You don't need to make much effort when making friends

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Joe90
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11 Oct 2021, 5:27 pm

If you're on the autism spectrum and want to be likeable, follow these very useful tips (that preferably work with 5-year-olds):-

- Listen to other people's problems and see everything from their perspective
- Be helpful and selfless in every way you can, like donate or volunteer for charity, help out the homeless, etc. If you see money on the ground give it to charity - don't keep it for yourself otherwise you'll be a greedy, selfish psychopath
- Don't think of yourself - always think and worry about other people
- Treat others how you like to be treated
- Be polite at all times
- Don't hurt other people's feelings
- Don't gossip behind people's backs - you wouldn't like it if you knew people gossiped about you behind your back, would you? So don't do it to others, it isn't kind
- Don't throw yourself at people - start with small steps when making friends

How to become likeable in reality:-

- Unless you feel the same way, tell other people to "stop whining" whenever they confide in you about their problems
- Don't bother helping out for charities unless you want to make friends, not for the charity, and if you find any money on the ground nobody will care if you keep it
- Just look out for yourself, if you want to make someone's life unhappy then it's perfectly acceptable, as long as they're weaker than you socially (because they don't matter)
- Don't bend over backwards for other people
- Be a hypocrite - demand respect from other people but don't give them respect
- Be rude and entitled - it'll make you look tougher
- Be tactless, tell someone who's a little bit different from you that they're weird without considering their feelings
- Gossip about people, badmouth them behind their backs, enjoy it. It wins you friends and respect
- Throw yourself at people - give them your number when you first meet them, text them, arrange a get-together, look willing and confident and they'll come to you.

You're welcome.


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smudge
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11 Oct 2021, 5:40 pm

Reality - people will come up and talk to you when you're 100% comfortable in your own skin, and are not trying to make friends.


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Joe90
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11 Oct 2021, 5:54 pm

Well from now on I'm going to try to be selfish, less compassionately empathetic, and maybe even a little mean. It seems that most NTs like that in people. When you're nice and caring and thoughtful all the time, people just see you as an easy target to exploit. Then when you do assert yourself or do something a bit selfish, they don't like it and they don't want to be your friend any more.

Mind you, being understanding, compassionate and caring works in my relationship with my partner, as he's had his heart broken so many times by women in the past, that he actually appreciates my kind nature and is not exploiting me. But friends just don't like all that compassionate stuff.


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kraftiekortie
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11 Oct 2021, 6:40 pm

I would just continue being myself.

Trying to be one of those asinine “NTs” will probably be counterproductive.



Joe90
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11 Oct 2021, 7:06 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I would just continue being myself.

Trying to be one of those asinine “NTs” will probably be counterproductive.


It makes you (not you, just second-person speaking) feel that way though. A person with so many hurtful social failures in the past gets to a point in their lives where they stop and think "hang on, I can be the most kindest, compassionate, empathetic, loving, trusting, easy to get along with person in the world but I still don't appear to have friends, other people around me can be rude, selfish, ignorant, strange, stupid, annoying, and insensitive, but still have friends. So maybe if I become like that, they'll all like me."

So to hell with all this be nice and polite BS. I'm more likely to win friends by yelling "oi, you - get that for me will ya!" instead of "may I very kindly ask you to do me a small favour please? I will owe you one."


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kraftiekortie
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12 Oct 2021, 6:06 am

If that’s your true personality, go for it.

Otherwise, you will look foolish.

I tried acting “tough.” I looked foolish.



DuckHairback
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12 Oct 2021, 6:24 am

This isn't going to be helpful, but I think there's something else going on when we talk about making friends and socialising as ASD people.

We can learn all the right things to say but so much of communication is non-verbal and intuitive and that's where we tend to struggle.

It's like, you know how everything online is 2-step Authentication now? You can't get into your bank with just a password, it has to be verified by a matching fingerprint or code generator. Humans are like this, I think. Just saying the right things at the right time isn't enough. It has to be matched by non-verbal cues or the recipient just goes "No, something isn't right here" and rejects it.

So, I don't think it matters if you're polite or rude, interested or aloof or whatever, if you're not sending all the right signals to go along with the message.

And the tough bit is that I'm not sure the non-verbal stuff can be learned.



Joe90
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12 Oct 2021, 7:08 am

DuckHairback wrote:
This isn't going to be helpful, but I think there's something else going on when we talk about making friends and socialising as ASD people.

We can learn all the right things to say but so much of communication is non-verbal and intuitive and that's where we tend to struggle.

It's like, you know how everything online is 2-step Authentication now? You can't get into your bank with just a password, it has to be verified by a matching fingerprint or code generator. Humans are like this, I think. Just saying the right things at the right time isn't enough. It has to be matched by non-verbal cues or the recipient just goes "No, something isn't right here" and rejects it.

