While I decided that I wanted to write a blog a while ago on socializing, it has taken till now to actually do so. I have been rather nervous and unsure at how I would come across, whether people would misinterpret me, whether I would be able to make my point easily.
I wanted to let you into my brain a little and explain socializing Nichole style.
For those who don’t know social skills such as eye contact, dual sided conversations, body language, space and so forth aren’t natural for me, these skills have been taught and are still being taught to me.
I often worry and fret about how I come across to others, do I come across as over the top or weird?
When I know that I am going to meet someone for the first time, like my friend Chloe; I often contact the person before I meet them (like in this situation). By the time I met Chloe a few weeks later, I didn’t feel as nervous to approach and talk to her as I felt comfortable talking.
During conversations I may show many of the following (usually all at once):
– literal Interpretation / misinterpretation of conversation especially if it is choppy (like plot lines in movies with flash backs)
– no eye contact
-one sided conversations
– usage of a million words to say one thing
-not getting jokes/ quirky humour
I am thankful that in my life I have friends that are more than happy to mentor me in these areas.
They do this in ways such as:
– breaking down a situation and explaining what I could of done better, improvements, how to go about certain situations
– real life practise : being there when I am getting that practise to tell me things such as ,you’re talking to loud, you need to not use as many words or this I think would of been a better way to approach that.
– allowing me to message them and asking “How do I deal with this situation that’s arisen in a conversation?” or “what do I do if a conversation doesn’t go the way I envisioned it to go”
In many ways I over think situations for hours after, often making myself upset or worried over certain incidents that later have been solved by just talking to the person. Those moments I’m like “why was I worrying and loosing sleep over this”
I have also been in a few situations where I have mentioned to the person that I have aspergers, this is what I struggle with but I am making an effort. I understand not everyone is going to like me and I have to deal with that.
My biggest problem with socializing in alot of situations is my obsessive nature.
There are certain areas in my life I am obsessed with, we will take musicals as an example. Everyone knows I love a good musical and quite often will see them multiple times. I have met some of my closest friends through musicals.
For a few weeks before going to see a certain show called Grease, I did alot of intense study of this musical via YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites. I contacted the theatre to ask where certain areas were such as ticket collection, how to get there and so forth and I contacted a few people I knew would be in it.
My main challenge would be after, I was quite excited to meet some of the performers of the show I had just seen so I made my way down to the stage door and waited. It was rather hectic and rather scary for me being around that many people so I sat back and waited.
I thought I would share a funny story from meeting one of the performers for the first time ( I won’t mention who, but I am certain a few of you may be able to guess).
I was waiting patiently to meet this young performer (that narrows the Grease cast down by about two :p) I had missed this person at a previous performance and was really wanting to meet them, though I was completely petrified to do so, I had sent them a message previously and politely asked if this was possible and they said yes so that was set. I walked over and said “My name’s Nichole” with a rather huge grin on my face, but was still rather stand offish, but they made me completely comfortable and we chatted and took a photo and chatted more. I have been able to keep in contact with this person like a few others and I have been more than happy to find a bond of food and glitter with this person.
Why did I share this story?
because I wanted to bring forth the point that in some situations I am absolutely petrified to initiate conversation and socializing but will interact when I know I have something in contact with the person.
One other thing is I am often rather brain dead after interacting and socializing and will withdrawal to my space and relax.
Next time you see me around, I hope this helps you understand me if I do come across as standoffish, tense and awkward, I really do want to interact; sometimes I will be very huggy and sometimes not but I do love getting real life practise.