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Yigeren
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21 Apr 2016, 12:54 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I don't pretend to have social skills I don't have, so I think that may be a difference between applying social skills I do have vs. pretending to have better social skills than I have.
Applying skills that I have learned doesn't take a lot of effort, because I already learned them, so they have become easy, but pretending seems to require a lot of effort, it seems like the pretending is what is causing people problems?
I don't pretend, in any situation, I just say what comes to mind, the social interactions are not always smooth, and everyone can see that I am socially awkward, but the communications that need to get done do get done this way.


Maybe not being diagnosed when I was young is causing me to feel the need to pretend. My social awkwardness and other problems were not explained by having a disorder. I was just considered to be bad and weird, so I tried to conform in order to stop being mistreated.

Having a diagnosis now changes nothing, because I must still keep up the act. I can't tell many people that I have ASD. So if I don't pretend to have skills which I don't possess, I get more negative reactions than I would otherwise, and I can't explain why I'm strange. So people assume the worst. I don't get reactions like "Oh, Yigeren is quirky," or "Yigeren is eccentric." I get reactions like "Yigeren is such a b*tch," or "Yigeren is so immature." And if people don't know me, they tend to just think I'm weird, but usually in a negative way. Or they think that I'm being insulting, insensitive, or rude purposely.

Pretending does require a lot of effort. I don't even want to socialize at all anymore. I'm not completely successful even when I try very hard. So I have a lot of anxiety when I have to socialize.

Perhaps I should now try to learn social skills directly, instead of trying to learn them naturally or by observation. Now that I know how much I do not actually know about socializing, I have identified the problem. I now know that I have ASD, so I need to find out which social skills I need to learn, and find a way to learn them. But I'm going to have to ask someone to find out the NT perspective on socializing, so that I know what is expected and what is normal.

And even things I do know I often can't use successfully in a social situation. So I will have to learn to accept that I'll always be considered strange or abnormal and somehow make it work for me. This is why I wish I'd been diagnosed when I was young; I could have already learned all of these things years ago instead of struggling as an adult when I am expected to be independent.



btbnnyr
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21 Apr 2016, 1:17 pm

I think a part of getting more comfortable in social situations is not being afraid to make social mistakes.
The more afraid about mistakes, the more anxious, which screws up using any social skills that one does have, then this builds more anxiety for future interactions.
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.
Some autistic people come off awkward, which is not judged too harshly by most people, but others come off in more negative ways, which is judged harshly.


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zkydz
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21 Apr 2016, 1:40 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
Some autistic people come off awkward, which is not judged too harshly by most people, but others come off in more negative ways, which is judged harshly.
I'm going to have to disagree with this. Having been the type that it is not immediately noticable, I can tell you a perspective from both sides.

1.) before people find out just how odd I am, I get to hear a lot of snide bullshit from people. There are, in my opinion, more jerks than nice people. They really do do some just mean things. Attitude, deliberate, etc.

2.) When they find out how odd I am, usually not much later as I don't last long, then I get the icy chill from them. Or, you just don't get invited back....along with the others as well.


So, yeah, it's not easy to make mistakes and feel it's ok. Not when a life time of it happening says otherwise.


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21 Apr 2016, 1:55 pm

One of the things I am confused about myself and if I am on the spectrum or not is I don't get this pretending stuff. Sure as a kid I had to conform or else kids would think I was weird and to me natural means doing it automatically or out of habit but it never makes me exhausted for doing it. Like someone wants to shake hands, okay I will take their hand and let them shake it. I have to stop at a school to drop off the forms for my son's kindergarten enrollment, oh not exhausting because all I had to do was turn them in and ask for a transfer forum and then telling them why I wanted my son in a different school and why their school wouldn't be a good school for my child. I don't feel I pretended anything and I don't feel warn out from that part. One thing I had to hold back though was asking a bunch of questions about the school like if the doors are original, if the walls are original in the office and if the office had always looked that way since it's opened and if the display cases are original and the floors in the hallway and if the toilets are original and what playground stuff did they used to have and when did they take it out and replaced it with current playground equipment and how many times has it been replaced. I didn't get exhausted for not asking these things. Maybe I was just misplaced on the spectrum. :? After all it was 1997 so no such criteria existed for to be on the autism spectrum, only for AS and autistic disorder and CDD and Rett's syndrome. All you needed then were impairments of autism or Asperger's. Not for how many symptoms you needed for the umbrella term autism spectrum disorder. Even people with borderline Asperger's get exhausted using social skills they have learned. But I just can't relate because to me it's like following the rule about no using chat rooms in the computer lab. So I thought aspies had poor social skills because they were socially ignorant and were not aware of the social norms and rules and all they have to do is learn them by being told them and reading about them. So I used to teach myself some of those things in the library by reading books about it like learning what is a good sport and a bad sport, what is showing off and watching movies and seeing how good people act and how baddies act and not do what baddies do and do what goodies do. It was like I was learning new rules for how to act and how to be nice. I joked to my 4th grade teacher about him being pregnant and he didn't laugh and I couldn't figure out why so I said it again and he said "Beth, that was very rude" I said "sorry" and never did that joke again to anyone. I had learned that telling people they are pregnant is rude. Live and let learn. Now I see it's NTs who are being rude and having poor social skills when they tell others they are pregnant but I wouldn't dare to break that social rule, too risky. They are just taking chances and being risky. I do not get exhausted for not asking someone if they are pregnant or even commenting on their belly or even joking about it. But it must be some super power I have. :shrugs:

