Socialization & Openness

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.

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One thought on “Socialization & Openness

  1. New follower here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told throughout my life that I have to “be more likeable” or “be more engaging.” That may work for a pageant contestant, but not for me. I’m at a point now where people can either take me or leave me. I totally get that I have a lot of qualities that NT people don’t find particularly likeable. It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve made peace with it. Sort of.

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