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lostonearth35
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13 Apr 2024, 12:48 pm

I think the therapist is a few crayons short of a box, wanting you to do something that makes you appear "less autistic". People making small talk to the cashier while I'm next in line is mildly to moderately infuriating, forcing me to wait longer when it's already stressful for me.

Also I'm 50, and I'm officially on my way to becoming a "grizzly grunion" if I'm not already. I've got all kinds of anxiety about my age and the looming shadow of the BIG M. When I was younger I was actually a lot friendlier and would often have conversations with strangers, even though I would often unintentionally say something rude or inappropriate. But thanks to the 21-plus years of hell I had to go through, most humans are not worth talking to at all.



babybird
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13 Apr 2024, 1:07 pm

Talking to strangers has probably been more beneficial to me in my life than talking to people who are meant to be family or friends.

I'm not the type to make small talk at the checkout or at a bus stop or anything like that though...well unless someone initiates a conversation with me that is

But yeah strangers are really cool sometimes.

I remember when my tyre exploded on my bike on my way home from work. I was about 10 miles away from home and had no money and I couldn't have got my bike on a bus. Anyway I saw a woman doing her gardening and I asked her if she didn't mind looking after my bike until the following morning when I would come and fix my bike and then go to work.

She was very obliging. Anyway I got to her house super early the next morning. She was still in her dressing gown and she let me in the back yard and I fixed my bike there and then. She even gave me a cup of tea. I'd like to say she made me a full English breakfast but I'll perhaps filter that little embellishment into the movie


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ToughDiamond
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13 Apr 2024, 5:53 pm

Yes I've fairly often talked to strangers. It's considered quite normal in rural Arkansas, more so than in the UK cities I've lived in, though even there it's not particularly abnormal. It's called being friendly, and I somewhat prefer it to silence because without breaking the ice a bit people tend to seem more like obstacles and potential threats to me. I usually try keep the conversation short on my side, and I don't very often start it. I've been known to open with "Hi" or "good to meet you" to the passenger in the next seat when I sit down on a transatlantic plane. Their response gives me some idea whether or not they're going to be nice, and it makes them seem a bit more human. It's rare that we say much more to each other unless they keep showing willing, and I'm careful not to be invasive. I'm also averse to getting stuck with a chatterbox. I've read that conversations with fellow-travellers are in a special category - closed-ended - and that they can sometimes be more profound and socially intimate than they would be if the participants expected to see each other again. I guess you can speak more freely because they're unlikely to be able to use the information against you.

While in Cornwall as a young teenager, I was surprised that the locals would say "good morning / afternoon / night" as they passed me. I loved it and enjoyed taking up the practice myself. I've always liked it when people are friendly. I gather people are more friendly in rural areas because traditionally they've had to have more social cohesion to survive.

I had a fascinating conversation on a train with a guy who said he'd been in the SAS. Even now when I've become more suspicious of the tendency of people to big up their reputations by exaggerations and downright lies, certain things he said make me think he was telling the truth.

So all in all I'm in favour of talking to strangers, though it depends where you are and who it is.



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13 Apr 2024, 5:57 pm

babybird wrote:
I'd like to say she made me a full English breakfast but I'll perhaps filter that little embellishment into the movie

That made me laugh.



Lost_dragon
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13 Apr 2024, 6:59 pm

I can't really avoid it. I live rural and strangers are always wanting to make conversation.

However, I know that loneliness is a big issue and most folks that want to talk just want someone who'll listen. So I don't mind it too much. Sometimes I find out something interesting. I've heard some tales. Usually it's to ask for help with technology or to advise on fashion or to complain about public transport.

I'll always talk to strangers if they're about to do something ill-advised. A common one I hear is "Ooo, I think this is the plant that's supposed to be good for your skin!" and I have to run over and say no! That's Ivy! Do not rub Ivy on your skin! 8O (Ivy can irritate skin. It's best to wear gloves when handling it. People tend to confuse it with other plants).

Or if I see someone about to attempt to hike in the most unsuitable shoes I've ever seen.

Admittedly I've seen strangers before that seemed so cool and I've wanted to talk to them but I couldn't think of anything to say or any reason to say it. :(


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renaeden
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13 Apr 2024, 9:36 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I generally don't seek conversations from strangers...but I often try for a chuckle.

I find humor to be a good lubricant and have been cultivating a dry sense of humor.

If I can get someone to chuckle they generally seem to be more tolerant and polite to me.

All of this. I like humour and being funny because it cheers me and others up.



CockneyRebel
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14 Apr 2024, 5:28 am

I don't talk to strangers. I don't really feel any need to. I feel that small talk is an idle waste of time. I also have a fear of being misgendered if I do open up to a stranger. What if the stranger is a lazy listener or they don't understand accents and I have to repeat myself 5 times. That's another reason I don't talk to strangers.


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ASPartOfMe
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14 Apr 2024, 2:18 pm

No


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman