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Nesf

How social are you?

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Asgardian
On 1 April 2016 at 1:04 AM, Little Guy said:

I'm social on the outside and a hermit on the inside:lol:

I am pretty much a hermit inside and outside :D

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lifeis
7 hours ago, StraightToThePoint said:

I am pretty much a hermit inside and outside :D

u should grow a long beard and live in a cave. The hermit lifestyle might suit you?

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Aspergolfer

I'm a strang bird, as I have FAS as well as being Autistic.  FAS makes one hypersocial,  but like ASD, unable to understand social cues. So I'm sociable, but not social. My sociable nature is perfect for what I do, as encounters with customers are brief. 

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Alice

Im about as social as a fly on the wall 

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Little Guy
On 5/25/2013 at 3:23 PM, Xmas said:

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 really relate to this.

I don't do social media at all.
This is the only forum I actually contribute to.
Social media just feels too scary; like I am in the middle of St. Peter's on Easter.
Occasionally once every year or two, I go to a baseball but only after planning it out.
I can't even go to large family events.
One person or two is my limit.

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Sanctuary

My social contacts have always been pretty limited but in the past couple of years or so they've virtually disappeared altogether as I've been working for myself from home. I've had few friends in life - in education or work some people became acquaintances that I got on well with but very few of these relationships moved into friendship or if they did they soon ended after moving on. Although I would have liked more social contacts I can't say it's bothered me too greatly - this I think is they key difference between someone with AS who is quite comfortable with solitude and a neurotypical person who would find it extremely difficult.

What I have found during this more recent period of virtual social isolation is the very few times I do go to see people it becomes a huge event and I become quite anxious in anticipation. Meeting up becomes a disruption to my heavily routinised life. Part of me would rather just stay at home although I do enjoy the meeting when it takes place.I suppose this is one of the drawbacks of having a limited social life is it can make any meeting hard-going but the more one withdraws the harder it can become. Before meeting I can't help thinking a huge amount about what I might say - not that there's anything crucial to be discussed it's just i have a "busy mind".

This is probably the first place I've discussed this limited social life. It's not something I've discussed with friends or family. In part this is because it doesn't trouble me greatly but I am also aware that unfortunately there is still a social stigma about having few social contacts. Too many people think that people who have few contacts are "loners" who are either "bad" ("there must be something wrong with them") or "sad" - someone to be pitied and "helped". The reality is more mundane - I and many others who aren't very social are people who can often get on quite satisfactorily with people but who can't cross the bridge towards friendship or just prefer to keep a low profile and their own company.

It's ironic but probably the only people who know how limited my social life is are my neighbours whom I rarely speak to. This may be different to some people who do discuss it with friends, family or others. My neighbours will know that I rarely leave the house and no-one ever visits while the other people I know won't have this more direct information although they might guess that I lead a largely solitary existence. It is still possible to be quite social in other ways by phone or online socialising but I rarely do those things either. Aside from neighbours the only others who would have a good idea of this isolation would be the phone companies who might notice that I make and receive almost no calls although I suppose some people rarely use their landline but do use their mobile a lot and vice versa so that's not absolute proof. 

All things considered I am broadly content with this lifestyle although I've no doubt it seems "strange" to people off the spectrum. Perhaps people with AS are the cats of the human world - solitary beings but with a splendid individuality. Social contact isn't necessary for a successful and fulfilling life although it can certainly be useful. Over the past two or three years I have in particular had certain issues that have troubled me and keep going through my head. With more social contact I would have more distraction and perhaps people I could discuss these issues with. However even when I was more social i was always very private so maybe I wouldn't have raised them anyway. Social contact can also - as we all know - be a major cause as well as a reliever of stress. I would probably benefit from being more social but doubt I will ever be very social - and nor do I want to be.

Thank you for reading - that post proved longer than I expected and concision is certainly not one of my strengths!

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AmethystSapphire

Not very. I haven't met up with a friend in person in ages. I do have an online friend whom I talk to, and I am active on another forum.

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DC1346
On 5/25/2013 at 10:32 AM, Nesf said:

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'm not. I wasn't diagnosed until later in life ... 53. I am now 57. Prior to my diagnosis, I suffered from chronic depression because try as I might, I only had a handful of friends. My relationships were far and few between. I couldn't understand why I was having so many problems while so many others had busy social lives. 

As you might imagine, I had a great many ah-hah moments after I received my clinical diagnosis. 

Since I now know that I'm neurologically predisposed towards being a reclusive introvert, I gave myself permission to be just that. I took an internal transfer within my district and moved to a small school in a rural area. The transfer gave me the excuse to terminate the few friendships I had formed since I was moving away. During the three years I've been at my new school, I've made no effort to make friends. Although I am on friendly terms with some colleagues at work, I haven't pursued any friendships. I don't feel bad about not having friends. It's actually quite liberating not to have to expend time and emotional energy (and sometimes money), building and maintaining a friendship. I don't know about the rest of you but it's also emotionally exhausting trying to fit in. 

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Sanctuary

My situation is rather similar to yours DC1346. Although I'm happy to be on good terms with people I come across I have no particular desire o be social. Some people with AS do feel more need for this but all of us are less dependent on social contact than neurotypicals. I would agree that realising one has AS is liberating and helps put previously confusing, even upsetting , events in our lives into context. We don't feel the same need to be somebody we are not. 

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