Do your stress levels increase when invited to be social?



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LtlPinkCoupe
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05 Dec 2013, 12:05 am

Whenever someone approaches me and asks me if I want to study together, meet for lunch or coffee, I can actually feel my heart beat a little faster, and a sort of electric shock goes off in my head, just like it does when I'm confronted by something that makes me anxious. I start to stammer "Ummm...ummm...S-sure," and go over to be social, even though I know I have nothing to contribute to the gathering/conversation and will just become the third wheel like always.

I've had this sort of fight-or-flight response to friendly overtures from my peers ever since I was young. I guess it could be related to my social anxiety, but I think the stress response actually isn't as bad as it used to be.

Anyone else get stressed by invitations to socialize (i.e. invitations to study, party, get coffee, sit with somebody at lunch....)


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Ganondox
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05 Dec 2013, 12:42 am

Yes, but it's not bad, I want it even if it's stressful.


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em_tsuj
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05 Dec 2013, 12:44 am

Yes. I even get a stress response when I know that I face the possibility of having to interact with another human being who is not a close relative or friend.



MadeUnderground
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05 Dec 2013, 12:46 am

em_tsuj wrote:
Yes. I even get a stress response when I know that I face the possibility of having to interact with another human being who is not a close relative or friend.


Me too.

It's on a daily basis that I got asked/begged/poked and prodded to go do something.

After months of me saying yes only 40% of the time, they've died down a bit but they still ask more than I'd like.



questor
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05 Dec 2013, 12:49 am

Yes, I get anxious when in social situations. I have a great solution, though. I am a hermit. I live alone, and due to health problems, I don't get out much, so I don't have to socialize much. However, keeping too much to yourself in the workplace can cause problems in some jobs, and in school. I don't know a way to fix that. I have enough trouble trying to convince my extrovert father that I like, and prefer being alone--and I am in my mid 50s. By now I ought to know my own mind on that, so he should take my word for it. He absolutely can't stand that I don't socialize, as he thinks that will make me miserable, so he worries about me. It's socializing that makes me miserable. I am not totally isolated. I do occasionally go out into the yard, and will talk to any neighbors passing by. Although I am shy, I also talk to people when I am out running errands, and I post comments online, here at WP and at other sites. I also occasionally visit or call relatives, or have visits and calls from them. This is enough socializing for me. I am well able to do these small amounts of social contact, but more involved and longer duration contact is too much for me to handle. I will stick with being a hermit. :D



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05 Dec 2013, 12:57 am

Hey, you!! ! I know you from DeviantART, Tumblr, and Wingnut City! I'm only on Wingnut City now, though. Mom took away the other two accounts after some drama happened on the first two websites. PM me for my account!

I don't have much of a social life, save a weekly therapy appointment at a coffee shop. Yes, a coffee shop. The building she works at is horrible for sensory issues, so she agreed to meet at a coffee shop up the street. I hate going to therapy. Why? The focus is on me! I hate it! Usually it's just Mom talking to my therapist about me, and me agreeing with what they say, and that's good enough. I don't want to be talked to too much. When she does talk to me, I want to shrink down and hide as fast as I can. She's not even that intimidating!

Case management, or more like social management, is a slightly different story. My case manager, who I call "Kay," takes me on outings every other therapy day, unless she calls in sick like today. I look forward to going out, but only for the shopping or whatever I do. The socializing scares me enough that I don't talk much, even though the whole thing is about becoming more social and having a "friend."

I can put up with family events a little more, but I always go home with a migraine and an upset stomach. The upset stomach is usually from eating so much, but the migraine is usually from the stress of being out and socializing. I usually need an escape plan for these events, but I still get a migraine and end up doing everything in my power to get rid of it, but can't do anything about it except go to bed and move to certain positions until the pain lessens so I can get some sleep.

