Autism is my social enigma

Socialization is one of those “benchmarks” that appears on the list of “normal” behaviors.  It even has its own timeline; one “should” be doing “X” by “Y” age.  All of these socialization milestones involve interaction, and most of them involve communication.

That’s where the situation gets dicey.

Interaction and communication are bidirectional.  I make up half of the picture, and another person makes up another half.  Another person, who has their own thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, dispositions, characteristics, personality traits, tendencies, and so on.

It’s a wild card.

Interaction and communication induce anxiety for two reasons: 1) I can’t “make” the other person interpret my messages accurately, and 2) one can never please everyone.  The second one has been at the core of many a painful experience.

I’ve always (felt that) I have to work extra hard to appear likable.

It’s not that I’m mean or antisocial (literal use of the word–anti-social – “against being social”).

It’s just that I have a tough time remembering the social niceties; for example, to say thank you or reciprocate a compliment or return a favor.

It’s not that I don’t feel grateful or want to reciprocate–I really do feel warm and fuzzy inside and I want to share the vibe.

It’s just that I’m not used to showing it on the outside.

In my personal Unpacking Autism process, I find myself having to overcome and override a lifetime of not feeling safe and free to fully express myself.

What I do is driven more by a fear of what I do not want: to come across as cold, distant, or aloof.  To give people the impression that I care nothing for that which is beyond myself.  To send people away with the misconception that I’m unfeeling or insensitive. To inadvertently reinforce the persistent stereotypes, just when they’re beginning to erode away from the landscape.  To end up alone, having “won” some mythical “victory” while having lost the “war”, the war on the universe to gain acceptance and be likable.

Lately I’ve been thinking about social interaction online.  It’s like a luxury item you scrimp and save and work hard for.  Just because you cherish it doesn’t mean you don’t work hard at it and get tired sometimes; and just because I get exhausted sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love and enjoy it (I definitely do!).  When text (and maybe emojis) are all I have at my disposal, I feel (fear?) that I lack other tools I’ve come to rely on (even if the original learning curve was steep at the time).  I don’t have facial expressions, movements, utterances like an excited squeal, or a big smile or hug.

I often lament about the limitations and confines of spoken language, how plain English words are inadequate for expressing the whole of what I want to communicate to another.  Well, if the spoken word is limiting, the typed word is even more so.

Online, all I have are words, exclamation points, and if I’m using my mobile, emojis.  I have what I have.  It probably gets monotonous and repetitive, but I’m not spontaneously imaginative.  I don’t always have the right words to say.  It’s then that I pull from my tried and true stock of limited words and phrases: “dear”, “friend”, “this!”, “agreed!”, “well said!”, “I love this post/tweet!”, “I can relate”, and so on.  Followed by a string of emojis, because what I think and feel cannot always be written on the screen, and emojis are my next best tool.

Some people magically know what to say; they’re creative, variable, and personalized, and their timing is perfect to boot.

Not me.  I don’t seem to have that gift.

My creativity comes in spurts and lightning strikes, that last about as long and are about as unpredictable.  It magically appears when it damn well wants to, and disappears just as quickly, leaving me with my mundane brain and its stock linguistic inventory.

A thesaurus would probably do me some good, but knowing my luck, my new vocabulary words would come across as forced, artificial, manufactured.  The terms of endearment and the multiple emojis that follow are my interactive trademark, my predictable style.  It would probably actually upset the ocean surface if I strayed from them.

I run the risk of sounding like a broken record, or maybe a robot.  This isn’t intentional, but it might be inevitable.  Especially in someone who wants to reply to every comment left, and also leave comments for others.

My methods of social interaction may not be palatable for all.  But they’re what I’ve got and it’s what I can do. I know that I can rest comfortably, knowing that at any given moment, I’ve given everything I had/have at my disposal.  Others are much more eloquent than I.

Each of us sees aspects of life differently, and each of us has different ways of expressing them.  Mine include a lot of emojis and tried-and-true socially-acceptable words, and occasionally, a lightning strike of originality out of nowhere from over yonder.  🙂

***

This is one of my more popular posts!

