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Nesf

How social are you?

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Nesf

How social are you? Do you go out and make an effort to be social, to fit in, make friends, etc, or so you prefer to be on your own? And if you are quite social, how much do you feel that you are affected by ASD and what coping stategies do you have to overcome the difficulties?

 

I used to be more social and tried to fit in even though it caused me problems and anxiety. It used to upset me that I didn't have a social life and close friends, but since being diagnosed I don't feel I need so much to try to socialise and don't go out nearly as often. I don't know whether this is due to my being older or due to my diagnosis affecting me psychologically. I'm now content to stay at home and don't often seek contact with others. I occasionally go out for a coffee or for a meal with a friend or family, but I have no close friends, most of my friendships are online ones these days.

 

For me it's not always the problem that I don't want to socialise and if asked out to go out for a meal, for example, I'm happy that they thought to invite me and provided it's a quiet restaurant I may well go, but the problems are when I arrive as I can easily be affected by the music, conversations going on around me, noises and smells from the kitchen, etc, and I find groups difficult because I can't join in, get bored and switch off, and if there's just one person it's tiring to talk and keep the conversation going... socialising means talking, and talking is exhausting! It's supposed to get easier as you get older but for me it's getting harder if anything, so I now find myself staying in nearly all the time and I'm not particularly social.

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Sofi

I feel like the basic answer for me, is no I'm not at all social. I don't make an effort to be social - one reason, is because it's difficult with where I live, but also I don't want to be. I love being on my own and I don't really like the thought of having friends to see. 

 

I used to be more social too, when I was a teenager and a bit over 20. I had a couple of friends and I would go out occasionally to social situations, even nightclubs. Not often at all, by a 'normal' persons standards but it never ever went well for me. I feel awful and really anxious in really social situations, I think I was just trying hard to fit in. I learnt that I don't do well in those situations, so now I know not to put myself into those situations and I could try other, quieter socializing for me. I had a bit of a breakdown around age 21, and after that I haven't been able to go out and do anything remotely social since then, so I guess it's got harder for me as I've got older too!

 

All of my friendships are now online too, but I find that works better for me. Then, there's no pressure to go out and socialise if it's not geographically possible! Also, I find it easier with friends who are also on the spectrum.

I spend 95% of my time alone inside, despite living with two people, I can often go for 18 hours without seeing or speaking to them. So, I'm just a recluse, with my own company... but I'm really happy that way (that'll be because I'm autistic though!!!!), so that's okay?

I would want to try to become a little more social in my life, depending how things in my life go. I have an upcoming event which is very social for me, so I'll feel good when I'm able to do that. 

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Xmas

I find it extremely difficult to socialise. When I was younger I used to wonder why it was so difficult for me to socialise. I would go out with a group of friends and everyone would be enjoying themselves and I would pretend that I was enjoying myself but would be feeling awkward and longing for the time to go home.

 

As I got a bit older I would still force myself to socialise, be it a pub, club or restaurant but the result was always the same and I thought that maybe it was because I did not have much in common with the circle of people I was meeting. But of course that was not true either.

 

Then a few years ago, I found I would be getting ready to go out and would look ahead and realise how excruciating it was going to be and would change my mind and just stay at home.

 

I work in an office and I've been there for about eight years, but not once have I gone to the various functions and parties that they have from time to time. I just can't do it.

 

These days I don't go out much, I have one close friend who will take me to a restaurant or for a pub lunch but that is as near as I get to socialising. I live on the coast and we will often just go to the beach and walk by the sea as long as there are not too many people around.

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Bruce

I've got some social life - since I do go to church, see my parents & some other people. Then, there's work but that's not really very similar! I think I envy those of you who have been able to just give up on almost all of it....

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Mike_GX101

Work is the source of most of my social network (during coffee break times, etc).  But not being in work has been quite hard on that note.  I think some times I almost hope there are ghosts where I live just for the company!!  Any company is better than none at all.  I have a face on my wall and he keeps me company with his shadowy hooded eyes!

 

I have always had difficulty striking up conversation especially in pubs.  I'm not one of these who can go out and just do it.  I enjoy a party atmosphere when I've had one or two drinks but initially I'm too overwhelmed by the experience to get anything from it.  If I don't get to drink I usually leave before the party gets started.

 

Some times driving home from work on a Friday night I'm the only one driving out of town while huge traffic jams are packing in the other direction towards town.  That's how I've always been.

Edited by Mike_GX101

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iggy

How social I am can change dramatically within a 24 hour period. Sometimes I will talk endlessly to people, even feel like I'm doing fine and there isn't too much awkwardness, other times ill just want to avoid people and can't stand to think of an hour "socialising". I don't make that much of an effort, really.

That's probably why my real friends are the ones who I only see a couple of times per year, since a text or Facebook message can be replied to in length, at any time with thought. I used to go to the cinema and into town with people nearby, but it isn't very fun for me. I find the whole time I'm slightly on edge in case something goes wrong, so I am completely exhausted by the end of it all! However, just sometimes I will go to a social meeting of some sort, enjoy myself and not come home tired, so I think it depends on my mood at the time as well.

