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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 29 Nov 2022
Age: 17
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

29 Nov 2022, 10:45 pm

I struggle with conversation if I have to talk about topics outside of my one special interest. When I attempt to do this, I pretty much just go nonverbal, because it's so hard to find the words to talk about anything outside of my one special interest.

What topics could I practice/possibly make scripts for that I could discuss with others? I've heard that some people on the spectrum script conversations, has anyone here been successful at scripting conversations? Should I focus on learning the art of small talk? Does anyone here have a strategy that they use to help them connect with others? Maybe I could mask by making my lack of talking look like I'm a great listener?

I'm asking for tips since it would be time consuming to write scripts or script out conversations, but I'm willing to do it if it would help me connect with people and mask my autism.


Joined: 8 Apr 2016
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,469

30 Nov 2022, 12:11 pm

I Got better at masking by observing and imitating. I consciously imitate and emulate other people's behaviors. I also watch a lot of TV shows and i suspect i emulate a lot of behaviors and talking styles as well.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 21 Nov 2022
Gender: Male
Posts: 1

11 Dec 2022, 12:36 am

I haven't had good results scripting conversations, because a real conversation almost never goes like you expect it to, and it tends to be obvious if you're trying to follow a script, which can easily come across as weird in a conversation setting. Sometimes I try to think of a few topics ahead of time in case I need something to talk about, but I try to keep myself from mentally rehearsing them in too much detail, because then I fall into a rut of just regurgitating lines which don't exactly fit the conversation at the moment. I feel like I do best if I have a vague idea of what I want to say in advance, but come up with the exact words spontaneously in the conversation.

As far as masking strategies, there are some things that you can apply in a lot of settings, like expressing curiosity about the person you're talking with (only up to a point obviously :lol: ) and pointing out ways that you are similar or different from your conversation partner. But I'm still not very good at these things; it's definitely an area I'm working on. I'd be interested if anyone else has anything to add.

Mona Pereth

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,482
Location: New York City (Queens)

17 Dec 2022, 7:30 am

hardtack23 wrote:
I struggle with conversation if I have to talk about topics outside of my one special interest.

Do you have friends who share your special interest?

Have you made a point of looking for potential friends who share your special interest?

Those would be the easiest people for you to connect with, it seems to me. I would suggest looking for such people, if possible, rather than trying to connect with everyone.

Eventually, with enough experience connecting with people who share your special interest, you may gradually become more comfortable with other kinds of conversation too.

My own social development revolved around this strategy. It's much easier and more fun than masking. And having fun together is a key aspect of connecting with people.

What is your special interest, by the way?

(Here on Wrong Planet, I would suggest that you edit your profile to include a signature line that mentions your special interest. This might help you make a few friends here.)

- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
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