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Am I a lost cause?? (Toxic positivity)

66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,252 Disability Gamechanger

I have been making loads of progress in lots of areas recently and feeling a lot more positive recently about what I could be doing in the future 

I still want to do more though and my next step I decided was to try to build on my social circle as (apart from online friends) this is just made from family at the moment. This is because I haven’t really been able to go out socially since I was a teenager which is like 15 years ago so it’s a big step. I would like to have some people in real life who I like but who are not family

I decided to look at trying some random things that involve meeting people with something in common, whether that’s meeting fellow people with autism and things like that, or just hobbies and interests, so I am looking into things like clubs or groups

I made a post here to ask some questions and I got some helpful responses but got the impression that people thought I was going about stuff the wrong way or shouldn’t be doing the things I was planning on doing like going to different things to try to meet people. I really appreciate the honesty and wouldn’t want to change that, I know nothing malicious was intended at all!! 

However I’m just wondered if I am perhaps wrong to have been feeling positive because I have heard of something called “toxic positivity” which I don’t know the nature of but maybe I am guilty of doing that??

I'm trying not to be too positive and be realistic and know my weaknesses. I am well aware I have social anxiety I have missed out on 15 years of social "practise" so in some ways I have the social skills of a 15 year old not a 30 year old. I'm not expecting to walk into a room and an hour later walk out with a circle of friends :D 

I’m positive about the future for myself, but still not happy with how things are now. The future is what keeps me going, if things get better it’s totally worth suffering now, but if I am supposed to stay like this forever I think I would take steps to ensure I don’t waste any more of my own or other peoples time and resources if that makes sense ... I don't how to word that without triggering the safeguarding :D 

Can anyone relate or maybe understand where I am coming from and offer some words of advice or comfort??

Thanks for reading if anyone bothered to read this far!! I would really appreciate any thoughts


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,832 Disability Gamechanger
    It's always good to read when people are being positive, life is too full of negativity. All I can suggest is that you take it step by step a day at a time and don't be put off if it sometimes doesn't go how you thought it might.
    You know you can always reach out if I can help.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • Amaya_Ringo
    Amaya_Ringo Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    My advice would be not to put limits on yourself, but to take things slowly. As autistic people we can surge into a new project all guns blazing but sometimes that means we go too far too fast. It's great you want to push your limits. I personally think this is a good thing, not toxic. But you will experience pushback from yourself as much as anything, as you try and widen your boundaries.

    So set yourself a first stage goal and work towards completing that. Then see if you can expand on it.

    If you can find groups that share interests with you, then that's a great place to start. I don't know if it needs to be an autistic group, that's up to you. Being on the same spectrum doesn't necessarily mean the same interests, although it does make things easier to communicate if someone else understands your experience. Maybe also look at something which involves a small group and easy conversational triggers. I don't know if you read, but just as an example, a reading group where you can easily begin by sharing opinions of the same an icebreaker for other conversations. Other things are possible - craft things, music, whatever is your particular interest. But I would go after only one thing at first and see how that feels.

    It can be hard for anyone to make new friends as an adult, autistic or not, so also don't be too hard on yourself if it takes time.

    In my experience, when you push your boundaries, it triggers the fight or flight instinct and that can be hard to handle. There is a line and you probably know yourself how far you can push it. But if you can overcome that and manage it, building a new pattern, it will hopefully get easier. 

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,137 Disability Gamechanger
    I 'think' it's normal for everyone to have a roller-coaster of emotions, & whilst it's great to have 'positive' expectations, then it doesn't mean that everything that follows will indeed be positive, & hope that doesn't sound 'negative!'
    I also think that you have more strengths than you know, rather than weaknesses; we all have some strengths & also 'weaknesses,' but that's all part of a person's character, so don't sell yourself short. 
    I think you're going the right way about meeting others that may share things in common, but it's finding those who also have a similar mindset to your own, & that's not guaranteed just because you share certain traits such as autism, or hobbies, interests, etc. It may take time to find such people, but it's worth making the effort to try; it's always worth can guarantee their future, but you won't find out if (& I think things can change) you don't try.

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 52,934 Disability Gamechanger
    It's great to be possitive and try change things to get a better outcome for the future. Just take your time and always know that what ever difficulties come your way, at least your trying and you don't have to rush. Good luck.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,836 Scope online community team
    I'm often told I can find a silver lining to any situation, but I'm not overly positive about everything. Toxic positivity usually refers to people who insist everything is always fine and great, I think everything in balance is fine. 

