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lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 4:37 pm

Hi guys, I'm new here. I'm neurotypical (At least I think I am...), but I can relate with a lot of the problems you guys have with friends. Anyways, I have a unique problem. Basically, if anyone was to look at my facebook, they would assume I was popular and had tons of friends IRL. (on my FB alone I have over 700 friends. btw I know that the amount of FB friends you have isn't the most precise metric for your social popularity, but I still think its somewhat useful.) Which is actually true, I am fairly popular and I do have a lot of friends; that being said I don't have any friends at the same time. Confused? Let me explain. I have lots of friends, but my friendship is NOT in demand. I can go an entire week without getting a single text message from anyone, and outside of one or two friends, hardly anybody ever randomly messages me first or leaves a comment for me.

While honestly I sort of like this arrangement 80% of the time (I definitely need my own space), I can't help but feel lonely and rejected, and nobody that knows me IRL has any idea about my intense loneliness. For me ideally, even if I was popular and constantly had people wanting to do stuff with me I would still stay inside most of the time, but the point is that I wish I had social invitations to decline in the first place. At least then I would know that people care about me. The fact that I never get texted or invited to do anything by anybody just makes me feel cold and void. I mean yes, occasionally I do get texts or invitations, but its the exception not the rule. It just hurts me seeing how everyone else seems to constantly be responding to text messages or talking to people, while for me, if I'm messing around on my phone its because I'm playing with an app, not because im talking with anybody. Furthermore, when I try to start up a conversation via text/facebook with other people (even if its people I am on good terms with IRL), it always seems like they are unresponsive or try to end the interaction as soon as possible. Thus, these days I very seldom message other people first, I just can't handle the constant rejection from others.

I seriously envy people who have solid friendships and live exciting lives. I feel like if I wasn't proactive in trying to stay socially relevant then people would probably just forget about me. Yeah, you heard me, in order to even have some semblance of a normal social life, I have to do all the legwork and make things happen. In terms of social activity, nothing ever just comes to me effortlessly. Luckily I seem to be somewhat blessed romantically (it still has its own flaws though), but I don't think that the longing for social acceptance can be sated by romantic intrigues. (and vice versa) Anyways, im not really looking for advice, because I've already done everything I can to improve the situation (and believe me! my social situation has improved drastically over the years), and I know that this is pretty much as good as it gets. I guess I'm just hoping some people here can relate to being a "stealth loner".



Willard
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01 Feb 2014, 4:57 pm

lostsoul87 wrote:
when I try to start up a conversation via text/facebook with other people (even if its people I am on good terms with IRL), it always seems like they are unresponsive or try to end the interaction as soon as possible.


You may not be as neurotypical as you think you are. One of the damnable things about autistic social ineptitude is that we can't always tell when we've done or said something that regular folks find disturbing or annoying. Frequently, they won't tell you that you've committed a faux pas, they'll just move away from you and talk behind your back later.

There are social skills we know we lack and things that are difficult or sometimes impossible for us to do and often an Aspie will learn enough coping mechanisms to get past these specific handicaps and convince themselves they've overcome or "cured" themselves of their autism, when in fact, all they've done is developed ways of managing the deficits most obvious to themselves.

What they fail to recognize is that being congenitally unable to read, interpret and respond appropriately to nonverbal cues is not a failure one is even always aware one is committing. You may still be misreading and responding inappropriately in ways that are garish and clownlike to those around you and if they don't say so, you'll never know that they're laughing about you after you've left. :oops:

Not to make you paranoid, but it might explain why you feel as though you're perfectly functional socially, and yet the conversation seems to die as soon as you inject your two cents, and people rarely go out of their way to include you in their social interactions. I only mention this because everything else you describe is quite familiar to many of us who live with AS. Far be it from me to armchair diagnose anyone, but it might be something to consider.



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01 Feb 2014, 5:17 pm

I'm always on my own and I always have been.


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lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 5:21 pm

Willard wrote:
lostsoul87 wrote:
when I try to start up a conversation via text/facebook with other people (even if its people I am on good terms with IRL), it always seems like they are unresponsive or try to end the interaction as soon as possible.


You may not be as neurotypical as you think you are. One of the damnable things about autistic social ineptitude is that we can't always tell when we've done or said something that regular folks find disturbing or annoying. Frequently, they won't tell you that you've committed a faux pas, they'll just move away from you and talk behind your back later.

There are social skills we know we lack and things that are difficult or sometimes impossible for us to do and often an Aspie will learn enough coping mechanisms to get past these specific handicaps and convince themselves they've overcome or "cured" themselves of their autism, when in fact, all they've done is developed ways of managing the deficits most obvious to themselves.

