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lilacwine13
Aw, thanks nelly.

I don't know how much more I have to add, though. Sometimes I'm okay with being quiet, but then I feel like I'm obligated to say something, which can make things awkward, or I sound fake and self-conscious. It doesn't help that I'm surrounded by talkers all day, and it can be difficult to get a word in edgewise or not get interrupted. I try, but at the same time I feel like I have to shout to be heard, and that makes me uncomfortable.

I feel like I'm in the same place as freckle, where I want to be alone, stay in my cocoon and relax, even though I know I'm not going to be in a position to go out much in a couple weeks and will pretty much be a hermit. It seems like it has to be a balancing act, but I'm still not very good at it.

Yesterday I hung out with a coworker of mine who's a bit of a hippie, and it seemed to go well, she seems nice. There were a few awkward pauses, and I tried to not get too worried about them, but we watched TV and looked at vintage clothes on ebay, it was fun. I don't know if it will turn into a friendship, but it's nice to have someone to talk to.

I think a lot of people go on vacations over the 4th, or else they attend parades and festivals. Usually I end up going someplace to watch the fireworks, wandering around a carnival by myself gets a little depressing. When I was younger my family would go into town and watch a parade, some years I'd be in it because of band or Girl Scouts, but recently I've just been staying in until late or just skipping everything. I remember one year I went hiking up a mountain, that was fun. This year I'm staying in the town we've been in the past few weeks for work, I think I might go to a bar that night, not sure what I want to do during the day. I'm covered in bug bites and poison ivy, so I'm not in the best of mood to go out and mingle, my arms and legs look terrible.

neurotic.nelly
((lilacwine)) hope the bug bites n' such heal soon.

((muffy)) i would be so pissed if i had a group of friends that all hung out together without me. i think you should say something, it's called consideration, and i think you deserve it.

all of my friends are completely different from each other and don't know each other. it would be so weird if i had friend A over to meet friend B and C, talk about awkward.
Muffy
neurotic.nelly, I have some friends that are completely different. It was on a whim that I started introducing all my friends to each other. It didn't go too badly so I just kept continuing to do it. This person was also sort of new in town, she had moved away for a few years and now she came back. It kind of backfired on me a bit. As when I introduced all my other friends to each other, they got along but it wasn't like they were exchanging phone numbers either. This may be the first time this has happened.

We all hung out last night. It was okay, I was still feeling pretty down, my best friends know I've been pretty down, they think its because I like this girl which is part of it... I tried not to let it show while she was there. I suppose I could've said something after she left, I'm not so good at confrontation.

lilacwine13, yah for hanging out with coworkers and possible new friends, you never know.
lilacwine13
Thanks, nelly and muffy.

Ugh, last night was depressing. I went to a bar alone last night and couldn't find anyone to talk to. Everyone seemed to be fine talking to their friends, and when I tried to introduce myself to one group, I was ignored and decided to sit by myself, brooding over my beer, which doesn't make people want to talk to me. I get so frustrated over not knowing what to say to people and not knowing how to even approach a group properly. It seems like people are intimidated by someone who does stuff alone, and I feel like saying that I don't have much of a choice in the matter; if I sat at home waiting for someone to call, then I'd be stuck there forever.
Muffy
lilacwine13, I'm not sure I could approach an entire group, maybe a single person, so kudos to you for even trying. I think people at a bar with their group of friends may not be so much intimidated as I think they may just be in their own little world having a good time with their friends. Sometimes I strike up conversations with bartenders - I did the last time I was out.
starship
((lilac)) I admire how brave you are. I enjoy shopping etc alone but don't think I could face a bar situation solo. I'm sure next time will be better so don't stop doing what I rate you for

Today/night- music festival! Were a few moments where I felt paranoid that everyone was looking at/judging me but then I realised it was silly because they were all drunk & too busy enjoying the music to notice me out of the huge crowds

It's so much easier to salvage some sort of social life in the summer

Got 2 tickets to a gig at a club soon but not sure who to invite. Most of my friends are the sort Id be with in a group rather than invite alone somewhere. Plus the person I ask might think Im a bit of a loser for not having some best friend or something going with me instead. argh. Im determined to go
neurotic.nelly
lilacwine, When I go out by myself, I don't try to talk to groups of people because usually they only want to talk to each other... what I do is scout out people that might be interested in having conversations 'one on one'. Also, I think it helps if you are somewhat intriguing to other people... since I am, I usually find people to talk to... but in the past I am usually tipsy as this takes the edge of. I have noticed that recently I do not need to be as inebriated to talk to folks, again, I am still intriguing, so people tend to gravitate to me... I am more and more comfortable in my own skin, which makes it whatever to talk to people. I don't care if it's awkward anymore.

Since I am from a culture where it's perfectly fine or normal to be loud... I can be loud sometimes... and really quiet other times. I am a fairly tall woman (5'9" - not too tall but tall enough) with a strong build, and this makes me feel strong and powerful in the world. But, I still get quiet at times, and avoid people. I amuse myself.
/rant - also I am tipsy right now... happy.gif

((busties of all kinds))
Muffy
starship, I don't think anyone would think you a loser for not having a best friend to ask. I've done it, sometimes people will surprise you, besides a concert is a laid back type of event and you don't need to talk that much, so even if its just you and another person you won't have to worry so much about a lot of awkward silences.. you'll both be busy enjoying the show.
i_am_jan
Hi everybody, gosh I just caught up on a bunch of great posts tongue.gif

Nellie: you do sound intriguing rolleyes.gif So it seems like you don't as much feel awkward, as you don't get close with many people easily or form close relation/friendships often. People are attracted to you, but you shy away is how it seems? I feel like I have to have a certain chemistry with someone to really enjoy talking to them one on one.

Starship, I am sOo happy to hear you're having good times. Wow, I know exactly what you mean about being single making you branch out more ... I always feel my best social self in between romantic relationships, how weird is that? Well enjoy it and also, on the concert tix, I hope you go, esp. if it's a good band. Perhaps you could think of it as the perfect opportunity for you to try taking a "social risk"** ... try inviting someone you kinda like hanging out with to go with you ... then just laugh, you won't take the night too seriously, and it'll be a blast? Just like Muffy said, no awkward silences at a show wink.gif Good luck and let us know if you go. I can't believe you saw Morrissey I'm so happy for you *squee*

(**not that anyone would ever need to take one of these, but if anyone ever wanted to, just to try getting better at social things)

Lilac; boy I know exactly what you mean (going out alone, trying unsuccessfully to talk to others) you really wouldn't think it would be that way? but yes. For me, I think I can seem nervous/anxious to others and it makes THEM uncomfortable. I would agree too that others are intimidated by a person who has come alone, it's weird, but probably esp. when it's a girl. Other women can be territorial from the start, and men don't know how to act, many times, toward a single girl, by herself, they wonder how it can be possible and why. (I'm sure I've told here before of times knowing people have looked at me wondering if I'm like, an escort, when I'm at a bar to see a show.) Anyway, I hope you keep going and finding different places where you feel comfy and enjoy being at and have fun
neurotic.nelly
My last post was so tipsy and obnoxious... ugh.

jan, yeah, you're partly right. I can attract people but it seems that the people I'd really like to be friends with, I never attract. I am working on actively making friends rather than just being friends with anybody who comes along... those friendships usually fizzle out for one reason or another.
Muffy
neurotic.nelly, I have a tendency to do that as well, just become friends with anyone who will talk to me. Its not always a good thing.

I think I finally figured out why I've been feeling so lonely. I used to have this friend who lived in RI - she moved in the fall. She worked a weird schedule like me. We talked all the time and hung out all the until she moved out of state, now I haven't seen her in months and she hardly ever talks to me. I missed a party she had a few months back and I think it pissed her off that I couldn't get out of working that night, to drive out of state and see her - I only work part time by the way. She didn't say it, but she hardly ever talks to me now, even when she comes back to RI for a visit! This was the person I talked to when my best friends were at work or doing other things. We'd go for a walk at least twice a week. I was also dating someone last summer. Now I'm not. I had hopes, but so far no such luck. so I'm just lonely on my days off. My job keeps putting me on weekends and nights, you know when everyone else is out having fun, I'm a work : ( I know I should try to make more friends so far no such luck in that department either.

I'm going to go to yoga class now that I'm done complaining.
i_am_jan
Nellie: I loved that post actually tongue.gif I like where you say that you amuse yourself

I know exactly what you mean though. I have actually seemed mysterious to others and been approached because of that. I need to choose my own people too though. make the first move in order to pick people who I might feel comfortable with,want to hang around, rather than people I really have nothing in common with / can't share my life with.

