Social Tips for Teens
My Experience as a Teen with Asperger’s:
20 Tips to Successful Socialization
By Lucas Estafanous, Milestones High School Intern
- Almost all friendships start with superficial small talk, and almost never with any meaningful conversation.
- Let others finish their thoughts before you begin speaking, do not interrupt people.
- If your texts/other messages are not being acknowledged right away, give the person time to respond. Set a time interval for yourself in which you will not send them another message unless they respond. (Once a day is a good rule in most cases, shortened for urgent matters depending on severity.)
- A good way to tell if someone is a real friend to you is to see if they are ever the person who initiates contact. If you notice that you are always the person to invite them, never vice-versa, then there is a good chance that they may not be as close of a friend as you think.
- Keep what you say short and to the point. It may be helpful to plan exactly what you are going to say before saying it to avoid losing people’s interest.
- If you find yourself needing to ramble on about things, it is ok for you to finish your thoughts, however be prepared for other people to zone out or stop listening.
- When it seems that your point is not being understood no matter how you try to explain it, sometimes it is best to just let it go.
- If there is a problem influenced by your ASD that you have struggled with regarding past relationships, it may be a good idea to give your friends a disclaimer of sorts, apologize in advance for any misunderstandings that may or will occur related to the issue. Note: this should only be done with people that you already know well.
- Know your audience. Different topics or humors are appropriate in different settings. Social rules with different people will also vary.
- When making a friendly joke about somebody else, make sure to first make a joke about yourself.
- Do not make any jokes about people you know if they are not present.
- Avoid taking jokes too far. Sometimes you should just quit while you are ahead.
- Periodically remind or request that your friends tell you if you offend them.
- If someone offends you, intentionally or not, stand up for yourself.
- Perfection is often not worth inefficiency. There are some tasks that are better to do quickly and satisfactorily than slowly and exceptionally. Ask yourself how much the extra bit of quality will be worth in the long-run.
- Be ready to admit that you are wrong. If you insist on making sure that you are wrong before admitting so, other people will perceive that you “always have to be right.”
- Don’t make excuses when you get constructive feedback. Take responsibility for a mistake.
- If you have a question, see if it is possible to look it up online first before asking for help.
- If you are having difficulty with something that cannot be solved with a simple Google search, don’t be afraid to request help.
- As my grandfather always says, “You are not an invention.” Any emotional problems you have now have been experienced by many other people before you.