From the blogosphere: “Aspies can be social too,” by Carla Burn

Asperger’s Syndrome may be a “social disorder”, but it doesn’t mean if you have it you are incurably anti-social. Yes, I may behave “differently” at times, however I still have fun and love to be with other people. Lately I have indulged in the splendour of Melbourne nightlife, and shared many drinks with good friends. I usually go out with about four friends and explore various bars and restaurants to enjoy. I can’t say I’m a big fan of nightclubs, because you can’t really talk to people in those places. However, I haven’t been to many nightclubs really, so perhaps one day I will go to one and come to like the atmosphere.

Not all Aspies are into this sort of thing, but that’s not what I’m trying to convey here. These experiences that I have had and will continue to have are just exemplary of the fact that Aspies are perfectly capable of maintaining friendships and having active social lives. There is an annoying stereotype that exists that Aspies just like to be alone all the time and don’t have any friends, and just have meltdowns all the time. Not true. We are all unique, just like all ‘normal’ people are unique too. I after all do not in the slightest identify with the apparent social seclusion aspect of Asperger’s Syndrome. I love meeting new people, and they don’t seem to mind my company so much either. Yes, maybe sometimes I might annoy them, but I usually try and monitor my inappropriate social flaws so they don’t come out as much in valuable social situations.

For instance, as of a few months ago I got into the dating game. I started talking to people, and actually met someone who I started seeing for a couple of months. When I first met them I made sure not to reveal too much of my weirdness until I really got to know them, so in an effort to impress the person I carried myself behind the subtle façade of a charming, sensible, interested girl. And believe me, Aspies can be charming if they use their intellect. I have practiced numerous times and feel like in short-term periods I can be quite charming. Oops though, I kind of just contradicted myself because a charmer would probably not openly admit to being charming. I guess that’s just another one of my flaws.

The relationship unfortunately didn’t work out because we both wanted different things, but it’s a learning experience and reaffirms the reality that Aspies are capable of managing relationships of any kind.

Like every human being, there are still things about myself that I need to work on, but I won’t let that bring me down. There are lots of people I hope to meet, and experiences I want to have that I know one day I will. Because when I have an idea, I very rarely let it go until it has been accomplished. I’m going to start dating again soon, but not because I’m desperate to find the love of my life, but because it’s fun and I want to get to know people on different levels than I have before.

This is a time of my life where I am finding myself, and what I want to be. I know I sound like a major hippy, but maybe the hippies were onto something. Sure, it’s unrealistic to strive for world peace, but a little optimism, love and acceptance never killed anyone.

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