Once in a while I really click with someone. Then I get super close with that person. I sort of am wishing that would happen again soon. I just miss having someone to laugh with and have fun. Whether it's a friend or a boyfriend, doesn't matter.
What I'd really love is another cat now that I think. But I can't until Winky gets over his upper respiratory infection (contagious to other kitties).

(((all my lonesome busties)))
neurotic.nelly
((i_am_jan)) ((muffy)) ((socially challenged busties))

So...when i_am_jan wrote:
"So it seems like you don't as much feel awkward, as you don't get close with many people easily or form close relation/friendships often. People are attracted to you, but you shy away is how it seems? I feel like I have to have a certain chemistry with someone to really enjoy talking to them one on one"

She is so perceptive. It is true. My socially ineptness rears its ugly head after I've begun an association or whatever. I shy away when people like me too soon. A lot of times, people like me and try to befriend me and then, sometimes I end up not liking that person or (I have no tolerance for the following) I end up feeling low energy after hanging out with someone. I used to put up with this (low energy feeling) when I was younger but not anymore... especially when you first start hanging out, the first couple of interactions should leave you feeling revitalized and not worn out.

So...
most recently, a coworker tried to latch onto me and i didn't handle it gracefully. she was a little too over eager to be friends, but she is a nice woman from a really big family, so for her, it was nothing. I ended up acting like an alien. Ugh.
I like her. I just got "weirded" out by how much she wanted to be friends with me. I need to take things more slowly than that, and I think that if I communicated this more, it would be received well, hopefully.

(busties)





knorl05
yes yes yes and more yes.
i love this thread, if i havent said so a million times before.

lilacwine13: BOO on anyone who would casually brush you off!! mad.gif so not cool of them. if ever anyone cordially started conversation with me or a group of friends at the bar i would more than embrace them. those people sucked.

i went to see the film Girls Rock! by myself. it was such a great experience, i got to tear up and be a dork and not feel at all self-conscious about it. biggrin.gif it helped that it was at the dft, which is the film theater in detroit's largest art museum... and that most of the girlie's who went to see it were unconventional chics as well. so i felt completely at place (in place? whats the term?) neway.

Muffy: i also strike up conversation with the bartenders. that's what they're there for, and i've put in my time with that as well (good karma for me when i listened to more stories i can rmember when i tended bar). also, sorry about RI friend. perhaps she did feel slighted. have you diligently tried to get back in touch with her.. aka, email, mutual friends, family, phone, internet, etc? communication always makes everything better.

neurotic.nelly: not obnoxious at all. helps create a deeper picture of you, which is awe-sem. yay. i understand what you mean about peeps not responding most ideally to you. most ideally in the sense of what you are most comfortable with.. i have often times shied away because i felt i was supposed to be this something more than i am based on what i feel others have expected of me. you know? i feel the pressure and wanna be like, look i'm just a weirdo, leave me alone. and then i act weird, and then they do. gah. i'm getting better about it though. trying hard not to sabotage my relations with others, simply to make myself more comfortable... especially if i can just control my own emotional response to things, i find all is fine. it doesnt have to be the big deal i tend to make things out to be. doesnt mean i necessarily bond with more people in the deeper sense, but it does mean i can appreciate their attempt to connect, because i find fundamentally, that's what we all crave as human beings. but i digress.........wink.gif

((i am jan))((starship))((socially unique far and wide))

ps. i had a rather eventful weekend with the 4th. im still riding the social high!
Muffy
knorl05, I have tried to contact her, we talk infrequently. I sometimes feel like its a little one sided. I've hung out with a mutual friend, I didn't feel comfortable enough to bring up the whole thing with the mutual friend. We had never hung out minus her before so I didn't want to make it a bitch fest I just wanted to have a nice relaxing day, so I let it go for that day. Sometimes I just miss her.

i_am_jan, I hope your kitty feels better soon. Kitty-cats are awesome.

neurotic.nelly, from the standpoint of someone (me) who probably seems overly eager at times, I don't mean too, I think I get some kind of endorphin high from meeting new interesting people, they don't always feel the same about me however. I suggest trying communicate your feelings about needing to take things slowly, that way at least the other person understands where your coming from. If they are turned off by this, well at least you know that this isn't a good friendship match. I would appreciate if someone just told me what they were thinking/feeling instead of hoping I could read their mind when they are acting weird.
anna k
I wanted to say that I'm so proud of you guys making such great social strides! It feels comforting to know that there are others out there who feel uncomfortable in bars or crowded group scenes where everybody is talking and I feel left out. Or that I have conversations with people but they feel very fleeting.

I felt happy seeing Wall-E two weeks ago in a crowded theater of children and parents, and I'm looking forward to seeing The Dark Knight in a packed, enthusiatic crowd. I've been chatting a lot with people in my dance class, and I'll have a weekend free (I work on the weekends), so I could do something more social and fun then just working and going home.
thirtiesgirl
I've been hesitating about posting on this thread because I often feel awkward discussing my social issues and anxieties. It really helps to know I'm not alone with my 'stuff,' though, if you know what I mean. Which I'm sure you do. Sometimes I find that I isolate myself too much, and I forget that others do actually share my experiences and can empathize with me.

I'll start by saying that I'm a big introvert, which is a lot different than being shy. I never knew the difference, and would never have considered myself an introvert until my therapist suggested she thought I was, and suggested a very good book for me to read: The Introvert Advantage, by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D (doctorate of psychology). What I learned is that introversion is not shyness. It's all about personal energy, or what some people might term good stress, as opposed to bad stress. I've heard other people refer to it as "hap hits," aka "happiness hits." Basically, it's where we get our energy/good stress from and why.

Extroverts get energy from being around others, meeting new people and engaging in many conversations. When an extrovert has too much alone time, he/she starts to lose energy and needs to get in contact with other people again to bring the energy back up. An introvert is the opposite of that. The introvert gets energy from time spent alone, mulling over his/her interactions with others. That's not to say the introvert doesn't like interactions with others, but it will bring the introvert's energy down faster than it will the extrovert.

For example, when I'm around a group of good friends, I get lots of good stress and my energy level is high. But it's still stress for me (even if it's good stress), and eventually my energy level will start to sink and I'll need to have some time to myself to recharge my batteries.

Some of my closest friends are extroverts. I have to admit, as an introvert, I do find it's easier to make friends with extroverts, since you extroverts are usually so easily friendly, able to start the conversation and keep it going, which I tend to struggle with. But after a couple of hours with my extroverted friends, my energy level is usually flagging, while they can keep going, chatting with friends, strangers, ready to go to the next bar or club, and I'm usually ready to pack it in. I can spend longer hours with my introverted friends, but then we're usually doing more introverted activities, like sitting around somebody's apartment watching episodes of Buffy, or talking about our ex-boyfriends, families or heinous jobs.

...That said, though, I've always found that it's especially hard for me to make and keep friends, even after I developed an understanding of my introverted nature. I've always had a problem understanding the social conventions of how to be generally friendly to people. I often forget when I'm busy at work that people like it when you acknowledge them, say good morning, say hello, etc. I've even had co-workers get snippy with me because they thought I didn't like them because I forgot to say good morning. And that also translates into my lack of ability to make and keep friends.

I don't know how to start conversations with people. I never have. Unless someone shares a deep undying love for the same things I love to talk about, I really don't know how to start or maintain a conversation with them. I have a weird 'rule' in my head that tells me I'm supposed to start a conversation by talking about someone's interests. But if I don't share their interests (as is the case with so many people, as we're all unique individuals), I have no idea how to talk with them.

Nor do I like or enjoy small talk. I find it extremely banal. But after many years of observing and hearing small talk made in the work place, in line at the grocery store, post office, wherever, I developed an understanding of small talk as a means to fill in those seemingly awkward social silences. And I developed a small repertoire of phrases I can use to fill the gap when I sense one approaching. But I can usually only do it for about 5 minutes. Longer than that, and my small talk dries up and I just start feeling awkward again.

The reason for all this weirdness is because I have symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome, which is a type of autism. Like autism, Aspergers (or AS) is a spectrum disorder, meaning one can have many symptoms or a few. I'm on the 'few' end of the spectrum, but I do have some symptoms and they effect how I relate to others.