I do go to most family gatherings, although they do tend to understand if I remain at home for a "disco" type event where people just drink and dance to loud music. To be honest, I'm probably not missed ;)

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Sofi
How social I am can change dramatically within a 24 hour period. Sometimes I will talk endlessly to people, even feel like I'm doing fine and there isn't too much awkwardness, other times ill just want to avoid people and can't stand to think of an hour "socialising". I don't make that much of an effort, really.

That's probably why my real friends are the ones who I only see a couple of times per year, since a text or Facebook message can be replied to in length, at any time with thought. I used to go to the cinema and into town with people nearby, but it isn't very fun for me. I find the whole time I'm slightly on edge in case something goes wrong, so I am completely exhausted by the end of it all! However, just sometimes I will go to a social meeting of some sort, enjoy myself and not come home tired, so I think it depends on my mood at the time as well.

I do go to most family gatherings, although they do tend to understand if I remain at home for a "disco" type event where people just drink and dance to loud music. To be honest, I'm probably not missed ;)

 

Where do your real friends live, who you see a couple of times per year? That sounds like a good friendship, so you don't have pressure to have to go out and socialise with them very often. What do you do with these friends, when do meet up those couple of times a year?

Do you have friends at school, but don't see them outside of school hours? 

 

When I was at school, I didn't have friends in school because they were all very different to really be friends with. My friends were all from outside of school and I would see them only on a Saturday or sometimes a weekday evening they would come to my house. I wouldn't be very good at going to their house though, so that didn't happen. Sometimes, we'd go to the cinema or go to a youth cafe. I was always worried something would go wrong too. I never truly enjoyed it. 

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Nesf

Thanks for your replies. Many of your experiences are similar to mine. Like Sofi I had a break down, mine was last year, and since then I don't feel like socializing much any more, on retrospect I think that affected me more than the diagnosis, and it was that which lead to the diagnosis anyway. I always tried but was rejected by others without knowing what was behind it, and it weighed on me. I used to go out and pretend to be enjoying myself too, as Xmas describes but at some time the bubble had to burst - deep down  knew it wasn't me. At Uni I was more social as I had some friends from the computing an engineering departments (I was studying German with International Studies!) and a couple of oversees students and with whom I fitted in better. Those were better times. At school I had friends but one at a time and they were people like me who didn't fit in or belong to one of the cliques. I didn't socialize much beyond school, and didn't go to parties and things like that. I once went to a night club and hated it, so didn't repeat it.  Two is company, three's a crowd!!

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iggy
Where do your real friends live, who you see a couple of times per year? That sounds like a good friendship, so you don't have pressure to have to go out and socialise with them very often. What do you do with these friends, when do meet up those couple of times a year?

Do you have friends at school, but don't see them outside of school hours? 

 

When I was at school, I didn't have friends in school because they were all very different to really be friends with. My friends were all from outside of school and I would see them only on a Saturday or sometimes a weekday evening they would come to my house. I wouldn't be very good at going to their house though, so that didn't happen. Sometimes, we'd go to the cinema or go to a youth cafe. I was always worried something would go wrong too. I never truly enjoyed it. 

They live in the city I used to live in, which is a little over an hour away from me.it is a good friendship, and when we do see each other we get along well. We tend to go ice skating, or play games.

I also have friends in school I don't really see out of school. I did see them out of school sometimes, but it's tapered off since I haven't invited them back as I've been busy and things. There doesn't seem to be hard feelings though, everyone is busy anyway so it's more understandable! I don't mind the cinema, since "full" in our cinema is one family per row :P

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Sofi
Thanks for your replies. Many of your experiences are similar to mine. Like Sofi I had a break down, mine was last year, and since then I don't feel like socializing much any more, on retrospect I think that affected me more than the diagnosis, and it was that which lead to the diagnosis anyway. I always tried but was rejected by others without knowing what was behind it, and it weighed on me. I used to go out and pretend to be enjoying myself too, as Xmas describes but at some time the bubble had to burst - deep down  knew it wasn't me. At Uni I was more social as I had some friends from the computing an engineering departments (I was studying German with International Studies!) and a couple of oversees students and with whom I fitted in better. Those were better times. At school I had friends but one at a time and they were people like me who didn't fit in or belong to one of the cliques. I didn't socialize much beyond school, and didn't go to parties and things like that. I once went to a night club and hated it, so didn't repeat it.  Two is company, three's a crowd!!

 

I think I had tried to do too much socialising and fitting in and I was getting in a really bad way over it and I was getting in trouble, which caused the break down which just started one day with a meltdown, which I remember very vividly. It was horrible. I tried to pick myself up from it, but it wasn't working and it led to the bad time. Ugh!

 

I didn't know you studied German with International Studies! That's quite interesting. I really liked German. 

 

 

They live in the city I used to live in, which is a little over an hour away from me.it is a good friendship, and when we do see each other we get along well. We tend to go ice skating, or play games. I also have friends in school I don't really see out of school. I did see them out of school sometimes, but it's tapered off since I haven't invited them back as I've been busy and things. There doesn't seem to be hard feelings though, everyone is busy anyway so it's more understandable! I don't mind the cinema, since "full" in our cinema is one family per row :P

That's good that you are still able to be friends with those where you used to live  :) I prefer that sort of friendship too, where you don't have to see them so often. It's nicer that way. 

And it's okay you don't see the school friends outside of school, you've got other things to do. 

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