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01001011
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06 Jun 2010, 4:53 pm

Clearly not as simple as 'just going out'. The NT's 'learn' the skill subconsciously by interacting with people of similar age for decades (and a forming a theory of mind by reading body language is hardwired).



HenryKrinkle
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06 Jun 2010, 4:57 pm

01001011 wrote:
Clearly not as simple as 'just going out'. The NT's 'learn' the skill subconsciously by interacting with people of similar age for decades (and a forming a theory of mind by reading body language is hardwired).

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=social+skills

Also, try reading/referencing my entire post instead of just one sentence. Context is good. Cherry picking sucks.



JRogers
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06 Jun 2010, 7:57 pm

01001011 wrote:
Clearly not as simple as 'just going out'. The NT's 'learn' the skill subconsciously by interacting with people of similar age for decades (and a forming a theory of mind by reading body language is hardwired).


Yeah, it's a LOT easier said than done. But as the saying goes, nothing worth doing in life is easy.

NT's subconsciously learn their social skills and how to interpret body language. This is correct. That doesn't mean that someone with Asperger's can't consciously learn said skills, though. I don't remember if I posted it in this thread or another, but there's an Ebook called The Body Language Project (or something to that effect) that explains in extreme detail how body language works. It leans heavily toward the dating scene, but the principals apply to day-to-day interaction.

Don't get me wrong - it's not an easy thing to do. Take it from me - I've been trying to learn this stuff for over a year now and sometimes it feels like I've made no progress at all, but I know I have. Inch by inch, day by day, conversation by conversation I'm improving. NT's learn this stuff through decades of practice without consciously trying. Since us Aspies are generally a pretty intelligent bunch, we should be able to figure it out with conscious effort in a significantly shorter period of time.

Guys and girls - don't let yourself be beaten by your condition(s). Read, learn, practice and improve. It's like acquiring any new skill in life. You can do it if you want to.



bee33
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06 Jun 2010, 9:25 pm

I honestly don't know if the essence of it can be learned. I can manage to have a conversation that seems fairly pleasant on the surface, even laughing with the other person and making jokes, but I am not able to actually connect to another person when I am talking to them. This is something so subtle that I don't even know what it is. I can't see it, can't smell it, nothing I have ever read has ever even mentioned it. Yet NTs think it's just obvious and understood, and they tell you things like, "Just go out there and get to know people." but that doesn't work. You can have acquaintances that way, but not make a meaningful connection.

If anyone knows how to actually create a bond of some sort with someone (other than a romantic relationship, which has very different rules) I would love to know about it.



JRogers
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06 Jun 2010, 9:39 pm

bee33 wrote:
I honestly don't know if the essence of it can be learned. I can manage to have a conversation that seems fairly pleasant on the surface, even laughing with the other person and making jokes, but I am not able to actually connect to another person when I am talking to them. This is something so subtle that I don't even know what it is. I can't see it, can't smell it, nothing I have ever read has ever even mentioned it. Yet NTs think it's just obvious and understood, and they tell you things like, "Just go out there and get to know people." but that doesn't work. You can have acquaintances that way, but not make a meaningful connection.

If anyone knows how to actually create a bond of some sort with someone (other than a romantic relationship, which has very different rules) I would love to know about it.


One thing that can't be learned by us Aspies is for this kind of stuff to become actual instinct. We can make it almost instinct by making habits second-nature (like brushing your teeth in the morning or whatever). We'll never get this sort of stuff on the instinctual level that NT's do - our brains just don't work that way. The idea is to sort of "fake it 'till you make it", where you can be comfortable in social situations and reap the benefits that being socially successful has to offer. I'm not suggesting using people or anything like that. By the rewards, I mean the feeling of satisfaction that one gets from interacting with someone else and chatting about something that's mutually interesting and all that.

As far as creating a non-romantic bond goes, that's not something you can really force. It just happens based on pure randomness. You never know when you may randomly encounter someone that has similar interests to you. You can increase the likelihood of this happening by attending social groups, clubs or what have you devoted in full or in part to one of your interests. If you're a big sports fan, a great way to find a friend is to go hang out with other people that enjoy sports. It's easy to make conversation in this sort of environment since everyone has at least one thing in common and it's not at all unusual to find that you share many other interests and values with others there.



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07 Jun 2010, 12:17 am

I have the same problem as bee33. It gets really annoying having people always say I don't have energy or charisma or some such thing when I think I'm doing the same thing as them. I just don't connect.

As for it being random, I wish I believed that. But if it was random wouldn't I know a few people? I have nobody.

And on consciously learning social skills, I agree that it is possible, but I think it takes a really long time when you're not a child anymore. I noticed about four years ago that I could try to do something, and I see very few signs of improvement(as in friends, relationships, jobs). To me it feels like after ten more years I might have one or two friends, and it's such a drain and so boring and feels so dumb, I figure: why bother? I have too many other things to worry about.