Autism is a developmental disorder that effects a child's cognitive abilities (how a child thinks and learns). AS is a developmental disorder that effects a child's social abilities. People with many AS symptoms often have a very difficult time recognizing nuances in personal behavior. For example, people with very severe symptoms usually don't recognize sarcasm and have a lot of trouble empathizing with others. People with less severe symptoms may still have those issues, but they've developed better coping skills, such as learning the 'right' things to say when someone's expressing pain or distress, even if the person with AS doesn't understand why a person in pain might want to hear those things said.

I sometimes find myself in that position, of trying to find the right thing to say, but not understanding necessarily why it's so important for the other person to hear it. And this search for the 'right' thing to say also leaves me at a loss when it comes to starting and continuing conversations with acquaintances. As I wrote above, I've got these weird 'rules' in my head about how conversations are 'supposed' to go, and it often keeps me from feeling comfortable in social situations because sometimes I don't know how to respond. Even if I know what the social norm is, if it doesn't feel 'right' (i.e., fit within the weirdly rigid set of 'rules' in my head), I don't always act on it.

For example, it took me years to learn how to accept a compliment from a guy. My AS symptoms were telling me it was absolutely stupid to smile and thank him, so in my younger years, I'd tend to put my head down, not look him in the eye, and just say "aww, shut up." ...Which, of course, the guy usually did, and then I'd be left wondering why I didn't receive more compliments, since my AS symptoms interpreted a guy's compliment to mean "he really, really likes you and wants to keep talking to you." When he didn't keep talking, it didn't add up in my brain.

After years of observing how other women handle compliments from guys, I finally accepted that I should smile and say thank you. I still haven't managed to look a guy in the eye yet, but I'm working on that one. And I'm beginning to see that smiling and saying thanks for the compliment isn't such a stupid thing, as it will tend to get more positive results than hanging my head and saying "shut up" in an abashed tone of voice.

It also helps to know I'm not alone with my AS. Many people have it. Most of them, like me, have just a handful of symptoms. Most children who suffer with AS tend to see their symptoms grow less severe as they mature and grow older. But it's definitely tough on the kids. I spent most of my years in elementary school wondering why I couldn't make friends like other kids. But AS wasn't a known diagnosis 30 years ago and my mom, who is a very anti-social person herself, didn't see my issues with not making friends as abnormal.

Bill Gates has it, as does Gary Numan. Andy Warhol was rumored to have it, although it certainly wasn't a diagnosis doctors made during his lifetime. But people who knew him and have since learned about AS say that Warhol definitely had some symptoms.

...Anyway, this is turning into the longest post in history, so I'll stop typing now. I'll just add that I can really identify with all those dealing with social anxiety, understanding how friendships work, and trying to make some 3D connections in their lives. I've struggled with it since I was a kid and those feelings of disconnection can be a real pain in the ass.
i_am_jan
Hi thirtiesgirl! I just wanted to say what an interesting post yours was. Very informative too! It helped to see real examples of how a person with AS's brain can work differently; how their perceptions are different. I didn't really understand the social issues connected with AS before? Reading through your post though, I imagine it must have been an enormous challenge for you to not understand the general "socially acceptable" "code of conduct" that most people are "privy" to, for much of your life.? I mean, it's hard enough to pull off, even when you know "what to do" blink.gif

Funny you bring up good ol' "small talk" ... it seems every person who visits this thread seems to cringe just thinking about it rolleyes.gif Your introvertedness will be safe here as well (woot). Some of us are downright hermetic, if only for a major part of the time. We all seem to have so many mixed feelings about our social challenges ... at times, we want to connect but can't, at other times we don't even really want to connect, really? Some of us have a need to take social relationships much slower than most others are accustomed to, or not put as much of an emphasis on it as others around us do. You know the geography. Some here have had traumatic social interactions and relationships, (myself included), my mom having been a very emotionally ill person and growing up with her, I inherited many of her problems, such as antisocial tendencies, anxiety ... and just a general mistrust of other people. My mom was abusive to me and our family, and it left me feeling like I couldn't really trust anyone but myself. It can be hard to reach out, harder than most other people could ever imagine, once you have "turned inward". At any rate, it's great to have someone so articulate and frank here. It's very helpful, just sharing and bouncing ideas off of people we can trust, rather than risking looking like a freak! with random folks who have no clue how a person could ever have a hard time dealing socially with other people wink.gif

(((socially challenged busties)))
starship
I loved reading Thirtiesgirl's post too:). I related to a lot of it and learned from the rest
I was curious what sort of thing was included in your 'small repertoire of phrases'?? I'm clearly not a natural conversationist so it would probably be useful for me to do the same. Does anyone else have any pre-prepared conversation starters/fillers??

I feel awful at the moment. I have no real friends and the ones I've had in the past Ive lost (due to moving etc rather than something I did). There's so much I want to do but can't/don't and it just makes me feel like a complete loser and a burden on the one's who do end up with me. Just a down day Im sure

75% of the time I'm determined to change things, the other 25 I just can't be assed
anna k
I've never been diagnosed with Asperger's, but I grew up with a lot of traits that are identified with it. I tried going to support groups, but the people there seemed more mentally disabled, and possibly may have more problems than having Asperger's. I don't think about it much, but it helps to explain what my behavior was like growing up, since I felt like an socially inept, weird kid. I was very sensitive to touch, sound, and sight, had an active imagination, and kept to myself a lot if I didn't have anyone to play with.

I usually felt like there was a bad scent on me that everybody but me could smell, and I didn't know what it was about me that people didn't like. I would say something unusual that I thought was funny, and end up being ridiculed or ignored. I hated being treated like a freak, and for people to brush me off so easily.

I got better by learning how to be more confident, and how to hold some things in my head that may be funny to me, but sound weird coming out. I would learn how to listen more to people and gauge their personality, and adapt myself more normally to them instead of weirding them out.

I'm writing all about my childhood and how AS affected me. I'm 25, so my problems were called mild autism back then, and I was often put into resource rooms and written about as if I was learning disabled. I'm writing most of my thoughts and experiences down, but they're all things I know already and am used to. If anybody would like to read it and give their feedback or compare it to their experiences, just PM me.
knorl05
i just have to say. all these traits we've discussed that are detrimental and challenging to our social lives, are also mirrored in the gifted. i'm sure every one of us in here has something we do exceptionally well. even if we dont know it yet.
a friend of mine, a therapist, says that the thing that determines a detailed diagnosis in each case of AS, OCD, ADD, autism and the like, is the degree in which one is affected. individuals who need serious assistance, ones who appear severely DD (developmentally disabled), are people whose difference is a serious handicap: one that prevents them from functioning even semi-normally in society. most of us, who may be prone to some sort of maladjustment, have certain tendencies that are congruent to blanket diagnoses of specific social/personality disorders.. but that doesnt mean we are entirely and completely hindered in our development. "marching to the beat of our own drum", is what it used to be called. now it's a disorder. i can respect this still, knowing that with the advancement of science and medicine, we are given the opportunity to accomplish what we are capable of accomplishing in life. meaning. given so many people seem to be disordered anymore, it's refreshing to know that with education, individuals are not completely written off like they were in the past. and so, to understand ourselves and to disregard the misunderstandings of others, imo, is paramount. wink.gif

yes!! welcome thirtiesgirl ~ so glad you have delurked and contributed your valuable perspective to the ongoing conversation.. very interesting post indeed.
thirtiesgirl
Thanks for all the support, you guys. It really made my day. smile.gif

Jan, I can so identify with what you wrote about your mother. I haven't shared yet on the forum, but my mom suffers from borderline personality disorder and I believe her own anti-social behaviors did not give her the skills to teach me how to overcome mine, which is why I struggled with it as a child. I believe it's in large part what lead to my developing AS, and why I have such a hard time with social interactions in general. I'm becoming more of a hermit as the years pass, preferring my own company more and more to the company of others. ...Which scares me a little, as I'm repeating my mom's behavioral patterns there.

Starship, as far as small talk is concerned, I think I learned through observation just to agree with whatever the other person is saying. The guy in front of me in line at the post office says "hot day outside, innit?" "Yeah," say I, "really hot." "This line is taking forever," kvetches the lady behind me at the grocery store. "Yeah," say I, "forever." Or sometimes just an "mm-hmm" will do. I find most people who like to make small talk while standing in line are pretty extroverted people who are just looking for some kind of connection with someone, and they need to do it through talking. So as long as someone agrees with them, they're happy.

Now when it comes to making small talk at parties and that kind of thing, I'm completely at a loss. Unless somebody kind of shepherds me into a group of people, and introduces me to others by saying something like, "This is Gina, she's really into Nick Cave, too," or "This is Jon, he's works in education, too," I have a hard time joining the conversation. If I'm with someone when I'm going to that kind of group engagement, I try to let them know what kinds of things they can do to help me around others.

Anna ~ yes, sensitivity to light and sound are very much traits of AS. Before I was ever diagnosed with it (which happened just a few years ago), I used to work with kids who have pretty severe symptoms of AS. I worked at a school that had a special classroom where kids with AS could go when they were having an 'AS moment.' They could eat their lunch in there and have some respite from the other kids on the playground, or just come in and freak out if they needed to about something that was making them mad.

As an example, we had one little girl come in one day and literally throw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming, because she was mad at her science teacher. When she calmed down enough for us to ask what was bothering her, she said her science teacher always gave them fill-in-the-blank worksheets, but that day, she'd given them a multiple choice worksheet, and the little girl didn't like multiple choice. It had to be fill-in-the-blank or nothing else. You can see how fairly severe AS symptoms can often hamper a child's social and emotional success at school.

But I think educators are becoming much more conscious of erasing the stigma of those kinds of developmental disorders, which you may not have experienced in your elementary education, when AS may have still been a relatively new disorder to most educators.

Knorl ~ yes, you're absolutely right that a lot of these traits are gifted traits as well. Many people with AS, particularly those with severe symptoms, are often very good at pattern recognition when it comes to certain areas. Bill Gates obviously had a natural aptitude for computer coding. A lot of physical and technical engineers have symptoms of AS. My particular pattern recognition occurs with language, and also with certain pop cultural references. I have a good memory for cataloging a lot of meaningless trivia when it comes to certain pop cultural things, but I see the pattern of how they evolved in my head, it makes sense to me, so I'm able to keep it in my memory. If only I was able to do that with particle physics or something, I might be making a lot more money than I am now!

I don't know if any of you watch tv sit-coms, but The Big Bang Theory on CBS is about 4 guys who are theoretical physicists at Caltech, and they all exhibit some symptoms of AS, some more pronounced than others. The tall, skinny guy Sheldon, who is the 'prodigy' of the bunch, exhibits a lot of AS symptoms, to the point that he often doesn't recognize sarcasm, takes his co-workers very literally, and has no real desire to function as a social being. His roommate Leonard also exhibits some symptoms, but has many more coping skills than Sheldon, and has a greater recognition of the importance of social interaction. It's an interesting representation of AS, if a little limited. It often cracks me up, though.
starship
I was actually put into a 'gifted and talented' group at my school. Still not quite sue what the point of it was but the use of the word 'gifted' reminded me of it. I've always thought there was an obvious connection between intelligence and social skills and the discussion here has perhaps given some explanation of why. I've suffered mild OCD in the past (which I think was mentioned in someone's post); I've never really thought about it before but it all seems to be linked.
I try to say the right thing in conversations but don't seem to have the ability that others do to keep things flowing. Someone will ask a question, something simple like what I thought of a film, I'll respond but then an awkward silence will follow and I'll be left desperately thinking of some other thing to say or ask. Completely unatural. A different person in the same situation answers the question then recieves an easy flowing conversation in return. Conversation really is and art form
And yes! - we get the Big Bang Theory on UK TV too although probably a few seasons behind as per usual). What a great example to use. I'd say I'm more like Leonard, if any. Also the Indian guy (can't remember his name??) who is perfectly fine and communicative when around friends but completely closes up and loses the ability to speak around outsiders.

sunday love to my big old dorks
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(starship @ Jul 13 2008, 08:26 AM) *
I try to say the right thing in conversations but don't seem to have the ability that others do to keep things flowing. Someone will ask a question, something simple like what I thought of a film, I'll respond but then an awkward silence will follow and I'll be left desperately thinking of some other thing to say or ask. Completely unatural. A different person in the same situation answers the question then recieves an easy flowing conversation in return. Conversation really is and art form

I can so identify with this. I often have the same problem, too. It leaves me feeling like a big dork every time. I've come to the conclusion that maybe some of my answers are too in depth and that the others in the conversation were looking for a simpler response, or maybe not something so reactionary (sometimes my feminism gets the better of me and I find myself spouting off about things when others could really care less). ...Or maybe I just have a ginormous superiority complex and have no problem believing I'm more intelligent than other people. wink.gif

QUOTE(starship @ Jul 13 2008, 08:26 AM) *
And yes! - we get the Big Bang Theory on UK TV too although probably a few seasons behind as per usual). What a great example to use. I'd say I'm more like Leonard, if any. Also the Indian guy (can't remember his name??) who is perfectly fine and communicative when around friends but completely closes up and loses the ability to speak around outsiders.

sunday love to my big old dorks

Yay! Actually, we've only had 1 season of The Big Bang Theory here. I hope they bring it back for season 2. Koothrapali, the Indian guy, cracks me up. I loved the episode when he got drunk on grasshoppers and was suddenly able to talk to girls, but he turned out to be kind of a jerk.
Muffy
starship, I think social skills are an art form not just conversation.

After reading thirtiesgirl's post, I think perhaps I'm not so much an introvert as someone really lacks good social skills. I always thought I was a bit of introvert and maybe that was my problem.

One of my professors was telling the class one day that they actually teach children social skills in schools now... like AS kids or other children that may have learning problems and being social. They end up making friends with each other so at least the kids aren't left out entirely. I don't think it would be an entirely bad thing to teach all kids social skills.

I just have a hard time making friends though I have a lot of acquaintances but not really friends. I have a hard time meeting people too.. I haven't had a significant other in four years! I've always been like this. My teachers in school just attributed it to shyness. I'm not really shy though, none of my friends would consider me 'shy.' I think I just get anxious about talking to people at a party or whatnot. Once the conversation with a total stranger has started I may relax a bit it depends on how well the conversation is going... though it may just trail off and they wander away because we no longer have anything to say to each other.
knorl05
yeah i have found i really have no trouble making small talk.. i can do it, i just prefer not to. usually i focus on the other person's interests and let them lead the conversation. some times i'll end up having some pretty great conversations with complete strangers. once, during a late night run to ram's horn, i ran into an older woman who gave me some pointers on saving and investing money. mind you, i did not go into ram's horn with the desire to do anything more than order my food and go.. but i was open to her curiousity and conversational advancements, and i left feeling pretty good in the end to have made a connection that i would not have, had i gone in and simply ordered my food.

since i began working in the service industry/sales/retail.. dealing with the general public.. it allowed me the opportunity to develop my social skills. i put myself in positions which forced me to break out of my shyness. i got to the point that i was considered very outgoing, but as with the difference between introverts and extroverts (which thirtiesgirl pointed out).. it really drained me. now, being 30 and working less stressful positions, i have returned to my introverted nature and been allowing myself to go with whatever i feel i need as an individual. my priority is not to make something work that isnt working (ie, to follow conventional social roles) but rather to refine my gifts, cultivate my soul, gain life experience, connect with others deeply and genuinely, etc.

muffy: "One of my professors was telling the class one day that they actually teach children social skills in schools now... like AS kids or other children that may have learning problems and being social. They end up making friends with each other so at least the kids aren't left out entirely. I don't think it would be an entirely bad thing to teach all kids social skills." that is so refreshing to hear. i'm glad that the importance of social skills is being addressed in schools, and that not all emphasis is being placed on memorizing facts. it's good to see that kids will be able to leave the school system with some usable information to apply to their interpersonal relationships.

starship: what did that label do for you? being put into the 'gifted' group.. did it make you feel good to be included in that unique group or did it make you feel ostracized from the rest of the class?
thirtiesgirl
For anyone interested in further information on whether you're introverted or extroverted, or maybe somewhere in between (most of us have a little of both, and there are times when I can extrovert myself, depending on the situation), check out this link. (I'm a school counselor, so it's ok. wink.gif I'm not making you click on anything bad.) It's the typelogic.com webpage. If you scroll down the page to the Tests section, they have links for a couple of different free tests you can take to check out your "personality type." I prefer the 72 question Jung typology test (the first one on the list), but if you'd prefer to try a shorter test, the last bullet point (the Bloginality test) is I think only 4 questions long.

Each test will give you specific results based on your 'personality type' revealed by your answers to the test. The results are based on the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types which some of you may have studied or heard of before. Myers-Briggs personality types are discussed in many school programs, and often used on job sites by some corporations or at professional development seminars. According to Myers-Briggs, there are 16 personality types, such as INTJ, ENFP, INST, ESTJ, etc. Each letter stands for a particular attribute. In the past several years, I've most frequently tested as an INTJ, which stands for Introverted ~ iNtuitive ~ Thinking ~ Judging. The first letter of your personality 'score' will tell you whether you're more Introverted or Extroverted. If I was an *E*NTJ, my personality type would be Extroverted ~ iNtuitive ~ Thinking ~ Judging (they use N for iNtuitive, so it doesn't get confused with the I for Introverted). S = Sensing, P = Perceiving, F = Feeling, etc.

