Nobody ever gives me feedback - HELP!

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aspieMD
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25 Mar 2014, 2:26 am

Hi everyone,

I'm really struggling with fitting in at my medical school. The people seem nice enough, but I find everyone else forming friendships and bonds yet again and none of them include me.

I find that I have never gotten anything I ever applied for, especially when there was an interview. Medical school was the only exception.

I applied for two community service initiatives. Both rejected me, but accepted the all of my classmates who applied. I asked them for feedback, and got the standard "there were too many qualified applicants for the amount of spots we had," which I was told by a classmate was complete BS - she wasn't at the meeting but there weren't enough applicants for the amount of spots.

And yet, not a single person I emailed on the committees gave me any feedback or advice. I feel like I give off a repulsive vibe that pushes people away, and yet they cannot list that as a reason in good faith, as they don't even know why I repulse them, so they just pull the "too many qualified applicants" as a reason. They can't otherwise justify it.

Does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone else been on a committee that rejected someone with AS? Can you explain what the discussion of the committee involved?

I feel like I'm never going to go anywhere in life when I can't pass an interview, and can't get my peers to get good vibes from me.

My eye contact was great - that's not a problem for me. I don't think I did anything weird.

Does anyone else feel like they will never be able to succeed in life because they will never be able to appease the gatekeepers?



tall-p
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25 Mar 2014, 2:59 am

Your problem is harsh. I'm terrible at friends my whole life, but a couple of times, a few times, I got along really well with the people in my day in and day out life. And that was when I knew more, and/or was better than them, or at least as good at them in the business at hand. So I would encourage you do concentrate on your lessons... master them. And be kind, open handed, and generous when you get good opportunities to give. And try not to worry about friends... you can't make people love you... but if you are good at being a doctor in your field, then I think the friends will come.


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Al725
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25 Mar 2014, 3:45 am

You are extremely lucky to be in medical school. I wanted to go at one time but after graduating with a less than stellar gpa and never getting satifactory scores on my practice mcats, I realized that it was too much of a commitment anyway and I thought all those godaweful negative social situations that I would have to endure.
I'm still jealous though. But seriously, didn't you have to have a panel interview to get into medical school? Therefor there would have had to have been a team of highly educated people that obviously did NOT get bad or repulsive vibes from you and saw your potential to become a great doctor!
This leads me to conclude that you are probably taking all this way too personally. There are obviously far more applicants than positions in this case so I would asume there were lots of other students that are in the same position as you.



Al725
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25 Mar 2014, 3:46 am

You are extremely lucky to be in medical school. I wanted to go at one time but after graduating with a less than stellar gpa and never getting satifactory scores on my practice mcats, I realized that it was too much of a commitment anyway and I thought all those godaweful negative social situations that I would have to endure.
I'm still jealous though. But seriously, didn't you have to have a panel interview to get into medical school? Therefor there would have had to have been a team of highly educated people that obviously did NOT get bad or repulsive vibes from you and saw your potential to become a great doctor!
This leads me to conclude that you are probably taking all this way too personally. There are obviously far more applicants than positions in this case so I would asume there were lots of other students that are in the same position as you.



aspieMD
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25 Mar 2014, 4:49 am

I don't know how I got in. I had good grades, a ton of interviews, all but one of which ended in rejection. The one that wasn't a rejection was an acceptance. So I did give repulsive vibes to the other schools because typically you have a 50% chance of getting into a school by the interview stage.

I was interviewed by 2 people, a professor (old, and a bit loopy himself), and an M3.

My theory is this: old doc saw himself in me and felt a connection, and the M3 was amazed by my passion for medicine (yes, my aspie special interest!)

I honestly think my acceptance was a fluke.

I find that most of my classmates probably think I'm weird, but they're superficially nice to me. My major concern is that my rejections from these activities signify that i am a repulsive person after all. I feel that social skills are the best skills you can have for success and the most valued in this day and age. It's more teamwork based, more communication-based. You could be a total idiot but if you can sweet-talk your way to others' favours, the "clique", you're set for life.

Whereas for pretty much everything you need to pass an interview. And the gatekeepers are always wooed by the more socially-adept individuals. They just give a good impression.

I genuinely believe I'm screwed. Nobody will want me to succeed in life if I'm not the Queen of Tact, perfect socially, which everyone seems to do so effortlessly. Why would someone want someone socially inept who gives off a bad impression when they can have a smooth-talker?

The gatekeepers always filter for social skills no matter what the job. That's why aspies struggle so much in all aspects of life.



pete42
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25 Mar 2014, 5:23 am

At Uni, I didn't really get close to most those on my course until the end of the final year. I was focused on the work - on reflection remaining quite aloof, and only really got to know the other students during group coursework.

I did become friends with one guy, who was happened to be the most charismatic "alpha" on my course, mainly because I lived on campus, he lived out of town, and we both smoked weed so he'd come back to mine for a cup of tea and a joint in between lectures. I'm not suggesting you apply that technique though! lol

Also, It was a creative media degree, and creative / arty types tend to be very open minded and tolerant of eccentricities, so even the leading "clique" if you could call it that, was actually just a group of the most confident people. It wasn't one of the "exclusive" type cliques that looked down on outsiders. I was definitely the "oddball", but I was fully accepted, as was anyone else.

