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Autistic people with social anxiety - What are you afraid of or worried about?

What is the primary object of your social anxiety (what you're afraid of or worried might happen)?

  • Being rejected

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Being excluded

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Being criticized

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • People thinking you're dumb

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Feeling like you don't belong

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Getting physically assaulted

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • People thinking you're weird, abnormal, or different

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Making a fool of yourself

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Something else

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • I'm unsure what I'm worried about or afraid of

    Votes: 2 6.9%

  • Total voters
    29

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Other people's bad experiences remind me of mine.

That's hard. Though in a therapy group that can help to work on stuff, as we can learn from others experience. Here what many are describing is our different neurology and processing, I think most anxiety we may have comes from the low awareness or understanding of this type of difference, leading to NT people intuiting misguided impressions from our conversation. Or lack of.
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
Great thread! It's an interesting idea that autistic social anxiety is different from social anxiety disorder. Do you think that would mean treatments meant for social anxiety disorder would not be as effective for autistic people's social anxiety?

I get anxious for many of those reasons but a big one is that I get anxious because I'm an alien pretending to be a human and I don't want anyone to find out.
 
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Rasputin

ASD / Aspie
V.I.P Member
There were many items on the poll which applied to me, but the poll only allows selection of one item. However, I do not trust people unless I have known them for an extended period of time AND they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. Because few people have earned my trust, I prefer to be alone.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
I am anxious for a variety of reasons.
If it's a guy, l am worried that if l crack a joke, the guy right away thinks l am flirting. Or the guy hates woman and l will see this ugly side of them and be petrified. Woman don't like me because they just are catty in this state and you have to belong to a clique.

I am not chatty so people don't like that l am quick to say hey back off. And the fact l have to do that causes me anxiety.
Just posting this is causing me anxiety. During Mask days, I would tell men, hey 6ft. And it seemed like guys didn't like hearing this.

Sorta miss empty stores, that was no problem, and l enjoyed shopping.
 

Mr Alligator

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As above unpredictability and not being in control

last minute decisions on where to go, not knowing the venue that is suggested, places being full and having to change plans

Places that are too noisy

places that with poor facilities (toilets etc, esp as anxiety seems to make me feel like I always need a wee!) - better to go to places that I know, rather than be worried about unknowns

long waits for food, especially as I like to eat early, so going out for food is already a compromise to my routines.


(for some of these, it’s useful to visit a new venue when quieter!)
 

Gift2humanity

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I put being excluded, it's really painful.
It's happened to me quite recently, and I am a 55 year old.
I also don't like being rejected, I like to feel welcome and wanted.
I can take constructive criticism, however I struggle to distinguish constructive criticism from the tactic some people use to belittle you.
I detest people thinking I am dumb, I am highly intelligent intellectually, it's just the social and emotional part could do with a little improvement.
I like to feel I belong, I belong best with eccentric people, I tend to get rejected, or excluded by conventional people.
I have been physically assaulted - not nice.
I used to hate feeling weird, abnormal, yet now I have a reason for my "weirdness" and there are other "Weird" people who are nice, not the harmful weirdos, I mean the friendly eccentrics.
I fear making a fool of myself and also being taken for a fool, I am, however, quite good at not being overly self-conscious, say, if I knock a chair in a pub, etc, as strangers are, for the vast part, ok with this, as everyone makes mistakes.
 

dragonfire42

Perpetual outsider
Being around others puts me on edge because I don’t know exactly what to expect from them and have to be prepared to socialize at any time in case they try to talk to me. As for the socialization itself, the primary fear I can identify is saying the wrong thing and getting a negative reaction of any sort. Mostly just immediate reactions, I don’t have the foresight to think about how it might affect any future interactions until afterward. But I do also worry about unspoken judgment. I’m not afraid of not getting a positive reaction, but am of getting a negative one.

Also I fear the uncertainty and unpredictibility involved. I’m not good at predicting how people will react to things. Trying to “script” is futile because I don’t understand humans well enough to accurately predict what they will say, so I don’t know what to have near the front of my mind to try to grab quickly. I don’t process things quickly enough to keep up with conversation.

I gave up trying to be accepted or fit in anywhere years ago, I’m still as socially anxious as ever. Still can’t even force my vocal cords into action just to say “hi” to someone before they say anything. I don’t even understand myself why that makes a difference, but evidently it does. Maybe something to do with feeling expected to lead a conversation if I speak first?

That’s the best self-analysis I have right now.
 

Progster

Gone sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
For me, it's the fear that I will say something not quite socially appropiate and then be judged for it. Also that I don't meet people's social expectations. I don't like small talk either, don't like the kind of questions people ask to make small talk. I never know what to say to people.
 

Ken

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I voted Something Else because my anxiety is that I'm afraid (actually terrified) that they will ask me something or say something that requires a response and I will have absolutely no idea what to say. Or, likely worse, I will lock up and be unable to say anything or something inappropriate.
Also, I am always certain that I will be negatively judged. I have no memory of ever not suffering anxiety about meeting people. I think I learned that I was not normal - I called it defective - very early in life.
 

NDR2

Member
My problem is that my verbal communication is quite poor. I have trouble thinking of things to say. I’m not good at starting conversations or keeping them going. My choices of words are usually poor, too. I’m worried about being rejected. I’ve been rejected many times in my life, and it still continues today - probably even for other reasons besides this.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have come to realize that my anxiety stems from a fear of rejection which would validate my poor self concept and body image which was telling me I am undesirable. One of the hardest thing was learning that rejection didn't kill me and that it may have saved me from an incompatible person and awkward date.
 

Ken

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I would like to elaborate or add detail to my previous answer: Yes, social interaction is a fear. Not a fear of physical injury, it is a fear of eyes upon me. Knowing I am being looked at or viewed induces a feeling of being consumed under a thick heavy lead blanket. It feels like I am being smothered. My brain can't breath. I know a response is expected, but I'm too overwhelmed to respond in any expected manner.

What I'm afraid of is that thick lead blanket. I sometimes have nightmares about that lead blanket.
 

Gift2humanity

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I know I already posted on here.
One guy who excluded me is local and I spoke to him over instant messenger recently.
While we chatted about this and that, when I told him I felt left out and ignored by him, he did not comment about that.
He asked why I had been staying out of the way, when he already knew why, which tells me he has been hurt.
People who have been hurt, go on to hurt others, if they have not processed their pain, he has a cruel streak. I told him so, again, he didn't comment.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
For me it's purely pathological. Where it can happen for any reason- or none at all. Made life hell until I became a senior citizen and at some point just stopped thinking or caring what people think of me. Though I still ruminate over those few things that remain totally beyond my control. Mainly God and the IRS. My bad...
 

Gift2humanity

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
For me it's purely pathological. Where it can happen for any reason- or none at all. Made life hell until I became a senior citizen and at some point just stopped thinking or caring what people think of me. Though I still ruminate over those few things that remain totally beyond my control. Mainly God and the IRS. My bad...
I would have given you a friendly rating, but there is no rating under the posts anymore.
 

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