You can find some descriptions of the 16 personality types with this link, without having to take a test if you're not into that. Enjoy!
starship
People have talked about that test on here before but I could never find a link to take it

I am INFJ (& 100% introvert lol)
'Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ' sheesh, tell me about it. I'd say most fo what I read was pretty accurate. Thanks for the link:)
Oh, and we've only had one season too which makes a nice change. It amused me how most of my peers related more to Penny and I was left sympathising with the nerdy guys

Knorl- it wasn't really a big deal at the time, I just found it a little odd. We weren't so much segregated into another group but were made members of. We had to meet for either 1-on-1 sessions or as a group and were given extra assignments or projects. I didn't consider myself particularly gifted though; just did well in exams. I think they just felt guilty because my school wasn't a particularly good one and so we were often left working at a lower&slower pace for the sake of other students. I've just realised what a miracle it is that I was never bullied- shy, quiet, skinny, pale kid labelled as 'gifted' :/

freckleface7
this is going to sound bizzare.. but my Sr year (high school) Term Paper was ' The Negative Affects of Gifted & Talented Programs.' and I knew what I wanted to say.. but could not articulate my arguments well enough to support it and resulted in getting a D- on the paper, really, a gift, bc it Was written badly. however- I always felt I was on to something so I am really curious about your response starship. (it's ok to prove me wrong too)


I am doing ok.. got some meds that are working so/so and enough that I can leave the house for short errands now which is progress but the rest? meh. not so hot.
I feel like humpty dumpty all scattered into pieces.

am going to re-take that meyers briggs test later, to see if I score differently Now as opposed to before ( I think I was INJE or something like that).


QUOTE(knorl05 @ Jul 13 2008, 10:21 PM) *
muffy: "One of my professors was telling the class one day that they actually teach children social skills in schools now... like AS kids or other children that may have learning problems and being social. They end up making friends with each other so at least the kids aren't left out entirely. I don't think it would be an entirely bad thing to teach all kids social skills." that is so refreshing to hear. i'm glad that the importance of social skills is being addressed in schools, and that not all emphasis is being placed on memorizing facts. it's good to see that kids will be able to leave the school system with some usable information to apply to their interpersonal relationships.

starship: what did that label do for you? being put into the 'gifted' group.. did it make you feel good to be included in that unique group or did it make you feel ostracized from the rest of the class?
LoveMyPugs
today at lunch, everyone was passing around their cellphones with pictures of their dogs. i was just oooo'ing and ahhh'ing and squealing at all of them. one of the guys was like, "I'm just not a dog person."

I replied (not thinking I know), "I'm a total dog whore." MEANING I LOVE ALL DOGS!! NOT THAT I LIKE TO FUCK DOGS OR ANYTHING!!

Well, of course I got a look from him, and the dude three seats down was like, "That was totally random."

Whatever....I'm a social dork I know.
knorl05
lol LMP! i have a similar story. in hs spanish class i had to make a sentence with the verb, to blow. i was at a loss - i wasnt sure what soplar meant, so the classclown whispered to me "yo soplo mi perro", which translated into english means, "i blow my dog". ahh. we all had a good laugh at that one.

freckleface7: i have heard that argument before as well.. that to exhault the children, or somehow make them different, leaves them vulnerable to isolation, teasing, misunderstanding, etc. in addition to leaving the "normal" kids feeling unseen or not special. i would be interested to hear any research or thoughts that would go along with that..
and sorry to hear you are not feeling well. not everyone gets into meditation, but i swear by it. helps to clear out the garbage that we pick up on in the day to day, which can leave us feeling a bit overwhelmed. that as well as positive reinforcement.. if not only from your loved ones but also from yourself: positive self-talk does wonders. smile.gif

starship: i could see how a one-on-one session could help, especially if the rest of the class was at a different level, or the class curriculum was not challenging to you. my grades were always good/average but the special attention i got was for my art. not as a program or anything, my teachers would just take me aside and have me work on special projects for them for the class. i liked it. and i was never teased or picked on in grade school either... i was just fine being the eccentric kid, well-adjusted, bright, and weird, because it was fun. but middle and hs were a different story: the concerns that adolescence brings can make girls pretty mean/catty/jealous, and it didnt help that i hung out with some of the girls that would tease other people and couldnt trust them. makes me wish i just stayed true to being a weirdo and associated only with other weirdo artists and creative types. gah. the more you know...
if you havent mentioned it already, what were your peer relationships like in school?

oh and thirtiesgirl: i have also previously taken the test.. but i'll have to retake it. think i was like INFP or something?
(eta: after retaking, "Your Type is INFP Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving")
faerietails
lol, pugs! i've done that before, saying "i've become a zucchini whore" (meaning i've recently become obsessed with eating and cooking zucchini). the looks i got from those people...

lately at work i've been looking at numbers on the register (when i'm supposed to announce the total to the customer) and just been like, "ummmm...can't. understand. what. these. numbers. mean." (while they're looking at the price on the other side of the register). i feel like such a loser when that happens. i'm such a spazz.
konphusion26
Yesterday was pretty awkward. Had some folks come over after church. A few of which we've never hung out with before. They're a pretty wild couple. I just felt out of place in my own home. I'm not a loud person, I don't do small talk well, I'm not very open about speaking of my sex life. And they were all into that kinda stuff. I'm just like whooooa! lol Don't know if we can be around them too much. The woman did invite me to her bachelorette party which will include a sex toy presentation and a stripper... by the time she finished telling me about everything, my face was red as a beet. I think they may be a little tooooo wild for me. But if that's what they like, and they are comfortable with themselves - so be it. My husband is more sociable than I am, but I could see the look on his face when the guy was talkin about strippers at his bachelor party. He's just not with all that. So I guess he was pretty uncomfortable too. He really doesn't have any friends here, except maybe 2 or 3 (if that). And he was interested in getting to know this one guy so they could hang out and do "man things" while the women hang out. I just don't know if he and that guy will connect like that. They're polar opposites. They do have computers and electronics stuff in common. That's about it.
starship
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Jul 14 2008, 07:39 PM) *
if you havent mentioned it already, what were your peer relationships like in school?


When I first started school I always played with the boys. I had a brother and boy cousins at home so i guess that was more natural to me. Plus I was the stereotypical blond hair/blue eyed/freckled little girl so usually had a 'boyfriend' to hold hands with on the carpet during storytime lol. Then I got glasses and Im guessing the boys no longer wanted to play with me because I seem to remember hanging around with the dinner-ladies a lot. At the time I was content with that though and didnt even think I was different:/. Junior school (7-11) I was actually in the popular group and although I was quiet didnt really care what people thought still so got on fine. Then we moved towns but I managed to make a group of really good close friends. A few years later we moved again. I was 14 and found it tough and went into my shell. I still somehow had a group to hang around with as well as friends in each class. But I'd literally sit with them all lunchtime and not say one word- I have no idea how or why they put up with me. It was like that for my last two years at school, I really liked them but felt kind of intimidated plus it was a bigger group than I was used to so I just erm became an honourary mute. I think those two years really knocked my confidence and started some bad habits of just not speaking in certain situations

