How to pretend to be normal?

I know everyone's sick of me, but I got no sleep last night pretty much because I hesitated to ask yesterday, and hell, it isn't as if I could be somehow more hated on here.

I've been on a downhill slope with my anxiety recently. I can barely go buy food some days because I just get too afraid of what people are thinking of me. I keep wondering how exactly it is that they always seem to know about everything wrong with me. They know I have aspergers, they know that I'm still a virgin, they know I don't have a proper job. I think it might be body language. Seems the most logical thing, after all, it's the main advantage the normal people have over me, that they actually understand it.

It doesn't seem like I can actually be normal, I mean, fuck, even if I fix everything else, I'd still have aspergers, so how can I act normal? How can I stop them knowing so they won't look at me like I'm a piece of shit?

The real question is, "Why do you think the others are normal?"
I am not trying to act smart here. Myself I have my share of difficulties in real life. I have let say a more "weird" mind from others and I think always crazy ideas and like you I don't like or even understand "normal" coversations.
But I know the reason I don't understand them. I hate them really.

But I will be honest here. I don't have a solution for your problem because I don't know how you really fell, but at least you must know that none is "normal". A normal person doesn't exist.

I'm going to be blunt: you need professional help.

I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm saying that because this is about your 10th thread where you deride yourself for a paragraph. People's advice on this forum clearly isn't helping you, so go get some professional help.

Sick of you? On the contrary, you seem a perfectly decent fellow, more decent than many I've met in my years. You come across perfectly well in your words and none of the things you have listed are anything to feel ashamed of.

There is no normality here. Not a single person who ever existed on this planet was truly normal to anyone but themselves. The idea of normality is ever-changing and will continue to expand with every new discovery. Once you realize that, you'll feel free to have whatever quirks you like. I've been told I speak very strangely. That may be as a result of the route I took in my travels and the kaleidoscope of bewildering colloquialisms I came into contact with, or it may be some sort of mind-type dealie[1]. People often seem like they're speaking an unfamiliar language. The best you can do is try to make yourself understandable, really, because you've got to communicate.

One thing I like to do when I feel a little down is to build my own little world inside my head. Gather positive things that make you feel happy, comforted or inspired. Jot down words you think you could live your life by, sketch the world around you as you would prefer it to be. Make up amusing little distractions to pass the protracted waiting between bigger and more important things. Listen to music that will transport you away from all the troubles of this world.

Social anxiety is a common thing, but it is by no means crippling. At times, it may seem like the most frustrating thing in the world, but you must remember that worrying about what a normal life is would be like worrying about how to achieve perfection. You can't. Even if you could, what a dull life that would be. No risk, no reward, no room for improvement. No lessons learned, no discoveries, nothing to feel human. Who would really wish for such a thing? Life is about what you learn from your mistakes and experiences and how those lessons improve you. The more you see and do, the more people you speak to, the more you will improve.

[1] Yyyep. I, uh...I blew up a lot of beakers in biology classes. I think my grade rhymed with "Gee" or "Smee".

Lethos:
I'm going to be blunt: you need professional help.

I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm saying that because this is about your 10th thread where you deride yourself for a paragraph. People's advice on this forum clearly isn't helping you, so go get some professional help.

I have. Sorry, I should have said. It is very basic, though. I'm on anti-depressants, 50mg sertraline a day, and every month or so, I call up the doctor, we talk for a little, sometimes I feel able to be open, sometimes not so much, and he sends me a new prescription. Maybe given recent events, I should ask about therapy and whether upping the dose would be a good idea, but that's a good three weeks or so away now.

SweetShark:
The real question is, "Why do you think the others are normal?"
I am not trying to act smart here. Myself I have my share of difficulties in real life. I have let say a more "weird" mind from others and I think always crazy ideas and like you I don't like or even understand "normal" coversations.
But I know the reason I don't understand them. I hate them really.