What they fail to recognize is that being congenitally unable to read, interpret and respond appropriately to nonverbal cues is not a failure one is even always aware one is committing. You may still be misreading and responding inappropriately in ways that are garish and clownlike to those around you and if they don't say so, you'll never know that they're laughing about you after you've left. :oops:

Not to make you paranoid, but it might explain why you feel as though you're perfectly functional socially, and yet the conversation seems to die as soon as you inject your two cents, and people rarely go out of their way to include you in their social interactions. I only mention this because everything else you describe is quite familiar to many of us who live with AS. Far be it from me to armchair diagnose anyone, but it might be something to consider.


what you say is plausible, and I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand, but in my case I think the reason for people not wanting to talk to me is truly inexplicable. I mean its almost like the conversation is over before it even starts. So its not like I have time to f**k it up by saying something awkward. Does this happen all the time? No, but it does happen pretty frequently. I always got the impression though that it was more due to me not having anything to offer socially, as opposed to being unable to communicate normally.



Ilovemyaspiegirl
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01 Feb 2014, 5:36 pm

I honestly think that a lot of ppl can relate to your situation. I personally, when I was younger had ppl that were I guess considered "friends" and so many of them, I seriously sometimes couldn't remember the name but, always recognized the faces of them all. Everyone knew who I was apparently though as, I'd be out with a group of ppl or even just in the corner store and ppl would come up calling me by name and chatting as if we'd been life long friends separated for a long period. However, I think it's important to recognize that with friends (and many other things) in life, it's usually quality not quantity that matters. But, you'd think that quantity would at least give you better odds with regards to quality. I ALWAYS still felt alone and like I didn't have any "true" friends. Sounds like you're kinda in the same boat.

It sucks having to always be the one to initiate contact and find creative ways you keep socially active. Then you risk becoming "that guy/girl" that always invites yourself along to outings or whatever. Which only causes ppl to distance themselves more. But, I would be curious as to why ppl are seeming to try and distance themselves from you quickly too. Like have you gotten the impression that they really are trying to cut conversations short purposely or do you think maybe your feelings of loneliness are making you perceive things differently than they actuall are?

I to am NT and now being older and having a child on the spectrum, my social life is non existent. While generally I'm Too busy or in pain (I'm
physically disabled as well) from being busy all day, it would still be nice to be invited or called/text even if it was (as you mentioned) only so I had offers to actually turn down. In my case however, it seems certain life events and situations have lead to my lack of social appeal to others. It's rather odd that it seems there's no real explanation for your being shunned. So maybe you should ask a few of your so called "friends" and ask them if there's anything you might be unaware of that is causing them to act this way.

Well good luck and at least you've got the whole romantic end of things under control lol.



lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 6:33 pm

Its a possibility that my feelings of loneliness may be twisting my perceptions. Basically when I try to talk to people, I get less of a hostile impression and more of a "yeah you're kind of boring, I dont wanna hang out with you" type vibe. Or sometimes people will be genuinely busy. Funny thing though, it seems like I somehow always end up picking my "busy" friends to talk to. Coincidence? doubt it, but maybe.

As for the shunning, I have thought it over a little bit, and now I realize when I think back that in many of these cases, I have nothing in common with my groups of friends! Well, I amend that, I do have some commonalities, but not enough to warrant a really close bond. I'll give two examples. One example is a group of friends I had back in highschool, with these friends they were mainly interested in doing drugs and playing/listening to music. Neither of which are extremely interesting to me. Now, for my more recent group of friends, they enjoy sports and drugs. Again, both are things that I don't really like. So I suppose my social exclusion makes more sense in this light. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a difficult or picky person, and I love to party and get drunk and smoke cigarettes. It just happens that I dont like playing music or doing drugs, and I dont have any interest in sports. Come to think of it...in other aspects I have a fairly unique personality, and sooner or later in a group setting, there is usually one or two people that are similar to me and recognize my outlook, and I usually end up becoming close with those people. So I suppose my problem with socializing is less one about social aptitude and more just about the fact that my personality type is fairly uncommon so I lack rapport with most people.

that being said, I still don't have the social "luck" that some people have. It just seems like due to various circumstances beyond my control, maintaining my social life is always an uphill struggle. In fact, I sometimes wonder why I have a phone at all, since nobody ever calls or texts me lol.



lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 7:28 pm

I just texted or messaged at least five people and only one of them responded. The thing is, im almost 99% sure that its just because they somehow didn't see the message or are unable to, because these are people that I have a good relationship with. Its almost like I just have this invisible curse that complicates any attempt on my behalf to establish a decent social life. I want to feel outraged, but the thing is, who or what would I even be mad at???? This is infuriating!! !



zer0netgain
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01 Feb 2014, 7:48 pm

Whew....for a second I thought the "loner" began with a B. :lol:



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01 Feb 2014, 8:11 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
Whew....for a second I thought the "loner" began with a B. :lol:


It took me a couple of seconds but I got it in the end.

