There are a lot of things I can do & am doing to be less isolated and more social– to interact with people more, to reveal more of myself, to build connections.
There is very little I can do to look more typical. It’d be like trying to compose a poem with a particular style, topic and rhyme scheme in a language I haven’t even started to study. Too many moving parts to juggle, when I don’t even know how to handle them one at a time.
There are some very superficial things like “make more eye contact” that are doable, but even those I can’t do all the time, because I would have to think about them all the time in addition to everything else I have to think about while participating in a conversation.
It’s dissonant in an interesting way.
I guess it’s because it’s so tempting to think of this kind of self-improvement in terms of being more likable, or just better at socializing as if that’s a single skill.
But the truth is, I have zero control over whether people like me, and I also have zero control over whether they perceive me as autistic, especially if I want to actually get to know them.