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Phil99
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Joined: 29 Jun 2021
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 1

30 Jun 2021, 2:08 am

Hello,

I believe I have Apsperger's (self-diagnosed). I'm fairly successful in my professional life. The following is not about relationships, but friendships.

I meet people in activities and hobbies-related clubs (e.g. Toastmasters). Sometimes I invite them over. They come to my place. We eat. We play board games, chat, go for walk, etc. I tell my stories. I listen to them. I can joke. I can be funny. I can listen to them with empathy. We generally have a good time. Everything seems to go well and I feel that maybe this would develop into a friendship, but no.

To give an example, I recently met this man in Toastmasters. He also follows a plant-based diet. So I invited him and he came and we baked pizza and we ate and we chatted. He opened up and he mentioned that he and his wife may be divorcing though he hasn't told anyone about it. I said this will stay with me.

Anyway, after he left, he never emailed or texted a note of thanks or anything. That's OK. But he never invited me over to his place.

This story repeats over and over. It'd be easy to blame people but the only thing common in this is me. So I assume that people do not feel comfortable with my Asperger's.

Question: What mannerisms, etc. does a person with Asperger's has that people pick up on? I probably can't change anything, but would still like to know.

Question: What should I do? Should I stop inviting people?

I try to stay busy with work and hobbies, but sometimes it gets depressing.

Thank you so much.



DuckHairback
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Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 238
Location: Dorset

30 Jun 2021, 2:07 pm

I can't offer much help, but this is very much my experience of people as well so just to say you're not alone.

I'm quite socially awkward, particularly so in groups of people where I tend to shut down, but I can do one-on-one provided the environment is not overstimulating. But as you describe, my overtures of friendship never seem to be appreciated.

I've spent quite a lot of time thinking about why this may be.

I've come to the conclusion that there's simply something in the way I come across that makes people uncomfortable. It's possibly something very subtle, maybe even unconscious. Maybe something about me just seems 'off' to people and they can't relax.

I think I might look angry a lot of the time. I'm not. I'm very sensitive to light so my eyes are often screwed up and squinty, particularly if its sunny.

I put a lot of work into suppressing the extremes of my personality so as not to freak people out. I try not to talk at length about Titanic, or the follies of Whittaker Wright or whatever it is I'm currently obsessing about. I ask questions, try to be empathetic, I try to keep my jokes mainstream logical and avoid going fully weird with humour. I struggle greatly with eye contact but its uncomfortable for me to force that so I can't do much about it.

It may even be that the effort I put it is very noticeable and that's what people are responding negatively to.

Point I'm trying to make is that analysing what it is we do that stops people responding to us in the way we'd like them to, and trying to manually override it - well it might make the problem worse. It may be the entire problem. I don't know.



Fnord
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Joined: 6 May 2008
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Location: Stendec

30 Jun 2021, 3:35 pm

Phil99 wrote:
Why do people behave this way?
• Because maybe they can.

• Because maybe they want to.

• Because maybe you do nothing to inspire them to behave otherwise.


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BeaArthur
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Posts: 5,775

30 Jun 2021, 6:51 pm

Phil99 wrote:
Hello,

I believe I have Apsperger's (self-diagnosed). I'm fairly successful in my professional life. The following is not about relationships, but friendships.

I meet people in activities and hobbies-related clubs (e.g. Toastmasters). Sometimes I invite them over. They come to my place. We eat. We play board games, chat, go for walk, etc. I tell my stories. I listen to them. I can joke. I can be funny. I can listen to them with empathy. We generally have a good time. Everything seems to go well and I feel that maybe this would develop into a friendship, but no.

To give an example, I recently met this man in Toastmasters. He also follows a plant-based diet. So I invited him and he came and we baked pizza and we ate and we chatted. He opened up and he mentioned that he and his wife may be divorcing though he hasn't told anyone about it. I said this will stay with me.

Anyway, after he left, he never emailed or texted a note of thanks or anything. That's OK. But he never invited me over to his place.

This story repeats over and over. It'd be easy to blame people but the only thing common in this is me. So I assume that people do not feel comfortable with my Asperger's.

Question: What mannerisms, etc. does a person with Asperger's has that people pick up on? I probably can't change anything, but would still like to know.

Question: What should I do? Should I stop inviting people?

I try to stay busy with work and hobbies, but sometimes it gets depressing.

Thank you so much.

I suggest you try to find yourself a small group to belong to. Instead of inviting someone to your house for games or for a meal, invite 3 or 4 people over. Then suggest things you all can do in the future, like take in a new movie. Don't worry about being the one who always invites - think of yourself as the "idea person" who sets up social activities. Of course, not every idea will appeal to everyone in your small group, but don't be too easily discouraged.

Also work on some skills you might not be using now, such as using text messages to remind a whole group of an upcoming engagement, perhaps arranging some carpooling, etc.

Think about networking. Say your small group consisting of 4 people who all like a certain game, has 1 person who is into biking and so are you, but not the other two. Well, arrange a bike ride with the 1 other person but also bring in a couple more from an activities club. Etc. Cross pollination.

I bet you don't want to do this much work, and feel like saying "why does it always have to be me?" and "I do better one on one." Well, you asked for input. This was mine.


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