a wing man and they get to know you, they may come to understand how unique it is to be a non-neurotypical.


  1. My partner has been reading a lot about NNT because we have a couple of grandkids who have been diagnosed. She told me to read your blog. She said it had helped her understand ME! What?! I have told her for years that there was something wrong with me, that I was broken and apparently couldn't be fixed. She is my Navigator--she tells me what people Really Mean when they say and do things. She tells me what is okay to say and what is not--I get the BLURTS sometimes. I forget what I am supposed to say when people say, "Hi, how are you?" I feel like an Alien a lot of the time. I'm very intelligent, but I don't think people like that. They didn't have diagnoses for anything but retardation when I was a kid. I'm not, but I just don't get people. My partner is a social butterfly and people just love her. She says reading your blog makes my behavior make sense to her for the first time. She says I am not broken.


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