***

(Image Credit: Mario Sanchez Nevado)

Advertisements

119 Comments

  1. I totally get this. My son’s biggest obstacle, besides learning to speak, has been his struggle with social cues and reading people accurately, and expressing himself in tune with conversations. It’s tough on him. He’s very well-liked, but only has 2 what I would consider close friends. As he ages and matures though, im hopeful that will improve. He tries, very hard, but I know there are instances where he’s brushed off, or even laughed at, by people who don’t know him well. Makes sad. And frustrated. I want to help him, but this is one he’s gonna have to manage himself. 😊

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think you’re spot on. Your son’s story mirrors mine. Laughed at, brushed off, cast out, etc. I’ve always had only about 2 close friends, give or take. These days (I’m 40 now), it’s a bit more, but never more than a handful at once. In a way, though, that’s OK – I would rather have just a few close friends than a bunch of not-so-close friends. Those close friends got your back in a pinch, whereas the more casual friends may not. The close friends know you more intimately and are aware of all your quirks or they’ve seen you at your worst and they like/love and accept you anyway. To me, even having a handful of those is a total blessing 🙂 It’s tough in the younger years, when different kids are at different maturity levels and the compassion and understanding may not be there. The pressure is to fit in and be part of a group and be “cool” and accepted. Unfortunately, there’s no way around those years but through them. ❤ But they do pass, and things can get easier with time. He'll manage it himself, I'm sure; I think you're already doing the right thing; it sounds like you're there for him and you're understanding, compassionate, supportive, and open. That's about all you can do, and I think you're doing it well! Keep going ❤

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Late reply, as I’m working my way through piled-up posts after a Christmas break, but I wanted to say this: I’m a few days away from 45, and I believe that I am generally well-liked, too. That’s the impression I get anyway. However, I have never had more than about 2 close friends either. I think with 2 close friends your son is in a good place. If he didn’t have any friends, that would be bad and you would be right to worry. But in my view your son shouldn’t feel under pressure to make more friends, and I don’t think you have to worry too much that he doesn’t have more. Of course, if it is his heart’s desire to have more friends, that’s tricky, but as you say, he will have to manage that himself. But I don’t think either of you should worry about not having lots of friends just because of the general impression that that is what “one does”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the response. We’ve worried about that in the past, but he’s fine. His classmates all love him, but he does get somewhat left out at times, so I know that bothers him. But this age, being in high school, is just a blip in a lifetime. If he’s lucky enough to have a couple of close friends throughout his his life, I’ll be happy. Neurodivergent or otherwise. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi
    I have found setting goals for real social interaction. At work, 90% of the time I will have a social interaction before going on and asking about a work related question. Or another way, ensure you have a social discussion before getting to ask your work related question.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I’ve read many of your posts now and love how articulate you are, especially at describing a very personal journey. The words (and emojis) you use and the way you choose to use them are you, it doesn’t matter if you think you repeat yourself. I for one don’t see (read) that 😉 And I always love your image choices. They in themselves speak volumes 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  4. You do a great job of communicating online. Also maybe a stock phrase that fits and is delivered with the right sentiment is better than trying very hard to be “more articulate” and not quite hitting the mark? XX

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Right on! That’s an excellent point. 🙂 And yep, it’s also very true that each and every one of my stock phrases has had a genuine sentiment behind it. I have always felt a little self-conscious of those phrases because I felt like I was being repetitive and boring, and I was worried that people would see me as insincere when the truth is actually anything but. (“Oh, she said THAT again… Can’t she say something new?? Is everyone in her life a “dear one”??”) (Lol) I can promise that every word and emoji is genuine, and usually just scratching the surface of what I actually think/feel (but the words may not be there to express it all more fully). Thank you bunches for your encouraging support ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Thank you also for your service ❤ The reflection process is incredible – it can be scary and liberating all at the same time. I wish you the best of luck with yours, and please feel free to reach out any time 🙂

      Like

  5. You might think that your words are inadequate for expressing the whole of what you want to communicate to another, but I see you as a very eloquent and original person.
    I run the risk of sounding like a broken record, or maybe a robot but what the hell….
    HUGS MY DEAR, take care and keep posting

    Liked by 5 people

          1. Laina, I mentioned somewhere that a friend gave me the link to your first video on youtube. Bojana is that friend. (I have never met her in person, she lives in Europe and I in the states), but she enjoyed your video enough that she “pimped you out” and I’m glad she did 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Oh wow!! That’s so cool! 😁. Bojana is a sweetheart; any friend of hers is a friend of mine ❤️. Thank you so much for reading, watching, and commenting! (And big thanks to Bojana for the shout out, too! 😘)! It’s really nice to meet you, Ms Graceful Not! (I love that moniker, btw – it describes me as well! 😁) 💚💙

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! And I can so relate! I have similar struggles and stories. I sometimes forget to say thank you for a favor or after a compliment, and I always feel bad after. Not because that I wasn’t grateful, I was on the inside. But I do believe in simple mannerism, so when I fail at it I kinda do a facepalm after. I think people often forget too when we are socializing we have to spend ten times amount of energy doing it so we may forget the odd appropriate response or action.

    Last night my husband’s step sister’s twins were here for a birthday party, with a few other family members. Luckily the social event was only like two hours but there was a time at the table where my husband’s dad was talking to me and I was trying to remain eye contact and keep nodding to be polite so he would know I am listening. But into the conversation I notice it was hard for me to remain eye contact then I started concentrating on so hard to make it come across as I was interested and to do the appropiate responses that I lost track of the conversation. I was concentrating so hard on what to do with my eyes, my hands etc that I stopped listening to what he was saying. Luckily I didn’t fail too much, but it is moments like this that remind me how much extra energy we have to put into socializing that for most people don’t have to think about and it comes natural to them. After that one conversation I was exhausted and wanted out of the event. And it sucks cause I love his family and they all seem to love me. Luckily I have shared my diagnoses with my husband’s parents they are aware of my autism, but I don’t think they actually understand how it affects me. When I told them they basically said I don’t look autistic and I was just like URG! I am not telling you for a compliment, I know I can pass as neurotypical I often do too good of a job at it, I was teling them so in social events I may fail at in the future know I am not doing it to be rude.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and post! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, luv! OMG yes – this whole comment, so hard! (Applause, cheering) The energy expenditure, the concentration, the exhaustion. I used to say that I was “peopled out”, before I knew I was on the spectrum. I guess I was onto something! Lol. That “but you don’t look autistic” remark is the worst, isn’t it? I mean, how does one even respond to that? I don’t have an answer yet. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! Yes before I knew about my diagnoses I would get peopled out too and get exhausted easily. I remember in elementary and high school I’d be so tired from the day of socializing with other kids that when I got home, I struggled to get homework done. All before I knew I was on the spectrum. We must have been onto something yes. So when I got my diagnoses in my twenties it wasn’t as much of a shock as I thought it would be. It was like ahh…My life makes sense now! And yes it is one of the worse remarks people make to the autistic community and I also don’t have a response yet either. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes! I can totally relate. 100%. If the homework was for a subject I was interested in, well, then it really wasn’t homework, because I would be so excited to jump on it that I’d get it done in class lol. If not…then it languished and it was a major ordeal, a major struggle to get through, and it took me FOREVER, very frustrating. I would get overwhelmed by school, too – interacting, the noise, the environment, etc – except I didn’t feel the fatigue; I’d come home *irritable* lol. And I’d just want to be alone in my room; only then could I heave sighs of relief. I didn’t realize that I was socially fatigued and neurologically overwhelmed yet – I just knew I wanted to listen to music, read a book, and cuddle with my cat ❤

          My own Aspie realization was definitely a "shock" (in a good way), but as I read up on the traits for real, I realized "OMG this has been me all along!" Yep, I think we're definitely onto something indeed! 😀

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Oh yes, I use to get so irritable, irrationally so. I’d feel so guilty for taking it out on my loved ones and think so badly of myself. Thankfully I understand myself better and usually I’m able to voice my change in temper before it hurts someone these days. Plus I have become much more reclusive and that helps at the moment.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You too?? Yes, that’s me, too. Feeling antsy/irritable, then exploding eventually, then feeling guilty and ashamed, and retreating, then recharging, etc. Now I’ve gotten a bit better at seeing the signs beforehand and practicing a little self-care/preventive measures before the volcano goes off. Is that how it goes for you, too?

