Hi Kelly,

The father in the story was not Cindy’s father. It was the father of a friend of Cindy’s.

I think I did provide a story about why his comment might have been hurtful to me, and I jokingly suggested an equally low-emotional-intelligent response to him, to demonstrate how I might have reacted had I not been able to apply a social filter.

I honestly don’t think he’s a jerk. I think he’s autistic, and that matches what we know of his other actions. I don’t think he meant to hurt me, although what he said clearly did seem to hurt me.

Right now, I’m considering your suggestion of joking about calling him a jerk, and I see how that would make sense to most people who cannot understand that this kind of behavior is not intended to be hurtful. Calling him a jerk would be the low-emotional-intelligence response from most people. But I’m not willing to write that because I don’t perceive him as a jerk.

I think he just didn’t realize the effect of revealing his impression of my visual appearance without applying an “appropriate” social filter.

Having written all of that, I’m have decided to change what I wrote to: Should I have written, “Why does such an emotionally intelligent child have a father who acts like such a jerk?” My reasoning for the change is that it will be more accessible and understandable to the average person, and I’m willing to concede that, while I’m certain he’s not a jerk, I can say that he was acting like a jerk.

Thank you so much for helping me to improve my writing.


An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store