Difficulty With Getting Close to Others

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slw1990
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26 Oct 2015, 11:50 pm

It feels like I really struggle with being able to have close relationships with other people. I mean, I have a couple of friends that I hang out about once a month. Most of the time when I'm with them it's one on one so I don't usually have too much trouble talking to them and sometimes I'm able to have conversations with them for an hour or two. When there is another person around though I usually struggle with being able to keep up with the conversation that they are having. It seems like they are able to connect with each other really well and I have a hard time jumping in because I don't know what to say. Then when I do have something to say they would still be talking and by the time there is a pause they have already moved on to another topic so most of the time I just listen unless they ask me a question. Then if someone makes a comment or a joke I usually just smile or something because I can't come up with anything to say. This happens when I'm around most adults with AS that I know too so they can also function better socially. I don't really mind that I don't engage as much as they do, but at the same time it worries me because it makes me think that I might not ever be capable of having something like a very close friend or a relationship. I mean, I've been on dates before and was in a LDR for a little while, but nothing further than that.

I think another part of my problem is trust issues too because of bad experiences I've had. I guess it's good for me to be that way a little bit so that I won't be as likely to have friends who will manipulate me, but at the same time I think it makes it harder for me to connect with others and it ruins friendships.

I'm not exactly sure what to do because it seems like I even struggle with this when I'm socializing more often

Sorry if this post didn't make a lot of sense.



Earthling
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27 Oct 2015, 7:43 am

As I have this problem as well, this makes a lot of sense to me.
Have a look at this: http://unlearningasperger.blogspot.de/2007/04/exercises-to-turn-off-systemising-and.html



FallingDownMan
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27 Oct 2015, 11:31 am

No, your post doesn't sound confusing at all. I think most of us on this forum deal with this exact same issue to one degree or another. The inability to connect with people.


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slw1990
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28 Oct 2015, 8:40 pm

Earthling wrote:
As I have this problem as well, this makes a lot of sense to me.
Have a look at this: http://unlearningasperger.blogspot.de/2007/04/exercises-to-turn-off-systemising-and.html


Thanks for the link. Some of the case study examples look like they might be helpful.

Most adult aspies I know seem pretty bright and sociable and I struggle with getting close to them too. When I'm alone with them it seems like I do fine, but if they are around other people they can connect really well with them and if I'm there I'm mostly just listening. I mean, I like being around them and I'm totally fine with not being very sociable. It just worries me because it might mean that will never be able to have a close lasting relationship with someone who genuinely cares about me.



slw1990
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06 Nov 2015, 6:17 pm

Sometimes it seems like the kind of people who usually want to get close to me are the ones who try to mess with my head and belittle me. I avoid those kind of people if I can, but I'm not really sure what else to do about it.



justkillingtime
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06 Nov 2015, 6:28 pm

The people in real life who usually want to get close to me frequently don't respect boundaries and are very controlling.


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IncredibleFrog
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16 Nov 2015, 6:17 pm

You aren't alone, I'm having the same feelings right now. I try going to group meet ups and things to make new friends, but I have trouble joining in group conversations, and I feel like I either end up talking way too much or not at all. And usually I'll end up saying something stupid, then I just clam up to avoid further embarrassment.

I do think dating is different since it's generally one-on-one (aside from group or double dates, which I think are kind of dumb anyway). So, I don't think this will affect your chances of finding a SO so much as being part of a group.

Like you, when I do make a friend it's usually someone who does more to hurt me than help me. But I guess all we can do is keep trying, and watch out for ourselves, right?



invisibility
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19 Nov 2015, 8:21 am

It not at all unusual as this seems to be theme in my life the people who wantbto get close are usually not the people I really want to be friends with and the ones I really like know usually seem to ignore me. But if you watch we usually attract people like us. Like most of my friends and people and the few romantic relationships I have had in my life where all people like me very few social contacts and a each with there own problems rather mental health or just little socially awarkd.which is a lot like me.



Kitty4670
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20 Nov 2015, 6:56 pm

To slw1990, I have the same problem, it's hard when I'm in a group, it's easier to do one on one too. In groups, I struggled to talk to them, I have trouble jumping in the conversation or I don't know what to say. I have So Much trouble talking to my family too.