If I hadn't care what people thought and if I didn't care about having friends and I didn't care about being nice or not or how I come off as to people or care about being different, I wouldn't have learned these things and gotten obsessed about it.

I also thought the reason why people knew social skills is because they know them and pick up on them more and us aspies have to educate ourselves about it and we are ignorant about it so we have to read about them and live and let learn but apparently that isn't what Asperger's is about and what social impairments are so it makes me wonder if I was mistaken as having aspie symptoms. Oh I didn't know there was a rule about standing an arm length away from people. This is something I never picked up but now that you have pointed that out to me, I will reminded myself from now on to stand an arm length away. This was me at 20 years old. So all the time I would hold my arm out to be sure I was standing far away enough and also reminding myself every time and then it came natural after a while because it finally stuck in my brain. this rule doesn't apply to crowded places and there is no room to stand an arm length away such as bus elevator or train but once space opens up, you move away until you are an arm length away. But this is something that kids pick up on by themselves. It's not something you teach your kids. I don't find it exhausting to stand an arm length away or more. Geez I'm weird.

Is there anyone else on the spectrum who don't find social skills exhausting and all this "pretending" stuff?


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Yigeren
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21 Apr 2016, 2:00 pm

I find that I'm often misunderstood and then judged harshly. I'm wondering if it's because I'm not the quiet type. People seem to like me more when I am that way. I'm usually somewhat hyperactive, and when I want to talk, I talk a lot. I have to mentally remind myself to shut up at times.

Part of the problem is probably that I didn't realize I was doing things that offended people. I have more understanding now, but I mess up a lot.

If people get to know me, they usually like me. They find that their first impressions were wrong, and see me for who I actually am. But it takes awhile for that to happen.

Not that everyone dislikes me. There are people who like me a lot even when first meeting me. I find that many of those who dislike me are the snobbish types, and those who like me are generally more friendly.



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21 Apr 2016, 2:36 pm

@ League_Girl

I think I feel exhausted for two reasons.

1. I don't actually have a lot of social understanding, and still lack many social skills. I feel like I have to pretend that I understand things which I don't understand. I am just now learning how many things that I do wrong, or need to learn. I was only just diagnosed, and I was oblivious for a long time about why I was having trouble socializing. I thought that I only had social anxiety, so I figured that if I wasn't anxious, I was doing fine. In reality I was doing poorly, and putting people off. I could never understand why people reacted badly towards me.

2. My executive functioning problems make it hard for me to apply things that I know in real-life situations. I will forget things that I know, or impulsively react without pausing to reflect on whether I should be doing what I'm about to do. I also have difficulty in thinking quickly enough to react appropriately, even when I remember to think first. I have trouble with interpreting situations and then deciding what course of action to take. I just don't have time to think. So I try to fake it as best I can.

In your case you already know many social skills and have practiced them long enough for them to become easier. With certain social skills, I have done the same and don't feel that I have to try so hard. I can do those things very well and usually appear close to normal. Or at least I don't get many unexpected reactions, which is how I judge how well I am doing.



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21 Apr 2016, 3:05 pm

zkydz wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
Some autistic people come off awkward, which is not judged too harshly by most people, but others come off in more negative ways, which is judged harshly.
I'm going to have to disagree with this. Having been the type that it is not immediately noticable, I can tell you a perspective from both sides.

1.) before people find out just how odd I am, I get to hear a lot of snide bullshit from people. There are, in my opinion, more jerks than nice people. They really do do some just mean things. Attitude, deliberate, etc.

2.) When they find out how odd I am, usually not much later as I don't last long, then I get the icy chill from them. Or, you just don't get invited back....along with the others as well.


So, yeah, it's not easy to make mistakes and feel it's ok. Not when a life time of it happening says otherwise.


I don't understand what you are disagreeing with.
You mean that people think you come off normal and judge you harshly because they are jerks?


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btbnnyr
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21 Apr 2016, 3:09 pm

Yigeren wrote:
@ League_Girl

I think I feel exhausted for two reasons.

