Page 1 of 2 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

NaturalComposer
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 30 Dec 2021
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 5

30 Dec 2021, 2:25 pm

Sorry for the repost. I think I placed this post in the wrong section previously...

Hello, I'm new to this forum and newly diagnosed with ASD. I have a question to the group about masking...

I've heard everywhere that masking is exhausting and I understand why under certain circumstances. My question is, does anyone here mask in a way that is not so tiring? In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?



lvpin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Oct 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 643

30 Dec 2021, 2:59 pm

NaturalComposer wrote:
Sorry for the repost. I think I placed this post in the wrong section previously...

Hello, I'm new to this forum and newly diagnosed with ASD. I have a question to the group about masking...

I've heard everywhere that masking is exhausting and I understand why under certain circumstances. My question is, does anyone here mask in a way that is not so tiring? In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


Welcome to the forum! I find it tiring only when I'm with people I don't know well as that is the only time I try. I can't tell what they're thinking so my mind just races the whole time as I try to respond appropriately. I'm not even that successful as a guy from one of my classes compared me to Mark from Peep Show.



shortfatbalduglyman
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,598

30 Dec 2021, 3:34 pm

My worthless corpse has never been successful masking

However since coronavirus wearing a face mask oddly makes it easier to mask per se



HighLlama
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2015
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,942

30 Dec 2021, 4:40 pm

NaturalComposer wrote:
Sorry for the repost. I think I placed this post in the wrong section previously...

Hello, I'm new to this forum and newly diagnosed with ASD. I have a question to the group about masking...

I've heard everywhere that masking is exhausting and I understand why under certain circumstances. My question is, does anyone here mask in a way that is not so tiring? In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


What exactly are you doing that you don't find tiring?

I find having to tell myself to make facial expressions (and how to make them), forcing myself to inflect my voice, and constantly worrying about body language is extremely exhausting. You're just pushing yourself to behave unnaturally all the time. Not to mention trying to think quickly to analyze sarcasm.



NaturalComposer
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 30 Dec 2021
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 5

30 Dec 2021, 5:05 pm

Well, in my case, I'm not actually worrying about body language or pushing myself to behave unnaturally. I'm adopting someone else's personality as my own persona. I only envision myself as that person internally and it actually helps me to relax around other people without having to worry about what their reaction may be to me.



AnonymousAnonymous
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 64,144
Location: Portland, Oregon

30 Dec 2021, 6:41 pm

NaturalComposer wrote:
Sorry for the repost. I think I placed this post in the wrong section previously...

Hello, I'm new to this forum and newly diagnosed with ASD. I have a question to the group about masking...

I've heard everywhere that masking is exhausting and I understand why under certain circumstances. My question is, does anyone here mask in a way that is not so tiring? In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


I don't bother with masking because IMO, I don't see a point to engage in this at all.
However, many awkward situations may give me "prompts" to mask myself. :oops:


_________________
Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


Joe90
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 23,183
Location: UK

30 Dec 2021, 6:50 pm

I don't mask much, or if I do it's usually natural. But I mask more consciously when I'm out in public like in a busy shopping mall. I love getting out and going around the shops, but I do find I have to consciously mask more in crowds than when I'm around friends, family or at work.

I think it's because strangers judge you more harshly, like they'll stare at you for having a limp or something. Also if I'm overwhelmed by some toddler having a tantrum near me in a store, it takes every inch of my body to remain cool when really all I want to do is yell at the parents to go away and to take their obstreperous child with them. If that isn't masking then I don't know what is. (Also maybe I'm a little jealous that small children losing their temper in public is socially acceptable but an adult always has to be calm and cool and even if I non-verbally express any emotion in my body language people swing around and stare at you).

I think the hidden social rules and taboos are more rigorous than when you're around people you know. I suppose strangers see each other as potential threats if someone is acting just a teeny bit different to what is expected (this doesn't just apply to people on the spectrum, it applies to anyone). You're even judged for pooping in public restrooms, like if your pooping is heard then they'll all look at you funny when you come out of the stall like they've never heard of pooping before. Pooping is 100% normal but people still judge you for pooping in a public restroom because they expect people to just pee in public restrooms.

So to be in public you're under more pressure to be perfect. Everybody has to be exactly the same. Clones if you will. It's hard to be an individual when you're in public.


_________________
Female
Aged 32
On antidepressants
Diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and mild ASD

I don't like autism being mentioned to me as I'm partly in denial.


EEngineer75
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 5 Aug 2019
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Posts: 160
Location: Texas

02 Jan 2022, 11:25 pm

Joe90 wrote:
if I'm overwhelmed by some toddler having a tantrum near me in a store, it takes every inch of my body to remain cool when really all I want to do is yell at the parents to go away and to take their obstreperous child with them. If that isn't masking then I don't know what is.

Nah, that's just good self-control--better than the typical person, likely, because it's causing you such internal grief.

Joe90 wrote:
(Also maybe I'm a little jealous that small children losing their temper in public is socially acceptable

Hmm, maybe it's tolerated by everyone, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels at least uncomfortable if a tantrum goes any length of time...