              Reclusion helps a whole lot, yes! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Same here! 🙂 People will even tell me, “you’re getting tired; your eyelids are drooping”, and I’ll have no clue, because I still feel like I have the same amount of energy lol. I feel like a mobile phone battery – function the same at 1% as I do at 100%, until that battery power drops to 0% – and then I’m out, very suddenly. Sometimes I even fall asleep so suddenly that I wake up surprised, not even remembering having gotten tired or fallen asleep LOL 😉 ❤

                  Liked by 1 person

          2. Yeah I did have an easier time with subjects I was interested in, and I actually stayed inside during recesses and lunch hour to work on my homework in the nice quiet classroom. It was more fun than having to go socialize in the play yard. Haha Math and Science though were always my down falls and struggled to keep up with. I would come home irritable too all the time and have to hide in my room to get some relief like you. 🙂 Yes music was always a huge hobby for me.

            Yes my Aspie realization was a good shock for me too and I agree! 🙂 ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            1. A-freaking-men to Math & Science being the downfall! Omg me too. Those subjects were both boring to me and intimidating. I like them just fine now, but back then, ugh lol. I found math much easier and more fun when I decided to divert to a slower track–same material, covered more slowly and thoroughly. Then I did really well 👍🏼. Loved coming home and hanging out in my room. I had a blast with radio and CDs, Nintendo, and books! Total relief, just quiet and solitude 😁. During recess, I’d go outside but play by myself. I was confused when the adults would say weird stuff like “don’t you want to play with the other kids?” 😂. And I’m all, “no.” 😂. Now I know why! 😁. Omg do you make music playlists and stuff too? 🤗💖

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, they were my hardest subjects. It was not so much I found them boring, but my brain just couldn’t get it. Lol I worked harder than a lot of other students in math and science to only be lucky to maybe get a passing grade. My brother Aced science and math no problem and it always frustrated me. He didn’t have to work as hard as me. Then in high school I failed Principles of Math 10 twice in a row, mind you math 10 is one of the hardest next to grade 12 math (which was optional and no I didn’t take math 12) and for the two years we went through a couple really crappy math teachers. One was a last minute fix she was our gym teacher and had some small degree in Math, but enough to teach Math 10? :/ Our class that year got the lowest average mark on our exams. So I failed, and tried to retake it. This time with a teacher who was a math genius yes, aced his classes in Uni, he always bragged about his high test marks and there is no doubt he knew his stuff. But a lot of students thought he struggled with teaching it. He could only teach math one way and if your brain didn’t pick up on that way, you were screwed. I failed again, even with staying after school and on lunch hour for extra help, hours of math homework and studying, still came up short. I talked to the school counsellor and we discussed my future aspirations etc, and he said to just opt out of principles and take Essentials of Math that it would still count for graduating credit. So I did. I Aced Essentials of Math, it was so easy. BUT it was interesting. Essentials of Math was like banking, dealing with money and all this other useful life skills. I kinda regret not trying to get my credits for principles of Math because it did narrow my options for college and Uni. But oh well, I knew I wasn’t going to go into anything Math related or science related. Haha. My dad I think was so proud of me when I gradutated just high schoo because he knew I worked so much harder than a lot of other kids and my other struggles. I am just glad high school is over, it was a nightmare. xD

                Glad you found a math more to your liking so you could enjoy it more. Yes I loved blasting music on my cd player or radio. We also had the N64 and PS2, which I could game out if my brother wasn’t around. He was a bigger game nerd than I. I played a lot of Sims though on my laptop in my room. I still do. Haha. Yes if I did go outside at recess I would also be found playing by myself or if friends invited me to play I would like try to just play with one or two friends at a time, but was often told by teachers to join in with other kids and I’d always be like no thank you, I’m fine over here by myself. 🙂 So I totally get what you mean! Yes I make music playlists all the time. I am trying to make some on youtube, but I have a hard time with playlists narrowing them down to be smaller, fit them into certain moods etc. I am too much of a perfectionist even with my music playlists. Blame it on my OCD lol xD

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Omg yes, school had its nightmarish aspects for me too; you’re definitely not alone, girl! 😊. So relieved it’s over! Lol.

                  Hehe we had the old Nintendo systems 😂. Omg the original one from 1985 and then the SNES from 1992 – yeah 💪😂. I think I would really love sims. I don’t know too much about them; I would love to know more!