1. I don't actually have a lot of social understanding, and still lack many social skills. I feel like I have to pretend that I understand things which I don't understand. I am just now learning how many things that I do wrong, or need to learn. I was only just diagnosed, and I was oblivious for a long time about why I was having trouble socializing. I thought that I only had social anxiety, so I figured that if I wasn't anxious, I was doing fine. In reality I was doing poorly, and putting people off. I could never understand why people reacted badly towards me.

2. My executive functioning problems make it hard for me to apply things that I know in real-life situations. I will forget things that I know, or impulsively react without pausing to reflect on whether I should be doing what I'm about to do. I also have difficulty in thinking quickly enough to react appropriately, even when I remember to think first. I have trouble with interpreting situations and then deciding what course of action to take. I just don't have time to think. So I try to fake it as best I can.

In your case you already know many social skills and have practiced them long enough for them to become easier. With certain social skills, I have done the same and don't feel that I have to try so hard. I can do those things very well and usually appear close to normal. Or at least I don't get many unexpected reactions, which is how I judge how well I am doing.


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.


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21 Apr 2016, 3:18 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
zkydz wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
Some autistic people come off awkward, which is not judged too harshly by most people, but others come off in more negative ways, which is judged harshly.
I'm going to have to disagree with this. Having been the type that it is not immediately noticable, I can tell you a perspective from both sides.

1.) before people find out just how odd I am, I get to hear a lot of snide bullshit from people. There are, in my opinion, more jerks than nice people. They really do do some just mean things. Attitude, deliberate, etc.

2.) When they find out how odd I am, usually not much later as I don't last long, then I get the icy chill from them. Or, you just don't get invited back....along with the others as well.


So, yeah, it's not easy to make mistakes and feel it's ok. Not when a life time of it happening says otherwise.


I don't understand what you are disagreeing with.
You mean that people think you come off normal and judge you harshly because they are jerks?
I disagree only with the broad statement of how others judge you. There are just some mean people. I see it when directed at others because when things come at me, I go 'blind'. But it doesn't always depend on the person being judged because they are acting harshly. It can be that a harsh person is judging them.


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btbnnyr
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21 Apr 2016, 3:21 pm

zkydz wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
zkydz wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
Some autistic people come off awkward, which is not judged too harshly by most people, but others come off in more negative ways, which is judged harshly.
I'm going to have to disagree with this. Having been the type that it is not immediately noticable, I can tell you a perspective from both sides.

1.) before people find out just how odd I am, I get to hear a lot of snide bullshit from people. There are, in my opinion, more jerks than nice people. They really do do some just mean things. Attitude, deliberate, etc.

2.) When they find out how odd I am, usually not much later as I don't last long, then I get the icy chill from them. Or, you just don't get invited back....along with the others as well.


So, yeah, it's not easy to make mistakes and feel it's ok. Not when a life time of it happening says otherwise.


I don't understand what you are disagreeing with.
You mean that people think you come off normal and judge you harshly because they are jerks?
I disagree only with the broad statement of how others judge you. There are just some mean people. I see it when directed at others because when things come at me, I go 'blind'. But it doesn't always depend on the person being judged because they are acting harshly. It can be that a harsh person is judging them.


There is of course variation in how harshly individuals judge other individuals.
I find that most people are reasonable.
If it seems that they are judging someone too harshly in your view, you may not know the whole story of why they are doing so in terms of previous history with that person and communications between them that only they know about.


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21 Apr 2016, 3:24 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
There is of course variation in how harshly individuals judge other individuals.
I find that most people are reasonable.
If it seems that they are judging someone too harshly in your view, you may not know the whole story of why they are doing so in terms of previous history with that person and communications between them that only they know about.

I would agree with this completely. Someone told me once that "everybody you meet has a secret pain you know nothing about."

I try to remember that. I am not good at it yet because I just heard it a month or two back. It's too new to work into my everyday experience yet. It must be brought out consciously at this time.

I would like to thank you for your patience too. I think I'm a bit stressed today and my incoming and outgoing is a bit wonky. :)


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21 Apr 2016, 3:32 pm

zkydz wrote:
1.) before people find out just how odd I am, I get to hear a lot of snide bullshit from people. There are, in my opinion, more jerks than nice people. They really do do some just mean things. Attitude, deliberate, etc.

This is precisely why I don't like "faking it" all that much. Sure, you can "fit with the group" until you realize the group is only about slamming others to prove they are "better". It's ridiculous and juvenile, and yet some people live their entire lives with that attitude and never grow up-- and people wonder why I think the species doesn't have much time left.



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21 Apr 2016, 3:39 pm

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.


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21 Apr 2016, 3:47 pm

It's hard for me to mask most of the time because I'm so afraid of someone saying something that will trigger a meltdown, so I have to have my hands over my ears most of the time. But in the past I have been able to mask for short periods of time. It inevitably doesn't last, though, as I always have a meltdown or something.



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21 Apr 2016, 3:48 pm

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.


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