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Steel101
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27 Apr 2021, 11:15 am

I've been in this area for a year now and I've noticed that for quite awhile I'm often getting stared at, mostly from people who are my age. I'm not imagining things as whenever I'm out with friends or family members they all can see I get stared at. It's mostly guys who stare me out. And it really annoys me, it's blatantly obvious that they have a problem. It's like a smug look. How do I approach this? And I look forward I don't divert my gaze, I don't walk on eggshells around people either.



Mona Pereth
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27 Apr 2021, 4:36 pm

Steel101 wrote:
I've been in this area for a year now and I've noticed that for quite awhile I'm often getting stared at, mostly from people who are my age. I'm not imagining things as whenever I'm out with friends or family members they all can see I get stared at. It's mostly guys who stare me out. And it really annoys me, it's blatantly obvious that they have a problem. It's like a smug look. How do I approach this? And I look forward I don't divert my gaze, I don't walk on eggshells around people either.

If you didn't experience this in your previous neighborhood, my guess is that your family moved into a culturally more homogeneous neighborhood. In such a neighborhood, people are more likely to notice -- and stare at -- people who are different in any way.

If at all possible, move (or persuade your family to move) to a highly multicultural neighborhood with immigrants from all over the world (and some native-born people too). These are the best neighborhoods for autistic people IMO.


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Joe90
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27 Apr 2021, 5:24 pm

It appears that the OP comes from London, which is a very multicultural place, plus the capital of England, so you get all sorts of diversity.

I used to get stared at a lot but not so much these days. I think it's because I hyperfocused on it too much, due to social anxiety. Being how common social anxiety is among the general population, you'd think more people would have an understanding of it and not stare at those who subtly look shy or anxious but otherwise 'normal' enough not to stand out. I don't stare at people for that very reason; I understand social anxiety very well and I don't want to make other people feel self-conscious by staring at them.

It's usually other women that stare at me, not so much guys. If a guy does stare it's usually less intimidating and more flattering. But unfortunately I don't get many guys staring at me. :cry:


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Mountain Goat
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27 Apr 2021, 5:44 pm

I tend to get stared at as well. I don't know why. It just happens. I must be entertaining to watch?


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Mona Pereth
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28 Apr 2021, 2:13 am

Joe90 wrote:
It appears that the OP comes from London, which is a very multicultural place, plus the capital of England, so you get all sorts of diversity.

But are all London neighborhoods equally multicultural?

Here in New York City, some neighborhoods are very multicultural, while other neighborhoods are dominated by specific ethnic groups. The city as a whole is very multicultural, but individual neighborhoods vary.


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mj1
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04 May 2021, 11:57 am

I get stared at a lot and it's mostly from children. Although some adults do stare. I'm not sure why this is but I have a few theories.

I dress oddly for a female. It's always loose fitting pants/shorts, a loose fitting t-shirt with some sort of loose fitting button or zipper shirt/jacket over it. And I always wear Crocs, even in the winter. Basically, I'm a sloppy dresser. I think people are trying to work out in their brain what or who I am (female/male, gay/straight, white trash/crazy). An adult can probably figure me out right away, but children are puzzled by me.

I don't get stared at as much as I used to though. As the world is changing, dressing like this is more acceptable and people are used to it, at least around here.

Also, I believe I have nostril flaring. I'm not sure if I do it all the time or just sometimes. I believe I get treated differently because of it. I think children are fascinated by it and tend to stare. I think some adults are puzzled by it and may think I'm angry or upset.

Most people think I'm just plain weird and don't know what to make of me. They're right, I am weird. Doesn't mean they have to stare, that's rude.

I'm not bothered so much when children stare, but I worry about them blurting out, "is that a boy or a girl?" That happened once and gave me a lot of anxiety.



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04 May 2021, 12:08 pm

I used to get paranoid a lot that people were staring at me years back, turns out that it's normal for people to stare as it's a natural human thing we do. I think in more quiet areas and small towns they will definitely stare at you because you're different, like people go abroad on holidays to see something different because it becomes boring so seeing someone different is a breath of fresh air I guess.


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HeroOfHyrule
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04 May 2021, 12:14 pm

I get stared at by adults and kids a lot. I agree that staring is kind of normal, and I honestly catch nyself doing it from time to time :oops:, so now I don't mind it unless it's prolonged staring. If I look at someone and they keep staring at me instead of looking away, that usually means they're intentionally staring at me, for whatever reason.


