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Earthbound_Alien
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30 Apr 2021, 11:59 pm

Do you have much of a social drive?

Personally, I have found that world seems to be obsessed with socialising and having friendships.

I do not enjoy socialising for the sake of it, I don't enjoy mingling at parties, I am painfully painfully shy and do not enjoy meeting new people (I prefer to socialise with people I care about or share a bond with only partly because I am not shy around these individuals and can be more natural around them and partly because outside of my humanitarian streak I have little interest in humans in general...not meant offensively I don't find the human race to be particularly fascinating as there are more interesting things on this planet and the universe we live in), I have no affinity with social chit chat, I can't stand being the centre of attention in the real world and I just plain outright dislike it. I get nothing from it and never have.

I am the wallflower type at parties.

I don't do girly chats over cups of tea either and as a female I am atypical and always have been.

As to friendships, I don't really desire them...I don't seek them out actively and I don't maintain them should I find one. To me a friendship is someone to 'go do activities' with. These are the only types of friendships I have ever had and my last female friend was when I was 20 and that was more of a collage acquaintance. We drifted apart when the course ended, I never really noticed. I did like her but there was no deep attachment on my part.

I have never bonded with a friend, the only people I have bonded with are family or my partner/boyfriend.

I won't turn a friendship away if one develops but I don't actively seek them out because I have no actual biological desire for them. I simply don't seem to need them.

I do seem to have a biological drive for a life partner though, but most of my relationships have been short lived, probably because I am so unconventional in my lifestyle choices I find it difficult to find anyone compatible. They expect me to be a normal female and I am not. I hate dating as I hate meeting new people because I simply cannot talk to them.

I may want ot talk to them and I may want to be natural around them but I freeze inside and have never been able to overcome it, although on rare occassions I do find people I can talk to straight away (I don't know why). On top of my extreme shyness I also get social anxiety though. I am now 45, nothing has helped with my shyness so I prefer to just accept it as it is. Tablets don't help, I still freeze inside around people I don't know very well even if I like them or they seem very nice or friendly.

I feel uncomfortable around people.

It's not ego, I am unusual in the sense that I am not egoist...I don't understand how relationships equal worthiness for example...for me relationships are much less complex. If I am spending time with someone it usually just means I like their company.

I am a bit afraid of other humans as I see them as a threat on some level, they won't let me be myself...they don't understand the world I live in and I can't explain it to them. I also see them as being very negative in nature which disuades me from wanting to be around them. Inside I am playful and their negativity puts a downer on things for me.

Not a whine and I am not seeking emotional support, just wondering if their are similar souls out there at all?



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Snowy Owl
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01 May 2021, 12:39 am

I am quite content with having one or two close friends, and socializing with them on occasion when the need strokes me.

Realistically I know this won't work. Other people have expectations, friendships can be hard, you have to be there for friends (This is not a gripe, I know, respect, and think it is worthwhile doing so), and only ever showing up when your social needs need to be met is not really ok to do.

But I do feel that way a lot. Socializing is exhausting. I dislike meeting new people (and when I do I *always* mask who I am, something I recognized even before looking at it from an ASD context of whether me doing so is because of ASD). And I get overwhelmed and will avoid socializing any further when I am on cool down.

However, being a bit late to the party of feeling like I may have ASD, 38 years old now...I kinda got used to having to do the whole pretend game when necessary. But I have a lot of freedom in avoiding it when I am not comfortable, so generally speaking it does not come up often. The most common instance is during family gatherings, and then I can generally be more myself than not.



HeroOfHyrule
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01 May 2021, 1:23 am

I have a social drive, but I don't think it's really at a "normal" level. I can have 2-3 people in my life that I handle communicating with regularly, and once I have that many people my life that I enjoy talking to I don't feel the need to pursue making relationships with anyone else. I'd also like to have a partner, but I don't really mind being single. I could probably be single for the rest of my life and not mind as long as I have a couple friends.

I do find it hard to keep friends though, because I don't really have the drive to do a lot of the things people want to do. I don't like meeting up with people just to talk, and I mainly hang out with people to do a specific activity with them. Also the only way I can have "casual" conversations with people is by info dumping, and a lot of people don't like that and don't like to info dump.

I also have a very hard limit for socializing. I can only be around people for an hour or so without getting exhausted and needing to take a break from talking to people for a couple days.


