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8422 No. 8422 [Edit]
This is a thread where we share tips for coping in social situations, social conventions and mores, the proper way to act when around other people, etc. A lot of us are autistic or have asperger's syndrome to some degree (including me) and haven't been outside for so long that their social skills have atrophied. I think if we share tips then it will make it easier to cope when we are forced into society, such as in family meetings or when we must find a job to survive. A lot of social anxiety is caused by being overwhelmed in social situations so if we learn how to react I think it will not be as stressful a situation. It doesn't matter how trivial or obvious the suggestion might be, i'm interested to hear and I am sure there would be at least a few brohnos who would benefit from reading about it.

For example, in a casual conversation if someone asks you a question like 'How are you?', its not like in school where you answer the question correctly and precisely. If you browse /so/ you're probably the type to feel like crap all the time, but its not convention to reply with 'I feel crap', or if you feel fine, with 'fine'. The point of the question is more to do with starting a conversation than to find out the state of your being. If you want the conversation to end quickly then just saying 'crap' would probably work, but it'd be more conventional to say you're going great, talk about something interesting thats happened recently, then finish off with something that gives an opening for the other person to continue, like an interesting tangent to the current subject or an open ended question.
>> No. 8423 [Edit]
it depends, are you okay with hurting the person you are interacting with or not?

if you are ok with it, these situations are very easy to handle and it comes with the nice side effect that people eventually stop trying to talk to you in the first place.
>> No. 8424 [Edit]
Its easy to ignore people or give them the cold shoulder but its not exactly going to help you to, for example, get a job.
>> No. 8430 [Edit]
"How are you?"
"Thanks, but no."
*Oh shit*
>> No. 8431 [Edit]
Just respond with "Fine" is enough to end the conversation. After that, they'll talk about themselves or just bring something else up, if they want to talk to you, anyway.

It might even be a lie at times, but it's the best lie if you want to avoid dragging on the conversation. The only time when this will fail is if the other person wants and/or has to talk to you.
>> No. 8432 [Edit]
Interesting stories, even ones that don't involve you, are perfect. They pass as conversation and are one-sided. Usually the other party will laugh and say something generic, or they will launch into their own story. Generic responses are perfectly acceptable in this scenario, just have a variety of them. Pretend to be engaged. Jokes are perfect, just have a small arsenal prepared. If you tell a couple at the right time, you should be left alone for the most part. Nods go a long way as well.

This is just my experience, so apply it with discretion.
>> No. 8433 [Edit]
This is what I did. I always responded with "fine". Nod, give short answers and eventually they'll leave you alone. If you say you feel like crap they might want to know why you feel that way. Happy people are uninteresting.

Post edited on 21st Dec 2011, 8:02pm
>> No. 8434 [Edit]
It's hard to tell stories when there's no passion in your voice.
>> No. 8435 [Edit]
Gotta hype yourself up one way or another, pretend or not. That is the burden of socializing: you aren't allowed to be unhappy. You always have to find the company of others and the event that brought everyone together to be enjoyable. People get mad at you for being "a downer", and they'll pester you until you convert.
>> No. 8436 [Edit]
I know what you mean.

I used to think 'Why should I pretend to be happy and smile and be pleasant all the time? It all seems so fake to me'. Then I saw it from the outside. I saw a guy who did what I did, and I saw how awkward and unpleasant it was to be around him and how much he stuck out.

Now I at least put up a few feeble attempts to be more pleasant. Its an act, but it becoming less forced and more natural over time. The world and people might suck, but being a downer around other people isn't going to help. Even if I don't like someone, I will still try to be nice to them because I am a disgusting human too.
>> No. 8437 [Edit]
You're hurting the person who's asking by doing that.
If they always ask and pressure you for it, they're obviously interested in your well being.
Being ignored like that is the worst feeling in the world.
>> No. 8439 [Edit]
Probably not, because most people just ask that question as a reflex and don't expect anything more than "fine" for an answer.