So, I don't think it matters if you're polite or rude, interested or aloof or whatever, if you're not sending all the right signals to go along with the message.

And the tough bit is that I'm not sure the non-verbal stuff can be learned.


I can recognise and understand most non-verbal cues pretty well, like when someone likes me, when they don't, when a guy is flirting or is attracted to me, when someone is joking, how someone is feeling, and what they really mean when not giving direct information. It feels fairly easy and even instinctive. But for some reason I just cannot make connections with my NT peers. But I don't think it's impossible for autistic people to be accepted by their NT peers because I know people on the spectrum who seem included and socially accepted and have NT friends. But sadly I've never been able to. I don't have many symptoms of autism/Asperger's, to the point where I often question my diagnosis, but although my social skills aren't bad I still cannot make good social connections with NTs my age like NTs or other high-functioning Aspies can. It makes me very depressed, and even suicidal.


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DuckHairback
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12 Oct 2021, 7:59 am

Joe90 wrote:
DuckHairback wrote:
This isn't going to be helpful, but I think there's something else going on when we talk about making friends and socialising as ASD people.

We can learn all the right things to say but so much of communication is non-verbal and intuitive and that's where we tend to struggle.

It's like, you know how everything online is 2-step Authentication now? You can't get into your bank with just a password, it has to be verified by a matching fingerprint or code generator. Humans are like this, I think. Just saying the right things at the right time isn't enough. It has to be matched by non-verbal cues or the recipient just goes "No, something isn't right here" and rejects it.

So, I don't think it matters if you're polite or rude, interested or aloof or whatever, if you're not sending all the right signals to go along with the message.

And the tough bit is that I'm not sure the non-verbal stuff can be learned.


I can recognise and understand most non-verbal cues pretty well, like when someone likes me, when they don't, when a guy is flirting or is attracted to me, when someone is joking, how someone is feeling, and what they really mean when not giving direct information. It feels fairly easy and even instinctive. But for some reason I just cannot make connections with my NT peers. But I don't think it's impossible for autistic people to be accepted by their NT peers because I know people on the spectrum who seem included and socially accepted and have NT friends. But sadly I've never been able to. I don't have many symptoms of autism/Asperger's, to the point where I often question my diagnosis, but although my social skills aren't bad I still cannot make good social connections with NTs my age like NTs or other high-functioning Aspies can. It makes me very depressed, and even suicidal.


I'm very sorry it makes you feel that way, and I think I understand. I often feel as if I'm behind glass, or there's some other unseen obstruction between me and other people.

What I was trying to describe was not the ability to receive non-verbal cues from other people which I know some ASD folk have no problem with, but the ability/instinct to transmit them ourselves. So we may say the right things but our behaviour (and this may be really tiny things, micro facial muscle movements for example) fails the verification test. A bit like when people say you can tell a fake smile because the eyes aren't smiling. Super subtle, and maybe not consciously noticed by the recipient, but somewhere deep down in their brain a little alarm bell goes off and prevents what you call 'connection'.

When I was studying robotics I was introduced to a concept called the 'uncanny valley'. This describes a phenomenon that affects robots that have been given human characteristics. As robots get more realistically human-like there's a point, just before it becomes indistinguishable from a real human, where humans have a measurable revulsion response to the robot. It looks human, it may move like a human and speak, but we can tell that something is not right and we have a negative reaction to it.

So I wonder if something subtle but similar is going on with some of us who have ASD and struggle to make connections even when we try.



kraftiekortie
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12 Oct 2021, 8:03 am

Trust me, Joe. I've been through what you've been through.

I tried to act the part of the "boor"----and it got me nowhere.

Instead, I aggressively kept on "being myself," and clamped down whenever somebody tried to take advantage of me. Usually, the ones taking advantage were taken aback that I saw through their game.

It's much better, over all, to be "above the fray," so to speak. You will be respected more.



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12 Oct 2021, 8:22 am

Joe90 wrote:
So to hell with all this be nice and polite BS. I'm more likely to win friends by yelling "oi, you - get that for me will ya!" instead of "may I very kindly ask you to do me a small favour please? I will owe you one."


Try talking like them, but with your politeness.


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Joe90
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12 Oct 2021, 3:00 pm

I'm insecure about the way I am, and to make me feel good about myself I try to make other people feel good, which is why I tend to go towards people with low self-esteem or those who have been bullied, because they are more appreciative of my kind nature. It makes me feel happy to know that I'm bringing joy and comfort to other people. Also I want to be kind to others, for their sake too, but it still makes me feel better, so it's not fake or anything. I'm naturally a kindhearted person and I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. When people prove that they aren't very nice people at all then I may inwardly judge, but otherwise I don't judge people harshly as much as some NTs do.

