Actually... Quite Sociable These Days

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Raz0rscythe
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06 Aug 2013, 1:16 am

I'm only just 17, but I was diagnosed with AS at 7, so I've had a long time to learn about and deal with it. Over the last few years I've built up a core of supportive friends (we're all kinda the 'weird' group), and worked on my social skills, to the point where now, I'd normally rather be with people (that I know), and have fun, and have a laugh, than be alone like I used to want. I even enjoy making new friends, as long as there's someone I know with me.

Has this happened to many of you guys out there? I'm curious to know, because the persona I've built up has become such a part of me that I seem to contradict my own diagnosis sometimes. It's certainly still there, complete with anxiety and most of the processing difficulties, but the social one's seem to be disappearing fast. Do you think it's down to so much exposure in what is really quite a supportive environment?

(Having said that, I'm still terrified at being alone with unfamiliar people, or communicating with them. Even ordering at McDonalds...)


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btbnnyr
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06 Aug 2013, 1:33 am

It's fine to be more social.

You don't have to conform to diagnostic criteria/stereotype.


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Raz0rscythe
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06 Aug 2013, 1:44 am

Oh I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I'd much rather be the person I'm becoming than the person I was. I just find the magnitude of my social changes quite different from what I normally hear, and I think it's down to the friend group I have. I just wish everyone with am ASD had a friend group like it. For all their 'flaws', they're a lot more genuine than most NTs I know.


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Dubious1
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06 Aug 2013, 3:45 am

I do the same though gradually realising its all fake. While I love the company of a great deep random conversation I've never heard before; though the exhaustion to follow overstimulation/rejection or just the brain power to hold up these personas is starting to make me want to reveal myself as who i am, not who I want to be.

I'm 34 and have been aware of this syndrome for only a year or two and for all those years of being unable to understand what i was doing wrong was painful. These scenarios keep reoccurring and the majority of humanity i pass just fades.

What I've come to realise is the most important thing to me is these special relationships - the few. All the rest are just passing knowlege. Yet I still play things out - but ya gotta smile sometimes right?



CaptainWalnut
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06 Aug 2013, 3:54 am

I used to be more "social". To me it was going with the motions. Imitating what others did around me. When I moved from Florida to California after graduating, I stopped socializing. Looking back I was only around people, answering their questions and responding in meaningless conversation that I just didn't understand. I'm only 22, and I feel that as I've gotten older and found who I am without the 'crowd' of high schoolers, I'm not a social person by nature. I became less social as I aged, since I don't have to be in social situations.


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06 Aug 2013, 6:27 am

Raz0rscythe wrote:
Has this happened to many of you guys out there? I'm curious to know, because the persona I've built up has become such a part of me that I seem to contradict my own diagnosis sometimes. It's certainly still there, complete with anxiety and most of the processing difficulties, but the social one's seem to be disappearing fast. Do you think it's down to so much exposure in what is really quite a supportive environment?

(Having said that, I'm still terrified at being alone with unfamiliar people, or communicating with them. Even ordering at McDonalds...)


Yes, this happened to me. I went to a small alternative high school (200 students) and eventually made some friends there. I was trying very hard, though. I pushed myself to do things that went against my inclinations, like go with people to different places or hang out with people.

But the tremendous discomfort being in anything but small groups or alone never went away. And as I got older, I lost those friendships, one by one. Part of that, I think was that awkward teenagers were a little more sympathetic to an awkward person than the adults they became who were no longer awkward. Part of it had to do with the natural flow of life. Fortunately, I met my wife I that period and we have been together since university.

After I graduated from high school, I went through a period when I lived alone in New York, and I became more and more reclusive, if it were not for classes and two people who used to invite me out, I would have never left the apartment. On breaks I sometimes stayed in for a week or more. My wife really helped balance things out. We really enjoy being together and she helps me understand the human world.

In that period, high school and just after, I had friends. Now, my social contacts are really my wife's friends. I have one friend I met through WP and a couple of people I think may be friends at work, but I really find it hard to know how much I can trust people and what sort of relationship I have with them. Often I am just too tired from work to deal with all that.

Difficult as school was, it has never been so easy since to find and be with people who might be friends.