If they're asking because they think something's wrong, however, it depends on the situation. If the person asking is just a stranger who thinks you're "weird", then ignore the shit out of them, by all means. I don't care about hurting the feelings of such a person. If it's someone who you think genuinely cares, however, that's different.
>> No. 8546 [Edit]
I don't know exactly what I do in conversation. I can't bring myself to pretend or be something that I'm not. It's probably really awkward to be around me and talk to me. I do my best so I guess I'm terrible at this. People think I'm retarded or something. They talk to me like I'm a child or stupid.
>> No. 8547 [Edit]
Yep, that's me too. When I'd talk to teachers when I was in school they would have a tone of voice that reminded me of an adult talking to a retard.
>> No. 8549 [Edit]
I am afraid to go out and interact with people because I can never be sure if I am doing something wrong. Many times I've said something inappropriate, only to find out they were wrong several years later. I pity myself for lacking the second nature that normal people have with picking up on these subtleties. It comes so easily to others, yet for me its so hard. I can never go out and talk to other people without the certainty that I appear normal which others take for granted.
>> No. 8552 [Edit]
I don't know if it belongs in this thread but I have a dilemma I've been stressing over for the past few weeks. In short, I am getting a job to continue living a stable life-- I have really no problem with talking to people, in fact, I'm actually capable of striking conversations and holding them. The only problem is that I don't like it. If I have to do it, I will, but if given the choice, I won't. I realize that once I start working, I'll be doing this regardless of the situation, because I just HAVE to. I'll have to talk about sports and the team and what I think (because that's the only job I can find that accepted me, an athletic clothing store), and I'll have to use my time to research all of this shit so I don't end up looking like a fool. My problem is, even though I absolutely hate talking to people (because I just don't care what they have to say, and I very much know that they could care less either), will I still be the same person? My biggest fear is that continued enforcing of casual conversation will lead me into become the kind of people I hate. It's not like I can continue on with the job only relying on small chit-chat to get me through, I'll need to "pretend" to be motivated and that I actually care, right? I fear that one day, I'll lose sight of my beloved "otaku"(and I quote because that's the only word I can think of to describe my relaxed, hobby-filled life) lifestyle.
>> No. 8553 [Edit]
From my own experience, I've found that I've been able to both pretend I have a very shallow interest in sports. I live in the South, where college football is king. So I pretend to care about what the University of whatever the hell's record is like or who has what bowl game or whatever and extract myself from the conversation after a few minutes. Then again, I've never worked in a sporting goods store, so I don't know what that might be like.

It's a stupid thing that you and I and most everyone here has to keep our interests under wraps if we ever go out into "respectable society". If it makes any difference, I play the most embarrassing music possible in my car when I'm not listening to the news on NPR, and I'm fairly sure that we can both cope in the outside world and hold our interests at the same time.
>> No. 8562 [Edit]
You don't have to know anything about sports. It is not like you're there because you always aspired to sell this merchandise. It is just a shitty job, you're there for one reason, and all you should ever care about is making it through the day. This is how every person who works at these sorts of places long term feels. If people don't get that, fuck them, they are as clueless as you are.

If you start out talking about sports and whatnot people will come to get the wrong idea about you and will only engage you more. Be respectful, do your work properly, and avoid making unnecessary smalltalk about sports as you will bungle it and it will only create more anxiety for yourself.
>> No. 8564 [Edit]
I don't think he suffers anxiety, from reading his post. It's just a fear of becoming normal.

I don't have social anxiety either, actually, but I don't think I could be a normal even if I wanted to.
>> No. 8565 [Edit]
I was using anxiety loosely, not to mean social anxiety. Anyway, it takes more than just mastering smalltalk to become a "normal", you'll perhaps learn to function better when it comes to business, but it won't help you at all with more intimate interaction. You can remain just as isolated as you were before if you choose.
>> No. 8577 [Edit]
I won't put myself in that situation unless I -am- happy, so hat wouldn't apply to me.

I just say 'bad' if I feel bad, 'decent' if decent, etc etc.

I think I know how you feel. I returned to high school (I am judging for a debate league tournament - and am a former debater).
All the people seemed to treat me as if i am a teenager and thought I was a student there (I am 21 and a judge for the tournament/havent been in HS for ~3-4 years). Well the staff there. Granted I did dress the part, as I am not dressing formally to judge a fucking debate tournament - I was a debater and remember judges didnt dress formally all the time). I dressed 'regularly' I guess...a bit bummy maybe?
>> No. 8578 [Edit]
>>My biggest fear is that continued enforcing of casual conversation will lead me into become the kind of people I hate.

I think ive been turned to 'Ford Drivergotry' now I think.

Live in Chicago, and im pretty blatant with the 'I dont pay attention to sports or care about it' much and have not received much in terms of problems.
>> No. 8585 [Edit]
>>8552 Here

Thanks for your guys' input to my dilemma. What's really worrying me is that I'm being overwhelmed with all of these normal things coming at me from all direction. I need to start taking instructions so that I can learn how to drive, pressures the hell out me already. I need to continue working (my first day was horrible. I was just the quiet guy and I can tell my co-workers don't like me). And tomorrow is my first day of the new semester in college. I'm this close to breaking down and giving up everything. I really feel like I'm going to become a normal guy. I don't want to lose sight of my lifestyle, and most importantly, the one I love: my waifu. I feel like I won't have enough time to fight back, it's as if I'm slowly being consumed into the social life I've hated for a long time-- just because I have to. Long story short, how do I survive this? It's a paradox. To continue living my isolated happy life, I have to feign and put a persona (that I feel is slowly taking over) when I work and go to classes. I'm really stressing over this.
>> No. 8586 [Edit]
Wow, wow, wow! Calm down! You're going crazy. First, you should only think being the quiet guy is bad if you want to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. You can keep to yourself and chat with others when you want. You don't have to either be a lone wolf or Mr. Good-Time. Second, don't give up; you have to brave through this to come out stronger. Just be open to conversation, and you don't have to talk about everything. You can just listen. As for being taught how to drive, relax and realize you're being INSTRUCTED. He isn't putting a blindfold over you and telling you to drive. You can listen and understand, right? Do that and don't overthink it. And know that nothing can overtake you unless you allow it. Self is the lord of self. You shouldn't have to worry about falling out of love with your waifu. Love is powerful and can easily survive a mere lifestyle change. You have to be volatile, man! Just go with it. Goodness gracious, who you are is less about your outward actions and more about (get ready for a cliché) what's inside. Keep your values and ideas but not so rigidly you can't even function properly. You can dabble in the normal lifestyle without having to get drunk and fuck sluts.
>> No. 8587 [Edit]
Take it easy. Your idea about being normal or an otaku is a false dichotomy and the first day at a new job is hard for everyone, but the fact that youre working is a positive thing.