                  Hear hear to not hanging out with too many people at once. Omg playing with one person is hard enough; 2 is possible for me if they’re pretty close friends and they also get along with each other. In high school we had a pretty tight group of 4, including myself lol. That was really fun. Two guys and two girls; I was dating one of the guys, and the other 2 weren’t dating. But even after hanging out with them, as well as we all got along, I still craved my Alone Time, too 😁.

                  Music playlists yeah!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. I do that too – especially for the different moods! Or for different activities and energy levels and events. I’ve got so many and yep, they’re carefully constructed lol. I definitely get a little perfectionistic when it comes to my music lol 😊👍🏼💙💜

                  Like

                  1. Oh we had the original too when I was really young like 5 or 6 ish maybe younger? My mom gave it to my cousin who’s brother than stole it and sold it for drugs I believe. :/ LOL Now looking back I wish we had kept it as even just a collectable or what have you. It was classic nintendo and it got sold for drugs like really????
                    The Sims is basically like uh….barbies in a way but on your computer and way more awesome. But you do control families and like build their lives or make up their lives. You get to create your own sims and build houses, if you get the right expansion packs it can be enjoyable. I really love it, I thought I would have grown out of it by now most people do lol but not me xD I still love it. More for house building but you can still catch me in game play once in awhile and I get new expansion packs once in awhile to keep it new and exciting. 😛

                    Yes I prefer small groups and even then I have standards such as their personalities are not too opposite of my own, they get along like you said ad things like that lol. I also had a very tight group of four including myself in my last few years of high school. Before that I actually just had one or two close friends and what is weird is those two friends didn’t end up being part of the group of 4. xD But I always need my alone time as well. It is all a balancing act. xD

                    Yes music playlists for different moods and activities are the best. 🙂 ❤

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Omg old NES sold for drugs? I totally want to tar and feather him! 💐
                      Oh! Ok, so sims are like Second Life? I remember some friends getting into it about (oh god) 15 years ago now (?) 😳😂. I think I know what you mean and yeah, those sound super-cool 🤗

                      Hehe you hand-pick your groups carefully, too, eh? Same here 👍🏼. Mine have to be introverted, geeky, compassionate, and accepting of each other and myself 😊. You’re totally right, it’s all a balancing act ❤️❤️

                      Like

  7. I think you are rather amazing with words. Also perhaps because I understand where you are coming from. It’s probably why I reblog so many of your posts because you manage to write that which I cannot express
    I think facial expression emojis should come with a caption to say which expression they are!! We need an autism emoji app!!! Well I do. In the meantime I’ll stick to hearts and flowers 🙂
    Thank you for another fab post dear Laina 💟💕❤💕💖💜💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear one! 🙂 🙂 That means a lot coming from you – I think you’re terrific with words, too! I think that it helps that Aspies/auties frequently come from similar frames of mind, yeah – there’s a lot that we tend to “get” each other and that means that we have to explain ourselves a lot less. Thank you very very much for your kind reblogging, too! I’m not sure I say Thank You enough, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say it now 😀 Thank you for all your awesome support – it really makes a huge difference and means a ton to me 😀

      Three cheers for an autism emoji app!! Yes!! That would be fantastic 😀 Hearts and flowers until then, absolutely 😉 (I’m away from my mobile right now, on a regular ol’ boring desktop, so just envision a whole bunch of hearts and flowers after this!) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting, I prefer written communication: no body language to worry about, no risk of my tone of voice being misinterpreted (although the tone of the writing might be), time to think about what I want to say and edit it. I don’t use emoji, though, just the occasional smiley, usually when I’m worried someone might wrongly think I’m being sarcastic or more serious than I actually am.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hear you on that, too! There are definite pros and cons to both; I agree–with online communication, I can stim, delay my reply until I’ve been able to compose a coherent one, and I don’t have to worry about facial expression or body language or anything. Kinda freeing, in a way! And omg yes, the tone of voice – I’ve been really misunderstood and misinterpreted on that before, causing lots of unintended drama lol. Of course, that’s happened to me online too, because people don’t know how I might mean something, but meh. Nothing’s perfectly foolproof, eh? 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Laina, the best thing (person) to be is yourself. It is best to not worry or be anxious. Easier said than done, I imagine. I like using the emojis to illustrate, usually to create a small picture of the subject matter. I usually just use smiles for my emotional state, or an embarrassed smile.
    I like that you allow people to converse in your responses, you reply appropriately and sincerely. Hugs, Robin
    Just in case of hectic week at work, then traveling to see my Mom and siblings, then back to see grown children and grandchildren. . .
    Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you! 🎄⛄🎁🌠
    Stay peaceful and enjoy. 🕊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, my lovely! Your reassuring words are exactly what I needed, right at this moment 💗. You’re right on, on all points! Being yourself can be risky in a non-understanding world, but it really is the best way, in most cases. Especially here, where it’s pretty safe to be the person I am, because those who hang out here are (totally amazing! and) generally very understanding, and probably can even relate 😊. I use emojis like you do; to illustrate the meaning or intent behind my words, to let someone know I’m joking or meaning something in good fun, to augment a moment or aspect or feeling or something 😁.
      I absolutely love when people converse, either on here or on their own blogs; I think it fosters a supportive community that I’ve seen and heard so many having yearned for (myself included!), and I just think it’s a beautiful thing 🤗
      I hope you have a fantastic time with your family! 💞. Merry Christmas and Happy Everything to you and yours, too! 🎄🍀🍻😎✨☃☮🎉🎁🎊💗