yikes, sorry for the life story:/

freckleface- I think they can have both positives and negatives. A lot of the other kids in the group bonded through being pushed together and told they were similar, but at the same time ostracized themselves from the rest of their peers by becoming a more compounded group. Personally I didn't feel I had much in common with the other people in the group- they were very focused academically and enthusiastic about the whole thing. I on the other hand didn't see why I should be punished for doing well (that's how I saw it at the time). Kind of emphasised the fact that I didn't fit in anywhere for me. And as Someone already struggling to fit in at the time I didn't really appreciate the overt distinction made between me and most of the people I was trying to be friends with. I don't think the fact that we were rewarded with extra trips etc helped matters particularly. I'm sure there were a lot of students who had worked harder and deserved those privileges more than me so I thought it was kind of unfair (as I'm sure they did). To be honest I think it depends on the particular school and the degree of emphasis they put on the segregation of the 'gifted' students. The rest of the group made some friends and I played it down to my friends so its effect on me was minimal. Education-wise such programs can probably be beneficial but socially they're more of a hinderance. I noticed the other kids became deterred from friendships with people outside the group which probably disadvantaged them both outside of the classroom and after leaving school
I doubt my limited experience of it has been much help but it sounds an interesting paper nonetheless. What were you main arguments?
knorl05
ty starship.. that was neato. i'm just interested to hear the background of others with whom i can relate. it's amazing how both nurture and nature seem to play large roles in our individuality.. as well as the aspect of self-determination. i think as kids we're more at the mercy of our circumstances simply because we dont know any better. i've noticed in many of my friends that things like moving around a lot, parents getting divorced, or growing up in a rural town tended to leave them feeling fragmented &or isolated. and i totally understand about starting habits of not speaking in certain situations.. especially when you feel like all the normal, surface stuff is just not that important (or its downright boring). and then, if you didnt grow up with a group of people and dont have a whole ton in common with them, it's difficult to get on the same page. i notice that still.. when i make friends with people who have a large clique of friends, i tend to feel a bit awkward looking for something to talk about with all of them because i work better having one-on-one conversations. perhaps i developed that habit as a kid? or maybe that's just the way i prefer to interact... i like conversation to be progressive, which can be difficult when everyone is talking about something else. i also like to gain insight from different types of people, so i wont lock myself into only one group. that transcends into my interests as well. so even though i'm rather content with how i am, i get down when i feel everyone else seems to have such specific ideas of what life is about, while i'm left searching.. but hey, all who wander are not lost. wink.gif

kon: "..by the time she finished telling me about everything, my face was red as a beet." oooh. sorry dear. i have been there as well.

faerietails: yeah i guess i'd be an avocado whore then. mmm. yummy buttery goodness. with salt sprinkled on top. i can eat a whole avocado like it's a fruit. (oh wait-eta: apparently avocado is a fruit/berry, but i've always considered it a veggie. ha).

have i already addressed this question: what do all the socially unique do for a living.. and how closely does that match up with your dreams.. or what you wanted to be when you grew up?
freckleface7
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Jul 18 2008, 12:58 PM) *
hey, all who wander are not lost. wink.gif

have i already addressed this question: what do all the socially unique do for a living.. and how closely does that match up with your dreams.. or what you wanted to be when you grew up?


I love that knorl, and so True.

right now I mooche off the mr, but in the past I've worked retail, and as a florist, and as a wine seller, and way before that as a Grist Miller/historical interpreter and a special ed teacher's aide, all very outwardly interactive jobs. I also went to, but did not graduate from, Real Estate school ( I am an architecture junkie) however, the older I get, the less patience I tend to have to work so "out."

what I want to do, which currently I cannot for some complicated reasons, is to be a lifestyles-type collumnist for a newspaper.
after the mr retires from the Army (4 years next month!) maybe open a small green-goods type store with him, but I don't see that as a reality bc it would cost so much and we have NO idea yet where we may end up moving to.

of course, I also have always wanted to move to a cottage on Lake Michigan or the ocean, and be semi-reclusive & maybe open a small bookstore w/ a cat & a fireplace & only sell books I like.
le sigh.
knorl05
ah! yes, me too freckleface! retail, service industry, independent shops, direct care, real estate... searching and trying to find my niche. and shit, i'm still figuring that out..

"small green-goods type store, cottage on Lake Michigan or the ocean, to be semi-reclusive, maybe open a small bookstore w/ a cat & a fireplace & only sell books you like, or to be a lifestyles-type collumnist"... all amazingly worth-while endeavors, definitely of which i can relate. my good friends have always given me the same advice, and although it's not as easy as it sounds, it's still good advice nonetheless: just do it. i've noticed, when i support my friends and their ideas, i'm always like, YES, go for it. but for myself i feel it's not as simple, i think because i make things too complicated sometimes. someone once told me >> dissect your goals down to workable steps. and i can totally dig that - to have a specific idea of what we want, and then to break it down to simpler parts, makes the overall goal much more attainable. i think as long as we stay focused on what we want, and enjoy ourselves along the way, we are able to create a very fulfilling human experience for ourselves. because if we live our lives according to our own ideals, we will always find new goals of which to strive. and we've all heard it before, but i feel it necessary to repeat, "life is the journey, not the destination". smile.gif

oh ps. one of my girlfriends has decided that her love for fashion and writing will best be applied to fashion journalism. i think it's important to not only know what we like and what we're good at, but also to be able to meld our interests into workable goals. for instance, i feel my love for art and helping people, will best be applied to being an art therapist. now if only, i could stay dedicated to it!

((socially unique busties))
lilacwine13
Wow, there is a lot to respond to.

So I'm back in my hometown, and I'm being a recluse. I don't feel like going out and there really isn't any place for me to go that isn't a bar or a store. I miss Arizona a little bit, and am trying to find a job so I can leave or at least pay off some bills. (The company I was working for laid me off.) I know of a couple of people I was friends with in high school in the area, I have their numbers, but I'm scared to call them.

Job-wise, I'm starting out a career in archeology. I'm good at finding stuff, I like the people I've worked with, and the work itself seems to be a good fit with my personality. However, it involves a lot of trying to make business connections, schmoozing, and I'm not good at either one of those things. My previous jobs were office jobs, then there was a ton of odd jobs I worked before that, mainly seasonal, mainly hospitality, half the time I just wanted to go to someplace fabulous and live there for a summer. I feel like I've figured out what I want to do, I just hope that I'm taking the right path to it and that I have enough time to complete it.

School was kinda funny. In kindergarten, because I didn't speak a lot, they put me in the special needs program for a while. When they noticed that I did speak up there (smaller group, more individual attention), they pulled me out because while I may have problems interacting socially, I didn't have any problems learning. The next year, they tested everyone to see what grade level they were performing at, then I was put into the gifted program because I tested high. It didn't make me any more outcast than I already was, so I'm pretty much neutral on it.

I took the Myers-Brigg test and it says I'm an INTP, with very strong introverted tendencies. It also says I tend to be quiet and hard to get to know well, which is true. I think I took it once before in college, but all I remember about that outcome is I scored very highly for being an introvert.
Muffy
I'm INFJ

knorl05, Good question. When I was a kid I wanted to be a dancer or a fashion designer or a model... I went to college for art and graphic design. I had a few jobs as a graphic designer, one as a photo assistant, a few jobs as a waitress, and one as a gallery associate. Right now, I volunteer at a different art gallery and work as their public relations person and I work retail. I'm also a painter. Despite having problems making friends and meeting people, I've been told I'm good at these very socially related positions. I think when I'm at work or even volunteering I go into 'work mode' where I do it because that's what I have to do. If I'm out and about I kind of go into my own little world, especially if I'm out minus friends. I'd really prefer to have a studio in my house and just paint. I can't decide if I want a commune in the middle of nowhere or if I'd like to live in a big city where I could walk everywhere and wouldn't need to kill the environment with having to drive everywhere - I have to get in my car to go anywhere because I live too far to walk anywhere now.

"life is the journey, not the destination" good motto.


lilacwine13, Good luck with the job hunt, it is awful out there! You know what I was placed in a special needs class in kindergarten, because I was slightly younger, I didn't seem to be picking up on things - I actually just had a reading problem, and I was a really shy kid. My parents were not informed when they pulled me out, which I don't think would happen now. I told them, though I had been in the class for like a month before I told them. I didn't understand at the time it was a special needs class, I just know it was different and I didn't like it and we didn't do much art, which really pissed me off. My parents had to sign all kinds of paperwork to get me out of the class and back into a regular classroom.


thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(lilacwine13 @ Jul 19 2008, 08:28 AM) *
I took the Myers-Brigg test and it says I'm an INTP, with very strong introverted tendencies. It also says I tend to be quiet and hard to get to know well, which is true. I think I took it once before in college, but all I remember about that outcome is I scored very highly for being an introvert.

Lilac, you might want to read about your personality type on this link and see if it still fits for you. The link also has information on what careers might be good for different personality types, which might be good for you to check out since you're currently thinking about careers.

Our personality types often change as we grow and change as people. That's why I suggest reading about your type again to see if you feel it still fits you. If not, you might want to retake the test and see if you get a result that fits you better. There are links to several free tests on this site. Scroll down the page and you'll find them.

I took the Myers-Briggs test a few times in high school and college, and always tested as an INFP (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving), but when I read the descriptions of an INFP, it didn't really seem like me. Years later in grad school, I took the test again and scored as a INTP, which (if memory serves) I felt described me best. The last couple times I've taken the test, I've scored as an INTJ, which I don't feel fits me as well as INTP, but maybe I'm at a point in my life right now where I'm using my skills of judgment more than my skills of perception. Maybe you're at a different place in your life now, too.
neurotic.nelly
Welcome thirtiesgirl, i read your first post and found it very very interesting, indeed. Your posts are very informative and a positive addition to this thread!

