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Featured Being yourself vs trying to fit societies’ expectations

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimplyWandering, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    I bet I am not the only one here who feels this way. I try to be myself , but I find it difficult to be ignored and not listened to.

    I mean I thought “being yourself” and “just be yourself” was a way for people to fit in ? Instead of be yourself, but not the part that annoys others or questions everything. :confused:

    This causes great anxiety in myself, so I take medication, but that doesn’t really fix the issue. I still don’t belong “here.”
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  2. LateBloomer

    LateBloomer New Member

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    I know exactly how you feel , being chronically misunderstood is isolating . For me , I think that between my lack of social skills , poor understanding of banter and small talk and auditory issues , my ability to appropriately join in on a conversation in a social situation is almost impossible . Consequently , I withdraw into my own space and time .
    I don't know if NT's are ' being themselves ' or if they are just better at modelling language and behavior acceptable to their pier group .
     
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  3. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was young, the answer was "yes." Now, the answer is "no." Then, I was desperate to find friends, be social, fit in, and the loneliness was killing me. I thought I was not trying hard enough to fit in, and the harder I tried, the worse it got. Now I realize who and what I am, things will never change, and fitting in is a waste of effort. I'm just as lonely as then, but I have never been happier.
     
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  4. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suspect they mask just as much, if not more, but since they know the rules, how things work, expectations, and how to read reactions, they are much better at it than we are. It could be so natural they don't even know they are doing it.
     
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  5. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    NTs just want to fit in, too. To achieve that, some NTs model themselves on others whom they perceive as successful or popular. I personally think virtually no one, regardless of neurological condition, can ever be fully accepted by everyone else if they are truly "themselves". Everyone has their own unique personality, dark thoughts, biases, special interests and joys, vulnerabilities, etc. and we all mask aspects of who we are. Neuro-typicality is a spectrum, too.
     
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  6. LateBloomer

    LateBloomer New Member

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    Back in the 80's , I listened to a DJ from a local university who's catchphrase was ' Be yourself , so you don't have to be by yourself ' . It always stuck with me for reasons that I am just now becoming aware of . The concept that by being your true , authentic self , then you will be loved and accepted . It's a great concept but does anyone really achieve it ? Doesn't society require us to conform to a large extent ? Maybe the trick is to realize your authentic self internally while maintaining an acceptable facade externally . Is that what NT's do and is it even possible for someone on the spectrum to do that .
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The way I would have answered the question isn't listed, which is 'sometimes'.
     
  8. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    I edited it. That is now available. Thanks
     
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  9. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    There are no poll options that fit my answer to your question.

    I cannot fit a lot of society’s expectations so it doesn’t matter if i want to or not, or if i try to or not. And this is not something anyone need feel sorry for me about, it is just the way it is and I do not feel sorry for myself.

    On the subject of fitting in:

    How to fit in is not just a question of being yourself or not, it is also a question of who are you trying to fit in with. (And the way I think about it, if you are only doing and saying things pretending to be what you think people want you to be, you aren’t really fitting in anyways, the persona that you have acted out is fitting in and being accepted but that persona is not actually you.)

    Fitting in is a two way street - your behavior or choices alone do not determine whether or not others will accept you. People blame themselves for being rejected as if it is entirely and always their fault that others reject them....sometimes maybe it is (like if you are actually rude and inconsiderate and hurt other people’s feelings a lot and don’t care or refuse to ever take any responsibility or apologize and try to be nicer) but you cannot make people like or accept you, you don’t have control over their thoughts and feelings and there are limits to your influence. My point being....it is not all your responsibility, fitting in; The people you want to fit in with also share responsibility for if you fit in with them or not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I actually feel it in a sense. I'm myself and won't change or conform in many ways, but in other ways there is pressure to conform. For instance, I've always dressed according to my likes, not other's. And I do things that I enjoy, not what someone else tries to dictate. But I've always felt pressure (still do) to have to socialize at all. That's the biggest one.
    You know, one thing that the general population does that I just can not join them in because I have a hard time being untruthful. Have you ever known a really mean person, who lies, uses others, tries to destroy others, etc....then they die and everyone talks about how good the person was. That's not the kind of things they were saying about them yesterday. I'll keep quiet, but I can't go along with how good the person was.
     
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  11. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    This is my big question right now.

    I was misdiagnosed (with BPD) a decade and a half ago and have spent the better part of that time at war with myself trying to change the things about myself that led to the diagnosis and even before that I knew I was different and pretty much my whole life and was always trying to hide those weird things I do. Actually it was my hiding of it that got my autism missed by both my parents and the many drs and psychologists I've seen over the years.

    Now that I've been diagnosed (with autism) about 3 weeks ago, I'm feeling like I want to just give up all the hiding and be myself. For one example, my whole life I've been obsessed with beads but never allowed myself to fully enjoy them, especially not in public, but now I am carrying my beads with me everywhere. Still haven't become comfortable with actually pulling them out and using them in a stressful situation because of how weird I know it will look to those who see me fidgeting with them.... but part of me just wants to give up the act after 35 years and just be myself for once.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  12. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    For me, "fitting in" was always a matter of hiding in plain sight. The less anyone noticed me, the better. Rather than act out and be myself, I became the most obediant, meek little girl. Now, that I'm expected to be an adult with my own Identity and personality, that strategy is failing me. Doing things the way others want them, because then I don't run the risk of behaving oddly or inapropriately to the situation, does not work for a competitive environment. For a long time, I have been following rules that no one else even cared about. I was taught them, so they must be followed.

    I grew up in another country, so most social faux pas were simply seen as a cultural misunderstanding. My family never expected me to try too hard to fit in. I would learn about the culture eventually. Until then, my being different was endearing.

    Now that I'm back in my home country, I'm noticing how far I stand apart from general society. I have been approached on the street so many times, by people who needed something, because it's always clear that I am by myself. I've never gotten in trouble, luckily, but to me, "fitting in" is a matter of safety.
    I suppose it's less about "fitting in" with a particular group and more about "not staning out".
     
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  13. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    True. The thing is there is nothing wrong with you and there’s nothing wrong with others. The problem is maybe you’re trying to fit in with NTs and not your own people who are Neurodiverse. Once you find ‘your people’ it’ll be a lot easier to fit in and to feel more accepted and be understood. You’ll need each other for social support.
     
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  14. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think I've bent myself all out of shape over many years trying to be something I'm not because others expect it of me.

    No longer know what my 'original shape' was.

    The upside of it all is I've acquired quite a few skills I wouldn't have otherwise.
    On realising this, I can turn them on and off. Employ them when needed.
    (Takes effort but worthwhile sometimes)
     
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I just look at such a question this way. It isn't a matter of forcing myself "to fit in". Mainly because no matter how much I might want such a thing in a certain time or place, in my heart I know I will NEVER truly "fit in".

    "It is what it is".

    So in the meantime, I will most likely selectively opt to mask my traits and behaviors, depending on the people in my immediate orbit. Not to actually "fit in" per se, but rather to avoid conflict and confrontation with those who may not be so understanding or accepting.
     
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  16. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't think I've ever tried very hard to fit in, read my signature which is very much "me", I appear to be in the minority here...
     
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  17. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think the idea of Being your True authentic self was crafted within a cultural expectation that everyone was neurotypical. Also that everyone was heterosexual, of binary gender, that everyone was a shade of whitey pink unless they were suntanned and that everyone had resources and support in life. Other types of True self were not envisaged and are stigmatised.

    Live and let live is perhaps a realistic goal? I said No in my answer to the poll, because I don't feel I have to force myself to fit in, nor can I, nor do I wish to. Society changes from it's grass roots upwards, so I'm aware its good to try to live my truth and educate others, but I'm also fine with masking when I would rather keep a low profile.
     
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  18. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    That, I can really identify with. For a long time I had no opinions. Mine always felt badly thought out and somehow had less intensity. Basically I would give in as soon as somebody told me I was wrong. They didn’t even have to give reasons, I just expected to be wrong.
    I’ve had to learn to stand by my decisions, which is easiest when I have a good set of facts to support them.
     
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Okay. This is tough to answer. To some cultural extent l fit norms imposed upon me to get jobs. Not so much for friends. I find that l fit best with the people that aren't conformist and are individually unique because they aren't cookie cutters of fake. I value them for their authenticity though on occasion we may bump heads, and friendship is a skill l am still perfecting at this incredibly late age. But l am grateful that these people allow me in their lives. Money is nice, but friends and close friends are even better.
     
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  20. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That is why I am here, and continue to come here. Since my flavor of autism prevents me from making any kid of emotional connection to another person, other than short term transient (those brain connections were never made), I am going to have to stay lonely.
     
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