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zkydz
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21 Apr 2016, 4:05 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
zkydz wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
This is precisely why I don't like "faking it" all that much.
I want to be that guy/gal I admire. I have seen people who can do what I want to do. Be able to be social and not have to hide because they can do it in a way that is very acceptable. I have seen people dressed down in public in a way that the other person is about to break out the kneepads they are so grateful for hearing the truth. It's a gift. But I believe it can be taught. If I could learn how to be a better me, then I would be happy.

I mean, look how I bungled the communication between btbnnyr and myself. uggghhhhh, and I'm not in that social situation where I'm getting blindsided. This is a calm environment.


But I didn't perceive bungling.
I thought the communication was normal.
Hahahaha, that's because you know your audience? Patient? I dunno, but I went back and read somethings and I see where today my brain is off a bit.


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Yigeren
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21 Apr 2016, 6:54 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think I have that many social skills compared to other autistic people.
I don't emphasize deficits much, because I find it doesn't help.
I don't emphasize social mistakes in my mind, to blow them up into major anxiety, so I can generally relax around people and be myself.
I find that none of my social skills involve much EF application, as I am never analyzing social things in my mind, I am just being myself.

Another thing about masking is that people can probably tell who is pretending to be what they're not, they may implicitly know even if they don't think about it explicitly.
Implicit knowledge may cause them to develop a dislike towards people who pretend a lot.
Or at least they may feel uncomfortable around these people, enough to want to avoid them.
So I think masking or pretending may be detrimental to social interactions, relationships, etc.
It may prevent learning real social skills, since so much effort is going into pretending instead of learning.
Some NTs have told me that they don't like people who they can't relax around, like people who are very anxious give off anxious vibes and make the other people uncomfortable, they feel some tension from the anxious people.


I actually tend to get much better reactions when I'm not myself. If I allow myself to relax, I usually say things that I shouldn't say. I'm wondering if part of my problem is that I'm also hyperactive and impulsive at times.

There was a long period of time (several years) when I felt little to no anxiety when interacting with people. I assumed that I was socializing normally, but I was still coming off as odd, and often saying the wrong thing. So I was mostly acting like myself, and while some people liked that I was friendly, many other people either didn't like me or didn't know what to think of me and my behavior.

I agree that masking is a bad idea. I felt happier when I was more myself. However, I'm going to have to learn and practice social skills or else I'm going to continue to have negative experiences that make me not want to socialize.

I wish I could learn how to properly socialize through observation and interaction, but some things I just don't get. I'm guessing that everything that I was going to learn in that manner I probably learned a long time ago. There are just some things that I needed to be told directly, because I was never going to get it on my own for whatever reason. So my next step is going to be to try to learn these things somehow. And then I'll just have to forget about appearing weird, because that's unlikely to change no matter what.



zkydz
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21 Apr 2016, 7:05 pm

Grrrr...damned Captcha....

Yigeren wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think I have that many social skills compared to other autistic people.
I don't emphasize deficits much, because I find it doesn't help.
I don't emphasize social mistakes in my mind, to blow them up into major anxiety, so I can generally relax around people and be myself.
I find that none of my social skills involve much EF application, as I am never analyzing social things in my mind, I am just being myself.

Another thing about masking is that people can probably tell who is pretending to be what they're not, they may implicitly know even if they don't think about it explicitly.
Implicit knowledge may cause them to develop a dislike towards people who pretend a lot.
Or at least they may feel uncomfortable around these people, enough to want to avoid them.
So I think masking or pretending may be detrimental to social interactions, relationships, etc.
It may prevent learning real social skills, since so much effort is going into pretending instead of learning.
Some NTs have told me that they don't like people who they can't relax around, like people who are very anxious give off anxious vibes and make the other people uncomfortable, they feel some tension from the anxious people.


I actually tend to get much better reactions when I'm not myself. If I allow myself to relax, I usually say things that I shouldn't say. I'm wondering if part of my problem is that I'm also hyperactive and impulsive at times.

There was a long period of time (several years) when I felt little to no anxiety when interacting with people. I assumed that I was socializing normally, but I was still coming off as odd, and often saying the wrong thing. So I was mostly acting like myself, and while some people liked that I was friendly, many other people either didn't like me or didn't know what to think of me and my behavior.

I agree that masking is a bad idea. I felt happier when I was more myself. However, I'm going to have to learn and practice social skills or else I'm going to continue to have negative experiences that make me not want to socialize.