Joe90 wrote:
but an adult always has to be calm and cool and even if I non-verbally express any emotion in my body language people swing around and stare at you).
...
So to be in public you're under more pressure to be perfect. Everybody has to be exactly the same. Clones if you will. It's hard to be an individual when you're in public.

"Perfect?" That's a pretty harsh standard. Yes, adults are expected to be much more controlled, but plenty of people get upset here and there. A little outburst, followed by maybe a frustrated sigh or hand wipe on the face to "reset," and an apology for being a bit upset [at usually the poor clerk who didn't make the policy] goes a long way to relaxing any unease--and in fact helping everyone to sympathize with the frustrations of the day or situation.


_________________
"Engineer type" w/ ADHD (AQ:35-40, SQ:80, EQ:11-18, FQ:24, Aspie Quiz: ND 103/200, NT 100/200)
-Fan of Dr. Russel Barkley lectures (ADHD), "How to ADHD" toolbox tips, AttentionTalkVideo, Therapy in a Nutshell, and Mark Hutten M.A. (Asperger's) channels on You Tube.


Haverish
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 28 Dec 2021
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 49
Location: NY

03 Jan 2022, 12:16 am

EEngineer75 ^

I just want to say I love your picture of Nagilum. :mrgreen:



Edna3362
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,619
Location: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔

03 Jan 2022, 5:56 am

Depends what's the main source of discrepancy.


Is it to do with movements and behaviors (clumsiness, dyssemia)?

Emotional dissonance (feeling inauthentic, compensating alexithymia, lying over feelings and thoughts) over having to act appropriate behaviors and actions?

Controlling compulsions (stimming, obsessions, distractions)?

Mental labors (poor language skills, memory issues and memorizing rules, trying hard to attain certainty/tons of guesswork)?

Specific personal denials (ignoring sensory issues, ignoring mental health issues, ignoring health issues)?

All of the above (executive dysfunction, fatigue related issues, other)? Which likely cycles itself.



Of course it will cause a burnout.
And no, I never experienced burnout that way. I don't mask like most autistics (who could and will) do and I'd still burnout.

Personally, doing it feels suffocating. It doesn't help that my executive function fluctuates -- so no charades for me.

I don't focus on external growth and external control.
It'll be too easy for me to choose that in my youth, but I already took my path a long time ago.

And the main source of my burnouts are mostly to do with controlling internal regulation... That just translates into unmasked behaviors for better or for worse.

If I can internally regulate consistently, I don't need to behaviorally control myself. I'll just pass naturally without masking.


_________________
Gained Number Post Count (1).
Lose Time (n).


Last edited by Edna3362 on 03 Jan 2022, 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

1986
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Gender: Male
Posts: 590

03 Jan 2022, 6:15 am

When I was younger I did the "full package" of masking, including eye contact, facial expressions and body gestures, but that got too all too overwhelming in my 20s and the others around me were just getting too damn good at that social business. I could keep a place in a small group of friends but I think the main act where it all fell apart was dating. This was before I got a job. I was still in tertiary education.

As I recovered I vowed to not overdo like I had done in the past and now I only mask certain parts of my autistic personality, and to a certain degree. At work I don't do eye contact, and it's kind of accepted as people know it's my way of focusing on the work itself. (Doesn't make me employee-of-the-month, but I admit mistakes when I make them and am generally a likeable if stilted person.) In more relaxed situations, like meeting my relatives-in-law, I do a bit of eye contact and a bit of smiling, but I try not to pay too much attention (because that drains me super-quickly). I probably come across as odd but relaxed, inattentive but friendly. An interesting and not completely unsuccessful mix.

I don't care, for example, about the tone of my voice anymore. If people find it monotone, so be it. I have quite a deep voice and at least one person has said it's quite attractive. Probably I sound like an emotionless brute, but whatever.

"Perfect" is unattainable and hurts you while you try to attain it. I settle for "good enough", and that's good enough.



EEngineer75
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 5 Aug 2019
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Posts: 160
Location: Texas

04 Jan 2022, 12:28 am

NaturalComposer wrote:
In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


Out of curiosity:
Q1: Do you choose characters based on the situation? Your mood?
Q2: When you burned out on masking this way, how often were you changing characters?
Q3: What might have been your favorite character(s) for maintaining calm amidst a personally frustrating situation (e.g. frustration aimed more at your own predicament)? How about a challenging social or work/group situation?


NaturalComposer wrote:
Well, in my case, I'm not actually worrying about body language or pushing myself to behave unnaturally. I'm adopting someone else's personality as my own persona. I only envision myself as that person internally and it actually helps me to relax around other people without having to worry about what their reaction may be to me.


I can't say I've done this with movie or TV characters--except a few times when playing sports: I'd imagine I was Michael Jordan (fade away), Scottie Pippen (bank shot), my favorite college defender, or sometimes a panther, waiting to pounce.