Sorry for rambling, I've had a really long day, but thanks to the RC Cola, I'm not sure how soon it's ending. :lol:



honeyaureus
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05 Dec 2013, 12:57 am

Double Post... OOPS. :lol:



Last edited by honeyaureus on 05 Dec 2013, 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NotaHero
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05 Dec 2013, 2:28 pm

Yeah I do get social anxiety, but it does vary depending on how well I know the people and the location, so I usually just stick with a few close friends I know well than there usually isn't any issues.



Sethno
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05 Dec 2013, 9:54 pm

Here's another "Yes".

Even people I've known for years and would call friends, contact with them (even a brief conversation) is stressful.

I don't think they realize it, either. The curse of developing coping mechanisms and learning to "act normal".

One friend, when I told him about "suspected high functioning autism", at first couldn't see it. I'd told him about special interests and poor skills at chit chat. He said "You do fine at chit chat...oh...but you always talk about the same few things".

I just looked at him and said "Uh huh".

Normally, they don't even notice, tho' another friend who's known me for years says that when we first met, I had all the personality and social skills of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. He says I'm doing better now. If he only knew what's beneath the surface...

Alex Plank said in "Autism Reality" that his NT friends have no idea how much it takes out of him to interact with them and come across as "normal".


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06 Dec 2013, 12:23 am

Yes of course. I would seriously question my diagnoses if it did not not.


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League_Girl
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06 Dec 2013, 1:11 am

No because the word no exists, use it. No need to get stressed out. Just say no. Maybe I should question my diagnoses. :lol:

I do get annoyed though if anyone tries to force me to talk and be with people. I wouldn't say it's stressful, just makes me feel annoyed. I prefer to do it under my own terms. I can understand why this would annoy and piss off lot of aspies and introverts. I would be pissed too if I got it all the time from people and maybe start getting stressed out whenever someone tries and invites me. But because I don't ever get this from people, I only get annoyed when it happens. I also feel irritated. I don't mind social gatherings or parties, I just go for the food and I bring my own stuff and do my own thing. I am not there to talk. My husband isn't a sociable person either so we're always the first ones to leave. He is selective about what social things to go to so he will choose to go to family or friends of his parents or his old friend and whenever our work does this thing every year at the end of September. But we always leave after we eat and watch the raffle and not stay for the next one because it's an hour away before they do another one so we give our raffle ticket to someone else. With our son, we now have an excuse to leave.


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dianthus
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06 Dec 2013, 1:32 am

I'm very seldom invited to be social.


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06 Dec 2013, 2:11 am

Yep. I avoid get-togethers like the plague. Even events I should be comfortable about -- family reunions, bridal showers of good friends -- affect me like that. I get a huge knot in my stomach, my heart races, I sweat, get a little nauseous, and shake and stammer. And I haven't even gotten to the party yet. When I'm there, the just-mentioned sensations get exponentially worse, plus I don't know where to stand or sit, or who to talk to or what to talk about. I remember once at a family reunion -- we used to have them annually in my grandparents' back yard -- a rainstorm came through and the party was moved inside the house. EVERY room was filled with people, and there was no where I could go where I could be alone and didn't have to pretend I wanted to visit with whoever was in that room. It was a nightmare.


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Gazelle
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06 Dec 2013, 2:22 am

For me it depends and certain social events do make me very stressed and others not as much. For example, if I meet up with an old friend who I feel comfortable with and it is one on one socializing and going out to eat and shopping say then I am comfortable. If it is a group of people and we go to the movies and then for dessert I am pretty comfortable since there is not that much pressure to make conversation well usually there is not pressure to make conversation.

If on the other hand I am at a new job and meet lots of people and we eat together or go to a meeting I then feel very stressed as to me these are situations where people are more accepted if they talk a lot and have lots of things to contribute to conversation.


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06 Dec 2013, 5:38 am

I´m not good at get-togethers either. I fear it, but once I am there, - I´m there and I try to participate, but mostly I end up by the book shelf, or playing with the cat or talking to the children. I am allways a little apart from the rest of the company.
I am not shy, but for me, doing small talk is an intellectually controlled process,- pretty meaningless, I must say, but apparently joyful for others.


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