Question if you can be Autistic and still have social skills

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Technic1
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12 May 2021, 10:48 am

Females are just better at masking, talking and picking up social skills like body language.

There should be more females diagnosed with Aspergers especially if one sibling has it and the same can be said of all Aspergers siblings



FranzOren
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12 May 2021, 11:21 am

I agree!



ThisTimelessMoment
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12 May 2021, 11:52 pm

I've learnt to mask so well it has taken me decades to realise my own autism/Asperger's. I always found socialising difficulty and painful but though i was just shy.
Now I can see that I often misunderstand things people say so that conversation is happening on two tracks: what they are talking about, and what I'm talking about. They are usually close in meaning but not identical. I take time to understand. My first impression of what they are saying is very often wrong.

I manage to look people in the eye because I learnt that that is what's expected.

Autism is a spectrum. There are many possibilities for how we deal with social interaction.


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13 May 2021, 5:17 am

I have social skills, but they are not as good as my technical ones.



rowan_nichol
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13 May 2021, 8:16 am

Question : if you can be Autistic and still have social skills
Answer : Yes, quite possible, but those skills most likely have been learned as skills rather than things which came naturally.



FranzOren
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13 May 2021, 10:03 am

It makes sense.



Jakki
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13 May 2021, 11:21 am

having social skills i think can be a learned behaviour if over a lifetime or if reinforced by severe punishment at a younger age , Which doesnt mean your ability to access those social skills will be apparent at all time . Which to me means , they are not inherent . or a natural adaption that occurs.
If am relaxed in a situation , Means can be myself , Although my social lacking may show up quite severely . But not in a mean or aggressive way . On the other hand if stressed . Social skills may show up as being very quiet , and seeking to extricate myself from such situations , depending on my judgement of the relative safety of the same situation . Which under the circumstances my judgement is already being stressed .


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FranzOren
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13 May 2021, 11:42 am

Makes sense.



Dbz33
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14 May 2021, 1:30 pm

I think you can work on them too a certain extent but you'll always be at disadvantage, I use too think my social skills were ok or good because I could make friendly interaction but when truly analyzed and compared too everyone else they were certainly lacking and friendships are hard too make because of it.

Basic answer and reply with kindness doesn't mean good social skills which I thought it did at one point.


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FranzOren
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14 May 2021, 2:55 pm

Makes sense.



Jakki
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14 May 2021, 9:31 pm

Dbz33 wrote:
I think you can work on them too a certain extent but you'll always be at disadvantage, I use too think my social skills were ok or good because I could make friendly interaction but when truly analyzed and compared too everyone else they were certainly lacking and friendships are hard too make because of it.

Basic answer and reply with kindness doesn't mean good social skills which I thought it did at one point.


Agrees with Dbz33


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FranzOren
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14 May 2021, 9:47 pm

Thank you! I understood.



cyberdad
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14 May 2021, 9:59 pm

I'll just underline what everyone has said is that some people on the spectrum can learn to mask their autistic traits (whatever they are) and imitate and perform NT social skills.

The best metaphor is acting school. Actors are trained to subdue their own tendencies and take on the persona of a character including researching the history and background to make their performance more authentic.

Females aspies are the best at imitating, infact if I recall an interview with the actress Daryl Hannah (who had Aspergers) acting school helped her to mask her own autism.



FranzOren
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14 May 2021, 10:13 pm

I agree!



ToughDiamond
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16 May 2021, 8:09 pm

I was diagnosed very late, so a lot of my social ways were already formed, and I never got any help after the DX, so to this day I continue to follow my own nose. Also, having had some great times with people when I was in my 20s, I soon came to the view that there isn't really much wrong with my social skills, and to this day when I don't do well in a social setting, I either blame them or (more progressively) blame the incompatibility between us, and feel that although they weren't exactly wrong for presenting me with a round hole, I wasn't wrong either for being a square peg. It's quite clear from my experiences that people can exist who are fairly compatible with my nature pretty much as it is, without any need for me to apply radical corrections to myself.

So I do see myself as having social skills, just that they're in some ways different from the ones that mainstream society might expect. I'm to a degree capable of coping socially with the mainstream, but to do that I tend to have to wear an uncomfortable mask and I tend to come away from such interactions with a feeling that we didn't really relate on much of a genuine level, and to some extent with a feeling of having been abused, although I'm not saying I think anybody out there set out to abuse me.

I'm not saying either that my social skills are completely adequate (even for getting on well with a group of people of my own choice), or that I have nothing left to learn. Far from it, but equally I think that the mainstream also has a lot to learn. But to me there are more important issues than trying to perfect eye contact, mastering the art of small talk, or any other superficial "skill" of that kind. The issues that interest me more than those are such matters as improving the depth of relationships, learning how to help each other more effectively, sounding out common purposes, figuring out how to work together, opposing competitive tendencies, finding ways of discovering how people really feel.

Maybe a good example would be if a group of people were playing this "game" where each has to pay lip service to some defined opinion. I can come over like a troll by just rubbishing the whole game and taking the opposite view, and invite nothing much but contempt, or I can lie my way through it to get a little bit of approval that I don't feel I deserve, or I can perhaps think of something reasonably tactful to say that might give them the idea that maybe it's better for people to just be straight with each other, and that if they give their honest, constructive opinions then they might learn something instead of just reinforcing their own prejudices.

I hope what I've said isn't too far off topic or unclear. Just that currently it's the best answer I can give as a late-diagnosed Aspie. I guess the summary is that yes, I think you can be autistic and still have social skills, but that the skills might be rather different (not necessarily any worse) - that for many of us the expectations of the mainstream neurotypical world might be too much to ever allow any great social success, and that we might do better to stand rather outside of "society" and to look more to the outliers. Normal isn't necessarily healthy.



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16 May 2021, 11:04 pm

Thank you! It makes sense.