      Like

  10. Ha ha, I’m actually struggling right now to figure out how to express what I’m feeling after reading this post. It’s something like Pure Ecstasy is across the street somewhere and its friendly warmth is just barely glowing through the curtains, and I can just catch a faint nuance of its sweet, musky perfume. My eyes are actually a little watery. Oh, boy, and now I’m resisting an urge to delete all of that and just write “Great job!” Sorry if I’m botching something with an overshare. Is it OK if I play the autism card? LOL

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I agree that written communication is more limited than text – but I kind of prefer it for that. I’ve literally said to people before “sorry, sarcasm doesn’t always translate in text” and they’ve replied “oh, yeah, true”. I like how the convention is to add a 😛 to signal a joke/sarcastic comment. People seem to recognise, maybe subconsciously, that clearer signals are needed in written communication… And in doing so, make it so obvious even an aspie can pick it up.

    A refreshing change to in-person communication.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Absolutely! 😀 I also like having the time to process what’s being said at my own pace, which is much easier in written communication than in a verbal conversation 🙂 I like the obviousness of text/written convos, too. Game-playing/mind games are tougher in written communication; it’s harder to be two-faced, I think. But I could be wrong about the last point. I just feel less “on stage” and vulnerable when communicating via text/written than I do talking with someone in person ❤

      Like

  12. I’ve actually asked how to even use emojis because I didn’t see them as a form of SELF expression. I also don’t care what people think of me, but I’m stymied when they suddenly stop talking to me. I have embraced that I AM a robot constantly rewriting loop counters. My friends who get me (thank god!) fondly go with the whole Pinky Robot thing, and it helps that I’m in a group that loves sci-fi robots. ☺ I’ve often said I’d rather plug into people like R2D2 plugs into a wall socket. This post hits a nail. The only thing I’d add is that I’m not afraid of being a robot because I like me the way I am, and if someone doesn’t, they can suck it. 😙

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yeah!! This 👏🏼👏🏼. I admit, I’m probably guilty of suddenly stopping talking to someone, but it’s not too common and it’s always by accident. I’m always embarrassed when I do it, too. I always appreciate those who take it in stride and we can just pick up where we left off. I guess it depends how often we talked before and how close I am with that person, etc. If someone I talked to every day suddenly stops (and I mean for a while, not just because they got busy or had something happen in their life), then I feel that stymied feeling, too. Mine is also combined with anxiety, because my people-pleasing desire is still there. I try to convince myself that I don’t care what people think of me, but deep down I still do. I’d like to get to the point where it doesn’t matter so much, though!
      I like your robot concept! And it’s so cool that you’re fine with it, too. Sci-fi people rock 👍🏼. I’ve never been into sci-fi myself except Star Wars, but I guess I fit the “personality type”, because everyone is always surprised that I haven’t gotten into more sci-fi 😂
      “I like me the way I am, and if someone doesn’t, they can suck it.” – This!! 👏🏼👏🏼. This is one point that I *have* reached, and damn, it feels good 😊😎🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love all of this post! I have the same challenges. And I often feel like I can’t comment when I’m not on my phone because no emojis…I need the emojis! lol

    Liked by 4 people

  14. This is one of those times when ADHD feels both so similar to and also so different from ASD. I have different ways of struggling in social interactions, often around not being able to shut up or self-edit, not knowing what to say. But, the reactions to people who could use socialization “practice” feel painfully familiar…

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Thinking about your post: it’s vital to understand what you wrote. We can’t please everyone. We need to have priorities based on common sense and self respect. From these starts everything else. Including social acceptance. Plus, you don’t want to be “liked” by everyone. You want to connect with people who are on the same wavelength as you. These are valuable “relationships”, both friendships and romance.
    Keep the hard inside job of finding your own balance. And trust this: you CAN be anything you want. Just stop beating up yourself for not being what OTHERS want you to be.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This, many times over! Thank you very much for adding your voice; I really needed that this morning 😊. Self-doubt and self-criticism have been two of my oldest toxic siblings. They’re not good for me, I know. I’m trying to shed them, and I think I’m making some progress over the way I used to be (it used to be *bad* lol!) 😊. But yes, they rear their ugly heads 💓. I think you’re absolutely right! In trying to please too many others, one begins to sacrifice or compromise too much of oneself. Nobody wins. Sometimes a mob can take over; thankfully that hasn’t happened here, but I’ve seen it happen other places. Ugh 🌺. I think I’m going to screenshot your comment for my mobile photos just to keep for myself in times when I need an awesome reminder 😁👍🏼💜

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I imagine this problem is even harder being a doctor… Patients want you to engage them and show that you “care” about their problems… like this random dark spot on my arm… it’s a bruise… It will go away in a day or two… But what if it doesn’t???

    I feel for you… and you are not alone…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep, you nailed it! 👏🏼👏🏼. I care very much, but I show it differently. I’m all “let’s fix the problem” because I want to see them get relief ASAP. Yet, I also know that a road to complete recovery (or optimum management) isn’t going to be fast or easy. Not all are up for the intense commitment, but I don’t know of any other way to help other than to go full-on 😊. And I already understand how important it is to do that, but they don’t yet. So yeah, there’s a communication gap for sure. The good news is, I’ve naturally gravitated toward a very slim specialty that allows me to take time, create artistic/image-rich written materials, and I’ve gathered a collection of analogies to help explain complex concepts and their importance 😁. It’s gotten better and easier, although I can’t know if it’ll ever be *easy* 😊. Thank you so much for adding your voice ❤️💜

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You speak so much what is on my mind, may be I am an aspie too. I recently had a “thought” experience after which I could understand the Howard Hugh character in
    “The aviator” quite well, the thought loops, the social awkwardness and disregard for boundaries and all that. I shall hang around here more.
    I think people like us are more logical. The world is less so. We are better off in certain dimensions.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Well, I can certainly relate! And if I was on my mobile I’d insert a grinning emoji here…
    Lots of what you said rang true for me as well. The reciprocation thing…particularly the saying thank-you bit, that has been a huge problem for me even as an adult. Never could figure out why, I knew I was doing something wrong, but I just couldn’t do it right. Now, at my age (I’ll be 45 in 10 days’ time!) much of the reciprocation has become automatic. I also get along well with 99% of the people I meet, and I think that generally speaking people like me. They also say I’m a good listener. But even though I’ve practised so much that it has become automatic, I still have a kind of Inner Monitor to help me out (this is distinct from the Inner Critic). The Inner Monitor will tell me “say Thank You now!”; “say something nice now!”; “Smile now!”
    And of course, living in the UK, ritualised weather talk will do the trick many times!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, it’s certainly more helpful than the Inner Critic and doesn’t put me down! It’s interesting, and I‘ve found this during my period of self-observation, that a lot of the time those expected reactions still aren’t automatic, but require conscious reminders of what the right thing is. It’s one of my traits that I find most convincing when arguing with myself in favour of my autism.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I got caught up in your post and based on the number of comments, so did many others especially since most don’t comment.

    I did think it tad long for a blog post but very well expressed. You blame yourself in my opinion but is a breakdown of communication all ever one sided. Thank you for opening my eyes this morning.

    Liked by 3 people

Please feel free to add your thoughts! I do my best to respond to each comment (even if it takes me a bit sometimes) :)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s