Does anyone else struggle with simple things like smiling?

I’d say one of the most damaging things my ASD does to my life is my struggle to smile at/with people.

ive heard that when some people with ASD experience eye contact the flight or fight response centre in our brains is overly active compared with a neuro-typical person... making things like eye contact, smiling, listening, anxiety very difficult.

any one else?

  • I tend to be rather ironical a lot of the time, but with my lack of facial expression, it's not always clear to people, and it happens often that they just think I'm making fun at their expense. 

  • making things like eye contact, smiling, listening, anxiety very difficult.

    Greetings. You are correct about that; have a look around this forum, especially "Eye contact" and there is a lot about that, including that some Autistic People find certain things physically painful. (The search box is upon the Home screen, an Icon with three lines.)

    Regarding Myself... warning -- a bit depressive, here! -- I used to smile a lot as a child, yet (was as if and still) am being taught out of it, since upon Me 'smiling'/happy, most often people see it as something sinister ...!? Totally regardless of the situation, I have the following words burnt into My memory from My Own Schooldays:

    "Don't You smile at Me like that, Young Lady!"

  • I smile a lot, always, but in some situations i shouldn't smile but i do, i can't help it.

    Whenever NT ask me why am smiling in that situation, i understand i shouldn't be smiling and i just say i smile because i'm nervous, which sometimes its not true. It's stressful. In fact i like using the mask because i don't have to struggle with face expressions.

    In photos i realize i look like a retarded, or a child but i can't help it.

    It's a sign of my autism, i guess.

  • I only realised in my 30s that I wasent smiling when I thought I was. Someone said I never smile, I was cross as o thought I smile all of the time. So I looked in a mirror lol

  • I smile when I am nervous. When I was younger and my parents would be telling me and my brother off for something we have done, I couldn’t help myself and kept smiling/sniggering. Also I can’t do eye contact, as I found out that I look around the room etc when talking to someone like I can’t concentrate x

  • i dont try to smile anymore i just let it come naturally. Ive found when I try it looks weird and when I dont it looks okay

  • I used to smile when nervous too! Then I'd get hit for smiling! I learnt to stretch my finger and thumb instead.....not sure why that helped. I wonder why we smiled out of context

  • I wonder that too, its weird how our facial expressions and body language is different in certain situations compared to other people. I just think that i can’t do serious lol xD x

  • I get what your saying. I can’t stand eye contact. In normal situations it makes me feel uncomfortable but in an argument I just want to laugh at the other person. I generally don’t smile much. Sometimes I think I am, but I’m not and other times I do and think I shouldn’t because of the response it gets. Anxiety is a daily issue.

  • I have a flattened affect, according to my diagnosis report. I had to look that one up. Basically it means I don't smile, I do but not easily, basically I can be enjoying myself but showing no actual sign I am.

    The reverse is nervous smiling, this usually happens when I'm getting attention, good or bad. My wife telling me off has if it didn't set off a meltdown left me smiling and that does down well.

    Once I was with a group of people who said I'd be good at helping them as a youth leader, I couldn't think of anything worse but my wife told me later when I asked why she didn't help me out as I surely was giving out signs, she simply said "what signs, you were grinning like the cheshire cat!" I wasn't aware, but it did explain why the good natured banter continued for some time. Apparently smiling while avoiding eye contact is being bashful!