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Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

I've have made more threads on this topic than I care to count, but things have gone to shit again. And of course it's my bad social skills that are to blame.

 

Long story short I have made a new friend, and I asked them something which according to social norms isn't acceptable and I was told as such (in a nice way). I suppose this situation isn't anywhere near as bad as some of the others that I have experienced. But I have lost friends in the past for things like this, and I'm scared it will happen again.

 

I have literally nobody to turn to in real life about this - because of my social skills. People generally think I'm too weird to actually want to be my friend. (RO peeps excepted of course Smiley Happy) I want to try another psychologist, but I have a few trust issues to work through before I'm ready for that.

 

It seems like I have two options - either don't make friends, or make friends and then lose them because I don't have social skills or don't respect social norms. I don't know what's worse...

 

I'm sorry

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

@mrmusic reading this my heart ached for you Heart
It sounds like your new friend was a bit taken back by the question, would that be a fair statement?
I was curious as to what happened after the question?

I can hear that this is a topic which weighs really heavily for you, and I wanted to reiterate that we're here for you Heart

 


We reflected on the joys of 2019


Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

@Bee thank you for your kind words Heart

 

I think you are correct in that they were taken back by the question. I also realise that the question probably wasn't really okay, given that we only met in the last week. All the signs look positive between me and my friend; I apologised and they got back quickly and said that we're all good.

 

I suppose my frustration here is that things like this keep happening. I want to be able to treat friends as friends and not anything else. I just don't understand social boundaries like other people do - and that's a problem. Maybe it's not anyone's fault per se, but that still doesn't make it okay.

 

I'm very grateful that I'll always be accepted here on RO for who I am. Heart But we're only an online platform at the end of the day, and I need that acceptance in real life. I think I already have it, but it's hard to see that sometimes. Heart But I'm trying.

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

@mrmusic  Do you know what it is that you struggle with in respect to social skills, for example do you struggle with communication or reading body language, or is it a more general issue that you struggle with all things social? Maybe you could give an example of something that happened (of course no names and such) but maybe someone here might be able to see what happened and give you ideas for the future? I am not sure that is just a suggestion. But it must be very hard and frustrating trying to make friends when you struggle with social boundaries and such. 

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

Hey @Eden1717, so I'm diagnosed with autism, so lots of elements of social interaction don't make sense to me. Sometimes I can read body language okay, but I have trouble putting a sentence together verbally - I can do it, but it takes a while! I struggle to know when to give people space and when to be there for them, that kind of thing. Reading other people's boundaries is really hard, and it really hurts when I realise that I've crossed them accidentally - because I know how distressing that can be, even for small things like asking for too much information about particular topics for example.

 

I don't know if that answers your question, but I'm trying my best to learn and get better. It's just so damn hard.

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

@mrmusic  I see. Do you tell your friends or the people you are socializing with that you have autism? I understand it isn’t always appropriate to disclose when you have only just met someone but with a friend you have known longer and can trust more do you tell them? It might be helpful if your friends knew that there was a reason and that you aren’t trying to be rude. With boundaries maybe try asking the person before you ask about the thing, so for example 

” hey I was wondering if it is ok if we talk about X and if you are comfortable with that” then you may not cross a boundary because they can tell you if they don’t want to talk about it before you actually talk about it. 

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

Hi @mrmusic,

 

What are your thoughts on the suggestions @Eden1717 has offered? The idea around asking about boundaries beforehand, is this something you have tried before?

 

Over the 18 months that I have had the opportunity to get to know you on the forums, I can see how compassionate, empathetic and kind you are Heart You always come with the intention of supporting others and adding to the lives of those around you, which is a huge gift and one of the amazing things that make you the person you are! 

 

I can imagine it must feel so hard when you are working to socialise and connect with others, and feel a boundary has been crossed. I am also hearing how well you know yourself, which is a huge strength. 

 

You've mentioned that you have been able to mend this particular friendship with an apology, and I would be interested to hear how you both managed to overcome that? Are any things you can both work on together to communicate when a boundary may be crossed (on either side as there may be things they say that cross a boundary for you too)? 

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Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

@mrmusic your insight is amazing Heart

I hear that it's frustrating for it to continue happening, but you've been working hard to learn and you've identified this - which is so impressive!

That is true, an online connection doesn't fully do what connections in person do for us hey? It can be a tricky one to balance between, I know myself I have more and closer online connections than I do those face to face/in person. It is absolutely okay that it can be hard to recognize the acceptance and care we have around us, do you find it hard to see these when you're not feeling great?

@Eden1717 has given you some great ideas, so I'm keen to see what you think of them Heart

I also wanted to highlight what @Jess1-RO said about how compassionate, empathetic and kind you are. For as long as I've known you on the forums as a builder and a mod, these qualities really stand out through everything!

 


We reflected on the joys of 2019


Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Highlighted

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

Your post really resonated with me @mrmusic. I've been in a similar situation myself. Several years ago, I tried to discuss a news topic with one of my friends, but then she told me that she didn't feel comfortable discussing it. It didn't seem to affect our friendship, so there's a possibility that your friend will let it go too. I'm sure other people can relate to your experience, even people who aren't autistic. We're only human, after all. Heart

I agree with @Jess1-RO. We value your input so much on the forums and you're such an awesome mod. Smiley Happy

Re: Cannot deal with my bad social skills anymore

Thanks for all the support everyone. Heart

 

@Eden1717 Pretty much all of my close friends know about the fact I have autism and they have been so accepting of that. I hope they do understand that I'm not trying to be rude, but I know that things can still hurt. This particular situation was not really bad under the circumstances honestly.

 

That's a good idea to ask whether it's okay to talk about a particular topic. Thank you for your suggested wording as well, this is quite helpful for someone who struggles with verbal communication. Heart

 

@WheresMySquishy Thank you for sharing your own experience. I'm really glad that it didn't affect your friendship. I don't think this will affect my friendship with this person. It's just me overthinking things like I always do. I would like to be able to learn from this so it doesn't keep happening in the future, and I'm trying.