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I thought I never masked, but today, I see that I do actually mask

Suzanne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
When ever I am talking to ones who make me uncomfortable, I feel worse, because I sense that I am faking and finally, it came to me, that faking equals masking. I even find myself not being able to remember simple words, due to the distress of the situation. It is because, I tend to hate silence and try to fill it or make a concerted decision to be brave and speak up, which just makes my voice weak.

So frustrating to get feelings too late. I mean, it takes me years, to have the: ah moment.
 
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Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
True.

It wasn't until this forum and learning about this whole topic of "masking" that I had my "epiphany" moment.

If you are engaged in any sort of social activity or environment,...and you actually care about "fitting in",...you will be modifying your behavior. You don't have to be autistic,...nearly everyone does this.

If I am walking into a stressful situation,...myself at work,...a baby trying to die and people are doing CPR, the emotions in the room, the parents, the importance of NOT having emotions and being laser focused upon my training,...I go into my "calm, assertive" mode. Voice calm and quiet, being a leader, quietly and firmly delegating,...my job is to keep the people around me from amplifying their emotional state and focused upon their training, as well. That's a lot of masking,...and it can be quite a challenge.

But, I digress,...I think everyone in social situations are doing some level of masking in order to "be appropriate". I just think for some folks on the spectrum,...especially if they tend to not modulate their "stimming" behaviors, their physical coordination, their sensory issues, their body and verbal languages, and emotional states well, it is an added level of difficulty,...and comes off as "fake" or "bad acting".
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
.I think everyone in social situations are doing some level of masking in order to "be appropriate"
Aha. I did that at work in order to work with some very talented engineers and chemists and had to fit in to learn from them. Sometimes it felt that I was running just to stay in place. But then I learned that such people rarely cared about the characteristics you enumerate and you can be yourself as long as it isn't disruptive to getting stuff done.
 

Progster

Gone sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Social situations, even ones that seemed to have gone ok, always leave me with a feeling of unease, as though something isn't quite right. Masking might have something to do with it, I don't know.
 

Silhouette Mirage

The Antichrist
V.I.P Member
For me, masking really sucks, but I feel obligated to do it anyway. I think people can tell I'm not being 'myself' or genuine, but if I'm around strangers or anyone who I'm uncomfortable with the mask goes on really tight. It's on so tight that in some circumstances I have permanent RBF, if I'm stressed enough.

For others, masking might actually be awesome, or perhaps even a gift. I wish I could just learn how to stop doing it altogether, or that I had never learned to do it in the first place because it takes up way too much energy.
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I've mentioned this before but I never realized I masked until I joined the forum. I thought what I was doing was what everyone did.

@Silhouette Mirage I have RBF too lol. Everyone tells me I look serious all the time, which is hilarious because it's not true.
 

Owliet

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
But, I digress,...I think everyone in social situations are doing some level of masking in order to "be appropriate". I just think for some folks on the spectrum,...especially if they tend to not modulate their "stimming" behaviors, their physical coordination, their sensory issues, their body and verbal languages, and emotional states well, it is an added level of difficulty,...and comes off as "fake" or "bad acting".
I did this when I was working. I had to be on the game since a bunch of teenagers would have sniffed out any form of weakness. So maxed out masking was super important for professional reasons. Downside, It was utterly exhausting and in addition to a few other challenges That came up, I did have difficulty trying to adjust and reset on the weekends. Somehow, I miraculously made it and only fully broke near the end.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I had to look up RBF. I think that at my loneliest my resting face was "go away."
 
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Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
I know there is masking, because l come home and ruminate on my day at work. But l never makes with my autism bosses. They were great to work for. They were so helpful, and didn't supervise me too much.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It's a basic social dynamic for everyone, autistic or not.

"To get along, you go along". Though in our case at times it may be a matter of social survival depending on the company we keep, whether by choice or not.

And that the longer we do it, for many of us it becomes that much more difficult and tiring.
 

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