But I will be honest here. I don't have a solution for your problem because I don't know how you really fell, but at least you must know that none is "normal". A normal person doesn't exist.

Barbas:
Sick of you? On the contrary, you seem a perfectly decent fellow, more decent than many I've met in my years. You come across perfectly well in your words and none of the things you have listed are anything to feel ashamed of.

There is no normality here. Not a single person who ever existed on this planet was truly normal to anyone but themselves. The idea of normality is ever-changing and will continue to expand with every new discovery. Once you realize that, you'll feel free to have whatever quirks you like. I've been told I speak very strangely. That may be as a result of the route I took in my travels and the kaleidoscope of bewildering colloquialisms I came into contact with, or it may be some sort of mind-type dealie[1]. People often seem like they're speaking an unfamiliar language. The best you can do is try to make yourself understandable, really, because you've got to communicate.

One thing I like to do when I feel a little down is to build my own little world inside my head. Gather positive things that make you feel happy, comforted or inspired. Jot down words you think you could live your life by, sketch the world around you as you would prefer it to be. Make up amusing little distractions to pass the protracted waiting between bigger and more important things. Listen to music that will transport you away from all the troubles of this world.

Social anxiety is a common thing, but it is by no means crippling. At times, it may seem like the most frustrating thing in the world, but you must remember that worrying about what a normal life is would be like worrying about how to achieve perfection. You can't. Even if you could, what a dull life that would be. No risk, no reward, no room for improvement. No lessons learned, no discoveries, nothing to feel human. Who would really wish for such a thing? Life is about what you learn from your mistakes and experiences and how those lessons improve you. The more you see and do, the more people you speak to, the more you will improve.

I wish I could believe that there was no normal, but I just don't see it. For better or worse, there's a certain idea of how you're supposed to look, how you're supposed to act, what stage in your life you're supposed to be at at a particular age, and I can't help but feel I don't meet up to standards. I'd just be a rebel, but I can't see how I'd get ahead in life if I put off most of the people I met by differing from the criteria. I feel like there's a massive amount of rules and codes and particularly body language that I just don't get. I know a load of people who seem like they've got it, they've managed to get in that sweet spot of not offending anyone without losing their personality in the process, and I wish I could figure out how.

[1] Yyyep. I, uh...I blew up a lot of beakers in biology classes. I think my grade rhymed with "Gee" or "Smee".

Doclector:
I wish I could believe that there was no normal, but I just don't see it. For better or worse, there's a certain idea of how you're supposed to look, how you're supposed to act, what stage in your life you're supposed to be at at a particular age, and I can't help but feel I don't meet up to standards. I'd just be a rebel, but I can't see how I'd get ahead in life if I put off most of the people I met by differing from the criteria. I feel like there's a massive amount of rules and codes and particularly body language that I just don't get. I know a load of people who seem like they've got it, they've managed to get in that sweet spot of not offending anyone without losing their personality in the process, and I wish I could figure out how.

The idea of what's "normal" changes a surprising amount over a relatively short distance. People have preconceptions about one-another all the time, usually to help themselves feel more secure about how their own life is going. The truth is that they wouldn't bother trying to do that if everything was going hunky-dory. They're all vulnerable and they're all fighting battles we can't see. Sometimes it simply takes a while and a lot of getting to know people before all that stuff really becomes evident, but they make friends and enemies of each-other all the time. If anyone appears to be in that "sweet spot", it's probably not for long. In all likelihood, they've said at least one thing that's offended someone, but managed to patch up the damage later.

I know alleviating the problem isn't as easy as saying "don't worry how people perceive you", but what is vital to remember is that ultimately, it's not all that vital. It won't hurt the quality of the life you lead at all. Mistakes will always be made, so the best you can do is apologize for the ones you make while being as honest, attentive, polite and understanding as possible.