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I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I have two cats, a rabbit, and a dog. I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


Edna3362
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01 May 2021, 2:11 am

I have little to no social drive and motivation.
Yet I can enjoy it. In a whimsical sense.
The difference between craving and wanting it from taking a liking from it.

Interactions and relationships can entertain me, make me happy, grant me certain means -- whether or not if the effort is strenuous or simply not worth it.

But I do not seek or wish it. I do not want or long it. I do not have fantasies about being social and socializing well.

I have little to no social goals and aspirations.

Attaining any outcome from it, I see it as a side effects that happened to be benign, positive/beneficial or negative/malignant for me, for the other party, for both and at large.



Let's just say I had truly accept a very fundamental part of humans and humanity.

They may fly on the skies or jump off the cliff for all I care, just as long as they don't drag me in undesirable places or that if I feel like being dragged at all.



It's possible for a person to have all the social drive and motivation, yet not take any pleasure or reward from it. :lol:


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Mona Pereth
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01 May 2021, 2:25 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Do you have much of a social drive?

I have a very idiosyncratic social drive. I'm not into parties at all. But I love in-depth, focused conversation on topics that interest me.

I hate unfocused chit chat with 3 or more people. My mind needs something to focus on, either a person or a topic.

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
I do not enjoy socialising for the sake of it, I don't enjoy mingling at parties,

Me neither.

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
I am painfully painfully shy and do not enjoy meeting new people

How shy I am, and how I feel about meeting new people, depends very much on the context, including how much I feel at home in the overall situation.

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
[...]

I don't do girly chats over cups of tea either and as a female I am atypical and always have been.

I'm not into "girly chats over cups of tea" either, and I too have always been an atypical female.

But I think my participation in support groups (and here on WP) gives me some of the same emotional rewards that socially mainstream women get from "girly chats over cups of tea."

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
As to friendships, I don't really desire them...I don't seek them out actively and I don't maintain them should I find one.

I do desire friendships, and I was able to make several close friends in very nonmainstream ways back in my twenties and thirties. (Alas, my closest friends from back then are no longer living.)

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
To me a friendship is someone to 'go do activities' with.

To me that's one aspect of friendship, either companionship or comradeship, or possibly both, depending on the nature of the shared activities. (See my blog post on The ingredients of friendship.)

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
I do seem to have a biological drive for a life partner though, but most of my relationships have been short lived, probably because I am so unconventional in my lifestyle choices I find it difficult to find anyone compatible. They expect me to be a normal female and I am not.

Have you ever sought out groups of people, either online or in-person, who share or are otherwise sympathetic to your unconventional lifestyle choices? If you haven't done so already, perhaps you might try looking for relevant support groups or educational organizations? Perhaps these might be relatively likely places to find a compatible partner, or at least to find people who understand you better than the vast majority of people do?

(Also, have you ever attended in-person adult autism support groups? Autistic people are disproportionately unconventional in various other ways as well.)

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
I am a bit afraid of other humans as I see them as a threat on some level, they won't let me be myself...they don't understand the world I live in and I can't explain it to them.

That's pretty much how I feel about the vast majority of people too, but there are rare and precious exceptions. The important question, for me, has always been how to maximize my chances of finding those rare people who could truly understand me, and with whom I could safely be myself. I have always believed that such people must exist, and I have occasionally found them.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 01 May 2021, 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mona Pereth
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01 May 2021, 2:33 am

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I do find it hard to keep friends though, because I don't really have the drive to do a lot of the things people want to do. I don't like meeting up with people just to talk, and I mainly hang out with people to do a specific activity with them. Also the only way I can have "casual" conversations with people is by info dumping, and a lot of people don't like that and don't like to info dump.

So it looks to me you need to find people who share your specific interests and who also (like a lot of autistic people, but not like a lot of NT's) enjoy info-dumping.

That's why the autistic community needs hobby-oriented social groups, IMO.

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I can only be around people for an hour or so without getting exhausted and needing to take a break from talking to people for a couple days.

Have you ever analyzed what about socializing makes you so exhausted? Do you do a lot of heavy-duty masking, e.g. forcing yourself to have normal-looking facial expressions? Do you try to force yourself into unnatural conversational styles?

Or would you get exhausted that quickly even from socializing in a way that was entirely on your own terms, with a person who shared your interests and whose conversational style was 100% compatible with your own natural style, and with whom you didn't have to worry about stuff like eye contact or other body language?


