Date: August 26, 2012 09:41AM
There is a young man at the grocery store where I shop who is overly friendly, talks non-stop about himself, and does not respect social boundaries such as personal space or changing the subject when the other person doesn't appear interested. The first time I met him, I inferred that he had Asperger's syndrome(I am a professional who works with people on the autism spectrum) and that he was a Mormon. After several more trips to the grocery (it seems like he ends up bagging my groceries almost every time) he brought up topics such as visiting relatives in Utah, his church "calling",and his upcoming mission that confirmed that he is a Mormon. I still believe he has Asperger's, but of course I have no way of officially confirming this. I kind of feel sorry for him because normally a person with Asperger's syndrome would have family support for working on more appropriate social skills and boundaries, but in this case his "friendliness" is probably being encouraged. Also, I doubt if he will be successful as a missionary because of his "in your face" approach and it would be sad to see him punished or made to feel guilty because of not baptizing enough people. I've been thinking about how I might have a bit of influence on him, but the only thing I've said so far (in response to him telling me about his mission for the third time) was "Do you have to go on this mission, or is it your choice?" He appeared confused and then hesitantly said it was his parent's choice. I then shared that at my church people only go on mission trips or become missionaries if they chose to do so. He didn't respond to that. I know the situation is really out of my hands, I just wonder if anyone has had a similar experience or suggestions of what else I could say to him.