_________________
"Engineer type" w/ ADHD (AQ:35-40, SQ:80, EQ:11-18, FQ:24, Aspie Quiz: ND 103/200, NT 100/200)
-Fan of Dr. Russel Barkley lectures (ADHD), "How to ADHD" toolbox tips, AttentionTalkVideo, Therapy in a Nutshell, and Mark Hutten M.A. (Asperger's) channels on You Tube.


MrsPeel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Oct 2017
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,542
Location: Australia

04 Jan 2022, 2:56 am

NaturalComposer wrote:
In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


I've never been able to do that, it seems like I don't pick up on how TV/movie characters express themselves enough to be able to copy them, if that makes sense? And being non-binary complicates things, because I would feel weird copying most female characters and copying male ones would just make me stand out even more as being different, I think.

But I'm interested to know more about how you do that.
How do you decide which character to be?
Do you have a background of watching a lot of TV/movies and do you deliberately watch how the characters act, or do you pick up on it subconsciously?



NaturalComposer
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 30 Dec 2021
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 5

04 Jan 2022, 12:36 pm

EEngineer75 wrote:
NaturalComposer wrote:
In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


Out of curiosity:
Q1: Do you choose characters based on the situation? Your mood?
Q2: When you burned out on masking this way, how often were you changing characters?
Q3: What might have been your favorite character(s) for maintaining calm amidst a personally frustrating situation (e.g. frustration aimed more at your own predicament)? How about a challenging social or work/group situation?


NaturalComposer wrote:
Well, in my case, I'm not actually worrying about body language or pushing myself to behave unnaturally. I'm adopting someone else's personality as my own persona. I only envision myself as that person internally and it actually helps me to relax around other people without having to worry about what their reaction may be to me.


I can't say I've done this with movie or TV characters--except a few times when playing sports: I'd imagine I was Michael Jordan (fade away), Scottie Pippen (bank shot), my favorite college defender, or sometimes a panther, waiting to pounce.



Q1: I tend to choose characters based on personalities that I can relate to or that I admire in some fashion.
Q2: When I burned out, nothing had changed regarding the characters and how I masked. It basically had to do with other circumstances that occurred at that time. I'm sure that life circumstances, in combination with masking, played a big role in the burn out. I haven't masked since and I think if I tried to do that now, it would be tiring for me.
Q3: I would say that I typically emulated strong, quiet characters with uncompromising moral values. These are the people I admired. I would adopt their personalities by watching them over and over until I knew their characters well enough to react to real life situations in the same way I thought they would.



Edna3362
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,619
Location: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔

04 Jan 2022, 6:20 pm

NaturalComposer wrote:
EEngineer75 wrote:
NaturalComposer wrote:
In my experience, adopting the personalities of television and movie characters in order to fit in and it has never been tiring for me until I eventually burned out later in life. Does anyone else here feel the same?


Out of curiosity:
Q1: Do you choose characters based on the situation? Your mood?
Q2: When you burned out on masking this way, how often were you changing characters?
Q3: What might have been your favorite character(s) for maintaining calm amidst a personally frustrating situation (e.g. frustration aimed more at your own predicament)? How about a challenging social or work/group situation?


NaturalComposer wrote:
Well, in my case, I'm not actually worrying about body language or pushing myself to behave unnaturally. I'm adopting someone else's personality as my own persona. I only envision myself as that person internally and it actually helps me to relax around other people without having to worry about what their reaction may be to me.


I can't say I've done this with movie or TV characters--except a few times when playing sports: I'd imagine I was Michael Jordan (fade away), Scottie Pippen (bank shot), my favorite college defender, or sometimes a panther, waiting to pounce.



Q1: I tend to choose characters based on personalities that I can relate to or that I admire in some fashion.
Q2: When I burned out, nothing had changed regarding the characters and how I masked. It basically had to do with other circumstances that occurred at that time. I'm sure that life circumstances, in combination with masking, played a big role in the burn out. I haven't masked since and I think if I tried to do that now, it would be tiring for me.
Q3: I would say that I typically emulated strong, quiet characters with uncompromising moral values. These are the people I admired. I would adopt their personalities by watching them over and over until I knew their characters well enough to react to real life situations in the same way I thought they would.

What is the main discrepancy between yourself from acting as these characters?
And how was it that it became exhausting to act like one?


_________________
Gained Number Post Count (1).
Lose Time (n).


kriserton
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 5 Jan 2022
Gender: Female
Posts: 2
Location: Pacific Northwest, Washington State, U.S.A.

05 Jan 2022, 4:14 pm

I've been masking my whole life, thus my late diagnosis. Until then, I've been plunking various psychological labels on myself. The problem with masking and learning social behavior from others, be it characters from movies and literature, or people you know and admire, sometimes you make mistakes with not realizing that what works for one person, may not work for you. So at the same time I mask and act for a social event (exhausting), I also keep people at arm's lengths, because at some point, as they get to know you better, they are going to know you are different. The only thing I've learned from sharing is that the there often isn't much general knowledge people have about Autism and Aspergers: Some think it's a psychiatric disorder, a mood disorder, mental retardation, or even that it doesn't really exist. In my experience, sometimes sharing has made things worse for me.

Anyway, this is the first time I've reached out to the AS community. I'm tired of being alone and confused.