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i cant be social , please read, it is a bit long , but i have had a hard time with this for years ) - September 15th 2010, 07:33 PM

ok i have aspergers. aspergers is a very mild form of autism where u can still understand language and have above average intelligence (im not bragging though) , however u cant pick up easily on social cues and u have issues in knowing how to converse.

since preschool i have always been that kid with no friends, everyone else played together, yet up until around 4th grade i had no real desire to be with other people. and since then i have tried to make close friends and be involved in group, i have had very little success, i have never been at a friends house on the weekends to hang out or anything like that. i have signed up for just about every social occassion for youth group , summer camps,etc. and have made very little success. so it obviously aint a lack of effort.

i know you can learn social skills ( i can even understand other people's interactions with each other, i just dont know how to replicate it) , however i will still be the awkard one socially because nothing comes natural to me. i can do somewhat decent one on one, but anyone who has ever attended any social situation knows that everyone converses in groups, its never one on one.

i know how to start a conversation with people, i do have trouble keeping them going, and i do talk in monotone with not using any humor. however these conversations usually dont end up in true friendship, i have had conversations with some people almost daily, but they never ask me to hang out or anything like that. i have a lot of people saying hi to me and stuff in the hallway , but i am still not apart of any group, which results in me always being that kid who is sitting by themselves at lunch. i cant really follow a group conversation well either.

also , girls tend to like guys that either are : really charming with a great personality and/or attractive. i am not really all that physically attractive since im short , have acne, skinny, etc. also girls(and people in general) define great personality as " confident, outgoing, smooth talker, and someone who can make a girl laugh". what makes it even worse is that a confident person with aspergers does not come across as confident, they express their confidence differently: most people express confidence with their boldness, their ability to not bend for others (this is why most "nice guys" cant get girls or much respect (its true, dont argue with that, i know u will say u want a nice guy)) , their ability to stand up to an insult or critizism (by a witty comeback and acting like they dont care),etc. however here is how an aspie expresses confidence: dont worry about how weird you look or how withdrawn u get and then do their special interests (such as mathematics, etc) all day.

and "just be urself" does not really apply when u dont know what to say and how to say it, it only applies to someone who is "should i say (do) this or that?". when i am around people, i want to talk to people but i cant think of anything to say. and small talk such as "what are u interested in" can sound awkward if done to the opposite sex. the reason people flirt is to express interest, and by going up and making small talk such as "what r u interested in " in a monotone voice will be a little bit odd.

jumping into the rapidly changing ,complex, and turbulent social arena without knowing how to instinctively socialize (having to conciously think of the social rules) is a bit like jumping into a white water river without knowing how to swim without thinking out every single stroke. in social skill therapy class they only taught small talk and basic stuff, the stuff that they taught does not remotely approximate the actual social environment.

i have tried everything: therapy, forcing myself to be social ,etc. and nothing really works. and please dont say something like " introduce urself somehow to a random group of strangers, get to know them, be social,etc. " or anything like that because i simply dont know how to interact with people well ( i often have a hard enough time converting all my thoughts into words). imagine if nothing came natural to u : you would probably try to learn the social cues and u will eventually understand them , however u wont be able to demonstrate them because doing so would be like doing all these things at once: think of what to say and put it into words, determine what type of response the other person expects, read the other persons facial expression, conciously change ur voice tone to sound more emotional, look the person in the eye, know when to break eye contact, monitor your own facial expression, think of something funny,etc. that probably doesnt sound like a lot to u now, however if u dont instinctively "get it" , it will be like extreme multitasking(and nobody can truely multitask that i know of, everyone just changes rapidly from doing one thing to another and call it multitasking) . i can make friends easily online with people, because there are no non-verbal cues and people dont arent limited to group conversation.
   
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Re: i cant be social , please read, it is a bit long , but i have had a hard time with this for year - September 17th 2010, 01:15 AM

Hey, I can see how much trouble you're having, and I'll bet your stress about how to interact with people is causing social situations to be even more awkward. My little brother has aspergers, and I remember when he entered middle school how hard it was for him. At home, he has us to remind him and help him out in situations, but in school he really struggled. What helped him was one day my mom just said "invite someone to dinner Friday night" My brother had no idea how to go about it, so we talked about it and I showed him how I would do it, and he said that helped him. He asked a boy he had spoken to in class a few times, and he said yes. At our house my brother was more relaxed, and he had us to help fill in some of the silences. He still hangs out with the boy and he actually helped him by introducing my brother to some of his other friends. I think the best thing to do is to take the initiative and ask people to hang out.
Hope this helps!
Megan


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Re: i cant be social , please read, it is a bit long , but i have had a hard time with this for year - September 19th 2010, 11:39 PM

You said that you weren't bad at one on one. If there is someone who you talk to a lot who is one on one, or just chat with once in awhile, ask them to help you. Ask them to bring one of their friends into the group. Learn to interact with them as two, and just keep adding other people from there. That way they can help you with social scenes and make things less awkward. Hope this helped you.


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