Monday, August 12, 2013

Sheldon In Real Life

Why do we like Sheldon so much?

I find this chart rather correct. We all like Sheldon, a lot. (Even though on a certain topic I agree more with the character of his mother more than him ;))

But WHY? WHY do people think Sheldon is so funny? I find him funny because often I have the same opinion on things as he does. However, I am typically ridiculed for those feelings or beliefs, while we laugh at Sheldon. Maybe people don't take him seriously? Maybe it is okay in "make believe" on a television show, but its not okay in real life to have those same beliefs? 

Sheldon is often more concerned with the facts or truth and not so much for people's feelings. He says what he feels is right or true regardless of whether or not its going to hurt someone if he says it. Then everyone laughs. But what happens in real life is that we are told that we are insensitive, rude, or people just get offended and argue with us. We are insulted and ridiculed. We are shunned and rejected. There's no laugh track. There's no smiles or understanding. There isn't even anyone who stops and asks us if we mean this or that, they just assume that we mean the worst, that we are purposely insulting them or something. 

Is it the medium with which it is written? Is it because it is written for a comedic sitcom that we laugh? Or could we start to see the same things as funny in real life, instead of taking it so seriously? Why is a character that is only pretend understood and enjoyed as much as Sheldon is? And then, why aren't people who are just like him in real life understood at all? Why don't people even try to understand us? Is it because it's more work than just being offended and angry?

I think in real life people are socially lazy. Sure, I might not be socially appropriate at all times, but I have to work HARD to even try in the first place. NT people apparently don't have to work hard at it normally, but more often than not when they do, they don't care about people enough to work harder at communicating more sensibly. 

I know it's just a TV show, but consider the implications in real life. In TV land, it would kill the show and the story if Sheldon were to move out, or Leonard to move out. It would no longer be funny or entertaining. But in real life, people do not live with people who act that way very long. Both roommates that I had in college were really quick to run out the door. The one roommate that never ran was just as introverted and unusual as I am (and I don't think she has any problem with that). I was better off rooming by myself, and I think I was lucky enough to be able to do that in my 2nd year of college. It took me years and the ability to look at the situations through the lens of Aspergers for me to realize just what went wrong with those girls, and that it wasn't all my fault. It was less that I had done something wrong, and more that I am quirky and a lot of people have a hard time dealing with that. (It should be said that, if I remember right, both those girls had never shared a room with anyone growing up either.)

That's just one example. It seems that for the most part, the storylines are believable and relateable. I do find the social situations a bit unbelievable at times because I know in real life most people are not that understanding. I only wish I had a close group of friends as he does, who accepted me as easily and completely despite all my inadequacies in social rules.  I do have friends, but I am typically misunderstood or have my words taken the wrong way. I feel as if I am playing catch up to explain myself, when Sheldon doesn't seem to have to do that. 

Anyway, if you know a Sheldon, please work a little harder at social interaction. You might have to swallow your words sometimes, and take a breath and not jump off the cliff thinking you know that they meant something insulting.

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