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auntblabby
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23 Oct 2013, 11:01 pm

JSBACHlover wrote:
Yes. There are three.

as they say, "that's better than a dry, hacking cough" ain't it? 8)



theclash123
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24 Oct 2013, 12:56 am

ReiAime wrote:
I'm a little tired, so I'm not as clearheaded as I was earlier, but my whole reason for joining the site today was to ask your opinions about loneliness. I'll try to be as clear as possible, and I'll re-edit this afterwards if I need to. This is probably going to be a rant, so be prepared.

When I was in high school, I was lucky enough to have three good, close friends. I didn't have to struggle through small talk and social gatherings to befriend them, it happened randomly because we were all very strange compared to a lot of the students. Well, shortly before graduation, one of them was in an accident and lost their memory and changed in personality. About a year or two after graduation, one started a family and the other moved away. They both attained jobs and could drive a car. I could do neither at the time, and was still living with my parents. (Still am, actually.) I am friends with them on facebook but I haven't kept up with them, as I feel I have nothing in common with them anymore. In school we got to be weird and talk about whatever. Now they have lives of their own to discuss among more like minded friends, and everyone's interests have changed, including mine. So I don't know how to relate to them anymore.

I finally learned how to drive on my own this year and have been doing so since August, so now I feel like I have something to relate with those of my age group, and I am still in the process of job searching. But even though I feel like I'm getting to where I need to be in life, I still feel like making more friends is an impossibility. I DESPISE small-talk with a passion, yet it seems that everyone in my community is an NT, and that they all use small-talk as only precursor to making friends. I've had people be kind to me, show interest in me, invite me places; but once they realize that I fail to entertain them with small talk, they leave me to be by myself because "I never like to talk".

I don't know what to do about that. I know friendship requires talking, but I can't stand conversation. I don't enjoy prying into other people's life experiences. It's not that I don't care about people; but when I have curiosities about others I stay silent about them until they bring the specific topic up themselves. Unlike others who are so quick to ask "What's your major? What school do you go to? How many siblings do you have? What's your favorite tv show?" These are all such mundane subjects to me, and I hate taking up time answering questions about my daily life when I could be accomplishing something more important. (I'm fixated on using all my time for productivity; if I feel that I am being unproductive I get extremely anxious and it's BAD.) To be honest, I don't want friends for deep discussions and watching movies and talking about life. I mainly get joy out of company itself, and having another living being in the same room as me. Because anything more than that for over 20 minutes frustrates me and makes me shut down.

Does this mean that I am incapable of having friends? The conventional process of friendship-making makes me feel nauseous, and the more time passes I just feel like I can't keep being around people if this is what they demand of me all the time. It takes up all my energy, and I need it to focus on the other areas in my life that need repair. So what do I do? I feel alone and disconnected from the rest of the world, and it weighs heavier and heavier on me every day. I just want someone who doesn't put that pressure to be normal onto me that I could share experiences with in the present. I wish that was possible. I figured the closest thing to that would be a cat, but I can't afford pets and my mother is allergic anyway....I don't know how to deal with the emptiness. It's messing with my head.


I'm just curious, what was it in your friends that you could stand as opposed to other people?



ReiAime
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24 Oct 2013, 8:34 am

Quote:
I'm just curious, what was it in your friends that you could stand as opposed to other people?


There were no conventional expectations involved when "socializing" with them. I never felt like I had to use set expressions to make them happy. And they were just as awkward in the social scene as I was. When we hung out, we didn't feel pressure to talk. We'd be silent for as long as we felt like, we'd have a good discussion if there was something on our minds. But nothing was forced. It was nice.


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You are very likely an Aspie


ReiAime
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24 Oct 2013, 8:52 am

JSBACHlover wrote:
I'm very serious about what I am going to say here, because I lived in isolation in the past, and while it feels "safe," it will eventually kill you.

There is a verse in Scripture, near the beginning of Genesis, which says, "It is not good for man to be alone." Now, it's okay to have time alone. We Aspies need more of that than most people. But it is essential for our mental health that we learn to make friends and do things with people. I know that learning NT skills really hurts, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

There may be Aspie support groups in your area which could help you come out of your shell.

I hope this helps.


I appreciate your optimistic advice, and though it does ring true with me, auntblabby's situation seems to resonate with mine. I don't want to keep looking at things in such a negative light, but after failing continuously no matter how hard I try, it's hard to stay hopeful about future happiness. I've even put together an entire notebook of sheet protected lists and instructions for better communication. It includes various unspoken social rules, vocal cues and expressions meant for changing the subject, opening phrases, closing phrases....I'm sure I've recorded nearly everything. I've practiced to the point where if I'm in a situation where I MUST engage in small talk to avoid heavy ridicule, I could do so without too much confusion. And the results I've gotten are people who refer to me as "charming" on first impression. But you've read my initial post; you know what happens in the end.

I'm sure I could be an effective communicator if I didn't feel so empty and sick inside every time I participated in it. It feels so fake and robotic. Like I'm reading lines out of a book.


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"Just because you feel upset, does not mean you have to YELL." --Sweetiebot

Your Aspie score: 183 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 27 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie


JSBACHlover
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24 Oct 2013, 12:49 pm

Wow, Rei ... it sounds like you are really struggling.

If I didn't have my particular job, I think I'd be in your boat, too. But I'm always "Father" so people want to get to know me, so that is a big plus. Before I went to seminary I was totally alone and no one wanted to be my friend.

So much of success has to do with status, you know? If I weren't a priest I'd be writing a post like yours, I just know it.

So maybe I shouldn't be so optimistic? I don't know. I find it hard to believe that there is no one out there for you.

Case in point. Even though I have a lot of parishioner friends, I had almost no priest friends. Then I decided to be proactive and to reach out to about 4 of them. They were so happy that I reached out to them. Now we are part of a support group and we talk about deep struggles. They know that I have Aspergers, and they still love me.

Maybe if you were to be proactive and to be the one reaching out, you might find that some people (the ones that matter) will respond to you. You know, we Aspies are actually very lovable and charming people. The key I've learned to maintaining a friendship is to communicate my feelings and to ask the other person about their feelings. Feelings bond people together.



ReiAime
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24 Oct 2013, 5:06 pm

JSBACHlover wrote:
Maybe if you were to be proactive and to be the one reaching out, you might find that some people (the ones that matter) will respond to you. You know, we Aspies are actually very lovable and charming people. The key I've learned to maintaining a friendship is to communicate my feelings and to ask the other person about their feelings. Feelings bond people together.


I think you might be right about that. That's something I need to practice doing. Maybe it would help, somewhat.


_________________
"Just because you feel upset, does not mean you have to YELL." --Sweetiebot

Your Aspie score: 183 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 27 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie