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Featured "I don't feel like talking right now"

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Bellacat, Dec 4, 2019 at 3:13 AM.

  1. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Since being diagnosed a few months ago (at 29), I have learned to recognize my limits when it comes to socializing. Recognizing these things is one thing, but now I'm wondering what to do with this new awareness. In some ways it has introduced new challenges.

    Most people I know are used to me masking and don't seem to accept my diagnosis or show interest in learning about the nuances and all that stuff that makes it hard to see that there are differences between us.

    If I say something like "I don't feel like talking right now" this will seem out of character, and they'll probably suspect that something is wrong. Their natural reaction is probably to wonder if I'm upset about something or not feeling well, or to think that I don't like spending time with them, etc.

    Is there any good way to communicate this and have them understand that there is no hidden message and that I just need a break? If they do understand it, what happens then? How long can I expect someone to tolerate a break in conversation? Does this ever actually work in practice, or is it too awkward, maybe too much to ask?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 3:27 AM
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  2. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I’ve talked with my boyfriend about situations like these. I can tell him when I don’t feel like talking. He understands now that it’s not personal and that we’ll talk later when I feel up to it.
    At work I occasionally tell people “we’ll have to discuss that later, now’s not a good time” because that sounds more professional than “I don’t want to talk to anyone right now”.
     
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  3. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    That's a good one. Any suggestions for family? I mostly find myself wanting to say this during family visits, which are usually several days at a time because I live far away. They want to spend as much time as possible visiting together whenever we have the chance, but that's really exhausting and I don't know if I will hurt their feelings or offend them by asking for a break.
     
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  4. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I usually come up with a chore or a fake toilet break. I often give myself tasks such as refilling drinks, cleaning up dishes, preparing food and so on. Those give me ample excuses to get away from conversation regularly.
    Then there are some exhausting family members I just try to avoid sitting next to.
     
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  5. Progster

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

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    I just say that I don't feel like talking because I'm tired right now and need some down time, or alone time, had a busy day, people generally seem to be ok with that, especially being tired.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I believe that in most cases the answer will be "no".

    Mostly based on the premise that as an autistic person, whomever you are addressing will not have an adequate understanding of autism to begin with. Where they will inevitably default to an understanding of their own neurological profile and not your own. That the odds of running into one who wants to understand and succeeds in doing so are remote in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 11:05 AM
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  7. LucyPurrs

    LucyPurrs NT, INFJ V.I.P Member

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    "I'm feeling kind of brain dead right now, can we talk later (or some other time)?" As an NT, that would not be something I'd take personally and that I'd understand. In fact have used it with close friends without negative consequences. Puts the onus on me not them.
     
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  8. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I wish i could learn not to talk to humans they frighten me i autistic people would understand me but they are no different it more frightening as i thought this forum was going to be a good place i wish i knew how to stop
     
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  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Makes sense.

    Especially if those being addressed relate mostly to the autistic person in question masking their traits and behaviors to begin with. Where they expect or demand an NT response and you can script it as such.
     
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  10. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I always try to steer things towards minimal interactions but sometimes it just isn't possible. At those times I find it better to give up and talk rather then try and ask for privacy. That is because unless the person already knows me well they will likely misunderstand and be offended. An exception being if there is some big reason that people will easily understand, like 'my goldfish just died and I'd like to be alone with my grief for a while', etc.

    My reasoning being in the long run it is better/easier to put up with some chatting rather then have to try and repair the damage of offending someone. Sometimes I do really have difficulty keeping up the social mask and will look for any reason or opportunity to escape. Having an understanding partner can help as they can be your accomplice in escaping. For example: 'My wife just called and the goldfish is running a high temperature. I'd love to stay but have to get back...'
     
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  11. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I typically say, "Give me some time to get my thoughts together."
     
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  12. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If I don't feel like talking, I don't unless it's absolutely necessary, like at work. If I'm forced to speak when upset or stressed, I say the wrong things and everything goes to crap. I never was really talkative to begin with though.
    I also am very selective IRL about who I tell I am on the spectrum and I think I just come across as a quiet person.
     
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  13. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think this is one of the reasons I picked up smoking. I could step outside and get a short break from everything.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    How about if you said something like, "I don't feel like talking right now, there's no hidden message here, I just need a break, it has nothing to do with you."
     
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  15. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    I find 'I don't know, what do you think?' can be a very useful response if you don't want to express yourself, most people will respond to that with their own ideas or suggestions. A lot of people like being asked that question.
     
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  16. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    This is true, good point.
     
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  17. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! There are some great ideas in here :)
     
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  18. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    It's all about balance IMO. Know your limits and do what makes you comfortable.
     
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