Asperger's tend to notice and pay attention to a lot of details in their surroundings and social stuff is very difficult when you think about it. I'm not sure if this an Aspie or a SAD thing but here's my problem with a dealing with a simple hug or kiss:
1. Am I supposed to hug this person?
2. When should I hug them or kiss them?
3. Am I supposed to use both hands or 1 hand?
4. Am I supposed to go on the left side or right side?
5. Do I kiss both sides or just one?
6. Should I actually touch them or just pretend to touch them with my lips?
7. They kinda smell. I don't feel like going near them. Will they get offended?
8. Why do we have to do these stupid things, it's so damn confusing?
9. I can tell I look clumsy, why do others look so natural at it?
This stuff goes around in my mind all the time and makes me anxious when I have to go to weddings, funerals, baptisms, parties, etc. Also, I'm never sure what I'm supposed to say and then I have to watch that I don't say something that they might find offensive, etc. I hate formal socializations because the rules are very difficult to pick up. They seem to be a bit "fake" and/or artificial. I also hate not being able to swear or use "bad" words. I often get adults who are much younger than me tell me to watch my language, in front of kids, etc. I was always considered socially inept by my friends. I assumed that this was SAD but the distinction between SAD and Asperger's-related social anxiety seems like a very difficult one for me to differentiate. Maybe someone else can shed some light. I kinda go and forth from this forum and some Aspie forums and despite reading tons of stuff on it, it still seems very difficult to tell the difference. Maybe it's simple and I can't understand it. I'm not sure?
Heres my take on it with the hug situation:-
If i was to hug someone the factors would be:-
Would this person want to be hugged?
The timing of the hug so as to not cause awkwardness?
If i was hugged and felt anxious then would i look anxious to others
and would they notice this, do i look awkward hugging this person?
In a formal situation this is hard because it varys as some people are touchy feely and others not tactile atall so it is tough to initiate wheras its easier to receive one.
In these situations i dont worry about saying something offensive as i would realise what might offend that person. They seem fake and artificial because they are so this makes socialising hard because its more of a judgemental atmosphere and everyone is trying to impress imo.
I dont have the swearing probs as i know it wouldnt be appropiate in that situation.
The problem is i like routine to a large extent and get anxiety if things change. In groups i find my listening skills go and feel kind of confused , dazed. If i get stressed my social skills become worse, and i hate feeling nervous as it overwhelms me. Im selfconcious a lot and analyse what i think and do all the time.
Ive been looking into this a lot and find im erring to more social phobia but it does seem more than that as sa doesnt define how much it affects me to such a large extent.