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Joe90
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06 Jan 2017, 1:13 pm

I feel like lately people on Facebook have unfollowed me (still Facebook friends but not following), and also my closest co-workers at work seem a little offish too. I think it's just my imagination, but I am a bit worried about it. I don't like to ask why or anything because I don't want to look like I'm confronting or being overparanoid or anything. There is one person at work who I definitely know doesn't like me. She is two-faced; she acts like she likes me by being interested in my life and stuff, but I can tell she doesn't like me that much, and that is not my imagination.
Also I worry that I am left out of social gatherings with work colleagues, outside of work. Well, I know I am, because most of them like drinking and I don't, and I'm starting to realise that by being a non-drinker I am missing out on friendships. :(

I really hate having Asperger's and s**t. I mean, it just makes social relationships more complicated than need be. I know how to read subtle social cues and I know how to use lies to save someone's feelings and stuff like that, but I am still socially awkward in other ways; like just being standoffish without meaning to. I hate having Asperger's. It just means that I will always be socially awkward everywhere I go, and I'm afraid that this might attract bullies at work in future jobs. Lucky for me people at my current job aren't the type to bully, but not all work places are like that. It makes me reluctant to look for another job, in case my social awkwardness might cause hostility and/or bullying, and the thought of feeling lonely at work really frightens me. I do feel lonely at the moment but it's not ongoing at my work. But I still can't deal with it.

I have come a long way socially since I was a child; I have learnt a lot of social skills and I can normally pass off as NT, but because I have Asperger's and ADHD, there is always going to be some social awkwardness there what I cannot work on. Why am I cursed to crave friendships and social acceptance AND have Asperger's at the same time? I sometimes think about suicide.


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JohnPowell
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06 Jan 2017, 1:21 pm

Don't "hate" having aspergers. That's not going to change. You just said yourself that you've already made some improvements socially. Just keep working on that, it doesn't happen overnight believe me. Don't feel forced to be friends with the people you work with, they might not be your kind of people anyway.


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AngryAngryAngry
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06 Jan 2017, 10:06 pm

You are correct about your job. But be prepared to immediately begin searching for a new job a new work colleague arrives (it might take 6 months for them to reveal themselves as a bad egg). You'll want to leave ASAP, it's way better than suffering, I've been there done that.
If you feel comfortable going out drinking, you could stick to non alcoholic drinks.

Social interactions are never easy, even for NT's - it may be easier for them, but they make mistakes too.
NT's I've noticed find out an area of socialisation they are good at, and stick with that and improve on it. Some people are not extroverted, but they might be extra loud and jokey in groups because it works for them. A Ricky Gervais type - but in reality (at home on the weekend) he loves nothing more than having tea and reading a book, while talking softly :)

Look for friendships outside of work, it's less complicated too.



Joe90
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07 Jan 2017, 6:32 am

I just feel socially isolated at the moment, and social isolation scares me and does no favours for my morale. Facebook is a paradox for me; I know I would regret it if I deleted my account (also it's so hard to just come off Facebook, I tried it before), but seeing who gets more likes from who does depress me.

There's a woman at work who unfriended me as soon as she resigned, but didn't unfriend anyone else, even though she knew me just as well as she knew the others. I even went out for coffee with her outside of work once. But since she resigned she unfriended me immediately, but still comments on everyone else's posts, even the ones she didn't talk to much when she worked with us. This sort of thing makes me feel hurt.

I know people say that Facebook is fake and is full of bullshit and that I shouldn't worry, but maybe that's a cliche to make me feel better. It is not fake.


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Luhluhluh
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07 Jan 2017, 8:55 am

It's not easy for NTs either. I'm basically just about friendless, I have people on FB who ignore me (and I ignore them back) because we're so different and I don't have anything in common with them at all.

I've never had many friends for several reasons but for the most part it's because I'm an introvert, I'm standoffish, and I'm not interested in what would be considered normal behavior for a woman. I'm not interested in shopping, not interested in babies, and due to the fact that I live in a conservative part of the country, I don't fit in, and never have.

That's fine though. I think I've mostly gotten used to it. To fit in I would have to change and become like them, and I don't want that. So whatever. This is fine.


