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How Gilmore Girls Taught Me Social Skills

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One day, my friend and I were sitting in her living room, bored, and browsing Netflix for something interesting to watch. Then a particular show caught my eye. I remembered watching it when I was younger, yet still undiagnosed as on the autism spectrum. I enjoyed the unique writing of it at the time. And here it was, ready to watch about 10 years later.

“Have you ever seen ‘Gilmore Girls’?” I asked my friend.

“I love ‘Gilmore Girls’!” she responded, and we began to watch as our childhood memories played once again on the TV.

Less than five minutes into the episode, my friend started commenting on things I didn’t really understand. She would mention how a character was feeling, or that maybe they had said a line in an interesting way. I was so confused. I didn’t notice any of that. All I was interested in was the story and the humor.

So my friend paused it. She told me to look for certain details, like how a character may laugh or where their eyes were focused during the conversation. We watched the scene over again.

When it was through, my friend paused it once more, and I asked my questions about what these things meant. She began to explain their importance. I felt like a new world was opened up. All of these little social details I had missed the first time around became a little bit clearer. So that’s why the guy left the room suddenly — he wasn’t interested in the conversation. No wonder the woman was giggling — she was nervous about her outfit looking strange!

Throughout the series, I found myself learning more and more about these social situations. I learned about how the sense of touch is a powerful thing when you’re in a relationship. I realized how difficult it can be to flirt with someone. We even discussed whether or not it’s appropriate to wear pajamas in public.

As someone on the autism spectrum, “Gilmore Girls” has become more than just a great show to watch. It’s become a perfect and valuable tool for helping me learn some social skills.

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Image via “Gilmore Girls” Facebook page

Originally published: December 28, 2016
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