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do social situations make you feel lonely?
yes 33%  33%  [ 4 ]
no 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
sometimes / only specific situations 58%  58%  [ 7 ]
Total votes : 12

moongirl
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21 Nov 2021, 7:23 pm

my autism causes me to be selectively mute at school which makes socialising with people outside of my friend group impossible, i feel so lonely especially in class because it seems like everyone can just talk to each other and i cant. i feel so weird, like i dont belong there at all, its hard to put into words just how isolated i feel.. its so depressing and i feel like its never going to go away, because im not going to wake up one day and magically not be autistic. i mean, im already 15 and it hasnt gotten any better from when i was a kid so maybe it just never will. does anyone else feel this way?



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21 Nov 2021, 7:49 pm

I don't think I realize how lonely I am, until I get a friend that talks to me, and I feel soooo happy. Only happened a few times.



Edna3362
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21 Nov 2021, 8:12 pm

I don't feel loneliness, because I don't seem to have the same amount of emotional need nor the urge for socializing.

Therefore I don't feel the same type of loneliness everyone describes.


Isolated, yes.
Not physically or in action like being all alone or left out or merely not being able to talk.
But something else like, say, mentally and in spirit.

I can get along in crowds or even be happy and in synch amongst interactions.
But rarely ever feels resonating or anything deeper because most people don't see or understand things I do.

I don't even mask to blend and pass. I don't have this socialization persona whose end goal is to make friends.
Only my current moods and mental states.



Socialization, at best, just staves off boredom for me. Some are fun, some are not, but it is mostly work and best I do so when I feel like it.

I never actively seek nor avoid it, never my highest priority in life. I don't even see it as some form of investment.
The rest is either a goal out of necessity like transactions or in a job, ​or a side effect good or bad out of any encounters.




Usually, when people are in their 30s or 50s, they realized a lot of things involved socialization that mattered in their youth don't really mattered at all in life.


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CockneyRebel
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21 Nov 2021, 11:23 pm

I socially isolated myself when I was 15. I wasn't going to bother with kids that I didn't have anything in common with, because they didn't want to bother with me anyways.


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Sweetleaf
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22 Nov 2021, 12:18 am

moongirl wrote:
my autism causes me to be selectively mute at school which makes socialising with people outside of my friend group impossible, i feel so lonely especially in class because it seems like everyone can just talk to each other and i cant. i feel so weird, like i dont belong there at all, its hard to put into words just how isolated i feel.. its so depressing and i feel like its never going to go away, because im not going to wake up one day and magically not be autistic. i mean, im already 15 and it hasnt gotten any better from when i was a kid so maybe it just never will. does anyone else feel this way?


I did feel that way when I was your age, except I didn't know I had autism...so I didn't really have any context of why I felt so different. But yeah I would struggle to talk to people outside of people I was comfortable with and things like that and I still do.

Some of it has gotten better, but for sure some of the things I thought growing into adulthood would fix were not fixed by that. So realistically you will probably always have struggles with it, but for sure life in general can improve. It gets better in some ways, and it doesn't get better in other ways, but still worth living life to experience things.



CinderashAutomaton
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22 Nov 2021, 8:55 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
I did feel that way when I was your age, except I didn't know I had autism...so I didn't really have any context of why I felt so different.

Same here.

But don't worry @moongirl and others, it does get better. As people grow up and mature it becomes easier to talk to others. And I mean as both you AND others mature. To explain why that is is a little too complicated for me to get into, but I can say that the most apparent factor to you will be that a lot of people start being more accepting and understanding, and be more interested and patient in hearing what you have to say. Not everyone of course, but enough to find yourself a satisfying number of friends.

In my 20's I even started to become somewhat outgoing once I went on a big self-improvement binge and learned a lot of neat tricks to get around my difficulties and improved my conversational skills.

Also, some perspective to perhaps help you view your autism in a different light:
Many people without autism also struggle with socializing. And some even learn really bad habits that make them unpleasant or even downright toxic people to be around even if they feel at ease socializing.

I've also got selective mutism, and it was really bad as a child. I was almost kicked out of grade school because they thought I couldn't speak the language...but I was actually fluent in two languages, three if you count the musical language. And even to this day I still have flair ups of mutism, sometimes going 100% mute for days.

But it's possible to work around it! In my 20's I'd go to bars and chat with strangers. I'd date through dating apps and have wonderful conversations. I'd even chat up random people I meet while going about my day.

For me, knowledge has always been my main source of social ability. Everything from learning the ins and outs of conversation, to learning how people respond to certain social overtures, to just knowing random stuff or daily news and events that you can bring up in conversation to tell people about and discuss. I learned to be confident by being secure in the knowledge that I could start and maintain conversations that other people enjoyed.

It's difficult and daunting, I know, but it's doable! Accept your mental obstacles and get familiar with them so you can learn how to work around them.

Tip: When my selective mutism starts kicking in hard, I stop trying to force it and just start small. Reduce your use of language to just simple and short stuff. Go even as far as just texting people emojis if you need to. Then just wait till you feel more comfortable before upping the level of your communication. Rinse and repeat. I also tell people I talk to regularly about my condition and give them keywords and signs so they can understand more from what little I say. For example, I'll say 'difficult' or even just text the letter 'd' to let them know I'm having difficulty talking or that I'm having trouble bringing up something I want to talk about. Or if my mental health is doing poorly and I can't/don't want to talk at all, I'll just shake my head 'no' and hold up my hand as if to say 'stop'. And there are a ton of other work-arounds.

Finally, remind yourself that it's okay to be the quiet kid. There are people on the other extreme, too. Treat it as just your particular flavor as a person. Some people are tall, some people are short, some people have funny voices, some are passionate about odd things, some people have frizzy hair. We're just a bit shyer than average.


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Thank you deeply for sharing your experiences. I don't feel so alone anymore.