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Tanner1201
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28 Mar 2024, 10:56 am

I am recently diagnosed and feeling very lonely. I realized that every single friendship I've had in my entire 47 years has fizzled out, or I cut them off due to boundary violations. I feel like after my diagnosis, I realize some of my shortcomings when I think about my past interactions. I never really invested much energy into asking questions about others, just talking more about myself which I didn't realize is off putting. Have you had to consciously make yourself "seem" interested in others to form real connections? :roll:



uncommondenominator
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28 Mar 2024, 4:29 pm

Tanner1201 wrote:
Have you had to consciously make yourself "seem" interested in others to form real connections? :roll:


If you're faking interest, then it's still not a real connection. That's not how that works.

If you can't bring yourself to actually be interested in other people, faking it isn't going to improve matters. The fact that you're not actually interested will always show through, no matter how hard you try to make it "seem" otherwise - and may put people off even more for being fake.



autisticelders
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31 Mar 2024, 8:24 am

no, I learned early on that this technique does not work.! !
If there is no interest or shared enthusiasms, etc, what is the point? I am just polite in those cases and I move on.

Instead I finally learned to focus on my interests and tried to find others who had the same interests.

I joined groups in person and online about my interests so I could talk with others about that.

I found a few people in internet groups nearby and eventually some of us started to meet "in person" to do things related to our interests.

I now have a small circle of friends I can talk with about things that are interesting to both/ all of us.

We interact in "parallel play" by doing interest related things together.

It is not traditional, it is a quirky as our interests, but the best friendships have come from shared interests and activities around whatever your specialties and enthusiasms are.

Maybe think about how you can use your own interests as tools to link you to others who find the same things interesting???


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31 Mar 2024, 8:34 am

Tanner1201 wrote:
Have you had to consciously make yourself "seem" interested in others to form real connections? :roll:


I remember when I was 17 or thereabouts I read that Dale Carnegie book How to win friends and influence people because I was struggling to connect to people at college. I remember the bit about asking people questions and deciding I was going to do that the next day. And I did and it was very effective - the experience stayed with me, I can still remember some of the conversations I had that day. People love talking about themselves!

What I found is that after a few questions I did genuinely become more interested in them than I had been previously. I just had to get through all the surface rubbish that people usually say that bores the pants of me and get them to talk about something a bit more important. Some people are really resistant to that though.

I still forget to do this most of the time, but occasionally I remember and it always leads to better conversations.


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Summer_Twilight
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03 Apr 2024, 12:31 pm

Faking all of your interests while putting on a front with someone is a great way to break someone's trust.



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03 Apr 2024, 12:35 pm

I have very few IRL friends as well.

That said, Welcome to WP from a fellow Texan!


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Yugoslav1945
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05 Apr 2024, 11:38 am

Tanner1201 wrote:
I am recently diagnosed and feeling very lonely. I realized that every single friendship I've had in my entire 47 years has fizzled out, or I cut them off due to boundary violations. I feel like after my diagnosis, I realize some of my shortcomings when I think about my past interactions. I never really invested much energy into asking questions about others, just talking more about myself which I didn't realize is off putting. Have you had to consciously make yourself "seem" interested in others to form real connections? :roll:


The last one usually is a trait of Borderline Personality Disorder which is depending too much on others and being selfless. People with BPD usually do this because they fear that they would be left alone if people heard their own interests. However, the case here is that OP is saying that she "talked too much about herself".

Selfless or selfish, both will not end well. But what's sadder is that you seem to struggle for nearly five decades. It must be greatly painful to know that. Still, you have the courage to keep yourself up for this long.


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Esme
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14 Apr 2024, 8:07 am

"Have you had to consciously make yourself "seem" interested in others to form real connections?"

I think you are perhaps confusing acquaintances with real friends. The former just happens when you are around people and are generally sociable and willing to exchange ideas with that person during the time you spend together. Being polite, acting like a decent person, not insulting them, etc is generally enough to get on with most people on an acquaintance level. You don't need to have a close bond or any shared interests and it isn't automatically expected that you will develop a friendship over time. You just get on ok while you are with them and that's all there is to it.

Friendships develop when you really 'click' with someone, can make each other laugh, have some shared values/interests, and enjoy the idea of hanging out with that specific person if you had to pick from a bunch of randomers. Sometimes you develop a friendship very quickly if you really click with a person and sometimes it can take years of hanging out as acquaintances before you discover you are on the same wavelength (especially if one/both of you is more closed off or has trust issues). You don't need to 'seem' interested in someone in order to be friends. It's something that's a prerequisite to becoming friends in the first place. You can just be yourself and that's enough for it to work.



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14 Apr 2024, 2:57 pm

Being around groups of people often gives me anxiety. I've learned to deal with it better throughout life, but as for how many friends I have (to relate to the OP):

My best friend from kindergarten through high school -- we only see each other if there's a funeral
Other friends from school years -- don't see them anymore
At work -- I have one close friend (fellow worker) and several people I enjoy talking to
Neighbors -- Quite close to next door neighbors

But that's about it. I guess that adds up to three close friends, one that I talk with daily and the neighbors next door I strike up a conversation with maybe once a week.

I don't do social media. I guess I'm kind of a loner.


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