Is social interaction a genuine struggle for you?

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Keeno
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15 Mar 2010, 11:33 am

As I posted in another thread yesterday, I have fallen in with a group of Aspies with whom I go out on Saturday nights, and other nights. In this I have had a rude awakening having realised that even among a group of Aspies I seriously fall foul due to my restricted interests (causes me to get lost in conversations as I know nothing about the subject), difficulty in loud environments (can't hear a word people say, breaking down communication) and difficulty with sarcasm and banter - essential for all social interaction even, it seems, with a group of Aspies.

It seems there's a difference in whether the people in question find interaction to be a struggle or not. Most people find social interaction relaxing and invigorating, even I guess if they're Aspies. This seems to be the case with said group of Aspies I socialise with. Meanwhile, in the likes of a night out type of situation I would have to honestly say I genuinely find the interaction a struggle, something that's clearly not lost on at least one of the people in the group. It's probably a question of the mildness or severity of one's AS.

Who else would say that social interaction, at least in certain settings, is genuinely a struggle for them?



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15 Mar 2010, 11:58 am

I would consider social interaction a struggle. It's worse when I don't know someone well or if I don't know exactly what to say to someone.



alex
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15 Mar 2010, 12:07 pm

Social interaction is incredibly difficult for me. I have a hard time keeping up friendships and working out things.



FredOak3
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15 Mar 2010, 12:09 pm

No question it's a struggle. Between not being able to clearly focus on a conversation due to background noise and distractions, to not picking up on visual clues, sarcasm, etc.
It's trying and exhausting.

Then if you add a large crowd in a fairly closed setting that just heightens the anxiety. That's when I start getting fidgety and start asking my wife "Can we go now?"



jamesongerbil
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15 Mar 2010, 12:10 pm

Wow. Yes, social interaction is difficult. I suppose, in a way, it would be different emotionally.

I talked with an autistic person and I wanted some information on something and he gave me a lot of information. But there was no emotional connection, so next time I see him, I don't have to wonder about it.

With "kindred spirits" (like Anne of Green Gables,) it is always nice. You can talk about almost anything.

It depends. Social interaction is a struggle, mostly. Even with people I know, generally.



Willard
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15 Mar 2010, 12:38 pm

Are your friends all diagnosed, or have they just decided they're 'on the Spectrum' because they're 'different'?

I think I've probably met a few undiagnosed Aspies in my life, but no more than a handful. I've never heard of formally diagnosed anti-social (or non-social) Aspergians running around in packs, in public places no less. For me, that would require a lot of heavy drinking (and since I don't do public restrooms, there's a bit of Catch-22). Actually, it would seem more Aspertypical to me for the group to prefer gathering in someone's home, where the noise level and unexpected stimuli could be contained to some extent.

Just wondering if your friends don't have the same reactions as you because they don't actually have the same handicap you have. Your reactions sound perfectly typical for someone with AS. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be experiencing pretty much the same thing. If they don't, something's not quite right - er - wrong. :?

And I can't speak for the world BTW, but I for one do not find social interaction of any kind (except sex - is that social?) to be invigorating. It wears me to a frazzle in no time at all, even with people I know and like.



ursaminor
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15 Mar 2010, 1:31 pm

Not talking makes things much harder.
People apparently get very concerned when someone does not talk.
Then they want to discuss it, which is often impossible.



dossa
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15 Mar 2010, 1:34 pm

Social interaction is a struggle for me. It is exhausting, confusing, frustrating, painful... the list goes on. I cannot pull noises apart, lights make me nutty, I loathe small talk, people lathering on cologne or whatnot gives me headaches, the movement makes me batty, I cannot follow multiple people conversations... My ex used to tell me how I was the only person he ever met who could walk out of a room full of loved ones and look like hell run over by a tractor. I do okay one on one though in the comfort of my own home... take me out of my living room or add more people to the mix and I have problems. I am most at ease when I am alone...


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lotusblossom
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15 Mar 2010, 1:35 pm

i tried running some aspie meet ups as I thought it would be good for me and would be easier to socialise with other aspies. However i found it a very big strain and now have chosen to just not socialise with anyone.

I think though that the other people probably also find it a strain I just dont see it because of not haveing good theory of mind or 'reading people' ability, perhaps the people you hang out with also dont like it?

People might think I can handle it as I try to be polite and not show how stressed it is makeing me, but when i got home I always had to lie in bed for the next day as I was so tired out and feeling terrible.

Now I think i am just not a social animal and it is not worth damaging my mental health to try and become one. I think trying to socialise is when Im still not admitting that I have aspergers and think that i can do it if I try hard enough, I cant and I need to accept that.



memesplice
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15 Mar 2010, 3:34 pm

Don't worry it only takes half a lifetime to figure out who you can and can't talk with, and learn to accept this kind of stuff. Not too bad when you think about it. Learning's hell though. Hate noisy places . Never dance.

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ebec11
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15 Mar 2010, 3:58 pm

Not nearly as much as before. Although my sensory stuff does get in the way sometimes, I am getting pretty good at reading people even though it's tiring to try to remember everything.



Apera
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15 Mar 2010, 3:59 pm

I have that 'social battery' that some people here refer to. Sometimes, I can go and socialize for a while, but I always need to recover.


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NorthernLights
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15 Mar 2010, 4:14 pm

Hang in there, OP. I too find social interaction an exhausting struggle. Sometimes I'm up to the task, other times no so much.

I'm what you would call a highly-functioning/adaptive adult Aspy, and unless there is a context for my interaction with people then I generally revert to my "true" or "normal" self--introverted and reserved, to say the least. It seems like whenever I try and "live dangerously" by putting on my NT "mask" it fails pretty miserably no matter what I do. The older I get the worse it gets...and I'm an ER physician in my mid forties!

So....hang in there. Even those of us who you might not recognize right away as Aspies still struggle to the point of exhaustion and despair. :wink:



Aimless
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15 Mar 2010, 5:29 pm

I am able to exchange pleasantries with people I deal with in the course of the day, like a bank teller or grocery clerk. I can have short conversations with people I know at work,and these are people I've known for years. I enjoy that. I have a "friend" who calls me up to tell me how much her life sucks. That's about it. Anytime I'm required to mingle I am woefully incompetent.



Taupey
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15 Mar 2010, 6:06 pm

I find social interaction in loud crowded places too much to deal with myself. It is draining and exhausting. I cannot understand anyone when more than one person is talking at once. And I have tried many different social situations too. I even bartended for many years but mostly worked the pit mixing 10 to 15 different drinks at once (good memory) for cocktail waitresses instead of dealing directly with the patrons. Maybe you would be happier getting involved with something associated with one of your special interests instead. That's what I would do.