Asperger’s Intimidating Face? | You Are Not Alone – YANA: Aspie Vlog

I spend a great deal of my energy making sure my face looks happy when I am around “normal people”. My resting face looks cold and uninviting.

Before I started faking it people used to always ask if I was “alright” or “had a problem”. It took me a while to figure out that it was my face throwing people off. Eventually I made a social rule for myself – “Smile when people look at you.”

I don’t smile for myself, I smile to make others feel more comfortable so people do not have the urge to comfort me becase I never want to be comforted. I am very good at comforting myself when something is wrong.

All these little social things. So many thing to concentration on. Neurotypical people do all of these social things consciously but for me I have to make effort just to appear human because my version of human does not match society’s expectations.

People know me for being warm, happy, and positive. Maybe it is because I make so much effort to be that way in order to blend in and catch less criticism from my “normal” coworkers and peers.

My social receivers and senders are broken and do not function on their own. I don’t send or take in any non-verbal signals without great effort and concentration. No wonder Aspies suffer from social fatigue and burnout. Being social is a LOT of work.

YANA: Aspie Vlog has a great video talking about her experience with wondering about what Neurotypicals think of her characteristic “blank” Aspie face. I can take no credit for this great video. Please subscribe to the YANA: Aspie Vlog channel on YouTube for more great content.

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22 thoughts on “Asperger’s Intimidating Face? | You Are Not Alone – YANA: Aspie Vlog”

  1. Yes, people do get thrown by the lack of facial expression don’t they. Sometimes I remember to smile, because it’s what NT’s do and I discovered they expect me to as well, but I frequently forget. It’s nice when someone smiles at me anyway.

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    1. I just always try to make my face look happy because it is the only normal face I know how to make… everyone thinks I am the most positive person they know – but some days I just feel fake. If I rest my face people will ask me if I am feeling ok all day. :-/

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  2. A co-worker told me recently that some other co-workers thought they had offended me by their lunchroom conversation. Really, I had just checked out of the conversation because it didn’t interest me that much and it’s hard to follow when several people are talking. So I probably just had a blank facial expression, which they took to mean something. I usually have to think about it to make myself smile or laugh when I’m supposed to.

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      1. My catchphrase is “it’s just my face.” But being NT I don’t have the pressure to compensate for it. I can only imagine it’s like having to talk about rocket science all the time, when rocket science is the hardest thing in the world, because the rocket scientists would feel uneasy if people didn’t talk about it. Which just proves how ridiculous society is.

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      2. My sons face is a blank face, which has been mistaken by people that don’t know him as various different things, but in reality it is just blank, he doesn’t show any expressions, he doesn’t know how, he is only 6, I think this is something that like you he will learn as he gets older.

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        1. I don’t think I learned until I was MUCH older. I never knew that my face was different until I finally figured out why people always asked me if I was ok. . . Somehow I figured out that smiling made people stop asking that question. I honestly wish I didn’t “fake it” so much. It feels ingenue.

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  3. The problem of smile is great. You smile to make others happy.
    I wanted my friend with autism to smile not for making me ok but for making him happy inside. I think this was a great misunderstanding. I ‘d just have liked him happy for himself.

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  4. I’ve been told I have this face, but was diagnosed with aspergers when I was a teen. I’ve never considered it a “real” diagnosis because my parents believed that doctor misdiagnosed me. But as an adult, I still wonder. I’ve mentioned this to my therapists and doctors and they seem to think its not a big deal.

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    1. I think AS is more common than we realize but for some people it is not nearly as debilitating. I think it really depends on your job and the people in your life. I was luck and had mostly supportive people around me pushing me as I grew up and it was defiantly a good thing for me. However I never needed a diagnosis until I realized that not having one and NOT being able to explain when I suddenly had to lave or miss work because of sensory processing disorder…. I needed to protection of a “WHY” otherwise I would not have ever worried over it.

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  5. Everyone has something to offer to humanity and the natural world. What some may think are deficits can actually offer a different perspective. I have had an anxiety disorder throughout my life. It does create problems but it is also what made me what I am. It has made me more sensitive to certain things and I would not opt out of it to be someone different. Life can be a struggle but without the struggle life is nothing but banal. To be “normal” would be boring to me.

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  6. I don’t smile unless I feel like it. I gave up trying to please other people or make them comfortable a long time ago. My “regular face” along with my size and maleness scares the crap out of people, so no one really tries to comfort me. Another thing that women in our society have to deal with that men don’t.

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  7. Totally cool to be anonymous, that’s the route that I chose. Why not? I started that way because I had an Internet stalker, but I find that it is actually freeing.

    This conversation about having “cold” facial expressions was interesting to me. I wondered for a long time why people had difficulties knowing what I was feeling or thinking — if I didn’t want them to know. Probably should identify myself as a “neurotypical. ” I discovered that it was probably because I was raised in the military. People in the military have to be able to “keep a stiff upper lip” and maintain discipline about body posture, dress, facial expressions, etc. The extreme example would be the soldiers in Buckingham palace who stay stoic when people are trying to make them laugh (unsuccessfully). But in the military there are many other examples, e.g. when an officer is correcting you it is time to adopt the mask. I figured out that I had learned from these military warriors how to relax the muscles in my face on command. When your facial muscles are relaxed there are no cues to let people know what is going on.

    Interesting stuff! Oh, that’s another thing that neurotypicals do that I have noticed. Lots of !!!! I think that is supposed to connect you with the other person, but I get tired of them.

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  8. I don’t do eye contact with complete strangers, but did used to notice store clerks glaring at me-even as a child. I asked my mom if they were glaring at me & she said I had a very serious expression. If I don’t smile, I look like someone who is terrified and furious. Even if I am thinking pleasant thoughts. I’ve caught myself on camera to document this purpose.

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