I wish I could learn how to properly socialize through observation and interaction, but some things I just don't get. I'm guessing that everything that I was going to learn in that manner I probably learned a long time ago. There are just some things that I needed to be told directly, because I was never going to get it on my own for whatever reason. So my next step is going to be to try to learn these things somehow. And then I'll just have to forget about appearing weird, because that's unlikely to change no matter what.

Nice thing about an Aspie support group is that you are not in that situation for the most part. It won't be sunshine and unicorns. But it is socializing and getting basic practice. It's good to see others like you and know your pain instantly and intimately.


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RAADS-R -- 213.3
FQ -- 18.7
EQ -- 13
Aspie Quiz -- 186 out of 200
AQ: 42
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AnaHitori
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21 Apr 2016, 7:53 pm

I started masking in sixth grade (I did not know I had Asperger's at the time). I was being bullied for my weird behaviors, like flapping my arms, being too honest and saying weird things. I made people uncomfortable and they spread rumors about me. So I decided to start putting some effort into appearing more normal. I stopped flapping my arms. I stopped talking except when necessary to avoid saying anything embarrassing. I didn't realize that doing this would make me loose my understanding of my own personality. I thought that I was good at figuring out other people's feelings and communicating mine, but I've recently come to the startling conclusion that I have completely changed the way I act to the point where I don't know how to act like my real self, and I hardly know anything about who I really am. Which is horrible, because constantly faking it is horribly exhausting. I cry so much more than I used to. But I can't stop! I've adopted an identity that's hardly similar to my true one. I wish I knew how to be who I am. This neurotypical world has turned me into someone I'm not, and I really miss my true personality. I wish I could find it again. ><


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androbot01
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21 Apr 2016, 8:17 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
Making social mistakes and not having people hate you for them probably depends on lots of factors, like how you come off generally, which then depends on your personality and stuff you talk about.


Not being hated depends on factors including one's personality and words. However this does not preclude that making social mistakes can also bring one hatred. I'm using the term hatred to encompass ostracism and disdain. I appreciate that you feel it's beneath you to succumb to the lure of acceptance. Perhaps you were diagnosed young and have received a lot of support. I wasn't. I was on my own. So I do automatically mask. And I don't appreciate your condescending attitude.



btbnnyr
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21 Apr 2016, 8:47 pm

androbot01 wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
Making social mistakes and not having people hate you for them probably depends on lots of factors, like how you come off generally, which then depends on your personality and stuff you talk about.


Not being hated depends on factors including one's personality and words. However this does not preclude that making social mistakes can also bring one hatred. I'm using the term hatred to encompass ostracism and disdain. I appreciate that you feel it's beneath you to succumb to the lure of acceptance. Perhaps you were diagnosed young and have received a lot of support. I wasn't. I was on my own. So I do automatically mask. And I don't appreciate your condescending attitude.


I wasn't diagnosed early either.
I didn't receive a lot of support.
Socially, I made my own way like anyone else who did not get social skills training in childhood.
I don't know why you think my attitude is condescending.
I am describing how things are for me, and how I think masking can bring negative results, but I did not say that people who mask are inferior.


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btbnnyr
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21 Apr 2016, 8:49 pm

Yigeren wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think I have that many social skills compared to other autistic people.
I don't emphasize deficits much, because I find it doesn't help.
I don't emphasize social mistakes in my mind, to blow them up into major anxiety, so I can generally relax around people and be myself.
I find that none of my social skills involve much EF application, as I am never analyzing social things in my mind, I am just being myself.

Another thing about masking is that people can probably tell who is pretending to be what they're not, they may implicitly know even if they don't think about it explicitly.
Implicit knowledge may cause them to develop a dislike towards people who pretend a lot.
Or at least they may feel uncomfortable around these people, enough to want to avoid them.
So I think masking or pretending may be detrimental to social interactions, relationships, etc.
It may prevent learning real social skills, since so much effort is going into pretending instead of learning.
Some NTs have told me that they don't like people who they can't relax around, like people who are very anxious give off anxious vibes and make the other people uncomfortable, they feel some tension from the anxious people.


I actually tend to get much better reactions when I'm not myself. If I allow myself to relax, I usually say things that I shouldn't say. I'm wondering if part of my problem is that I'm also hyperactive and impulsive at times.