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RandomFox
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07 Jan 2017, 9:16 am

When I moved abroad I joined a few Meetup groups, they often have a theme and connect people with common interests. I started from a board & card game group because it was about actually doing something together, not just 'socializing' and that's how I made friends, not very close, but it's still nice.
I just have no time to look after those friendships - work, parenting, my need for uninterrupted alone time and this makes me sad. We do talk on FB sometimes, but they're stuck in their adult lives anyway and don't have much free time, just like me. Sometimes I just don't want to talk and they start a very long conversation and next time before messaging them I think 'do I really want to talk to them for so long again?' (I know, guess I'm not a good friend myself).
This is a massive problem of NT people, too, especially married people with kids - just no time for their interests, passions, friendships, too much to do, too little time. My mum & dad are pretty lonely together, my aunts and uncles too.
I don't crave friendship that much anyway, I have this thing going on and on in my head: 'other people keep me sane' and I remember how I regressed (obsessing about things, isolating, getting more anxious when going out) when I had periods of not seeing anyone for a long time. So in a way, I have to do this. When I actually meet up with friends, I enjoy it, but if I don't - I don't care that much :/



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07 Jan 2017, 10:40 am

It shows that you are beating yourself up for being different and when you do that, your life is going to be a miserable one. It sounds like you are working on improving your life by working on your social skills which is a good thing. In regards to drinking, I know lots of people who are NTs who hate drinking too. I don't think quitting your job and finding another will change things in terms of connecting with people. I also don't think that using white lies to cover the truth is good either. Rather, it's better to learn how to speak the truth in love with tact when something bothers you.

I have ideas:

A) You could create a power point presentation on Asperger's as well as send them some information in the form of books.
B) You could also consider joining a meetup group or a special interest group where people share things in common with you.
C) You could ask those people on facebook if you are saying things or posting things that are major turn offs.



Joe90
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07 Jan 2017, 12:26 pm

I think it is something I'm posting on Facebook that is making people unfollow me. I could ask one of my closest friends, but I don't want it to look like I'm causing a drama or seeking attention or anything. I usually write positive things, or post memes that reflect on how I feel. I don't do this every day, and if I do it's only about 1-4 in a day, so it's not like I'm clogging up everyone's newsfeed. I do like/comment on other people's posts, not enough to be annoying but enough to show that I am interested in their stuff. I don't post selfies much, because I am not photogenic. In photos my face always looks long and if I smile my teeth glow, but if I smile with my mouth closed my chin looks crinkled and weird. I do hate my front teeth.

I do have a few friends I have outside of work, but because I'm at work during the week I don't get to see them much, and they don't go on Facebook much. But I feel lonely at work. And on Facebook. I know I'm socially awkward, but not that bad. What I mean by saying white lies to save someone's feelings is I know how and when to be tactful, so it's not like I go around hurting people without realising it. I am self-aware and I do have a lot of social skills a lot of Aspies lack.


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JohnPowell
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07 Jan 2017, 1:50 pm

I think a break from Facebook would do you good, that self gratification part doesn't actually help anyone and appeals to the worst traits in everyone.


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Summer_Twilight
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07 Jan 2017, 2:20 pm

I like the idea of taking a break from facebook and perhaps spend that time doing other things like developing hobbies, going to websites for learning like coursera, volunteering somewhere, getting your flat maintained, as in something that needs repair or fixing.

You could also do to contact your friends who don't use facebook by calling and texting them more often.

In regards to your co-worker who quit and unfriended you on facebook, that's her problem and not yours. What's more is that she doesn't know what she lost when she threw you away like that and she doesn't deserve you. What it seems like is that she only friended you on there because it was expected of it. Yet, I think it's okay to confront her for unfriending you and treating the others better.

Just ask her: "I am noticing that when you quit, I have been unfriended on facebook along with being shunned. While you seem to have no problem talking to everyone else? Are you saying that I am responsible for you quitting because your actions have hurt my feelings."



shinylights
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07 Jan 2017, 3:05 pm

I don't think I'd confront the lady who unfriended you. I would just let it go. Your colleagues might hear about it if you confront her, and they will get a one-sided version of the story (her side). It won't help you to build relationships if they get a one-sided negative story about you.

It would bug me though, and I'd probably purposefully press "like" on or argue against the lady's comment next time she comments on a mutual friend's thread. Maybe it's immature, but whatever, it'd make me feel better to think that she might feel awkward for a few seconds.

I feel like for some of the jobs I've had, there were people who appreciated what I bring to the table as someone who isn't NT. At other jobs, I haven't been so lucky...and the lack of social support led me to be very unhappy. It's really hard during those times; I look around everywhere for some appreciation, and it's not coming from anywhere, and it makes me doubt my value. It's made a really big difference over the past few months that I have a therapist who specializes in ASDs. He's like a mentor to me. I feel a lot more sure that my contribution to my companies (I have multiple part-time jobs) is a good one. I also feel like he understands my questions and problems way better than my last therapist, who was treating me for the wrong diagnosis. I pay out of pocket, because I don't have health insurance. It's a really worthy investment, and if/when I do have health insurance, I'll try to pay him double.

