1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Trust issues due to being socially oblivious

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by simetra, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. simetra

    simetra Nervous laughter

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Karma:
    +193
    In school, my classmates used to call me naive. I believed everything people told me because I did not even consider the possibility they might be lying to me. I did not see any reason they would. Turns out, people tend to lie, or at least not tell the whole truth, a little more often than I originally thought.

    After I graduated high school, I was informed of several "affairs" between my classmates that I did not notice were going on at all. When I looked at my friend dumbfounded, she asked: "you did not see what was going on?!" One of these physical relations was going on between my crush at the time and my closest friend back then, who was simultaneously giving me advice on how to get his attention, ironically. I had no idea.

    The friend who told me about these things, was, as I later found out, not really that interested in being my friend, either. For years, however, I took her canceling our plans due to several - in hindsight, ridiculous - illnesses she or family members caught to be the truth. Until she resorted to something that was easier to understand: she made plans to meet up with me and never showed up. When I wrote her a message asking where she was, she said she was ill (haha) and then blocked me on all social networks and WhatsApp. We were never people who spammed each other, so the reason for blocking me was not that I flooded her with messages. I don't understand what I did; if it was something I did. Looking at it now, I do realize that her facial expressions weren't just idiosyncratic or unique to her, they were inauthentic.

    In my second year of university, I dated a guy for a few weeks (before he dumped me) who was at the same time seeing two other women who studied in the same department as me. You probably guessed it: I had no clue once again. One of my friends seemed to think the situation was so obvious that he did not inform me about it because he had figured I must have been ok with that love-rectangle or whatever that was.

    From this perspective, I don't even want to know about the things I was oblivious to in my last relationship.

    I never saw a pattern in my "naivete" until I started researching autism. Now that I know that I am brutally socially oblivious, I find myself distrusting people and questioning everyone's motives to the point I develop anxiety. I sit down an analyze people's words and actions as if I was paid to do it. When I wake up in the night, I can't fall back asleep because I will spiral down into an "interpretation of social cues" - delirium (no less obscure than Freud's interpretation of dreams but hey, we're both Austrians so maybe that's #justAustrianthings).

    Right now I am in a phase where I don't know whether my overthinking of other people's behaviors and utterances and subsequent distancing is protecting me or harming me. So, I was wondering whether any of you have had similar experiences following your Autism diagnosis or just a realization that you might be a tad bit oblivious. Also, how do you cope? Are there any ways you found you can compensate for the lack of social skills in that respect?

    I feel like I depend on people's benevolence towards me and that thought deeply frightens me.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Friendly Friendly x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

    Messages:
    4,540
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +8,356
    The young years in college are wrought with stories like this. It's a huge experimental time for both. Are people honest about this? Apparently not. When l was younger, l assumed people messed around because men always mentioned girlfriends they were seeing at the time. Men also like to see how many woman they can bed as a conquest. Some men come out and say they will sleep with as many woman as they can until they lose their looks and are forced to marry.
    Think in general, trying looking outside of yourself for answers. Internalizing everything as your fault may just stress you out.
    If someone wants to mess around on you then you need to establish your boundaries and only see people who respect those boundaries.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. Progster

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

    Messages:
    6,320
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Karma:
    +13,763
    I was also particularly socially naive, especially when I was young, and was/still am the last ot pick up on things going on around me. I don't socialise as much as I used to or get involved in other people's lives nowadays, so the chances of such a thing occuring are greatly reduced. I'm also much less trusting and more suspicious now. I rely heavily on my partner to point out things going on that I miss.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,555
    I do think that people with ASD tend to be more transparent and honest than are neurotypicals. It does not make sense to me for someone to lie, so we might be relatively blind to other people when they lie. I know that nothing upsets me more than when I become aware that I am being lied to.

    I view transparency and honesty as noble traits in people with ASD. Honesty and loyalty are the most important attributes in people that I choose to associate with. I am at an age now where I do not trust acquaintances until they have demonstrated their trustworthiness and loyalty. I do not currently have any close friends, but do have one or two casual friends that I somewhat trust. These are people that I trust enough that I have disclosed my ASD to, and they have demonstrated trustworthiness.

    It is more difficult for someone who is young and single. I know when I first met my wife, she was very shy and did not agree to go out with me on a date. I pursued her for a couple months before I had earned enough trust that she would go out with me. She had some bad experiences with men who lied and betrayed her trust. This did not bother me, because trust and loyalty are the attributes that I value most in people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    7,056
    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Karma:
    +17,457
    Have done the 'overthinking' most of my life, well before I knew about my autism. Having been a consistent observer of people to protect myself and understand others. Yet the naivety is still with me at sixty. In that I consistently assume that most people are honest as well as good. There are of course the exceptions to that mantra that you will encounter in your life.

