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Putting Myself Out There as a Person With Autism

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I’m in my 20’s and I have autism. I always feared rejection when I went out to do activities. I was so afraid to be judged for who I was. Although I felt I was a nice guy, I would rather stay home and not go out and do activities. I never minded going out to eat or to work, but never wanted to do anything else. I always feared I wouldn’t be good at doing activities out in the community. I would feel like I was embarrassing myself when I went to do them. I would do them once and never go back because I would feel no one liked me when I went.

I always wanted friends and a girlfriend. I tried to meet people online as I felt that was the only way. I wasn’t too successful. I had a lot going for me, so I decided online dating was something I didn’t need to do anymore. So one day I decided to do something I never done before. I had to step out of my comfort zone and let people find out for themselves who I really am as a person — autism or not. I had to get the confidence to feel that way, and that took time. It took a lot of courage, but I had to do it. I put myself out there.

I joined a Toastmasters club and took dance lessons. I also joined bowling leagues and other things. Everyone loved me as I continued to go to those activities. In my experience, people will admire you if you feel good about yourself when you’re out there doing things. But when putting yourself out there, do things you want to do. Don’t put yourself out there just to be someone you’re not. If you don’t like going to bars, don’t do that. I don’t always like bars myself. If you’re doing things out there for you, people will love you more. Trust me, I tried to be someone I’m not just to impress people and it never worked.

Don’t fear rejection or being judged. Put yourself out there and be yourself. They’ll see you for who you are. Treat people the way you want to be treated too. Keep going once you start activities as well. You’ll make more friends that way, and people will love you more and more each day.

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Getty image by Nomadsoul1.

Originally published: December 12, 2017
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