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Gelan
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04 May 2021, 12:36 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
It appears that the OP comes from London, which is a very multicultural place, plus the capital of England, so you get all sorts of diversity.

But are all London neighborhoods equally multicultural?

Here in New York City, some neighborhoods are very multicultural, while other neighborhoods are dominated by specific ethnic groups. The city as a whole is very multicultural, but individual neighborhoods vary.


London is so diverse that nobody looks out of place...if I fit in then anybody can...I'm really odd :D



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04 May 2021, 1:06 pm

In NYC, there are still ethnic and racial enclaves.....but much less of them than previously, covering much less land area.

Bedford Stuyvesant, for example, has long considered to be an "enclave" for black people (aka a "ghetto"). There has been considerable changes over the past 10 years or so, to the point where Bed-Stuy is now as multicultural as many other parts of the city.



Joe90
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04 May 2021, 1:12 pm

Most of the cities in the UK are multicultural, but when I go to the small towns or villages I find people are more friendly and judge me less than they do in the big cities. I live in a city in Essex where there's literally a mixture of all sorts of people, from rich people to poor people (even homeless people). There are a lot of "chavvy" people here as well as snobs, so I don't really see how one can stand out unless they're doing something obvious to stand out. I'm just mediocre, I dress casually so that I can blend in but I still like to look trendy. But I still used to get stares, usually from other women around my age. Not so much these days though.
But I used to be extremely paranoid of people staring, to the point where I became depressed because of it.
I think it all got triggered when I was 18, when I nearly slipped on a patch of ice and I heard this young couple behind me watching and laughing. From then on I felt like I was being scrutinized by people, and I lacked confidence in myself thinking that other people were thinking "what's that stupid girl doing?" or "where's that stupid girl going?"

I still have social anxiety in public places but not so bad. I get scared of looking silly, like when the gym was closed during the pandemic I would walk past it's doors as a short cut to get to work and I would worry that people going by in their cars might think I was going to the gym, or that they might take a picture of me and turn me into a meme like "dumb blonde thinks the gym is open" or something.


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SpottedMushroom
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13 May 2021, 9:09 pm

This happens to me too. I think people just really don't like that I am my own person. I don't know how to describe my community without being rude so I won't. I know I stick out even though I'm not actively doing anything.

I'm not saying you should do this because you probably shouldn't, depending on what kind of responses you may get, but when people stare me down, I approach them. And poof! Suddenly they don't have anything to look at anymore and they walk away. Many times I have wanted to directly ask people, "hey what's the problem? do I know you?" but they always dart away. I get the feeling that all they want is to make me feel unwelcome and nothing more.



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14 May 2021, 6:16 pm

It's rare for autistic people to be very well attired and stylish. (I didn't say it's unheard of!) If one doesn't want stares, one could take extra effort to be well dressed, groomed, and polished in appearance.


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Joe90
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15 May 2021, 11:27 am

BeaArthur wrote:
It's rare for autistic people to be very well attired and stylish. (I didn't say it's unheard of!) If one doesn't want stares, one could take extra effort to be well dressed, groomed, and polished in appearance.


I was doing exactly this, going out of my way to make as much effort as possible to blend in and look normal, both dress-wise and body language-wise, but I still got stares, which was why I got so frustrated.


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kraftiekortie
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16 May 2021, 6:34 am

I don’t really care if I get stared at.

Can’t people just mind their own business?



Joe90
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16 May 2021, 8:17 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don’t really care if I get stared at.

Can’t people just mind their own business?


Well, they should do. I have more things to think about in my life than how some stranger I'll never see again is dressed or what they're doing, as long as they're not harming anyone. If they're minding their own business then I mind mine. If somebody is drawing attention to themselves in public then I may look because, you know, it's human nature. But if somebody is just standing or sitting and not doing anything to draw any attention then I don't see what there is to stare at. I've learnt to look at people discreetly, like if a like someone's shoes for example I'll discreetly look at their shoes when they're not looking, but not gawp. But I wouldn't just stare at a stranger right in the face. But some NTs just can't resist it (and I'm not talking about flirting or being sexually attracted to someone).


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