Normal social skills, autistic social skills and stress.

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Who_Am_I
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15 Aug 2010, 6:08 pm

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Do any of you find your social skills are normal and you can pass for normal when you are anxiety free and relaxed? Or are you always seen as odd?


Nope. My speech is more fluent when I'm relaxed, although I'm still just as likely to forget words, use the wrong words or forget how to talk. However, the social impairment is still just as present.


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ladyrain
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15 Aug 2010, 6:55 pm

Daftwrist wrote:
When I'm nervous I lose my social skills and come across as flustered or awkward.


When really stressed or upset, I am totally incompetent, can't speak or anything.

When moderately stressed, eg an interview, I'm very controlled, formal, polite, proper, reserved, cool, a bit humour-less, and not in the least flamboyant, I focus on trying to keep nerves at bay and on keeping my clumsy dyspraxia under control. I'm definitely not social at all. I've had a couple of workplaces where I was like this almost all the time.

When relaxed, I am myself, whatever that self happens to be. I don't fake or pretend. I'm at my best when relaxed, but can definitely be odd. Pleasantly eccentric usually. If I'm in the mood to talk I will, if I'm not then I stay silent. I can't be relaxed if the environment is unpleasant, so sensory difficulties are a big factor.

If I need to be less my natural self, and more responsive to people around me, then the focus requires a mildly stressed state, because I have to force some of my concentration to go where it doesn't naturally go. As long as I don't have to do it too long, I would guess that passes as normal. If the situation goes on too long, or is too uncomfortable, and I can't escape, then I get flustered, awkward and say inane things, or silent and withdrawn.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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15 Aug 2010, 7:52 pm

Who_Am_I wrote:
Quote:
Do any of you find your social skills are normal and you can pass for normal when you are anxiety free and relaxed? Or are you always seen as odd?


Nope. My speech is more fluent when I'm relaxed, although I'm still just as likely to forget words, use the wrong words or forget how to talk. However, the social impairment is still just as present.


My health problems suck up a lot of my nervous energy, and my experience is the same. Stress makes things worse, but it isn't the fundamental problem. ASD is not equivalent to "nervous NT."