Question about being socially "uneven".

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rebbieh
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24 Dec 2012, 11:39 pm

I need to ask you something. It's something that I've been thinking about quite a lot lately. My social skills seem to be very "uneven" (for lack of a better word). Sometimes I'm completely socially incompetent and sometimes I manage quite well. I always get very exhausted though. Examples:

1. Once when I was having dinner with my boyfriend, his brother, the brother's girlfriend and their friend I was quiet the whole evening. I was very anxious (so anxious it hurt on the inside) because the friend was a stranger to me which made me extremely uncomfortable. So I spent the evening in silence, feeling awful and spinning my glass of water. At one point the friend said "you're a very quiet person" which for some reason made me have some sort of small meltdown. Went to the bathroom, locked the door and hit myself in the head repeatedly.

2. During family gatherings (especially on my boyfriend's family gatherings) I often sit in a corner and solve my Rubik's Cube over and over and over again. Without talking to anyone. Or at least not initiating conversation. I'm very bad at initiating conversation by the way. I don't even attend other group gatherings/events/parties. If I do I just end up like in example 1.

3. Sometimes I'm good with people for a couple of hours or so but then I get too overwhelmed by noise and movement etc. I then "shut down" a bit which means I stare into a wall, don't speak and don't want anyone to touch me etc.

4. Last Sunday night I was playing a board game with my family and I freaked out (yelled and hit the table once) and felt depressed because they were being so noisy and they just wouldn't stop even though I asked them to. Also, I got extremely annoyed because people didn't understand the rules of the game right away and kept asking stupid questions.

5. Yesterday, at my family's Christmas party (for the family), I was doing okay. People arrived at 2pm. Since I knew them all I had no real problem talking to them (I'm much more comfortable around people I know well than around people I don't know that well or strangers) but I was still bothered by all the noise etc. At 7pm I was completely exhausted and had a headache. Went to bed at 9pm and fell asleep right away. Now I feel like I have some sort of social hangover and I don't want anyone to talk to me today. Everyone better back off (not you guys but my family).

Why is it that I can manage for a while sometimes and other times I'm just completely oblivious to any social rules (I haven't even mentioned how I sometimes don't understand sarcasm, that I believe in pretty much everything people say, that I don't have eye contact with people who aren't my family etc)? Can you relate? Could someone please explain this?



Last edited by rebbieh on 25 Dec 2012, 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

auntblabby
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24 Dec 2012, 11:52 pm

i also have a limited capacity to cope with people and all their noise/complexity, so after a few hours of that i'm generally wiped out.



btbnnyr
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25 Dec 2012, 12:02 am

I'm hiding out in my room right now, after dinner. I also took a break during dinner to play bejeweled blitz on the couch while other people were eating. I don't know how my parents can host these things without losing their minds.



olderaspie
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25 Dec 2012, 3:45 am

I understand. I was just diagnosed this summer and it was such a relief. When I told one of my best friends about being an Aspie and how I feel. Her response but you are so social and do so well. I explained that I don't really. It is all an act that I have learned over many years. Every morning I put on a mask to hide the real me, so I can at least hope to be accepted for the day. It IS exhausting and I can't wait to get home and take off the mask. You are not alone, I am not either. Merry Christmas :)



Noetic
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25 Dec 2012, 6:27 pm

Smartphones are a godsend for people like us at social events I've found. Perfect excuse for not interacting and music on tap to shut out background noise.