    The world needs more positive people. :)
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,252 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the responses, everyone, and sorry I took a few days to get back!!

    The point that just because I meet people with one interest, doesn't mean that we will share other interests, is a very valid one I think!! I have certainly found that to be the case with some of my interests - cars is a great one - I have found a lot of car enthusiasts to share very few other interests with myself and also often to be quite "macho" if that makes sense, which is not really compatible with me!!

    That said, I have found that sometimes one shared trait can lead to other shared traits. When I went to the gender clinic and met with other people who were questioning their gender, the conversations would often steer to other topics and when someone mentioned an experience the room would be full of people saying "yeah, that happens with me as well!" and I kind of felt less alone because I was not the only one experiencing certain things.

    I think maybe the same is the case with autism as well. You are very true that not all autistic people are similar - I have met plenty of people who are like chalk and cheese when compared with myself - but have also met some who we had lots of shared experiences/interests and I kind of just felt like I had finally met people who understood me and I understood them, if that makes sense?

    I guess what I'm saying is some traits are kind of "out of character" (like me liking fast cars) so maybe I shouldn't assume I share lots with other car enthusiasts ... however some traits lead me into having a higher chance of finding people who I can relate to

    I'm not sure if that makes sense a little bit :D 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,252 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to add I think I just needed some reassurance that I am not wrong to be positive

    I think I am being what I'd call "realistically optimistic" if that sense?

    It sounds like the majority of posters think I'm going about things the right way, and that it's good that I'm positive, but I will try to take something from all of the posts, even those that are trying to warn me that everything doesn't always go well, which going from my past I should know better than most people :D 

    I do think it's always worth trying though, it would be really easy to decide the whole thing is pointless and not to try in the first place, I hope people do agree with that bit
  • Beaver79
    Beaver79 Community member, Community Co-Production Group, Scope Member Posts: 22,301 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 6
    I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that you have been posting more about different kinds of subjects and really getting engaged with the forum. This is an indication in itself that you are feeling more positive. Well done.

    The question you should ask yourself @66Mustang is if you do nothing will anything change from what it is now? and the answer is I would suggest no.
    You will never get one person to have all the same interests as yourself but that does not matter one subject is enough to start. We meet lots of different people in our lives and some we can connect to and some not it is not failure in any way it would not be possible to connect with everyone.
    If you try something and it does not work out try something else. 

    Never think of it as failure more not quite the right time and try again. You might go somewhere and not be able to go in the first couple of times keep trying until you can.

    Meeting socially is much harder than meeting at work where you immediately have something in common.
    You might be surprised how nervous lots of people are in social settings.

    I am quite a confident person but having been very unwell for the last couple of years has really dented that. The first time I met up with friends for lunch I was really worried, so much so my partner took me and waited near by so he could come and get me when I had had enough.

    You can do this @66Mustang  it might take a while but we are all behind you and anytime you want to talk about things we are here for you.

    Take care.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,252 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Beaver79 for such kind words, I feel a bit better just after reading that

    I totally agree that the best way to fail is just to do nothing! I like an Einstein quote: "the definition of insanity is trying exactly the same thing and expecting different results" which I think can apply to life

    I don't need to make loads of friends, if I could have just 1 or 2 or 3 close friends, along with 1 partner, I would be so happy with that, I think quality of the friendship comes before quantity of friends

    I'm really glad to hear about after you recovered from being unwell, it sounds like you opted to take the healthy risk rather than staying the same, and it paid off really well
  • Steve_in_The_City
    Steve_in_The_City Scope Member Posts: 600 Pioneering
    Hi @66Mustang You always put good discussions out. So thanks!
  • Amaya_Ringo
    Amaya_Ringo Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    I'm so glad that you're taking on board some of the ideas and really trying to reach out more, it's a great sign and I wish you lots of luck finding the right people to connect with.
    One of my closest RL friend is not at all ND, but she and I have a very similar sense of humour, and it means we clicked right away. She grew up on the other side of the world - we were flatmates at university - and so have so many different experiences and interests that have shaped us. But we've also shared things in common and so it keeps us connected.

    Finding people that accept you as the person you are is also really important. Don't let anyone mould you into something you don't want to be. Being flexible and compromising in conversations or situations is fine, so long as you aren't ceding your interests entirely for someone else's company.

    Good luck :smiley:
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