    Does a lifetime of avoidance restrict your life? Perhaps you don't take all that is offered under the auspices of freedom, yet somehow certain choices can be superficial. A lack of social skills might limit the silliness of a certain kind of life, a kind of trumpeted joy that some manage and wish to repeat over and over in a quest for answers. But maybe, we've already understood and have answers in our grasp and realize how transparent they are. It may mean that we understand ourselves and others, far better than most.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 2
  6. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    685
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,221
    I'm definitely oblivious. And what you said about someone pretending to be your friend and dodging you - I had someone do that exact thing to me. I don't understand why anyone would pretend to be friends with someone, I can't see a reason for it, it makes no sense. It's also one of the absolute cruelest things someone can do in my opinion. (I can understand online connections where one person assumes there's a friendship that isn't there, and I've been in that situation before...but once you go as far as actually making plans with someone that's on a whole other level. I really don't understand that one at all.)

    I think it's a really good thing I'm asexual and largely aromantic because I would get in a lot more trouble if I weren't. That is a whole world I absolutely cannot navigate and the very few times I've tried have been just short of unmitigated disasters.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Karma:
    +1,017
    I have experienced many of the things you described across all my relationships, the lose of friendships not knowing why, the lack of boundaries with people not knowing that they may use my directness and honesty against me, people ask your opinion but expect the social filter to be applied to your response, a example was when a friend of a friend was at the mirror in a club toilet and asked if i liked her hair, i said you could do with some styling products as it's frizzy, she turned to me and swore, duh i didn't mean to offend she asked!
    Also i've been mostly oblivious to flirting and the games we are expected to play when dating, the whole giggle giggle that some women do, the if women sleep with a man soon into the relationship she's 'easy' yet if men sleep around that's admirable, i know that's very black and white but that regonised i feel it's still true. So the regonision of interest from men in me is lost, i have also chatted to men and then they've been upset and abusive if i didn't understand their interest, i'm learning to not share my experiences with all but give time to assess or try to if people are worthy and sincere, also accept that my honesty and loyalty are great qualities and the fact that others can 'pretend' and lie to 'fit in' isn't something that i would like to do.
    My fascination with psychology alongside my inability to understand people and intent is frustrating but part of who i am, i can 'talk the talk' but not use it in my life.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,439
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Karma:
    +4,395
    Now I m wondering whether I ve been missing more than I realised...

    I m definitely a bit oblivious and I tend to apply logic to relating even though I know it often isn't a major part of the scenario especially for neurotypical people. Yes I bet I ve missed a lot over the years, probably. However it's not really something that worries me, I almost feel grateful.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

    Messages:
    1,198
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,951
    Its why i don't date.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Storm Hess

    Storm Hess Permanent Spaceman

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2020
    Karma:
    +44
    I have great in common with your story.

    I had many instances of being taken advantage of because I didn't think people would lie to me. After many times of being emotionally overwhelmed and incapable of understanding subtle, subversive misgivings, I developed a highly tuned bs meter of...'trust no one'. Actually, it's the most simplistic remedy that I could enforce that would stop other people from taking advantage of me again. I learned how to say 'no' instantly when I saw a previous pattern emerge, kept people at arms-length at all times and dropped my social filter that was engrained in me in my youth.

    What was eye opening is that I didn't realise what the underlying factor was until now in my 50's. All through my years of school, that was a reoccurring theme. It wasn't till I moved out of the house on my own, that I was shaken out of cocoon, by those I was willing to trust. Didn't understand why I couldn't make a relationship work, nor why I couldn't hold a job except that of a local dive helping tend bar and crowd control. It was easy, menial labour that gave me time to think and let my mind go on slow nights. The bar business isn't a place for those on the spectrum...you should stay well away from it. I'm surprised I'm still alive, now that I think about it.

    If there is any advice I wish someone would have given me...don't be afraid to make someone clarify what they mean. If you don't understand what someone is talking about or confused on the context of the conversation, tell them to clarify. At times I still have difficulty with this, but nowhere near as bad as I use to.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +751
    Missing a lot of the subtexts that are going on is something I definitely identify with. I have missed on so many signals going round that I am glad somebody wanted me enough to get married to me .

    I am only now realising the extent to which I have missed out on things, and the depth of that extent
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Pistachio

    Pistachio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +71
    I also don't understand why someone would fake a friendship, unless they were really sent to spy on you for your parents/boss/robot overlords or something.