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HeroOfHyrule
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01 May 2021, 3:02 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I do find it hard to keep friends though, because I don't really have the drive to do a lot of the things people want to do. I don't like meeting up with people just to talk, and I mainly hang out with people to do a specific activity with them. Also the only way I can have "casual" conversations with people is by info dumping, and a lot of people don't like that and don't like to info dump.

So it looks to me you need to find people who share your specific interests and who also (like a lot of autistic people, but not like a lot of NT's) enjoy info-dumping.

That's why the autistic community needs hobby-oriented social groups, IMO.

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I can only be around people for an hour or so without getting exhausted and needing to take a break from talking to people for a couple days.

Have you ever analyzed what about socializing makes you so exhausted? Do you do a lot of heavy-duty masking, e.g. forcing yourself to have normal-looking facial expressions? Do you try to force yourself into unnatural conversational styles?

Or would you get exhausted that quickly even from socializing in a way that was entirely on your own terms, with a person who shared your interests and whose conversational style was 100% compatible with your own natural style, and with whom you didn't have to worry about stuff like eye contact or other body language?

Masking and trying to imitate how other people conversate definitely contributes, but even when I have friends that are pretty compatible with me I get exhausted very easily. I do like being around the people close to me, though it seems like despite that I still have a low threshold for socializing no matter how comfortable i am in a social situation.


_________________
I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I have two cats, a rabbit, and a dog. I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


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Deinonychus
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01 May 2021, 5:56 am

My social drive, skill and stamina are all very low, and decrease as I get older. I have a handful of people close to me, so that's where I spend the little energy I have.


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simonthesly74
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02 May 2021, 8:26 am

My social drive is probably the lowest in my family. It’s not nonexistent, but my drive to get out there and make new friends is pretty low. Throughout the second half of elementary school, all of middle school, and the first year of high school, I had essentially one friend— my best friend— that I got together with outside of school, and I was content with just that. All my other friends during that time were essentially “school-only”, and I never really had more than four, maybe five, at a time. Now, I have drifted apart from my childhood best friend, and my new best friend is probably someone who was formerly a school-only friend. This new best friend also happens to have autism like me. Anyways, she has supplanted my historic best friend as the one person I sometimes meet up with outside of school, though this has been pretty rare especially since she’s only reached best friend status since COVID began. I am satisfied with my current friend situation, especially since I have acquired plenty of online friends/acquaintances since quarantine began, but when the world does open back up for me more, perhaps trying to cultivate a new friendship with someone in life would be a good idea.



Earthbound_Alien
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02 May 2021, 9:18 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I do find it hard to keep friends though, because I don't really have the drive to do a lot of the things people want to do. I don't like meeting up with people just to talk, and I mainly hang out with people to do a specific activity with them. Also the only way I can have "casual" conversations with people is by info dumping, and a lot of people don't like that and don't like to info dump.

So it looks to me you need to find people who share your specific interests and who also (like a lot of autistic people, but not like a lot of NT's) enjoy info-dumping.

That's why the autistic community needs hobby-oriented social groups, IMO.

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I can only be around people for an hour or so without getting exhausted and needing to take a break from talking to people for a couple days.

Have you ever analyzed what about socializing makes you so exhausted? Do you do a lot of heavy-duty masking, e.g. forcing yourself to have normal-looking facial expressions? Do you try to force yourself into unnatural conversational styles?

Or would you get exhausted that quickly even from socializing in a way that was entirely on your own terms, with a person who shared your interests and whose conversational style was 100% compatible with your own natural style, and with whom you didn't have to worry about stuff like eye contact or other body language?


I think I'd be ok there.

Being natural is much more fun.



Double Retired
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02 May 2021, 12:18 pm

Post-retirement but pre-Pandemic a major part of my social life was people asking me whether I wanted a soda with that. I was good with that. My bride leads a busy life but we could watch some stuff on TV most evenings. And I used to go to a weekly event to play games...but the younger crowd there now likes different games than I do so I don't miss that much.

But I do miss fast-food.

While there is undoubtedly some relationship, I always attributed my asocial ways to being Myers & Briggs INTJ with very strong "I".

Now that I know I'm an Aspie I can sort of see why other folk might be OK with my asocial ways. :roll:


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CockneyRebel
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02 May 2021, 8:35 pm

I have a bit of a social drive. I have two really close friends. I tend to be reserved until I have a feeling that I can trust someone.


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