I have not taken the Myers-Briggs test, but I will try to find a free one thanks to thirtiesgirl for posting the linky. wink.gif

When I was in elementary school, all of my report cards said that I was "too quiet". I got satisfactory grades, but I was "too quiet". I was never placed in any special or gifted classes, but I remember one year, in an attempt to get my out of my shell, I got to do some art therapy with a therapist once a week. I enjoyed working with her, it was fun, and who knows, maybe it did help because I recall being more vocal and popular in fifth grade than all the other grades.

But really, I remember having quiet periods and feisty periods all throughout school. I am still the same way today. I can be really loud and gregarious and really really quiet and awkward with people. My family is loud and gregarious, so no matter how gregarious and loud I am, I am still an overwhelmingly quiet person compared to them, and I have always felt out of place because of this. My mom is a social butterfly, always talking and laughing and telling jokes and making friends, and I think I probably take after my dad, who was an artist and somewhat pensive and troubled. I was raised primarily by my mom, so I'll never really know how much I take after my dad or his family. But, that little description of him is more like me. My mom is none of those.

lilacwine, double good luck vibes to you on the job hunt. A career in Archeology sounds like fascinating and appropriate fit for an introvert. Yay! for choosing a career that sustains and supports you! I know, that I had better choose my career appropriately because I get severely depressed if I have to work a job and deal with people that I loathe.

See, I am not sure what I want to do, yet, 100%, but most people don't either. I have decided to do what feels right, and I know I will be led to my life's vocation. I am a late bloomer and it's cool with me.

Knorl05, I have thought about a career in art therapy too, but I never really dove in because I don't know that much about art, and I have been floundering on my big career move. I know the healing arts is going to be IT, but I am not sure which one to grab by the horns yet.

freckleface, this, "of course, I also have always wanted to move to a cottage on Lake Michigan or the ocean, and be semi-reclusive & maybe open a small bookstore w/ a cat & a fireplace & only sell books I like" sounds amazing! One of my dreams is to have a small farm in a small but cultured town, and raise some goats and chickens, and have some horses and dogs. My boyfriend and I would be authors, so we could sustain our small farm. Then we'd go to art galleries and music shows at night.

I want to write more, but i am pooped and this is long enough... so I will save it for later.

(((socially awkward busties)))

thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(neurotic.nelly @ Jul 19 2008, 10:30 AM) *
Welcome thirtiesgirl, i read your first post and found it very very interesting, indeed. Your posts are very informative and a positive addition to this thread!

I have not taken the Myers-Briggs test, but I will try to find a free one thanks to thirtiesgirl for posting the linky. wink.gif

Aw, thanks for the positive vibes. I sometimes worry that I'm going to come off as too pedantic, so if I am, please tell me to shut the hell up and I'll gladly do so. I know it's just part of my make up. I didn't become a school counselor for nothing...but obviously, I don't get to do enough of what I love at work.

QUOTE(neurotic.nelly @ Jul 19 2008, 10:30 AM) *
When I was in elementary school, all of my report cards said that I was "too quiet". I got satisfactory grades, but I was "too quiet". I was never placed in any special or gifted classes, but I remember one year, in an attempt to get my out of my shell, I got to do some art therapy with a therapist once a week. I enjoyed working with her, it was fun, and who knows, maybe it did help because I recall being more vocal and popular in fifth grade than all the other grades.

See, this just confirms how so many westernized societies value extroversion over introversion, ours in particular. Even as kids, being "too quiet" is a bad thing...or, at least, not exactly a good one. It's seen as a problem, rather than encouraged. Teachers rarely say of the quiet kids, "I know Nelly's thinking very deeply about what we talked about in class, and when she's ready to give us an answer, I'm sure she'll be very perceptive." It's always "speak up," "give me an answer even if you don't think it's right," etc. Which is often not helpful for introverted kids, and teaches them that their introverted nature is 'not good.'

That's cool you got to do art therapy, though. I studied it a little in grad school and it sounds like a lot of fun.
starship
QUOTE(Muffy @ Jul 19 2008, 04:57 PM) *
!You know what I was placed in a special needs class in kindergarten, because I was slightly younger, I didn't seem to be picking up on things - I actually just had a reading problem, and I was a really shy kid.


This reminded me of the time I cut my head when I was 7. I was so quiet that the paramedic thought I had serious concusion and I ended up in hospital having all sorts of scans and whatnot...

I also got the '..but too quiet' thing on report cards. Every single year, without fail. 'Needs to speak up more in class' or 'should contribute more to class discussions' were also a firm favourites. I think thirtiesgirl is right about the negative connotations of such remarks. The other day I was told by a relative that I was 'a lovely child and so quiet'. It seemed so alien to hear that description of my personality in a positive tone for a change.
And nooo, thirtiesgirl, please don't shut up. Your insight is always fascinating:)

Im a law student but definately dont think an actually law-based career is for me. I'm not yet sure which direction I'll go in. If I was 100% honest my ideal job would be looking after children in some way- a pre-school teacher or something. I've never really talked about it with people but it's always been an idea at the back of my head. For some reason I feel embarassed by this though?! I feel as though I've been pushed into a more 'professional' route simply because I have the capabilities...I don't mind studying as it's been beneficial for me but I can't picture myself at that level long-term

Oh and moving around definately hindered my social relationships knorl. If we had stayed put then Id almost definately have a close group of friends. It's much easier to talk to people you've known a while or share backgrounds with. If conversation gets sparse you can talk about an event from the past/laugh about an old joke/discuss someone you both know. Plus it's hard to integrate into a group that's already established. I think moving away from close friends for the second time depressed me a little and I almost couldnt be bothered to make the effort all over again

I wish I could reply properly to what everyone said but it was so interesting that Ive just spent too long reading it all that now Im kinda rushed...

I met some new people recently! One of them could easily be an honorary member of this board. I'm stupidly happy about having someone as understanding as you guys in real life:). Strangely the fact that he knows how shy/awkward/anxious I am makes me less of all those things when I'm around him. The other's a more romantically-orientated relationship. I don't want a proper bf but the prospect of having a partner in crime to get out&about with is nice...

(((all of you)))
neurotic.nelly
starship, i love your new avatar! (eta: i've been meaning to tell you this for awhile). High fives to you for finding a new buddy that is more like you, that rocks, I so want that right now...
Muffy
starship, Good luck with the new friend! I don't think there is anything wrong with being a teacher, that's what I'm going to school for. I actually just recently went back to school for secondary education. While money always seems to be on people's minds, I sometimes think following what is going to make you happy and fulfilled should also be in mind when choosing a career option.

thirtiesgirl, I've heard as that one's personality type changes, however I never took one until I was older so who knows what I was prior. I also think one tends to know themselves better as they age... so maybe one can really stop and evaluate themselves better when answering the questions in a personality assessment test?
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(starship @ Jul 19 2008, 11:44 AM) *
And nooo, thirtiesgirl, please don't shut up. Your insight is always fascinating:)

Ok, ok! wink.gif ...*blush*

QUOTE(starship @ Jul 19 2008, 11:44 AM) *
Im a law student but definately dont think an actually law-based career is for me. I'm not yet sure which direction I'll go in. If I was 100% honest my ideal job would be looking after children in some way- a pre-school teacher or something. I've never really talked about it with people but it's always been an idea at the back of my head. For some reason I feel embarassed by this though?! I feel as though I've been pushed into a more 'professional' route simply because I have the capabilities...I don't mind studying as it's been beneficial for me but I can't picture myself at that level long-term

I'm a strong advocate for being happy in your job. In your off time (if you get any), I'd recommend maybe volunteering at a pre-school for a few days, just to see what it's like. Let the folks who run the pre-school know that you're possibly considering a career in the area, and hopefully they'd be willing to help you.

A friend of mine also went to law school and specialized in family law. Halfway through her school program, after doing some internships at law offices, she came to the conclusion that family law was too adversarial for her, so she decided to go into mediation (for which one also needs a law degree). She found she was much happier working with separating and divorcing couples on seeing their way through the process without too much pain and fighting. It suit her personality more.
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(Muffy @ Jul 19 2008, 12:53 PM) *
thirtiesgirl, I've heard as that one's personality type changes, however I never took one until I was older so who knows what I was prior. I also think one tends to know themselves better as they age... so maybe one can really stop and evaluate themselves better when answering the questions in a personality assessment test?

