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Theoleper
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11 May 2024, 7:23 pm

This is something I have suffered over the years. Whenever relationships are involved I appear aloof and distant to others. For instance, there were times when my wife has been upset with me for not being better with the kids. I'd make an effort to do better and actually feel I was making progress only to be told later I was not cutting it. Trying harder never helped, it just seemed to make it worse, and I would subsequently withdraw further.

One of the hard lessons I've had to accept about living with Autism is that the vast majority of people just don't care to be bothered with us. We don't push the right buttons so they distance themselves.

We have to focus on the relationships where we have some trust and can share who we are without the mask and there is willingness to meet us in the middle. We will never have good and real relationships with others by trying to be more 'normal'.



angelsonthemoon
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13 May 2024, 9:58 pm

I can relate. Trying, people not seeing the effort or it just not mattering... it hurts. That's why I've focused on a very small group of people. Now it's just been my family for a long time.



ToughDiamond
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14 May 2024, 12:24 am

If people insist on making demands, they can help by explaining the "how to" of it, when it's not blindingly obvious. If I don't know how, I can't meet their demands.

I'm not a great believer in taking on a lot of additional discomfort just to please others. I can be quite generous towards people I feel good about, but that's just something I just find myself doing off own bat because I like to.



JamesW
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14 May 2024, 5:38 am

Theo, you're quite right.

When I ran into something I couldn't handle, I used to try and compensate for it by trying harder to act like 'normal' people would in the situation. Of course it made it worse. There is no solution without first understanding the problem.

Now that I know I'm autistic, I can better understand why I react to certain situations, and how to deal with it.

What I do have to do, at the same time, is keep an eye on myself and make sure that I don't use my autism as an excuse for the way I behave, or to expect others to treat me differently.



DuckHairback
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14 May 2024, 6:55 am

Theoleper wrote:
One of the hard lessons I've had to accept about living with Autism is that the vast majority of people just don't care to be bothered with us. We don't push the right buttons so they distance themselves.


I think there's a good bit of truth in this. But I've always found it hard to blame people for not wanting to try that hard. Why would you persevere with someone who made you feel uncomfortable, or was hard work to be around, when there are plenty of people who aren't?

I've come to that conclusion that I make most people uncomfortable. People have told me that I'm 'intense' or 'hard to read' or a 'space cadet' or just 'odd'. Fair enough. That's not how I see myself but the evidence is that people generally won't make any effort to be around me, so there must be something in it.

But there have been a few people who have got beyond that and I think when people do, I pay them back - I think I'm worth knowing, is what I mean. I know a lot of stuff about a wide variety of subjects. I can be funny, once you realise my sense of humour is somewhere off to the left of where most people's is and learn when I'm joking. The best friendships I've had are with people who appreciate my jokes.

I've been told I make connections that other people don't and say things which are unexpected and surprising - which I prefer to take as a compliment. Someone also once said I was like a 3-dimensional person when most people are 2D, which is probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.

But I also don't think I look after my friends very well. I can go long periods without thinking of them, without seeing them or trying to contact them. That's not good friend behaviour.

I hope if I ever have another good friend, I'll be better. It's been a long time since I've had any friends at all really.

But I very much agree that trying to be more normal just results in us coming across even more weird than we even are. I think the usefulness of masking becomes less over time, and the trouble is by the time we realise we don't have to anymore, the behaviour has become quite embedded and hard to unlearn.


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