>I really feel like I'm going to become a normal guy
I hate to say it but maybe youre just growing up. Ever wonder why you never see otaku over 30 years old?

a lot of good points here.
>> No. 8588 [Edit]
>Ever wonder why you never see otaku over 30 years old?

I have. In fact a few people here are wizards I think
>> No. 8589 [Edit]
>Ever wonder why you never see otaku over 30 years old?
>> No. 8590 [Edit]
>Ever wonder why you never see otaku over 30 years old?
No, because there are many available methods for committing suicide.
>> No. 8591 [Edit]
These small changes to your lifestyle, they'll seem like just another part of your life after awhile. Not particularly fun, but not a big hassle either. Kind of mechanical.

Whenever I went to an orthodontist and had to get the latest teeth-fixing-contraption I used to get really pissed off at being told "You'll get used to it" every Haruhidamn time. But it was true. The same can be said of most challenges in life. What starts looking like a massive problem is eventually reduced to a slight nuisance at most.

What I'm trying to say is just keep at it for a little longer, it won't seem as bad.
>> No. 8592 [Edit]

Thanks again for your input. After reading these, I feel a bit more confident that I may be able to survive whilst keeping my ideals. As for growing up, I wish I can "grow up" and learn how to deal being an adult while persevering to keep my lifestyle the way it is.
>> No. 8593 [Edit]
Growing up only means having to deal with and do more while keeping a smile on your face.

"And I say, hey, hey, hey it's just an ordinary day and it's all your state of mind! At the end of the day, you just gotta say it's alright. 'Cause it's alright, it's alright. It's alright! [Harmonica solo]"

Now if only I could remember the name of that song...
>> No. 8663 [Edit]
I'll never "grow up", I'll stay the same now and forever. At least I can be content with the fact that while everyone is changing many years from now I'll still be the same person you always knew doing the same things I always did. I flat out reject most change since it's almost always for the worst.
>> No. 8665 [Edit]
>the name of that song
Dunno but how about this other one?
>> No. 8666 [Edit]
Other one what?
>> No. 8667 [Edit]
Song... I mean: about not wanting to grow up (rather staying in one's room).
>> No. 8668 [Edit]
You said "this other one", and I don't know what "this" is supposed to be pointing to. I'm sorry. Are you asking if I know of any songs about not wanting to grow up?
>> No. 8670 [Edit]
>I'll never "grow up", I'll stay the same now and forever

I doubt it. Everyone changes eventually.
>> No. 8671 [Edit]


I've been trying to survive these few weeks. I really can't do it. It's gotten to the point where I can barely breathe and typing like this is a luxury because I usually fall dead on the floor right when I get home from work. In all honesty, I seriously can't breathe regularly, this may be a health problem but I have to hurt myself (like poking really hard with a pen) just so I can catch some air. I think I'm going to drop out of this semester because I can't even begin to pay attention to any of my classes due to lack of sleep. I literally have classes from 9-4, work till 5-1AM, and driving lessons from 6-8. This is a good idea, right? Dropping the semester?
>> No. 8674 [Edit]
have you seen a doctor about it?
>> No. 8675 [Edit]
If that is actually your schedule or close to it, yes, what the fuck were you thinking.
>> No. 8676 [Edit]
From experience, just do your job.
You sign up to work and make money, not to talk with some faggot about playing with balls.

If a coworker tries to talk about something like sports, say "I don't watch sports, sorry".
Same with any other topic or invitations.
>> No. 8677 [Edit]
DO NOT drink the chamomile tea
>> No. 8678 [Edit]
Hm, what, why? It's good when you need to calm down or sleep.
>> No. 8681 [Edit]
seconded, WTF. Chamomile Tea is cool.
>> No. 8722 [Edit]
I drink Eucalyptus tea for that, though perhaps that aslo tied to nostalgia for me since thats the tea my grandfather would make for me when I was sick, he would make it with the leaves from the Eucalyptus tree growing in his backyard,
i do enjoy a nice cup of chamomile tea though.
>> No. 8731 [Edit]
I guess he just doesn't like the kind of relaxed feeling it gives? Everyone likes and dislikes different things. I last week made a 6 bag brew (yeah I'm crazy like that, don't question me) of the stuff and felt really relaxed and happy.

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