I don't usually think in those kind of terms. :lol:


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01 Feb 2014, 8:44 pm

People can sense when you are not interested in returning their level of social investment. You say you want invitations to reject - that's pretty unpleasant thing to say, if you think about it (I have been like that most of my life so I say it knowingly) because nobody likes rejection and you are basically saying other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?

I totally get where you are coming from but you have to accept that you are in this situation because on some level this is where you want to be. I never get phone calls and hardly ever any text messages and like you, my only objection is on principle, because when people do call or text I get very irate and annoyed. lol



lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 9:14 pm

leafplant wrote:
People can sense when you are not interested in returning their level of social investment. You say you want invitations to reject - that's pretty unpleasant thing to say, if you think about it (I have been like that most of my life so I say it knowingly) because nobody likes rejection and you are basically saying other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?

I totally get where you are coming from but you have to accept that you are in this situation because on some level this is where you want to be. I never get phone calls and hardly ever any text messages and like you, my only objection is on principle, because when people do call or text I get very irate and annoyed. lol


I get what you are saying, and on a certain level it is logical. However in terms of what I actually see, I don't think it holds up very well. You are basically saying that people sense that I don't really like hanging out or "socially investing" in them, and thus as a result they don't invite me out in the first place. Right? Well for me after having years of experience, I can honestly say that I see no correlation between my internal attitude in terms of willingness to hang out with people and the frequency of invitations that I actually get to hang out. I have no control over it at all. In fact, when I was in highschool I spent many lonely weekends to myself, even though I was DESPERATE for social interaction. Nowadays even though I have accepted that most people don't think to invite me out, I still get the same amount of invitations (fairly low, but not totally non-existent), the only difference being that I have grown to enjoy my (forced) solitude.

Furthermore, when I do try to be socially expansive with people, I usually get subtly rebuffed. So in a nutshell, im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Either way I still get nearly zero texts, zero calls, and nearly zero pre-emptive invitations. So to be completely honest, I do chaff a little bit at your insinuation that I am the bad guy here. Honestly, I am not.



lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 9:15 pm

babybird wrote:
I'm always on my own and I always have been.


no friends, at all??



leafplant
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01 Feb 2014, 9:17 pm

lostsoul87 wrote:
leafplant wrote:
People can sense when you are not interested in returning their level of social investment. You say you want invitations to reject - that's pretty unpleasant thing to say, if you think about it (I have been like that most of my life so I say it knowingly) because nobody likes rejection and you are basically saying other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?

I totally get where you are coming from but you have to accept that you are in this situation because on some level this is where you want to be. I never get phone calls and hardly ever any text messages and like you, my only objection is on principle, because when people do call or text I get very irate and annoyed. lol


I get what you are saying, and on a certain level it is logical. However in terms of what I actually see, I don't think it holds up very well. You are basically saying that people sense that I don't really like hanging out or "socially investing" in them, and thus as a result they don't invite me out in the first place. Right? Well for me after having years of experience, I can honestly say that I see no correlation between my internal attitude in terms of willingness to hang out with people and the frequency of invitations that I actually get to hang out. I have no control over it at all. In fact, when I was in highschool I spent many lonely weekends to myself, even though I was DESPERATE for social interaction. Nowadays even though I have accepted that most people don't think to invite me out, I still get the same amount of invitations (fairly low, but not totally non-existent), the only difference being that I have grown to enjoy my (forced) solitude.

Furthermore, when I do try to be socially expansive with people, I usually get subtly rebuffed. So in a nutshell, im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Either way I still get nearly zero texts, zero calls, and nearly zero pre-emptive invitations. So to be completely honest, I do chaff a little bit at your insinuation that I am the bad guy here. Honestly, I am not.


I can't be sure what your situation is, I tried to point out that I am speaking from my own personal experience. Sorry if that comparison has made you feel upset. You do come across as incredibly negative though, would you want to hang out with you?



lostsoul87
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01 Feb 2014, 9:30 pm

leafplant wrote:
lostsoul87 wrote:
leafplant wrote:
People can sense when you are not interested in returning their level of social investment. You say you want invitations to reject - that's pretty unpleasant thing to say, if you think about it (I have been like that most of my life so I say it knowingly) because nobody likes rejection and you are basically saying other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?

I totally get where you are coming from but you have to accept that you are in this situation because on some level this is where you want to be. I never get phone calls and hardly ever any text messages and like you, my only objection is on principle, because when people do call or text I get very irate and annoyed. lol


I get what you are saying, and on a certain level it is logical. However in terms of what I actually see, I don't think it holds up very well. You are basically saying that people sense that I don't really like hanging out or "socially investing" in them, and thus as a result they don't invite me out in the first place. Right? Well for me after having years of experience, I can honestly say that I see no correlation between my internal attitude in terms of willingness to hang out with people and the frequency of invitations that I actually get to hang out. I have no control over it at all. In fact, when I was in highschool I spent many lonely weekends to myself, even though I was DESPERATE for social interaction. Nowadays even though I have accepted that most people don't think to invite me out, I still get the same amount of invitations (fairly low, but not totally non-existent), the only difference being that I have grown to enjoy my (forced) solitude.

