An anti-skill that interferes with friendship


This post is a further response to an ask by someone who identifies as aspie and is struggling to making friends.

Yesterday, I addressed the burden of stigma we face, and how it can make it hard to find people who will treat us well enough to be good friends. Today, I want to start talking about…

applebeloved said:

People don’t know how freaking hard I work to appear normal. So if you’re my classmate or someone who knows me and is reading this, you better take this down.

Things I had to work on:

1. Smiling
I don’t see anything genuinely funny, but if I do, I shall laugh.

2. Not slanting my eyes, keeping my face straight
My eyes apparently freak out adults

3. Slouching to fit in
My peers used to laugh at my stiff straight posture.

4. Not stimming
Like flapping my hands and jumping around and releasing tension in my body. Nowadays I react by doing an upper body dance which amuses my friends.

5. Speaking slowly and coherently
I get excited and speak intensely and really quick, especially about things I love to talk about

6. Eye contact
Hate it

7. Ordering food, asking questions, answering them

8. Pretending to be interested in what others say
I tell them if they ask me if I truly am bored. But I try to listen.

I eat chocolate to calm myself down and regain my wits about me

realsocialskills said:

People really, really need to understand the toll passing takes on people.

Whether and when to try to pass is a very personal choice - and for many of us, it’s survival. But the cost is high. And that needs to be a factor in decision making, and in education.