The other day I was waiting in the bus station and an old man was sitting next to me. He leaned over and stuttered to me something about the bus we were waiting for usually arrives with a different destination on the front but changes to the destination we want. His speech was very slurred and he stuttered and I only just about understood what he was saying, but I could tell he wasn't drunk or high on drugs or anything. He wasn't a threat. I think he'd had a stroke before because one side of his face looked numb. So I was kind, I thanked him for telling me that, and I didn't want to laugh or move away from him. But a lot of NT women would probably see him as a threat and would hold on tightly to their purse or sit somewhere else, without considering the obvious.
But I know a threat when I see one. Sometimes I see drunk men as a threat because drunk people can be unpredictable or aggressive or whatever. Or if a man is staring emotionlessly at me or standing far too near or just something "off" about his body language. I'm not oblivious. But most NTs are judgemental to people who aren't a threat. If I can tell then surely they can? I'm supposed to be oblivious to body language signals, NTs are supposed to be brilliant psychics with body language?


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12 Oct 2021, 4:04 pm

There's a story about some fighter/Kung Fu master who teaches his student to fight, and his student, after lots of training, eventually becomes as skilled as his master. Years later they encounter each other again, and the master beats the ex student almost as easily as when he first met him. The student is frustrated, and asks the master how he managed to defeat him so easily. The master answers that he has kept training and never stopped learning all those years, therefore his fighting skills are always improving, he never stops learning. He is always ahead of his enemies so they can't catch up with him.

Interpreting people and body language skills are somewhat similar. There is always something new to find out about people. I would keep studying them, and find out how you can improve your people skills even more than you already know about them. You'll become even better at it, and may find out things you didn't understand quite fully before. It may even answer some of the questions you have here.


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12 Oct 2021, 8:24 pm

Balance. The key thing is balance.
Covey said "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" and also "win/win or no deal".


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12 Oct 2021, 8:42 pm

I hear you, my fellow Aspies, when bemoaning the seemingly trivial nonverbal incongruencies. :(
I myself practiced expression in a mirror while speaking on random things, after my diagnosis in my late 20s... and found a noticeable improvement, which enabled me to mask and pass for NT.
I also have quite a few trusted friends who accept me as I am, and have commented that I've vastly improved since my much younger days.

Now in my 40s with a family, I still stay in touch with those friends -but part of me feels cheated out of past experiences in my younger adult days when I turned others away, like attractive females who first took an interest in me but then reacted "strangely" after... like avoiding me or reacting almost with disgust. 8O

Obviously, that was emotionally painful, and caused me to spiral into depression. Which therapists couldn't fix other than throwing pills and platitudes at me.

In a cruel twist on the situation, the trouble with that adage of "up to 90% of communication is nonverbal" is that even if you're not displaying the proper facial expression or other body language, nobody will verbally tell you so. :( 8O

While I can understand the OP's abject frustration in posting two lists of rather extreme behaviours i.e. being saintly vs. being a total a****le, I believe the best answer lies somewhere in between. The trouble for us is calibrating those behaviours as dynamically unfolding situations call for them.



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12 Oct 2021, 8:50 pm

The distance from Boston to New York is EXACTLY the same as the distance from New York to Boston.

"Simply put, the theory of the double empathy problem suggests that when people with very different experiences of the world interact with one another, they will struggle to empathise with each other. This is likely to be exacerbated through differences in language use and comprehension. I first started to publish theoretical accounts of this issue in the early 2010s, yet similar ideas can be found in the work of Luke Beardon regarding ‘cross-neurological theory of mind’ and in that of the philosopher Ian Hacking.

More recently research by Elizabeth Sheppard and team at the University of Nottingham, Brett Heasman at the London School of Economics, and Noah Sasson at the University of Texas at Dallas, have shown that in experimental conditions, non-autistic people struggled to read the emotions of autistic participants, or form negative first impressions of autistic people. Such evidence would suggest that the dominant psychological theories of autism are partial explanations at best.

According to the theory of the ‘double empathy problem’, these issues are not due to autistic cognition alone, but a breakdown in reciprocity and mutual understanding that can happen between people with very differing ways of experiencing the world. If one has ever experienced a conversation with someone who one does not share a first language with, or even an interest in the topic of a conversation, one may experience something similar (albeit probably briefly).

This theory would also suggest that those with similar experiences are more likely to form connections and a level of understanding, which has ramifications in regard to autistic people being able to meet one another."

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-gu ... le-empathy


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