Furthermore, when I do try to be socially expansive with people, I usually get subtly rebuffed. So in a nutshell, im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Either way I still get nearly zero texts, zero calls, and nearly zero pre-emptive invitations. So to be completely honest, I do chaff a little bit at your insinuation that I am the bad guy here. Honestly, I am not.


I can't be sure what your situation is, I tried to point out that I am speaking from my own personal experience. Sorry if that comparison has made you feel upset. You do come across as incredibly negative though, would you want to hang out with you?


If my response came off as a little bit testy then it was because I was irritated from how you twisted around what I said and made it sound like I was saying: "other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?" Which clearly wasn't what I was saying. I felt like what I said was quite reasonable; I merely stated that I wished to have the feeling of knowing that people are thinking about me/care about me. Afterall, doesn't everybody want to feel that people acknowledge and care for them? For me, I seldom/almost never get this feeling from my "friends", so its not unreasonable for me to wish that I had an opportunity to feel that. That being said, I understand that this is primarily an aspbergers forum, so its entirely possible that that could be the root of our misunderstanding. Or perhaps it was just a regular misunderstanding. So I apologize if I sounded too harsh to you.

I actually don't carry around a negative attitude all the time. And when I do get the opportunity to socialize I am quite upbeat and positive. That being said, you would be negative too if most of your attempts to socialize with people were always sabotaged by circumstance.



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01 Feb 2014, 10:11 pm

lostsoul87 wrote:
leafplant wrote:
lostsoul87 wrote:
leafplant wrote:
People can sense when you are not interested in returning their level of social investment. You say you want invitations to reject - that's pretty unpleasant thing to say, if you think about it (I have been like that most of my life so I say it knowingly) because nobody likes rejection and you are basically saying other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?

I totally get where you are coming from but you have to accept that you are in this situation because on some level this is where you want to be. I never get phone calls and hardly ever any text messages and like you, my only objection is on principle, because when people do call or text I get very irate and annoyed. lol


I get what you are saying, and on a certain level it is logical. However in terms of what I actually see, I don't think it holds up very well. You are basically saying that people sense that I don't really like hanging out or "socially investing" in them, and thus as a result they don't invite me out in the first place. Right? Well for me after having years of experience, I can honestly say that I see no correlation between my internal attitude in terms of willingness to hang out with people and the frequency of invitations that I actually get to hang out. I have no control over it at all. In fact, when I was in highschool I spent many lonely weekends to myself, even though I was DESPERATE for social interaction. Nowadays even though I have accepted that most people don't think to invite me out, I still get the same amount of invitations (fairly low, but not totally non-existent), the only difference being that I have grown to enjoy my (forced) solitude.

Furthermore, when I do try to be socially expansive with people, I usually get subtly rebuffed. So in a nutshell, im damned if I do, damned if I dont. Either way I still get nearly zero texts, zero calls, and nearly zero pre-emptive invitations. So to be completely honest, I do chaff a little bit at your insinuation that I am the bad guy here. Honestly, I am not.


I can't be sure what your situation is, I tried to point out that I am speaking from my own personal experience. Sorry if that comparison has made you feel upset. You do come across as incredibly negative though, would you want to hang out with you?


If my response came off as a little bit testy then it was because I was irritated from how you twisted around what I said and made it sound like I was saying: "other people should endure rejection from you just so you can feel wanted. If you look at it that way, it's not very nice, is it?" Which clearly wasn't what I was saying. I felt like what I said was quite reasonable; I merely stated that I wished to have the feeling of knowing that people are thinking about me/care about me. Afterall, doesn't everybody want to feel that people acknowledge and care for them? For me, I seldom/almost never get this feeling from my "friends", so its not unreasonable for me to wish that I had an opportunity to feel that. That being said, I understand that this is primarily an aspbergers forum, so its entirely possible that that could be the root of our misunderstanding. Or perhaps it was just a regular misunderstanding. So I apologize if I sounded too harsh to you.

I actually don't carry around a negative attitude all the time. And when I do get the opportunity to socialize I am quite upbeat and positive. That being said, you would be negative too if most of your attempts to socialize with people were always sabotaged by circumstance.


Excuse me, I did not twist your words, I just re-phrased them, there is a difference
Quote:
but the point is that I wish I had social invitations to decline in the first place.

is what you said.

I won't comment any more as it is fairly obvious I will not be of any help to you.