Doclector:
I have. Sorry, I should have said. It is very basic, though. I'm on anti-depressants, 50mg sertraline a day, and every month or so, I call up the doctor, we talk for a little, sometimes I feel able to be open, sometimes not so much, and he sends me a new prescription. Maybe given recent events, I should ask about therapy and whether upping the dose would be a good idea, but that's a good three weeks or so away now.

Now remember, I am not a psychiatrist! Having said that, I also take sertraline (though I'm on 100mg). It doesn't do shit for my anxiety issues. It's useful for my depression issues, but that's about all (I think I'm bipolar to some degree, but not diagnosed). I would ask your doctor if there are any meds you can take specifically for the anxiety. There is the family of benzodiazapines (think Valium, Xanax), but I've found doctors reluctant to perscribe them as they are frequently abused and can become habit forming. In my experience, they do help with anxiety 'in the moment' (like taking asprin for a headache) rather than create a steady state of mental equillibrium. Plus they make me drowsy and function poorly at work. For myself, I've been looking at other medications I can ask about whenever I can find a new psych doctor. Not saying this is necessarily for you, but I found the Wiki article on Borderline Personality Disorder helpful and there are some long term type meds listed there that I think could help me and therefore possibly you. Good luck, man.

There really is no normal, we are all odd in our own way, I myself have terrible anxiety out in public and even worse on the phone for some reason so I put on a brave face and pretend nothing bothers me at all (as does everyone else).

Anyway that really isn't the point here the point is to get practice in socializing which will make you proficient in playing pretend with other people.
But all beginnings are hard, you probably remember your first bike ride, can't really learn it without doing it and when you do try it shit seems impossible to keep in balance. So you skirt around all wobbly and scared for the longest time, ever so slowly you pick up the pace and start using brakes in a way you don't fall over, then finally you put your feet up and try the pedals which is usually when you fall over and hurt yourself terribly, wanting to quit it all right then. But if you do then you will never get it right, if you persevere and keep practising however that muscle memory does kick in and you eventually ride no worse then all the rest.
And in all that time of course everyone looks at you with discontent... why can't this noob ride a bike like I do from the start, completely ignoring they were noobs just as well (that is human nature, keep it in mind when coming up against that situation).

"Post Removed"

I am dealing with social anxiety and I am completely unable to remember people's names or faces which makes it hard for me to deal with people since I have difficulties separating people I am supposed to know from those whom I just met.

I am able to fake confidence by drawing on my strengths and reject the fact that people have opinions about me. So I have thrown away the notion of having a close relationship to anyone and I focus my efforts on being able to appear intelligent. So I have simply accepted myself and I present the small portion of myself that I like.

Basically, find one reason why you're awesome. Present that. It has taken me years to perfect that and I get uncertain at times, but it has helped me to gain confidence even outside of that. I went from being almost unable to say something in a group of 4 to working part time as a substitute teacher. I don't think this is healthy, but if deception is what you want this is what I can offer you.

Doclector:
snip

As with most things mental health, you just have to do it. How do you pretend to be "normal?" Start pretending you feel "normal." Actively push away your social anxiety and don't let it control you. Obviously you are going to feel one way, but don't let the way you interact with the world be affected.

Everybody is dealing with their own shit, which means they don't have the time to care about yours. It's awkward to talk to somebody who's all stuck in their head, so it's a turnoff for them if you are. Act like you're happy, act like you're comfortable, and people will start treating you like you are. Just follow the mantra "fake it till you make it."

Alternatively, meet new people. If it bothers you there's no reason why they should know or care if you have aspergers or are a virgin. Better yet, find people you can be honest with. Looking back at my life, most of my friends have some kind of emotional disorder. Frankly, I can't understand people who don't. You'll find a pretty quickly you are not alone.

In conclusion, stop listening to the voices in your head. They will tell you to be anxious and such, so just don't act the way you feel. It's unbelievably hard at first, but pretty soon you can draw a separation between how your emotions are making you feel and the vibe you are putting out to the world. So basically I'm saying act the way you want people to treat you, rather than the way your emotions are telling you to behave.

 

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