As most media jobs were based in London, we all ended up moving to London together and sharing houses, so the gang remained together, and even now, 20 years on we are all still a close-nit group of friends. ( and I'm still the oddball! )

So.. it's Ok if you're classmates think you're a bit odd. The fact they're being "superficially" nice to you means they accept and don't find you repulsive. Just be nice, kind and honest, and over time, as they learn to understand you more, you may well find yourself getting closer to them.


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Waterfalls
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25 Mar 2014, 6:03 am

Apparently, people misperceive my being socially off as not wanting to be around them, so cut themselves off. I can try to be really friendly, it's never enough.

Sometimes I've been able to do something minor but helpful and it's helped, other times the gesture is accepted, and I'm complained about.

What is most helpful for me is if there is someone everyone likes, so they like people, who accepts and includes me, that is strong enough to pull others into seeing me better.

I sometimes get the feeling I'm repulsive, too. I think it's that people find almost normal but not quite confusing and get uncomfortable. That's awful to experience but generally people aren't giving others enough thought to be truly repulsed.

Try to find a supportive preferably popular person to lean on or tag along with. If people see that and work together with you it might make a difference!



aspieMD
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25 Mar 2014, 11:51 am

Waterfalls wrote:
Apparently, people misperceive my being socially off as not wanting to be around them, so cut themselves off. I can try to be really friendly, it's never enough.

Sometimes I've been able to do something minor but helpful and it's helped, other times the gesture is accepted, and I'm complained about.

What is most helpful for me is if there is someone everyone likes, so they like people, who accepts and includes me, that is strong enough to pull others into seeing me better.

I sometimes get the feeling I'm repulsive, too. I think it's that people find almost normal but not quite confusing and get uncomfortable. That's awful to experience but generally people aren't giving others enough thought to be truly repulsed.
Try to find a supportive preferably popular person to lean on or tag along with. If people see that and work together with you it might make a difference!


I feel like this is my problem. I'm normal enough not to garner sympathies for "oh, there's obviously some neurodevelopmental stuff going on, we should be nice to her" yet quirky in a way that they think I'm doing it on purpose because I'm inconsiderate or selfish, which makes people hate me more because I seem totally normal otherwise.



Waterfalls
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25 Mar 2014, 1:48 pm

If you are like me, it feels like everyone hates you when anyone gets annoyed. But dislike isn't hatred. I am very literal, so someone acting like they find me annoying feels awful, like I'm contaminated and so forth.

What I see more typical people able to do is they kind of tune out disapproval and being avoided as irrelevant when they decide to go against the social norms. I say they decide on purpose, they make a choice much more so because they see people's expectations without needing to put conscious effort into it. And they expect that if I, or probably you, do something quirky, we know it and are making a choice pull away or act weird.

It doesn't take much to seem weird. The only advice I can give you is that by making a sincere effort to show concern for others, I can't make myself accepted as a friend, but I am told I am seen somewhat positively and perhaps respected in the work setting. It does not make me friends. But that and work skills gain me a lot.



InThisTogether
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25 Mar 2014, 6:48 pm

This train of thought was tipped off when you said you have good eye contact.

My whole life, the first impression I make is "stand-offish witch."

When I was in my undergraduate program, I thought I had "good eye contact" too. Then I was in a counseling class and we had to be videotaped. Then I realized that I actually had "too good" of eye contact. I looked like I was peering straight into the person's soul, or trying to pierce it with my steely blue eyes. I am sure it was creepy.

I also have, by nature, a very stiff carriage. I always sit straight up on the edge of my chair if I am sitting at a desk or in a meeting. I "walk with a purpose." Stiff. My affect tends to look...well...bitchy. I have a very strong jaw line and my mouth droops down slightly at the corners. When I am not thinking about what my face is doing, it often looks annoyed, even when I am not.

When I am uncomfortable, my speech becomes rather formal and I have to admit, I sound snobbish. Add to that that I have an odd sense of humor and forget that most people don't get it, and I really don't present very well at all.

Until I learned to "play a role." I channel friendly people--my mother, my friend, my boss--women who are socially at ease. I mimic them when I am in uncomfortable situations. My mother when I need to seem warm and good natured. My friend when I need to seem witty and relaxed. My boss when I need to seem intelligent and engaging.

None of these things are dishonest or lies. I am warm and good natured. I just can't show it when I feel uncomfortable. I am witty and relaxed. When I feel relaxed. And I am intelligent and engaging. It just takes a while for me to warm up to it.

Honestly, I am not in touch with any of the people I went to graduate school with. I would try not to get too focused on this. Focus on your studies. When you are a brilliant doctor, people will cut you some slack. Just be kind and try to smile at people. Keep your body language soft and open. At least those things seem to help me.


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