Autism and Socialization

It’s a complete misconception that autistic people don’t like to socialize. There are extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts among us just like there are in the neurotypical population, and some of us love socializing.

However, our definition of socialization is vastly different from the neurotypical definition of socialization. What neurotypicals call socialization feels like war to me.

I like to liken neurotypical socialization to a complex game of chess where you have to observe, gauge, plan, strategize, calculate, anticipate and strike.

Much like in a game of chess, there is a social hierarchy in place among the players, with the king and the queen at the top, followed by the rook, the knight, the bishop and the pawns. You cannot get to the king and queen without going through the other players. Trying to do that is social harakiri.

There are also rules that you must know and follow in order to survive in the game. If you don’t know the rules, you are as good as dead.

And if you don’t know how to observe, gauge, plan, and strategize, you are better off not playing the game.

Seeing as I don’t understand social hierarchy, social rules, social cues, and gameplay, I am a dead man, or woman, in my case, standing in a social situation.

So, you see, it’s not socialization that I don’t like or have difficulty with. It’s the other things that seem to invariably accompany neurotypical socialization that I dislike and have difficulty with, leading to anxiety and resulting in avoidance.

I am comfortable and enjoy socializing with people who have no agenda, no vested interests, no ill intentions, who are simple and straightforward, who are empathetic and nonjudgmental, who are kind and compassionate, who communicate clearly and gently, who don’t play mind games, who don’t leave me guessing.

So, the next time you want an autistic person to socialize, think about about what you can do to make socializing a pleasant experience for us. Once you make the necessary changes (accommodations), you will find that you don’t have to force us to socialize anymore, and, who knows, you might end up liking our way of socialization yourself!



  1. Perfectly said dear. People changed the real norm of socialisation. If we are forced to be fake, gossip, judge to be perfect in socialisation, that is where we stuckup. So we are forced to isolate or go invert within our small circle. Our children don't deserve this play and drama, so they prefer to be alone I think.


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