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MidnightRose
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21 Mar 2021, 8:40 pm

Due to people having jobs and stuff my dad was leaving his St. Patrick's Day celebrations for the weekend. I was invited to tag along, it was him, his girlfriend, and some of their friends. I initially didn't want to go, but I kind of said to myself "why not?" and decided to. The day basically consisted of us going through the center of town stopping at different bars. You know, St. Patrick's Day.

It was going pretty well, and I actually felt pretty good. But the lack of any kind of schedule, the night just seemed to get longer and longer, being around a lot of stimulus for so long, people not sticking to what we had agreed to, etc. for hours eventually wore me down. I ended the night feeling exhausted, pretty frustrated, and not particularly happy with anyone there. Waiting until I'm at the end of my rope makes the whole night retroactively suck in my head and makes me not want to socialize in the future. I think if you're going to some social event where you know you could get frustrated/exhausted you should always have some kind of exit-strategy ready and leave before you get to the point where you can't stand being there anymore. I mean, you're definitely not sending out good vibes to people when you're in that state, so there's no point sticking it out to "be social" you know?



Juliette
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22 Mar 2021, 7:19 pm

Very well put. Couldn’t agree more. Always have an exit strategy. Some acquaintances on the spectrum I’ve had just don’t do social events with family or work colleagues. One tried hard to fit in by initially going along to an out of working hours drinks and chat get together, but he needed to make his excuses and leave after a short time as he couldn’t deal with the work/not work aspect with those same people thing. He was extremely good at his job. Similarly, he couldn’t and wouldn’t remain in his own house if anyone came to stay over(eg his wife’s parents or friends). He would need to move to the barn. He simply couldn’t cope and would fall apart with the change to his environment.

Some of us cope better than others with these situations. Once you’ve had enough and it stops being enjoyable, that’s the time to say goodnight and head home.



Fnord
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22 Mar 2021, 7:32 pm

One useful exit strategy is to have a friend call you at a specific time, so that the following conversation can take place...

You: "Hello?"

She: "This is that rescue call you wanted. How's it going?"

You: "Accident? How bad?"

She: "That awful, huh? Now say, 'Arterial bleeding'."

You: "Arterial bleeding? The spurty kind?"

She: "Yep. That's the one! Listen, I can pick you up, and..."

You: "No, that's alright. I'm leaving now!"

She: "Okay ... nice plan, by the way."

You: "Thanks. Bye."

<* click *>

You: "Sorryeveryonegottagonowveryimportantbye!"

Then you leave.  Works every time, but only if you drove yourself.


:D


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crstlgls
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21 May 2021, 8:37 am

@Fnord, What if you can't drive? It's harder to plan an exit strategy if you don't have an immediate ride. Not all Aspies can drive, you know. I can't. I'm not denying the importance of an exit strategy, just saying it's harder to plan when you cannot drive a vehicle. I have to depend on others to drive me around, usually using ADA Paratransit. So I may be able to leave a situation temporarily, but I cannot leave the location I was dropped off at unless it's on foot and I have a way back.



Fnord
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21 May 2021, 9:47 am

Taxi, Uber, Lyft, Buses ... You could even arrange to have a friend or two sitting nearby.  One of them makes the call, and if everything is alright, then they do nothing; but if you feel the need to bail, have the convo I posted above with one, and the other can "accidentally" show up near your table just in time for you to ask them for a ride.

I have been on all three sides of this many times: rescuer, rescuee, and the hapless fool being bailed on.


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BeaArthur
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21 May 2021, 1:32 pm

Bailing on a bad first date is one particular situation, but OP was talking about a non-romantic "friends" sort of celebration. Exit strategy might be nothing more than "You guys go on to the next pub, I'm really tired and will catch an Uber home." It doesn't have to be an elaborate ruse.


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Mona Pereth
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21 May 2021, 1:49 pm

MidnightRose wrote:
I think if you're going to some social event where you know you could get frustrated/exhausted you should always have some kind of exit-strategy ready and leave before you get to the point where you can't stand being there anymore. I mean, you're definitely not sending out good vibes to people when you're in that state, so there's no point sticking it out to "be social" you know?

Personally I think the best exit strategy is to be straightforward and honest. No need for make-believe emergencies.

To avoid being offensive about it, just:

1) Let your hosts know in advance that you have limited capacity for social interaction and that you might need to leave early, and let them know what specific kinds of things tend to wear you out.

2) When the time comes for you to leave, briefly refer back to what you told them earlier.

At both times, use "I" language, phrasing your possible or actual need to leave in terms of your own personal needs/idiosyncrasies, rather than blaming your hosts for anything.


