People on the spectrum sometimes try to imitate others. It’s because we want to be accepted, to belong. It’s also because we don’t know what’s expected of us, and many aspies suffer from social phobias. We imitate neurotypicals because they know the right things to say and do. We can avoid ridicule this way.
However, sometimes we have to choose between imitating others and being happy. Although imitating others can make us feel safe in some circumstances, it’s not necessarily the wise thing to do, not if it’s on the expanse of one’s happiness.
I might imitate others in some ways myself, like make small talk I’ve heard other people use, or smile at the right times. However, as a child, I was told to always imitate my peers. I was told I had to make friends, as if making friends was a duty. My intense love for animals was frowned upon. I was expected to go to parties and act ‘normal.’
Although some aspies are happily married, and some aspies are happy to be parents, this doesn’t work for everyone. My ability to be around people is more limited than many other aspies, judging from what I’ve read in many forums. So is my ability to receive joy from other people, to enjoy company. I must admit I have some serious issues in that area.
Society put pressure on me to get married, to have kids. Coworkers have told me, “You love yourself too much,” when told I don’t want kids. “You’ve got problems.” “You need therapy.” This is what I’ve heard on more than one occasion from people I talked to. All because I’m childless and single by choice.
Also, I’ve made the mistake of telling a coworker I get tired when being around other people for too long, and she told other coworkers, “I think we should stop talking to her now, or she might get a headache from talking to people for so long.”
Following the crowd has its price. It’s a sacrifice. If an aspie is happy in his/her marriage and is content to be a parent, that’s great. But if one knows this isn’t right for him, then he shouldn’t go through with the motions just to be like everyone else, just to join the herd.
I used to try to blend in, and I’ve paid the price by suffering. Living alone agrees with me. I’m much happier and calmer now. Life is much better when you do what you want and not what you’re expected.
Anyone has similar experiences?
‘All cats have Asperger syndrome,’ is a book that is inspired by the feline world. Cats seem to be happy, probably because they live the life they want. It’s funny and filled with beautiful cats’ pictures. This link is an Amazon affiliate link. Click to learn more.