Does anyone else struggle sometimes to do ‘appropriate’ greetings? You know, as the social skills textbook instructs, especially when hugely distracted by something else? Usually I can manage it, but this morning I may have managed to diversify!
I happened to need to pop to the Scout shop this morning to buy some badges for my Beavers. After I got out of my car I realised that there was what looked like a dead hedgehog by the side of the car park. So I had to stop for a few minutes to investigate whether a) it was actually a hedgehog, and b) it was actually dead. So after establishing those facts, I walked into the shop and rather than doing the textbook greeting, I just said “there’s a dead hedgehog in the car park!” Luckily they were fine with it, they even asked what group scarf it was wearing BUT this really isn’t the appropriate way for me to greet people who I haven’t seen for a few months!!
I honestly think much to the way I greet people hello, hi, how you doing - answer not to bad, never to be answered honestly It did actually take me some time to learning that one, I must say though saying goodbye feels odd so I just say see you tomorrow or see you again or ta-ra. Its the hand shake that confuses me do men and women shake hands if so is there a difference other than the firm grip?
I find hand-shaking awkward, too; not helped by being a bit dyspraxic, so my aim isn't very good and I can find it hard to tell how hard I'm squeezing (I've been a bass player, caver, and rock-climber over the years, so I have a surprisingly strong grip for someone who looks so wimpy).
Hugs, I find even more confusing. Some people seem to hug just about everyone in their social circle, others seem to be very selective, and I don't seem to be able to read whatever body language it is that indicates that one is appropriate unless they really obviously open their arms to receive one. I can't work out at all what different people's boundaries are for how well they need to know someone before it's appropriate, and I think my anxiety about it probably makes my body language look very defensive, so I don't look as if I'd want one anyway, even if I would. By the time I've procrastinated about it, the moment has usually passed anyway, and then I've set a precedent that I don't hug, so the anxiety is even worse the next time because I worry that offering one would seem out of character. I would guess that most people I know think that I just don't like to do it, which isn't true at all; but then that leads them to stop offering hugs, so I also get anxious that people will notice that I'm the only person not being offered one, etc. Aaargh!
I'm guessing that a 'rock climbing hold' might be a tad too much for a hand shake! I think it's really impressive, given that you have dyspraxia, that you managed to achieve bass playing, caving and rock climbing! Well done!
I'm not a naturally huggy person. I don't mind people giving me a hug hello but I'm not generally one to initiate it, so I tend to go with not hugging anyone unless they are the hugger! I do get what you mean though, I would be a bit offended if someone assumed that I didn't like being hugged and hugged everyone else apart from me. It's difficult though, if we don't feel comfortable enough to offer a hug to people!
Anyone else have any ideas for this?
Kitsune said:I think it's really impressive, given that you have dyspraxia, that you managed to achieve bass playing, caving and rock climbing! Well done!
Aah, thank you. As I said, my dyspraxia is pretty mild, and somewhat paradoxical - I seem to be OK with even fine control once I've conditioned myself to have a muscle memory for something; it's when I have to think my actions through or use my other senses as well that I seem to struggle the most (so the learning can be painfully slow sometimes, and I doubt I'll ever get the hang of touch screens!) To be honest, I was never a very good rock climber, which is part of the reason I took up caving - when you're dressed in a wet-suit and wellies, no-one expects you to be particularly graceful, and I've considered wearing the helmet and knee/elbow pads just to wander around the house sometimes!
You’re welcome! I do ‘get’ the paradox thing. I’ve always had slightly shakey hands, though not as bad as when I was younger, my poor Nan always used to have at least a bit of her tea in the saucer by the time that I’d carried it upstairs to her but yet, I’m able to do really fine beadwork that actually requires a really high level of fine motor skill, somehow! Do you still do caving? Why would you wear the knee/elbow pads in the house?
It's been a long time now since I did any caving, and I'm nothing like as fit as I was back then. It was a University club that I used to go with, though I carried on for quite a while after I dropped out of Uni. Unfortunately that left me being one of the few members with enough experience to lead trips, which although it could be very rewarding, ground me down in the end - there were too few other people willing to take on the responsibility. Doing the same few "beginner friendly" caves over and over again with a new bunch of freshers every year rather sapped my enjoyment of it, and the "studenty" social side of the club wasn't something I was much good at even when I had been a student myself (all the harder because I was trying to stop "self-medicating" with alcohol around that time).
As for wearing padding around the house - that's definitely the dyspraxia. I gather so many scrapes and bruises thanks to my uncoordinated stumbling around that I'm convinced that furniture and door-frames are sentient and have it in for me!