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Mona Pereth
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21 May 2021, 2:10 pm

BeaArthur wrote:
Bailing on a bad first date is one particular situation, but OP was talking about a non-romantic "friends" sort of celebration. Exit strategy might be nothing more than "You guys go on to the next pub, I'm really tired and will catch an Uber home." It doesn't have to be an elaborate ruse.

I fully agree.

Even for a bad first date, I've never felt the need for an elaborate ruse. IMO first dates should always be in a public place, with a solid agreement in advance that you will not be going to either person's home until after the second or third date at the very earliest, and with neither person depending on the other for transportation.

(Personally I always preferred first-time meetings not to be via one-on-one dating in the first place, but there have been times in the past when I have met people for one-on-one dates.)


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Fnord
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21 May 2021, 2:24 pm

BeaArthur wrote:
Bailing on a bad first date is one particular situation, but OP was talking about a non-romantic "friends" sort of celebration.  Exit strategy might be nothing more than "You guys go on to the next pub, I'm really tired and will catch an Uber home."  It doesn't have to be an elaborate ruse.
Ahh ... my mistake.  Sorry 'bout that!


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21 May 2021, 5:37 pm

I don't get overwhelmed at social events, I just get bored, depending on who I'm with and what sort of environment it is. I like socialising and being around people, and I can be very chatty and bubbly, but if I feel like I can't be myself or I can't hear myself talk over loud music or too many people are getting too drunk around me, then I become bored and want to leave. (I don't drink).

I think a lot of NTs can feel this way too, which is why they like to drink alcohol at social events, so that they can relax. I'm sure if places like crowded, noisy bars and clubs didn't sell or allow any alcohol and everybody there was 100% sober, I bet most people would leave way before closing time.


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PhosphorusDecree
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11 Jun 2021, 7:30 pm

THIS. I learned the hard way to call it a night while I'm still enjoying it, not two hours later when my eyes feel like Scotch eggs and my attempts at smiling strike terror into the hearts of strong men. And if I'm not enjoying myself within about an hour of arriving, desparately waiting 4 hours for it to Start Being Fun is just not going to work. Trust me, I've tried. A lot. This situation is also why I am very reluctant to go for a night out in another city ever again. It's hard to stage an timely retreat when you then have to deal with an hour or two's journey home through Drunkland.

Unfortunately, other people faffing around and changing their plans for nonsensical reasons every five seconds is not something I can control. Every time it happens, the faint screaming noise in my head gets a step louder. (I wish I meant that figuratively.) One of my best friends is terrible for doing this, and he just does not seem to get how big a problem it is for me.


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Aspie1
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15 Jun 2021, 7:42 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
1) Let your hosts know in advance that you have limited capacity for social interaction and that you might need to leave early, and let them know what specific kinds of things tend to wear you out.

2) When the time comes for you to leave, briefly refer back to what you told them earlier.

At both times, use "I" language, phrasing your possible or actual need to leave in terms of your own personal needs/idiosyncrasies, rather than blaming your hosts for anything.
In the perfect world, this would work. But we live in the real world. The kind where there's nothing NTs hate more than the notion of someone they invited not having fun at their event. Because it tells them they're worthless failures at making people feel included. But instead of changing the event to make it more inclusive, they shame the unhappy person into having fun. From offers to buy a drink, to fake promises to do something else, to insincere apologies, to threats of physical violence; trust me, I've experienced them all. So, the minute you find yourself feeling uncomfortable at a social gathering, JUST LEAVE. Don't apologize, don't negotiate, don't make excuses; just say a polite but terse goodbye, and WALK OUT as fast as you can. Ignore anyone trying to stop you; they were never good people to begin with, and don't deserve your attention in the slightest. And the moment someone threatens you, don't hesitate to call the police; just hide in a restroom or outside the building before you do it.

NTs have no moral qualms about using social leverage to force compliance in aspies. There's absolutely no need to have any moral qualms of your own. Stand by your principles, and do what you must to protect your mental health.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Jun 2021, 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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15 Jun 2021, 7:57 pm

I'm not going to tell anybody that I have "limited capacity for social interaction"----even if I happen to have "limited capacity for social interaction."



auntblabby
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15 Jun 2021, 8:26 pm

i have a flashing sign on my forehead clearly visible a mile away. so the situations never happen, for the most part.



PhosphorusDecree
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18 Jun 2021, 7:19 pm

auntblabby wrote:
i have a flashing sign on my forehead clearly visible a mile away. so the situations never happen, for the most part.


That must be very useful. Wonder where I can buy one.... :D

Unfortunately, my face only expresses emotions when I don't want it to. When I do want it to, all the fabled social perceptiveness of the Neurotypical fails to see past my impassive, waxen mask to the "get me out of here!! !! !!" behind.


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