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Joe90
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05 May 2022, 4:54 am

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People respond positively to physically attractive and happy presences. People who present like that get more allowances from society. It isn't fair, but it's reality.


Please stop saying this, as I'm already sensitive about my looks and you're basically saying that I'm ugly.


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HiccupHaddock
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05 May 2022, 1:07 pm

I don't think anyone was referring to you Joe90. It was just a very general point about the general topic of kids making friends, and I'm sure no offence was intended at all to anyone, so don't think that at all.

With respect to kids making friends, my take is that it's important not to emphasise too much to kids about whether they have friends or not, as they might get worried about that.
I think it's good to encourage kids to just live in the moment, not analyse everything too much.
To me, it's also important for kids to learn to be kind to others, that is an important basis for having a good relationship with someone else.



Joe90
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05 May 2022, 1:42 pm

HiccupHaddock wrote:
I don't think anyone was referring to you Joe90. It was just a very general point about the general topic of kids making friends, and I'm sure no offence was intended at all to anyone, so don't think that at all.

With respect to kids making friends, my take is that it's important not to emphasise too much to kids about whether they have friends or not, as they might get worried about that.
I think it's good to encourage kids to just live in the moment, not analyse everything too much.
To me, it's also important for kids to learn to be kind to others, that is an important basis for having a good relationship with someone else.


I know it wasn't aimed at me but even so, when people here say that physical attractiveness is a factor of making friends it must mean that those of us who don't have friends are ugly - whether on the spectrum or not. It hurts to have that hinted and I don't know how people can just say that.

As a kid my family seemed concerned about our social lives. My uncle even had the attitude "I'd rather my kids were out all hours of the night with their friends than sitting alone in their rooms on their computers". I don't know where he got that from, as at least kids are safe when they're sitting in their rooms - although I know he didn't mean it literally, he just meant he'd rather his kids had friends to go out with than being lonely and friendless. Yes, I know sex and drugs can come with friends...but then lonely people can get into drugs too, to help deal with their loneliness, and can even commit suicide.

My mum's version of a normal happy child was "having nice friends and attending clubs". Not the most accurate definition of normal but, yeah. So I thought of an NT child I knew who didn't join any clubs and only had weird friends and I brought her up, and my mum was like "well she ain't normal either then."

I think my mum just pictured parenthood as having happy, bright, well-behaved and popular children with lots of friends that treat them right and are developing normally and getting on well at school, etc. Not a challenged brat like me, prone to temper tantrums, couldn't control emotions, and was constantly demanding, and suffered social isolation so badly that I became depressed. No parent wants to hear their 13-year-old cry "why am I here, Mum? Why did you have me?" and literally mean it (not just as a teenage rebellious technique).


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05 May 2022, 2:49 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
I think natural personality also makes a difference. From a young age, my son presented as happy and curious. People were naturally drawn to him, provided he wasn't in the middle of a meltdown, obviously. If he had been able to maintain that natural outward expression without knowing what made him different, he would have always had friends.


This is spot on, and in my experience it holds true for the NT population as much as it does for the ND population. Just in the same way there are people that are naturally happy and/or funny in NT world, the same happens in the ND world, and the opposite is true: we all know at least one person that is an 'emotional vampire' - they exist in both the NT and ND worlds - that suck energy out of you and the room and only ever has something negative to say.

This year I started volunteering at a youth club for autistic children and it was eye-opening to see just how much variety in personality there is, and also how the children there can pick up on it and respond to it. In terms of the ones that are more 'popular' I don't notice any correlation to their physical appearance, simply to what they say to each other, and how they behave in general but mainly around if they smile and have a sense of humour and are playful. The ones that don't have these things (or don't show them, I should say) do not get much attention from the others and are ignored. I have so much fun at this youth club, some of the kids are genuinely hilarious. I probably get the majority of my laughs in a week from my interactions with this group of wonderful people. I do worry about the future in the sense that they won't get any formal support once they turn 18 and life may start to grind them down, but right now most seem to be doing v well and I am enjoying making them laugh and teaching them a few of my hard-earned life hacks along the way.



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06 May 2022, 2:41 pm

That sounds so much fun at the youth club munstead, and well done to you for volunteering, I wish I had time for something like that. I love the idea of passing on life hacks. I'd love to hear some of your life hacks (that would be a great thread for this forum, for people to share their life hacks, don't you think? Like to start a thread on that?)

I think you're right that many people are drawn to cheerful positive people, but I think that in the millions of people on the planet there are potential friends out there for all sorts of people, some people are drawn to lighter, cheery people and some to more serious and heavy people. In fact, some people who are rather serious and melancholic can also have a very humourous side, so sometimes people can have many complex angles.

It seems to me that making friends is a bit of luck, it depends on who you happen to meet, and the atmosphere in which you meet them, so there's many elements of luck. Friendship seems to me a large amount of unpredictable magic! I think we can't predict it or even make it happen, it is one of those things that somehow happens best if you are not watching too closely or thinking about it!