    I expect some of the people to lie, but I didn't expect friends or relatives to lie to me. In a HS context, I'd expect crummy behavior from the cool kids, sometimes the burnouts, but not the geeky friends. Kind of like you'd expect a used car salesman to lie to you, but not um, societal history. I have my doubts about that stuff too at this point.

    I kind of wonder sometimes if what you described about relationships/affairs happening around you were happening around me back then, I have no idea if they were but it doesn't even really matter now, I wouldn't date anyone these days.

    My response to all the lies, etc is I just cut them all off. As for current people I'm around, I get it that to some extent there's sub-language to their chatter. I mainly approach talking to people these days as just bracing myself as they're talking. It's really not enjoyable at all ever. Don't believe too much of it other than just filling the air.

    I prefer to block my past from my thoughts as much as possible, I don't want to even think about any of them now. But it does seem like such a freak fest of a waste of life/existence when there were so many opportunities for any of them to tell me that I was oblivious/naive, and at least basics of what was occurring.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  13. Rabscuttle

    Rabscuttle Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Karma:
    +142
    It's not the big lies you have to watch out for; it's the small ones. Back in high school, I had a friend who kept dodging my calls- she always either wasn't there, or was, but would only talk for a minute or two before some "crisis" would cause her to break the conversation off. She'd say "I'll call you back", but never would. I figured it was just serially bad timing on my part, until one day at school she had her older brother confront me about why I was "hassling" his sister. Apparently she'd been beaming high-intensity "go away" messages at me that I just hadn't been receiving. When I asked why she didn't just say "I don't want to talk now", the look of incredulous incomprehension he gave me was probably a mirror of my own. She didn't need to say that, I should've just known.

    Thankfully, high school was (for me, at least) a long time ago; I've learned a lot since then. Extremely detailed sensory perception coupled with a propensity for pattern seeking can lead to some very interesting results- on more than one occasion, I've had strangers sent by a mutual acquaintance to seek out my advice on some trouble they were having and been able to ask clarifying questions or sometimes start offering suggestions before they even open their mouths. (Though that, too, has its downsides; imagine being in that situation and convincing that person that you're not a mind-reader). It's an impressive trick, but parsing all that information rapidly becomes absolutely exhausting. Even in more normal circumstances, putting together what a person's trying to say or what they actually mean is both tiring and, frankly, often rather boring. So I just tend to assume they're being honest.

    Am I taken advantage of? Yes, sometimes. Is there, even as you read this, some evil cabal laughing over my naivete and perceived humiliation? Well, probably not; that'd be kind of weird, but there has been in the past. But am I content with the life I lead? Mostly. I doubt I could say the same if I was doubting everyone, in everything they said and did.

    There are always going to be some things you don't understand. Whether it's from a lack of interest (high-level international fishing treaties), or a lack of available information (high-level Sumerian fishing treaties) or a lack of prerequisite knowledge on your part (High-Level Sumerian Fishing Treaties, a new musical comedy, performed in the original Klingon!), or from the ramifications of neurological differences in your brain (the circuitous hugger-mugger of human interactions). Never be afraid to look stupid by asking for clarification- in the long run, it's always easier.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +751
    Looking at the posts I see several people who recognise what the OP writes about.

    Is this related to our autism, Asperger's or lack of theory of mind?

    My asking is related to a need I have to explain my "different" behaviour to those around me, who probably regard me as callous and uncaring.
     
  15. simetra

    simetra Nervous laughter

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Karma:
    +193
    First off, I want to thank every one of you for your replies; it helps a great deal to see how many of you experience similar things.


    I'm glad you found someone you can rely on in that matter, that's the dream!


    Thank you for this! Being more cautious and less trusting is definitely something I should start practicing now. I need to get rid of the notion that I should be thankful if someone shows some sort of interest in me at all. That seems to be one of the reasons people tend to take advantage of me.


    That is as painful of a point as it is good; I feel like there is a lot of truth in this. I do have this lurking fear of social isolation in the sense that someday, the few people I can somewhat trust will no longer be there and I will be all alone that keeps me from accepting what you so eloquently outlined above, even though I rationally agree.


    To be honest, I don't think you're far off with that, Pistachio. The friend who blocked me everywhere recently unblocked me on WhatsApp and sent me a pretty sappy message saying how they missed me and wanted to meet up, and honestly, I think other former classmates being curious about me (I was always the freak so I was a popular topic of gossip) might have played a role in this. Other than that it just doesn't add up cause this person won't suddenly develop feelings if they were never really there in the first place. Just a little ~~conspiracy theory~~ on my part.


    Thank you two for this! Asking people to clarify is something I don't do often enough for sure. It might not gain me any popularity points but I'd rather pull a Socrates on people than risk being messed with.
     
    • Like Like x 2