This is true, too. I mean, I felt I knew myself pretty well at 16... as much as one can know themselves at 16. When I give the test to students, I rely on their own self knowledge, which I don't want to minimize by telling them they'll know more when they're older. ...Which is true; they will. But I generally just refer to it as maturity, without trying to minimize their personal power at the time. ...If that makes sense. smile.gif
freckleface7
ok so I just took the Typology Test, and scored as a ISFJ: Introverted (33%) Sensing (38%) Feeling (50%) Judging (22%).
something in the description really resonated with me
" their shyness is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need.
Their reserve ought really to be seen as an expression of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. The most diligent of all the types, Protectors are willing to work long, hard hours quietly doing all the thankless jobs that others manage to avoid. Protectors are quite happy working alone; in fact, in positions of authority they may try to do everything themselves rather than direct others to get the job done. Thoroughness and frugality are also virtues for them. When Protectors undertake a task, they will complete it if humanly possible. "

in all my past volunteer work, that is a pretty good description of me, to the point where I think I was occassionally made fun of for my work-ethic "nooo body does it as good as Mrs T..." bc it was always So important to me that things be done the Right way.
in my defense though, this was largely working w/ military spouses, a lot of them young & inexpereinced & that One call that doesn't get made can literally, have an Enormous Impact.
so delegating, and not getting anal about tasks not completely was really difficult for me, to the point where I didn't confront people who let me down, but instead would often quietly go behind them & do it over myself.

all this is especially pertinent right now bc one of the things my therapist has assigned as "homework" was to find another volunteer project to get involved with, but only on the smallest of scales; like 30 minutes a month.
I am thinking much about re-training to teach the classes to spouses I had taught before for 5 years ( + worked marketing them as well) but this time NOT get involved w/ the drama.
it's a very *large* group of women. - I don't think I have to explain how ugly that can get to you here.
I need to be able to prepare for my classes, teach, do any after-actions- and go home.
do not pass B, do not get sent to jail. easier said than done bc on some levels I Am a very social person, but as I am finding out, maybe my type of personalilty ( i-e I don't think for the most part I am a back-stabbing bitch) isn't understood by everyone & I am better off keeping to myself.

gah. nervous & not even committed yet!
right now I am still working on getting back to feeling better (leaving the house is still challenging sometimes) but I loved the teaching, loved knowing I was making such a positive impact on these young (& sometimes not) women. my self confidence is still so shaky.. I don't trust my own judgment about much of anything so this may be a really Stupid idea bc my last expereince w/ that program wasn't great (a lot of growth-produced politics & cattiness) but if I Just focus soley on the teaching.. maybe I'd be ok?


thanks for posting those links thirtiesgirl smile.gif
i_am_jan
I've been crazy busy with no time to bust?! so haven't been able to sneak in til now. After reading over all of the *truly fascinating* posts, (you know how you have to read every single word of every single one beginning where you left off last!), I find myself with not enough time to respond right now after all the reading...but I must say briefly, starship: I thoroughly enjoy hearing about the little details of your life, you are an interesting and surprising person; I find myself loving to hear from introverts here so much because they are sensitive and seem to be very expressive in writing, in contrast with their social lives. thirtiesgirl: I find myself going over your posts in my mind and really still digesting some of what you shared. That information was so helpful to me, there are subtle nuances you describe which really help to articulate our feelings, get them laid out, sort out what's what, what's good, what's bad, what needs to be changed, what needs to be accepted, what is confusing, etc. I relish the fact that you are a school counselor also. knorl: good question. It may not surprise any of you to find that I'm a drifter, job wise. Ever seen the movie "Clockwatchers"? That's it...a temp. Also sell antiques on ebay to supplement. In the meantime, I write music, which is what I really enjoy doing with my time, and studying. Long term, I'm really not sure. I've studied english and psychology. I'm having problems actually going anyplace careerwise as I don't want full-time office work anymore and have had such a difficult time fitting in, i prefer freelancing at this point. Long-term interests however are teaching, publishing work, helping others in some way as I love educating/leading/directing others, it's being among them/their peer I have a hard time with. Nelly: I am of the same mind when it comes to career. I too have to do something I love and don't care how long it takes me to realize it. knorl, you have asked before if I ever share my music. Funny you asked, it took me years before finally I hooked up with another shy person and he and I wrote and played together and it got me out of my musical shell so that I can perform, with much anxiety, panic attacks, etc. but again, I try to never let it completely disable me from doing what I'm set out to do, even if I suck, I do it. When I perform for others I do not do well. Also, I love the thought of YOU teaching art therapy, or teaching anything at all. / Lilac: Archeology is so very fascinating and as Nelly said, so perfect for your personality! I love it..Konfusion: oh my. sounds like another hideous instance of "too much, too soon." Boy do I hate that. I do not sit down and talk about my sex life with other couples nor do I expect them to assault my ears with tales of theirs. Unless I ever get into swinging, I will consider that an unwelcome/awkward topic of conversation. People can be shameless, but I applaud you're handling it so gracefully, (of course). Freckle: I can tell cattiness really fracks with you. It makes me so nervous just thinking of working back in an office again, I can relate so much. In my experience, when I have periods where I can't seem to go out, it actually worsens as I isolate and I feel better once I get back into things again (you probably have noticed this already) but I hope you keep feeling a bit better..also, "socially unique" is beautiful smile.gif Muffy: I'm same way...When people are "the job", then you handle business. It's not even difficult, is it? You simply play the role of the teacher/director. It's completely different with friends/peers. Also, I must say your work sounds very interesting. What sort of stuff do you paint? Finally, some of you talk about living out in the country. I have to say, I did that once. Moved out to the country with my ex. I thought I'd love the solitude, but ended up hating it. I found that I actually need the companionship of my city, reclusive as I am. I felt disconnected from even "society at large" out in the sticks ~ found that I actually like and need "the background noise" around me. I totally relate to the "Sex and the City" aspect of life wherein your city is the one thing that you have been connected with ~ that you know ~ who knows YOU - who has shared your career as you walked in and out of the buildings downtown ~ who has wined and dined you and your lovers along the sidewalks and cafes ~ housed the clubs where you've gone and enjoyed the music ~ gives you the library where you do your reclusive reading ~ the streets where you walk and ride your bike ~ a place besides home where I can go and feel comfortable and "in place". Peace out for now ladies ~ enjoy!
anna k
I've been feeling bad the past few days. My job is boring and not fulfilling, and I haven't had success breaking into the publishing world, so I'm looking for jobs I'd be qualified for with health insurance and better salaries. I felt like such shit at nearly 25 working for $10/hr, not feeling challenged, and feeling like a disappointment to myself. It took me five years to finish college because I had a lot of difficulties with math and science (having to take the same bio class three times, doing badly with math and philosophy) and writing appeals to be waived, using my past diagnosis as having high-functioning mild autism since I was a kid (this problem has dogged me my whole life, giving me problems in school and feeling like a dunce). I've felt frustrated about not having a ton of friends, not having a successful career, and feeling like everything in my life is work. Work to be social, work to have a decent career. I wanted to go to Lisbon this fall for my birthday, but the plane tickets are insanely expensive, and I don't want to blow all my money on it. Maybe I can take a domestic trip somewhere as a vacation for myself, because my life feels stagnant and boring, and I want to do something new and interesting.

The things in my life that make me happy are going to the gym to work out in group classes (I like using weights), taking dance classes there, which makes me feel so free and happy to memorize dance routines, getting better, and listening to music, making mix CDs and dancing around my room. I also like making myself feel pretty, like using good shampoo, wearing light makeup, eating healthy food, and enjoying myself.

QUOTE
It may not surprise any of you to find that I'm a drifter, job wise. Ever seen the movie "Clockwatchers"? That's it...a temp.


I've always felt like a drifter too, without a community of friends or peers. I left my college after a year and a half because I felt bored and wanted to advance my publishing prospects in NYC, so I transferred to another college. I lost contact with my friends and lived in student housing in hotels, getting some internships but not getting to be an employee there. I dated sometimes, but never found anyone I really liked (just two guys who I ended up liking more as friends because I got a brotherly feel from them). Seeing my former peers from my first college graduate ahead of me, have their college friends, get good careers, made me feel jealous and annoyed, like I wasn't graced with the good luck of having close friends and a great career, or that I took a different path and didn't do the things that most other college kids do (hook up with each other, graduate in four years, stay close with their college friends). I feel like I have so much inside of me, a great writing talent, and that I've worked hard throughout my life to be socially normal and don't want my life to feel like a waste or feel like a loser.
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