HenryKrinkle
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07 Jun 2010, 4:54 am

gaamoo wrote:
To me it feels like after ten more years I might have one or two friends, and it's such a drain and so boring and feels so dumb, I figure: why bother? I have too many other things to worry about.

So why are you bothering to post? I thought people in this thread wanted to start meeting people and making friends or did I get the wrong end of the stick and it's really a thread for people to whine and feel sorry for themselves?



01001011
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07 Jun 2010, 10:03 am

JRogers wrote:
01001011 wrote:
Clearly not as simple as 'just going out'. The NT's 'learn' the skill subconsciously by interacting with people of similar age for decades (and a forming a theory of mind by reading body language is hardwired).


Yeah, it's a LOT easier said than done. But as the saying goes, nothing worth doing in life is easy.

NT's subconsciously learn their social skills and how to interpret body language. This is correct. That doesn't mean that someone with Asperger's can't consciously learn said skills, though. I don't remember if I posted it in this thread or another, but there's an Ebook called The Body Language Project (or something to that effect) that explains in extreme detail how body language works. It leans heavily toward the dating scene, but the principals apply to day-to-day interaction.

Don't get me wrong - it's not an easy thing to do. Take it from me - I've been trying to learn this stuff for over a year now and sometimes it feels like I've made no progress at all, but I know I have. Inch by inch, day by day, conversation by conversation I'm improving. NT's learn this stuff through decades of practice without consciously trying. Since us Aspies are generally a pretty intelligent bunch, we should be able to figure it out with conscious effort in a significantly shorter period of time.

Guys and girls - don't let yourself be beaten by your condition(s). Read, learn, practice and improve. It's like acquiring any new skill in life. You can do it if you want to.


I read the book. I have very poor motor coordination so I don't seem to be able to fake the body language without somebody else to observe and correct me. :cry:



JRogers
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07 Jun 2010, 3:08 pm

HenryKrinkle wrote:
So why are you bothering to post? I thought people in this thread wanted to start meeting people and making friends or did I get the wrong end of the stick and it's really a thread for people to whine and feel sorry for themselves?


You basically nailed it. A lot of people don't come here to improve, they just come here to relate to people with similar issues. Being able to relate is nice and all because you can have a little pity party and not feel alone in the world and all, but it doesn't actually solve anything.

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I read the book. I have very poor motor coordination so I don't seem to be able to fake the body language without somebody else to observe and correct me.


So what? That's it? You're just going to give up because you don't seem to be able to do it yet? Have you tried practicing said things in front of a mirror, perhaps?



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07 Jun 2010, 4:39 pm

To the OP:

Are you this way because you want to be? If you want intelligent friends, going to school will at least give you the opportunity to find some. You don't have to commit yourself to a degree or anything, just signing up for a couple of classes that interest you might be a good start.



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07 Jun 2010, 7:51 pm

Blasty wrote:
Are you this way because you want to be?

Well, yes and no. "Yes" because I don't want to have friends that are stupid and insipid. And "no" because I do want friends, but they have to be geniuses. Sounds a little extreme? That's how it is.
Blasty wrote:
If you want intelligent friends, going to school will at least give you the opportunity to find some. You don't have to commit yourself to a degree or anything, just signing up for a couple of classes that interest you might be a good start.

I went to a community college for 5 semesters and haven't found a person I would consider awesome at all. Please don't tell me to settle for less; my AS is such that I'm incapable of having fun with less.



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07 Jun 2010, 8:20 pm

I wasn't asking you to settle; just making a suggestion without knowing all the details. :wink:

Your criteria will make it very difficult, but not entirely impossible. You're still going to have to venture somewhere to find them, but I couldn't say where. I've met some truly brilliant people at college, but it was by chance.



bee33
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07 Jun 2010, 9:39 pm

MrDiamondMind wrote:
I do want friends, but they have to be geniuses. Sounds a little extreme? That's how it is.
If that's the most important issue for you, maybe you could join Mensa or some other high-IQ society. They have some face to face gatherings, I believe.



gaamoo
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07 Jun 2010, 9:43 pm

HenryKrinkle wrote:
So why are you bothering to post? I thought people in this thread wanted to start meeting people and making friends or did I get the wrong end of the stick and it's really a thread for people to whine and feel sorry for themselves?


I'm posting to give my opinion I suppose.

I don't feel sorry for myself. I'm glad I'm like this. I want to make friends, and I think I can, I'm just saying that it's something that takes a lot of effort and it might not be as important to me as things like my career which also take lots of effort. Besides, in the workplace I'll have to interact with people whether I like it or not, and since I'm so reserved anyway, that could be just fine.



HenryKrinkle
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08 Jun 2010, 3:10 am

MrDiamondMind wrote:
Please don't tell me to settle for less; my AS is such that I'm incapable of having fun with less.

It's nothing to do with AS. I would say what it is, but I don't think it would go down too well.



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08 Jun 2010, 3:24 am

Let's hear it.