Anyway, I guess one thing I've learned is that asking people questions about things they like helps them to feel positive toward you. It doesn't always feel natural to me, but it seems to lighten their mood a lot. Sometimes the conversations are very boring, and I don't chastise myself for not pursuing a relationship with a colleague if they always talk about extremely boring things. If I'm bored, I feel very sad that I'm stuck in a conversation, powerless to seek refuge from it. And I feel I have to feign interest, and this makes me feel doubly powerless because I'm being forced to make facial expressions that I don't genuinely feel motivated to make. It used to spiral into a terrible state of self-hate. So now I let myself off the hook. There are enough people around that are either interesting or at least not exhaustively boring.

Another thing I've learned is that sometimes it's not too late to start making friends with someone even years after you've met them. I've known people up to seven years before I got to know them. So your relationships might not be that strong and supportive right now, but you can work on some of them gradually.



Summer_Twilight
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07 Jan 2017, 5:39 pm

I was in a supported employment situation years ago throughout most of my twenties where the owner of the company had a young adult with severe autism but they were not the most understanding there towards those of us in the program who had mild autism. So according to the management, we didn't fit in socially and we were made objects of gossiping and bullying.

E.G- One of the girls who worked there, appeared to be interested in being my friend but had only latched herself onto me so that she could learn everything about me and attempt to destroy my reputation by lying about me.

The owner of the company was also close with several of the people who worked there because most she knew for a long time so she was close to them. So when it came to them having special times in their lives like weddings, baby showers, going away parties, she often got them gifts or did something special. When it came to my housewarming party, though, she refused. Yet, she expected a nice response out of me when it got back to her that I was hurt. Yet, she didn't offer to talk about it.



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10 Jan 2017, 12:01 am

I don't have a facebook, but I can relate, especially when it comes to bullying. I'm looking for other jobs than my current one and I too worry about getting bullied and how far it will go. I also get bullied at the job that I currently have and really struggle with knowing how to respond to it. I try to be careful though so that they would have less to use against me. I also talk to the managers about it sometimes and try to explain all the details and how I feel bullied so that they might take me more seriously. I also don't know how far the bullies will go so I want them to be aware of it.

The situation I had in High School got real bad because my bullies seemed to turn most of the people I knew against me, followed me around, gas-lighted me and they also knew more things about me that they used against me. Whenever I told an authority about it they would make excuses for the bullies and wouldn't do anything or even offer any advice on how to respond. It was a living hell.



Summer_Twilight
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10 Jan 2017, 8:18 am

slw990, what happened to you in high school was pretty bad. Yet, those who were turned to the "Dark side" for those bullies were not your friends in the first place. It also hear more and more stories of figures in authority idly standing by while one on the spectrum gets hurt.

I have had my share of that....

HS

A. When I was in high school, my so-called "Friends" often left me out and would boast about it by talking about what they did on the weekend - My Case manager blew it off as if I were paranoid in that I would assume that everyone picking on me just because they were talking like that.

B. They led me around about riding to the prom with them as the 5th wheel, while the others had dates. One of them said that they had gotten a limo and that I was welcome to come, and the who I mentioned above said that there was no limo. Rather, he explained that his mom was driving and though, she liked me a lot, she wasn't going to let him invite me because we both struggled with hyperactivity because she was under lots of stress. - My case manager blamed it on my mom for not listening to her in calling "Those mothers."

My case manager also used to draw comics with me so we could communicate, which was fun, but she didn't seem to care. When I told her about all the times that I was being left out, she didn't do anything. Rather, she would say things like "It's hard to feel left out," and "It's hard when you like someone but they don't like you back." Yet, she never really talked to these kids or anything.

At the last position that I previously worked at, I had tried to tell the job coaches and they blew it off as

"They were just kidding."



Odysseus84
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10 Jan 2017, 3:44 pm

I'm sorry to hear what you're going through.

In facebook, I've actually taken to unfollowing all of my friends. That way I don't compare my life with others who, remember, only share the best parts of their lives. They could actually be going through depressive episodes themselves right now as I type this for all I know. I'm also sick and tired of times when my words are misinterpreted by other people and/or used to hurt me by sharing them with other people. I've been cyberbulied before.

Also, I’ve noticed that people are a lot more willing to go up and talk to me if I’m not on my phone. In many situations I’m the only one attentive to my surroundings and looking around with a “I’m okay with you talking to me” face. This digital/phone age has wiped out a lot of social competition. It is hard to give up a phone if it is your comfort object, of course, and I’m not expecting this to be easy for everyone


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