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Tenebraearum
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17 Apr 2011, 7:32 am

My parents always make me go to this stupid little thing one of the teachers at my private school hosts every Friday called "H.A.R.K."; they say I need to go because I need to 'socialize'. Whenever I go to a gathering (i.e. A wedding, party, etc.) with my parents, they expect me to be talking with SOMEONE. My counselor made it clear that if I don't socialize, I won't be successful in any career. I'm really caught between a rock and a hard place because one of my biggest fears is being unsuccessful, but another one of my biggest fears is spending more than 5 minutes with someone, socializing with them.

I'm not anti-social, but I would be if I wasn't so empathetic to others. I've tried making friends but it's not fun to me; it's actually more so like a blade in my leg; I just can't stand it. In my honest opinion, the need to socialize is a leftover, primitive instinct from when humans were of hunter-gatherer societies and communication with each other was essential for survival. For shorts, I think it's a mere delusion.

P.S. Yes, this is my first post.



Densha
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17 Apr 2011, 8:26 am

Tenebraearum wrote:
My counselor made it clear that if I don't socialize, I won't be successful in any career.


The nearest to socialization in my career is sending my customers an email stating their order has been sent. Sorry to brag, but I doubt your counselor is earning more money than me.



Tenebraearum
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17 Apr 2011, 8:30 am

Densha wrote:
Tenebraearum wrote:
My counselor made it clear that if I don't socialize, I won't be successful in any career.


The nearest to socialization in my career is sending my customers an email stating their order has been sent. Sorry to brag, but I doubt your counselor is earning more money than me.


He actually makes about 80,000 a year. Pretty good money IMO.



Densha
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17 Apr 2011, 8:34 am

Obviously you are going to make decent money being a counselor in a private school, which I knew before I replied. Their statement is still flawed.



BlueMage
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17 Apr 2011, 11:45 am

People who are successful in their careers are people who work hard. It depends on your job really. I socialize pretty much never but I get by in job well enough, I make more than enough money.

Don't write off socializing altogether, you can probably find a small group of friends you like socializing with.

This is a good lesson in "don't listen what stupid conformist adults say".



tcorrielus
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17 Apr 2011, 12:17 pm

Learning to socialize with others can be really challenging, but interpersonal skills are required in many careers (e.g. medicine, scientific research, education, engineering, business etc). You may also be required to work with people and get along with them very well.

Whenever you meet someone for the first time, just introduce yourself and ask questions like: Where are you from? What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun? He/she may ask you the same questions in return, and you should answer him/her.

Whenever you see them again, ask them how their weekend or vacation went, and talk about current events.



Logan5
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17 Apr 2011, 2:14 pm

In general, people who are successful in the modern business world are good at so-called networking. This is essentially a form of being sociable (see, for example, "The Schmooze-Hater’s Guide to Better Networking" < http://www.bnet.com/blog/smb-sales-advi ... orking/257 > ; also see "Networking for Introverts" < http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt145754.html >). In addition, many modern businesses claim that they need employees with good "soft skills", by which they mean communication skills, team-working, and creative and critical thinking --at least for employees that work in offices. In my experience, however, to be successful in the typical modern workplace you have to be good at playing office politics, engaging in sycophantic behaviours, back-stabbing, b***s****ing, etc. --rather than actually getting the job done and done right. (This is especially true of large, well established organisations, including government and academic institutions.)

There are exceptions. For instance, my current job requires very little social interaction, but it is also a low level and hence low paid job. There are probably some well paying jobs that require little social interaction, but you are going to have to think carefully and search for them. It is possible that employers are more willing to overlook the autistic traits of people who have a degree in a technical field that there is high demand for (STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Other people have recommended skilled trades (e.g. electrician, pipe-fitter, etc.; < http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp3398942 ... t=#3398942 >). These are definitely not the typical office-drone job, which is what school counsellors usually have in mind.

Finally, some people with autism/ Asperger's syndrome are able to master social skills well enough to survive and even succeed in the modern workplace. I am not one of them, and I do not know how they do it, but you will find a few of them out there.



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