That's such a shame that the University caving club couldn't have provided some more challenging caves for you to explore to keep your interest! Universities do some good clubs though don't they, and usually at very competitive prices? I did fencing for a term when I was at University, that was good fun, but you get so hot inside those fencing costumes! I've moved on to Archery now!
I used to 'self medicate' with alcohol if I went on a night out once or twice a week but not every day. Did you manage to stop self medicating?
Oddly, though it would never have occured to me that I might be dyspraxic, I'm not clumsy and don't break things, but I also have a bad habit of frequently obtaining bruises by bumping into random things around the house! Usually stair gates or low cabinets, yesterday I shut my hand in my daughter's boyfriend's car, as I misjudged where my hand was, it's a little bit swollen today but no longer hurting so should be fine by tomorrow. Maybe we should both put bumpers on the corners of all of the furniture in our houses!?
Oh yes, I agree about the clubs. Even though I didn't finish my degree, and my undiagnosed ASD gave me lots of troubles, I am very glad that I went to Uni for the opportunity to do some more adventurous things than I probably would have otherwise - including just living independently away from home (even though I'm not particularly good at it even now!)
Kitsune said:Did you manage to stop self medicating?
Pretty much. I can still get a bit carried away when I do drink, but it's always socially nowadays, and rarely more than once a week (months at a time when I'm in hibernation!). I've kept very strict rules about not having alcohol in the house and never drinking alone for over 20 years now - using my ASD stubbornness to my advantage for a change!
Kitsune said:Maybe we should both put bumpers on the corners of all of the furniture in our houses!?
I have done on the legs of my bed - in part thanks to a thread here where I mentioned how often I stubbed my toes on the damned things!
And wishing a speedy recovery for your hand!
There were definitely loads of good clubs! I was already living independently with my eldest daughter when I started university so I just stayed where I was and never lived in halls of residence. How did you find halls?
It's good that you've managed to cut down on the frequency of self medicating with alcohol. I've always had a tendency to self medicate with alcohol, but only when out at the weekend. I drink very infrequently now, only a few times this year I think, I still don't have that 'off switch' though, I don't know when to stop!
I used to always stub my toe on things! It hurts! In my early 20's I decided to started wearing slippers around the house to protect my toes and it's much less of an issue now, I still stub my toe but there's enough padding that it doesn't hurt!
My hand has recovered! Thank you!
Kitsune said:How did you find halls?
I found it [profusion of words the forum censorship would not take kindly to].
I am not at all a natural communal dweller, and I was utterly unprepared for the social side of being a student. I also ended up in the worst of the on-campus Halls, with my window overlooking the main thoroughfare leading into the campus, wash-basin shared by other rooms and which residents and visitors had to walk right past for access, a long trek along corridors to get to the nearest loo, and each kitchen shared by thirty-odd students (all long since replaced by flashy new buildings). The lack of privacy and continual noise was horrendous.
Once my drinking got into full swing, things got out of hand rapidly - I couldn't look after myself at all, so I ended up having lots of drunken arguments with the students in adjacent rooms and who shared facilities with me. I was threatened with eviction a couple of times after complaints were made (understandable enough given the state that I allowed things to get into - smashing bottles against the walls while screaming obscenities is hardly neighbourly). This just intensified my agoraphobia, of course, as I was ashamed to show my face in the communal areas even when I was a bit more compos mentis.
Kitsune said:I still don't have that 'off switch' though, I don't know when to stop!
Likewise - once I've got started, I'll carry on drinking so long as there's still drink to be drunk (though I seem to have managed to put my mine-sweeping days behind me!)
Ah! We wouldn’t want to ignite the forum censer! I’m sorry that you didn’t find halls too good! I felt badly cheated that I missed out on it but then I do like my own space and I was content in my little two bedroom flat with my eldest throughout my uni days.
It really does seem like you drew the short straw with your uni accommodation. I remember that friends of mine who were on the same course, all had en suite rooms, a kitchen was shared between 5 in the nicer accommodation and 14 in the towers but there was no having to share toilets/showers/wash basins. The noise sounds awful!
I would guess that all of the stress probably contributed to you drinking as often and as much as you did. But it didn’t help. Perhaps you getting drunk was you letting out all of the stress you were experiencing during the day but unfortunately didn’t go down too well with your fellow students or help with your agoraphobia!
The things we have to go through when trying to manage a condition that we don’t yet know we suffer from and much less how to appropriately manage it!
Glad you’ve left your mine sweeping days behind!