Socializing While Neurodivergent

I’ve been wanting to write forever. But just…didn’t. Life has been crazy, to say the least this last while.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how challenging being social is. How much of a failure I feel like because I find socializing somewhat foreign.

Small talk is exhausting. Introducing myself to new people is tedious. Making plans when no one talks to me feels pointless.

My circle has grown lately, which you would think is awesome. I know so many people so I must be so liked.

What’s really happened is now there are more people who see me. Who have already made first impressions of me, and my family. And it feels like they don’t get me.

The older I get, and the older my kids get, the more I feel like we don’t belong. Like no one really gets us. Like it’s the five of us against the world.

To “fit in” we have to work twice as hard as everyone else. And then we’re ostracized because we’re different and no one gets us. Making friends is harder for my kids because they aren’t like other kids. They don’t have the same interests. Other kids don’t seem to want to get to know my oldest, so she’s just left out and forgotten.

It’s just too much work to try to make people like us, to get us. Because I’m misunderstood I end up being ostracized by some people, too. I feel I’ve tried, I put myself out there, and I get hurt. It’s not worth it anymore.

I’m lucky I’ve found my people. I do have friends, I do have people that get me. But those other people who couldn’t be bothered still bring me down, even though I know I shouldn’t let them.

Our oldest has really found her people on her hockey team thankfully, but school has been another thing. There she’s being “outgrown” by her peers and thus being left behind. She has found people that she can be friends with, but kids at school just…don’t get her. Or my son, really.

Basically, friendships are freaking hard. They’re hard to make, they’re hard to maintain. Once you find your people it’s totally worth it. But finding those people can be challenging.

But once you find them – your people – it’s so worth it.


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