Socially awkward ≠ autistic

You work with someone they kind of keep to themselves. They can be a bit shy, not very talkative and when they do talk it’s not easy going. So of course they must be autistic, NOT! This is a pet-hate I have, why do people who aren’t the most sociable automatically get branded as autistic? I think this bothers me so much because I feel it almost diminishes autism. Now I’m going to attempt to explain myself because I know what I mean but I’m really struggling to find the words for this one.

So someone who is socially awkward, let’s say, they have there own difficulty to overcome doesn’t make it any less important than the difficulties that come with autism but I feel there needs to be a distinction. I mean I’m not even sure I should be using socially awkward seems rude in a way but I mean no rudeness I just don’t have the words. Anyway back to the matter at hand, I think there are just people who are better at socialising than others. Some who are great with small talk, some who are great with heavy and deep conversations. But what makes autism is more than just being socially awkward. Autism is a difference in the brain that effects day to day life. Yes that means socialising is affected but there is so much from sensory processing to anxiety. I think when people are easily labelled as autistic because they are not great at socialising makes it seem like autism is easy. Autism is not easy. It involves a lot of work to manage. My day to day is spent controlling my anxiety so that I can leave the house and breath when I walk down a corridor, spent analysing situations so I don’t panic because I have no idea what’s going on, spent trying not to faint because a light is flicking so rapidly that my brain feels like it’s flickering on and off in rhythm to it. Does that sound easy?

So when people say ‘oh that person must be autistic because they just not very social, they’re a bit socially awkward’. It really pisses me off. And to be honest it upsets me. Really upsets me. Not being socially savvy is not all autism is about. I had to have years of coming to terms with it and understanding it. For people to throw around ‘the label’, ‘my label’ onto others just for being a bit shy just makes it seem like my autism is just whatever. It’s not. It’s forever on my mind and will be forever in my mind.

I’d love to know others thoughts on this and I bet you lot out there could explain this better than me (having a nasty cold probably doesn’t help).

Thanks for reading. Hope you like it. Peace out!

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3 thoughts on “Socially awkward ≠ autistic

  1. So true! I think actually the “being socially awkward” is really just a symptom of autism and nothing to do with the underlying experience. I’ve known autistic people who were the life and soul of the party – it just takes being in a comfortable environment with people you have no reason to fear!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with you! I know a lot of autistic people who aren’t socially awkward in the slightest. Even if they don’t understand social rules, they rock it with a confidence I can only dream of. Unfortunately I have social anxiety on top of being autistic so I’m not an exception to the rule, but still, being socially awkward isn’t all that my autism entails, not by a long shot.

    Liked by 1 person

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