There was a long period of time (several years) when I felt little to no anxiety when interacting with people. I assumed that I was socializing normally, but I was still coming off as odd, and often saying the wrong thing. So I was mostly acting like myself, and while some people liked that I was friendly, many other people either didn't like me or didn't know what to think of me and my behavior.

I agree that masking is a bad idea. I felt happier when I was more myself. However, I'm going to have to learn and practice social skills or else I'm going to continue to have negative experiences that make me not want to socialize.

I wish I could learn how to properly socialize through observation and interaction, but some things I just don't get. I'm guessing that everything that I was going to learn in that manner I probably learned a long time ago. There are just some things that I needed to be told directly, because I was never going to get it on my own for whatever reason. So my next step is going to be to try to learn these things somehow. And then I'll just have to forget about appearing weird, because that's unlikely to change no matter what.


My guess is no matter how much you mask, you come off weird, as much as social communication is based on implicit, subtle messages perceived by sensory systems and integrated in neural circuits without conscious awareness.
So I would go with masking less and accepting that some people won't like you, but there may be other people who accept you and your particular personality and weirdness.


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androbot01
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21 Apr 2016, 9:30 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
Yigeren wrote:
I actually tend to get much better reactions when I'm not myself. ...
My guess is no matter how much you mask, you come off weird, ...

Are you serious?



Yigeren
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21 Apr 2016, 10:21 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
My guess is no matter how much you mask, you come off weird, as much as social communication is based on implicit, subtle messages perceived by sensory systems and integrated in neural circuits without conscious awareness.
So I would go with masking less and accepting that some people won't like you, but there may be other people who accept you and your particular personality and weirdness.


Based on what others have told me, I can mask successfully for short periods of time. The less I say, the better. I do not make normal eye contact, but I don't completely lack social instinct. I understand and can use facial expressions (but don't use them as much as normal people), tone of voice, sarcasm (but not always), have a good sense of humor, understand idioms, etc. So I think I'm actually better off than many people.

But yes, you are probably right. I am likely going to seem weird or eccentric most of the time. It's probably not worth the trouble to try to hide it, unless I'm at a job interview or something. It's still probably a good idea to learn more social skills, so that even if I'm weird, I'm not going to seem inappropriate or offend people unintentionally. I know that I make obvious mistakes which I can learn not to make. I don't really mind being seen as eccentric, but I'd rather be the good kind of eccentric.



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21 Apr 2016, 10:35 pm

Masking autism is pretending you're not and trying to "pass" as an NT. Doing so nearly always ends in failure and causes depression, fatigue, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide. It's only when Autistic people accept who they are and stand up to ignorant people trying to make them something they're not that these negative feelings go away.



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23 Apr 2016, 9:59 am

Personally, I'd say the difference between masking and applying learned social skills is the effectiveness of the behaviour for you.

Applying a learned social skill is something you can do easily and you gain more than you suffer from doing it. (Eg, you ask 'How are you?' and get more positive interactions as a result, but asking that doesn't bring you any real negative consequences, or you learn how to advocate for your disability needs in a way that gets them met and you find it difficult but it has a big payoff.)

Masking is doing something to seem normal when that behaviour is not very effective for you. Either it doesn't have any real benefit aside from fitting in, or it carries a cost that outweighs the benefit. (Eg, trying to pick up one night stands when you're asexual because you don't want people to question your sexual orientation, or making eye contact to seem polite when it impairs your ability to process what they're saying.)

One is applying a useful skill to benefit your own well-being, the other is doing something maladaptive to make yourself seem more normal.



zkydz
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23 Apr 2016, 10:14 am

^^^ Added to this, If you are masking, and you don't know what is slipping through, you do not understand why or how people react to you a certain way.

A mask is not the same as a set of rules. It is just a malformed attempt to blend in without external feedback. And, it may not be sending consistent message, or even contrary messages.

I am learning that I am sending conflicting messages as my verbal and non-verbal cues do not match sometimes.

That is why I want outside feedback and training. I can adapt if I know the rules or know my limitations. They may never be able to train me to fully understand how to do it right, but, they can train me to adapt through realization.


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Diagnosed April 14, 2016
ASD Level 1 without intellectual impairments.

RAADS-R -- 213.3
FQ -- 18.7
EQ -- 13
Aspie Quiz -- 186 out of 200
AQ: 42
AQ-10: 8.8