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21 Nov 2015, 5:35 am

I naturally struggle with group dynamics and I can not process facial cues or body language well. I feel like an outside with groups of Neurotypical people and people on the spectrum..so you are not alone. I have trouble with small groups because of the tendency to overload from processing too many social cues.

You have a strong self awareness and that is the first step to realizing what works for you, dating is sometimes good because it is one and one and chatting to people online before dating can really help because it gives you chance to explain your difficulties and build a certain level of comfort.

Making friendships and maintaining social circles can be difficult, people can hold to so many hidden messages and unwritten social cues.



i_wanna_blue
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22 Nov 2015, 10:33 am

I did get close to one or two friends years ago, but since then I'm very scared of even trying to make a friend. I'm really afraid of coming across as clingy or desperate even though to a certain extent, I am. I do contemplate making the first move, but then I think about what happens if the interest is not reciprocated. What do I do next? Do I keep trying, or look elsewhere or just give up? It's the uncertainty that holds me back. I do think I'd make a good friend, but I can't seem to convince others of this, or at least that's how I perceive it.

When I did have friends I was also scared of getting too close to them, in a way to shield myself from exerting too much emotions towards that person, since if things change for the worst in the future, the hurt would be far easier to take. So I'm needy of friends, but I'm also needy of not hurting myself in trying to make one.



slw1990
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22 Nov 2015, 11:03 pm

invisibility wrote:
But if you watch we usually attract people like us. Like most of my friends and people and the few romantic relationships I have had in my life where all people like me very few social contacts and a each with there own problems rather mental health or just little socially awarkd.which is a lot like me.


I would really like that, but it usually doesn't seem to be the case for me. :(

Thanks for the replies. :)



esoterica181
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22 Nov 2015, 11:20 pm

I run into the same dilemma. I have a very difficult time butting into a conversation which makes it difficult to enter one. It's painful to watch two people connecting as you described so eloquently. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot, and I also feel like my private reactions to the world and my experiences are not something people would want to know about. It makes me not want to be a part of the world.
By the time I got to middle school, I had resorted to just asking questions and responding to what other people said. It seemed safe at the time when I felt like nobody cared about what I had to say. I can vaguely remember what it was like to have that tiny spark of connection - it just feels like by the other time the other person stops talking, I have forgotten where and what it was, or the conversation has moved onto another subject already. The difference now is that I think about whether I want to continue talking to those people who don't naturally provide me with the space in conversation which one does when one is interested in hearing what I have to say, non-verbally.



LogicOrNot
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28 Nov 2015, 8:09 pm

I feel this way too. I also have a couple of friends (they are literally a couple; they are married to one another), and I see them about once a month. I also struggle to keep up with conversations involving more than one other person. I think it is partly because either I don't tend to move on to new ideas as quickly, or I move on to ideas which I see as being related, while the other people don't see the relationship. I sometimes get reactions where someone says "well, anyways..." and changes the subject. This makes me think I am dwelling too long for their taste. Or, sometimes they will interrupt me and say something like "back to what I was saying". This makes me think that I have made a leap that they didn't follow.

I find this a bit frustrating in either case, because I feel that there was a good reason why my thoughts took the path that they did. I don't purposely set out to think inefficiently, and I think what I am saying makes sense, or I wouldn't say it. However, more and more I am becoming sensitive to the ways in which others prefer to communicate. Over the last several years I have been thrown into many situations where I am stuck in a group conversation at work. I think I have actually learned from the experience, though many days I went home frustrated.

I too wish I had another close friend or two, or a relationship. But, at the same time, I like to pursue the things that matter to me and I like to be myself.



esoterica181
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29 Nov 2015, 10:32 am

This is a sincere conversation.
I can understand your hopelessness about never being in a close relationship -I'm not sure there is anything that feels worse, I remember the acute pain of realizing how hard it was for me to make friends and felt like there was nothing I could do about it for a really long time. It's a really strong, painful emotion. In some sense, it is so much stronger than any other feeling that it's easy for it to feel all-mighty.



dobyfm
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30 Nov 2015, 11:41 am

This is very common amongst us Aspies. I think it is because you like your space and forming close relationships means the feeling of having to see the person all the time.

I am like this too. I prefer to be home than go out with a group.

At times I do wish I could handle social situations. When I watch shows like Sex and the City and see the women go out in groups or attend grandiouse parties I do get a bit jealous. But then remind myself that I would feel unhappy there anyway. :study: