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Feeling Left Out...

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by ElleLo, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. ElleLo

    ElleLo Member

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    I am a diagnosed autistic adult who identifies with aspergers, and I apologize for doing this on my first post but I really need to vent.

    How do others get over not fitting in when you want to but dont know how? I am too social for most social skills groups in my area that cater to those learning the very basics but I feel left out of groups at work or outside of work. I have been trying so hard to reach out and say hi to folks but I am ALWAYS the one initiating conversations it feels like and when the other person can't keep it going I am at a loss for what to say. I feel like I can't tell if people really don't feel like connecting with me or if they do and I am missing the cues needed for advancing the relationship if that makes sense.

    I feel like I need more conversation practice with people but it's hard without instruction. No one seems to be able to provide me with advice better than: ask open ended questions and try to ask them about themself. When I try asking people about their hobbies or favorite things I may get a quick answer but mostly they don't keep the conversation flowing. I don't know if people just don't trust me in conversation or what but I'm trying my best and I feel like people judge me for being antisocial. I don't want to be. If I don't sit with folks at lunch it's not because I don't want to, I just am never openly invited and feel like I may not be wanted. If I don't answer someone in conversation it's not that I don't care what they have to say, but conversations move too fast for me and I just don't always know what to say or how to say it.

    I'm a social coward maybe but I where can I learn without having people talk to me like I am a kid ?(i get that a lot). Has anyone else experience these feelings?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome ElleLo, this is a good place to find answers and ideas on this. I hope you find this a supportive and friendly place. Well for many many years I struggled with these issues and puzzles and tried a lot of ideas groups therapies etc. However I finally realised that the neurotypical people's brains were equipped differently and this makes a heck of a difference I think. There's stuff we don't experience happening for them that makes these processes natural and easy. I don't mean you should stop trying though, but maybe play to your strengths as an individual. Who are you as a person? What do you love and care about and like to do? Take part in activities you want to do. Seek structured environments such as classes hobbies residential experiences volunteering learning new skills etc that fit with who you are. Develop yourself and you're likely to meet some like minded people who care about the same things and have a chance to see who you are. The social scene is a mystery when your brain is autistic but there are ways around this, good luck! I hope you find plenty of ideas and suggestions here.

    :sailboat::speedboat::surfer::rocket::helicopter::airplane::sailboat::speedboat::surfer::rocket::helicopter::airplane::sailboat::speedboat::surfer::rocket::helicopter::airplane:
     
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  3. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi ElleLo

    Welcome and you will find that you have found your niche here.

    I am an unofficially aspie, but hopefully I may get official. Anyway, I have spent years as you describe, not being able to figure out why I can't communicate with people.

    How it manifested in my brain when asked random questions: was fear of saying some thing wrong. I actually dreaded casual chats, because of the sense of constantly being off guide and the reaction was always negative or I would feel an intense relief for responding well.

    Marriage to an NT has helped me with random questions.

    I have tried to be friendly, but it is really like missing a vital piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

    I find I get on so much better with unconventional people and have a few of my sex that I seem to have " found the missing jigsaw", but seems the one I connect to ( she seems a bit worse than me), could be an aspie too. Although she did come back from a quiz as a neurotypical.

    You should get to a stage of not minding too much and hope it is faster than me and it could be, as you are more self aware than I was at your age. Too busy in the emotions to meditate on them.

    I have never acted as other females behave and yet, I am very much a female, as I wear feminine clothes and enjoy my bags and shoes. However, the idea of talking about make up or shoes, bags and clothing is foreign to me. I rather talk about world conditions.

    Anyway, lonely no more for you.
     
  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    IMG_0668.JPG
     
  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    You sound a bit like me when I was younger and more socially active in that I tried to initiate conversations to make friends, but I neve could really connect with people and it was always one-sided, with me making the initiatives. I think tha tin retrospect, that I might have come across as overbearing or trying too hard and unnatural, especially as small talk really isn't my thing.

    People seem to like humour, fun and smiles - so try to think or something funny to say and give a smile. Try to give eye contact.

    Try using EFL (English as a foreign language) books for adults. They have guides to small talk in English and also on correct intonation and expression. They have scripts, and actors speaking the scripts, and are full of suggestions and ideas. Headway is one such series, assuming that English is your native tongue, you will benefit from the upper-intermediate or advanced levels. Basically, it's teaching social communication in English - students often have similar issues, concerns and challenges when it comes to interactiing in a foreign language.
     
  6. JB2018

    JB2018 Active Member

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    Welcome ElleLo! I've only been here a short time; feels like I stumbled in to a neighborhood where I belong. Hope you do too! :D
     
  7. RachelleG

    RachelleG Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You and I share the same difficulties when it comes to connecting with people and we are somewhere around the space in the spectrum. I spent years struggling trying to fit in, trying to be social and try to make connections with people the same way you did - and I got nowhere - and I am still struggling with that but I'm having a bit more success nowadays. What I've found is to pick and choose your opportunities; if you start a conversation with someone and it goes nowhere, then move on to another person. Secondly, keep it simple. For example, "what's going on today?", If you get a response that is engaging; for example "I've decided to start yoga classes and I'm attending my first yoga class after work". Then you can use this as a springboard to keep the conversation going with something like "that sounds interesting, what kind of yoga class did you enroll in"? It's going to take some practice and you're not going to get immediate results but if you keep working at it, practice it, try to keep a diary of what went well and what did not go well when you tried to initiate a conversation, you will achieve some success and you will feel much less isolated. I hope this help :)
     
  8. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Study and learn. Exactly what you have started to do here.


    One part of fitting in is the ability to peacefully co-exist. It sounds like you might be forcing the issue too much. When I'm accepted into a group, it's perfectly acceptable to just exist with them and not say a lot, it's a bit boring but neurotypicals are fine with that. If you say too much it scares them.


    You're on the right track. Once you connect then they will initiate conversations and say things like "we should do coffee" or "are you free over easter". The down side is that once you get the hang of it... they don't go away! It's so hard to back away from friends when they latch on to you.


    Post examples and we might be able to point out where it went south. The trouble with initiating conversations and asking open ended questions is that you sound like you are interviewing for a new friend. Some of the best advice someone gave me was that "a little of you goes a long way". Aspies typically have strong personalities, so pull it back and show "less" of you. Also don't be so demanding of the person you are interrogating.


    You may also be overthinking. People really don't think as hard as we may attribute to them. And no one is ever "openly invited". Do you ever "openly invite" someone to go to lunch? It's often far less direct than that. For example, if I feel like going to lunch with my co workers (once in a blue moon), I wait til they start fidgeting and say casually "anyone going to the canteen?", then we move en masse. Only high school cliques take a register and have a dress code.


    No, we take longer to process information and only really draw a conclusion when we have all the facts. But neurotypicals will often not process the information at all. Learn "agreeing" noises like "wow, that's amazing", or "really, tell me more?". What other people want is empty platitudes, practice in a mirror and try not to make it sound forced. Quite often the other person is not actually looking for a meaningful response.

    Also, sounds like you need more practice, can you join clubs, like art or karate? The more exposure to groups, the better you'll get at it.

    One day... you might actually find a group of people that think like you and are interested in the same things you are, in which case none of the above is necessary you may actually be able to be yourself without repercussions or exclusion.
     
  9. Otenba

    Otenba Maverick

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    I don't really have any decent suggestions to give, but you're definitely not alone with those sorts of feelings. It's especially bad at work for me.

    This video I found about autism and friendships recently was kinda helpful to make me understand others a bit better. I'll leave a link here in case it is for you too. She explains the different levels of friendship quite well I think.



    Best wishes!
     
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  10. ElleLo

    ElleLo Member

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    That's a great video. Thank you!
     
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  11. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to you. This is a great forum. Good to discuss with other Aspies the different parts of our disability.