Hey Everybody! :) I wrote this mytake a while back and I think I managed to convey one of my struggles pretty well. The thing that sucks the most about being autistic
But I wanted to also write about some of the good parts or strategies I use to get through life that maybe other people can learn from.
How I socialize
Because I have a lot of difficulties socialising and it's one of the most taxing things for me I try and make it as easy as possible for myself by focusing on a few criteria and filtering out people who don't fit them. I analyze people and figure out:
Do they have good intentions, a good heart?
How is their temper and range of emotion?
Do they understand me and are they easy for me to talk to and get along with?
Are they ok with my behavior that might be awkward, off-putting, unexpected from time to time?
Also I prefer interesting people like pretty much everyone does. But that's unrelated.
I look for people that I can get along with easily and have a good heart so that I don't have to spend my time arguing over details. It keeps conflicts low and I can spend time alone but socialize when I feel like it and have the capacity.
What you can learn from it
The main benefit that this approach brings is that you will only have good people in your life. This is amazing and can't be overstated. If you're wondering if it's actually possible to influence how people treat us I can tell you it absolutely is. I am more sensitive to outside influences so I don't have a choice, I have to take care of myself well but I think anyone could benefit from this.
I have a lot of struggles in my life but one thing that I'm really good at is not letting people treat me badly. It is really up to us to accept or not accept other peoples behavior towards us. A lot of people don't believe that or they think something else is more important, they feel obligated or they have some goal they want to achieve.
But it works. If you consistently follow through and set boundaries and distance yourself from people that make you feel bad you will only have people around you that are good for you, have good intentions, accept you the way you are don't pressure you or try to take advantage of you etc. You just have to be willing to prioritize this.
And by the way the consequences aren't bad most people think if they stand up to a boss or quit some job their life will collapse but it's just the transition that's hard. Once you make this a habit most people will respect it and it won't have a negative impact on your opportunities at all. And the ones you do miss out on will be the ones that would make you miserable anyway.
Don't ignore behavior that gives away bad intent. You don't owe people that try to use you anything. You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, your physical and mental wellbeing and there's nothing worse for the latter than being around bad people. I'm sure you can feel it inside when you're around people and something is just off, or someone puts you in positions you don't want to be in or demands something from you that you're not comfortable with etc.
Next time you feel this way don't let that happen. Stop and think about what is this feeling trying to tell me? Why are these alarm bells ringing? Would it be better for me if I got away from this situation and gave myself some space and breathing room? You'll know the answer to these questions. Then you just need to have the strength to follow through and you'll be good. I promise you'll be happy later that you decided to listen to yourself and take care of yourself instead of letting other people take advantage of you. It's a great feeling to know that you will stand up for yourself in difficult, toxic, uncomfortable situations, that someone has your back when it matters.
This is just a band aid covering up a big wound it lets me get by and have some social contact with people but it's not a replacement for fully developed social skills. I feel like socializing is this big cave like you see in The Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit movies where Orcs live and they have these pathways across the caves, rope bridges and stuff like that. That's about how I socialize. If I stay on these certain pathways I'm fine I can go back and forth over there but all around me there's empty space unexplored territory and if I go there I'll be out of my depth. I try to push myself a bit and get out of my comfort zone but the progress is very slow in this area. Talking to people itself is already one of the more straining activities and then going jumping off the bridge is not the thing I'm looking forward to doing.