HiccupHaddock
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06 May 2022, 2:41 pm

That sounds so much fun at the youth club munstead, and well done to you for volunteering, I wish I had time for something like that. I love the idea of passing on life hacks. I'd love to hear some of your life hacks (that would be a great thread for this forum, for people to share their life hacks, don't you think? Like to start a thread on that?)

I think you're right that many people are drawn to cheerful positive people, but I think that in the millions of people on the planet there are potential friends out there for all sorts of people, some people are drawn to lighter, cheery people and some to more serious and heavy people. In fact, some people who are rather serious and melancholic can also have a very humourous side, so sometimes people can have many complex angles.

It seems to me that making friends is a bit of luck, it depends on who you happen to meet, and the atmosphere in which you meet them, so there's many elements of luck. Friendship seems to me a large amount of unpredictable magic! I think we can't predict it or even make it happen, it is one of those things that somehow happens best if you are not watching too closely or thinking about it!



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06 May 2022, 7:27 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Quote:
People respond positively to physically attractive and happy presences. People who present like that get more allowances from society. It isn't fair, but it's reality.


Please stop saying this, as I'm already sensitive about my looks and you're basically saying that I'm ugly.


I haven't said anything at all about you, but I am sorry if the observation came across as personal. I have my own issues with looks and confidence, and I am not oblivious to the point.

I simply believe that the happy mask my son has learned to carry serves him well. As his mom, I can't judge how anyone else perceives his looks (although I can say I've never observed anyone seem to be captured by his looks, and do believe I would have observed it if they had), but I can tell that the way he presents himself to others generally gets a positive response. Theoretically we all have some say in how we present ourselves, although the amount of work it takes varies greatly.


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DW_a_mom
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06 May 2022, 7:31 pm

Joe90 wrote:

I know it wasn't aimed at me but even so, when people here say that physical attractiveness is a factor of making friends it must mean that those of us who don't have friends are ugly - whether on the spectrum or not. It hurts to have that hinted and I don't know how people can just say that.



That would only be true if physical attractiveness was the only factor involved in making friends. It is not. Far from it, actually.

Plus, there is quite some distance between "responding positively" to someone, and making friends with them. Many, many variables exist in that large gap. Negative initial responses can be turned around, and positive initial responses can be lost.

Finally, I mentioned a tendency, not an absolute. Some people are drawn to melancholy as something they feel they identify with. Everyone is different.


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DW_a_mom
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06 May 2022, 7:42 pm

Joe90 wrote:
No parent wants to hear their 13-year-old cry "why am I here, Mum? Why did you have me?" and literally mean it (not just as a teenage rebellious technique).


I am so sorry you felt that way.

No parent wants their child to feel that way. It is much deeper than no parent wanting to hear it, as I believe you know. No parent wants their child to feel it. But if you read this board enough you learn that many, many parents are aware their children feel it, and are at a loss what to do about it. I wish there was an easy answer. Often, the best parents can do is love unconditionally and do what they can to show to their children that their love is unconditional.

Getting inside someone else's situation is extremely difficult, even for NT parents. We all know our own situations best. That reality can, unfortunately, lead to some good intentions gone awry.


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06 May 2022, 8:26 pm

I don't really know what people are drawn to. There was this girl who I used to work with, and she had BPD (borderline personality disorder). She had an angry sort of scowl on her face but still seemed to attract men and even got chatted up by a passerby she didn't even know, while I stood there totally ignored (not that I wanted to get chatted up like that but it's the principle of it that got to me). She was rather gothic, was quite immature, and was sulky and selfish and had that aggressive vibe about her. She'd always give everyone her life story and always made everything about her and didn't seem to care about anyone else or their problems. She got on my nerves. But she seemed to attract both men and women. The other females preferred her to me, and the other guys all fancied her. Working with her really destroyed my self-esteem and I was glad the day she was fired. I don't know how she got so popular. I'm not saying she was ugly or anything but I wouldn't say she was stunningly attractive. Like I said she often had a miserable sort of scowl, which I was always taught that was unattractive even if you are attractive. I've learnt to smile and be happy and positive around people at work, despite all that I've been through with my mum dying and everything. I don't sit there whining and going on and on about myself.

I just don't. Get. It. In fact this must be the eighth wonder of the world. I've scratched my head so many times trying to work this out that I think I've given myself dandruff.


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DW_a_mom
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07 May 2022, 4:58 am

Joe90 wrote:
I just don't. Get. It. In fact this must be the eighth wonder of the world. I've scratched my head so many times trying to work this out that I think I've given myself dandruff.


It is near impossible to see oneself as others do. NTs figure it out from the reactions they get, and play certain attributes up accordingly. Someone you trust might be able to help with constructive feedback, if you really want to alter the equation.

If you asked my son how others see him, I he would not describe it the way I do. But I've had 24 years to watch him in all sorts of situations, and I was often watching him keenly so I could figure out what he needed. He certainly had bumps and hurdles but, overall, I think it's uncommon for someone with ASD to have it as easy as he does now. Shoot, my daughter (his sister) was shocked when she had a chance to hang out with him at his college graduation. She returned to where we were staying shaking her head and saying, "they don't just like him, they really RESPECT him." Of course, sister's can be like that. She couldn't figure out what all his friends were drawn to.

With your co-worker, who knows. I've seen some women like that, who are magnets for some hidden reason. They perplex me, too. I've tended to assume it sexual in some way, but I don't actually know.


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07 May 2022, 7:37 am

I used to want to be popular in the worst way. I always tried too hard. I would do stupid things just to get attention. I became a pariah in high school.

When I stopped caring how popular I was, I became—while never popular—at least not a pariah, and respected for just “being myself.”

My mother never realized that I had grown way beyond that unpopular kid. She’s still afraid to introduce me to her friends.

But so what? I know what I’m about. I’m not perfect…..but I’m okay. I really don’t care whether I’m popular or not—as long as I’m respected.



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07 May 2022, 8:22 pm

I wonder about scenarios like these sometimes.
Because it's not something I've been through.


I don't need a revelation diagnosis from my parents to figure I'm different from the rest.
I don't need the internet, a book, someone's words, or even enough level of word comprehension to grasp that fact.

If anything, my parents learnt too late.
Not that I could fault them for it -- they couldn't afford that for some time.

Not like my mom ever had a chance to think about when to tell me, when I'm basically a teenager while listening to the diagnostician and my mom.
Or the fact that I can read. Or the fact I'm intelligent enough to understand that my parents don't get it.

I certainly don't know about anyone else.

My parents could cry all they want about it, and I'd just be very annoyed than sympathetic.
But if they start fussing about it, I'll basically tell them to shut up and go away.

And do it myself so I'll save the trouble for them and myself.
I dislike it when people are being too worried about me, and I hate it more if anyone around me dared to cry over me.

I won't ever be grateful if someone is doing something for me, for the sake of me being grateful for them.


Thankfully, they understand and respect this type of autonomy.
Even if my mom took years to understand that I'm not some lonely soul who needed a friend or hugs or some social upkeep.


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09 May 2022, 1:17 am

Joe90 wrote:
I don't really know what people are drawn to. There was this girl who I used to work with, and she had BPD (borderline personality disorder)...

BPDs are perceived as sexually promiscuous, that's all.



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09 May 2022, 4:54 am

Pteranomom wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
I don't really know what people are drawn to. There was this girl who I used to work with, and she had BPD (borderline personality disorder)...

BPDs are perceived as sexually promiscuous, that's all.


Then why did straight females love her more than they liked me then?

I was going to put that post in a separate thread so that I can really get this mystery solved. I'm the sort of person that cannot let things go until I have closure or answers.


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09 May 2022, 5:06 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Some people are more severe than others, some people's problems are easier to accommodate.

If you were more prone to stepping on more toes than some other people with ASD (as might be more expected among more extroverted people with ASD and people with ASD+ADHD) you're likely to have used up some understanding that quieter folks might still receive.

It sucks, it's an experience that's likely to leave wounds because the nature of the condition means not really being aware of how it keeps occurring.

I think some people develop really narcissistic coping mechanisms that can grow into paranoid delusions if left unchecked.


I think natural personality also makes a difference. From a young age, my son presented as happy and curious. People were naturally drawn to him, provided he wasn't in the middle of a meltdown, obviously. If he had been able to maintain that natural outward expression without knowing what made him different, he would have always had friends.

Problem was, as he encountered more and more misunderstandings, he was receiving more and more negative feedback, and starting to lose his naturally positive outward expression. Having the ASD diagnosis gave him something to hold onto in those moments, and made it easier to fabricate a pleasant mask even as his own internal frustrations grew. He simply is someone people tend to like, but as an adult he attributes more to his successful masking than to his natural persona. The world has eaten away at his positive feelings towards life, I guess it was inevitable.

Interesting. I do hear many accounts of what a happy-looking kid I was until I turned six.
And I myself have no memory of it.

Aside from a passion for reading and telling jokes, happiness has nothing to do with my teenage/adult life as far as I can remember.


No one "tell me" that I had any developmental disability. Even though I've been outpatients at the best psychiatric hospital in the country for two years, and had a week of hospitalization there.
I myself systematically read through psychiatry textbooks after doubting my original diagnosis, found the correct diagnosis and persuaded experts with expertise in developmental disorders. This happened less than a year ago.

At that time I had missed many opportunities in my past life. I could have planned more wisely. And the objective difficulties of my past were not explained until much later.
My difference is palpable, it was just judged as phlegmatic, arrogant, headstrong, frail and pampered before getting a diagnosis.
Then I've developed completely wrong coping mechanisms for this.

So my answer to this question is: the sooner the better.


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