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Fake It ‘Til You Make It


Playing the social roleIn my last blog I addressed the idea of “faking it.” This is a concept that I have often used when teaching social skills, especially for those kids (mostly adolescents) who say they just don’t care or don’t want to engage with others.

2 thoughts on “Fake It ‘Til You Make It

  • October 27, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I have mixed feelings about the idea of “faking it”. On the one hand, it can be a handy tool to learn social skills. On the other hand it is likely extremely exhaustive to the child. I learned social skills by teaching myself to fake, and I am now relatively successful, but it costs me a lot of energy that I could be investing in things that come easier to me rather than role-playing NT.

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  • November 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I agree, Astrid… I went the “faking it” approach myself; but constantly watching yourself means you’re never comfortable in any social situation, always careful to do and say exactly the right thing, never allowed to do and say what you want to do, but always what is socially acceptable. It’s very much living a lie–I’ve heard it referred to as “being in the closet” by a lot of other autistics. Eventually, I ended up in burnout due to the constantly high stress levels; I became unable to take care of myself and had to be hospitalized for depression.

    I’ve since discovered that it is far better for me to be myself rather than trying to pass for typical. If it were a physical disability, this would be a lot like using a wheelchair so that you can get the places you want to go, instead of trying to walk somewhere and exhausting yourself so much that you can’t do what you want to do when you finally get there–if you ever do. Autism often means doing things differently and connecting in my own way rather than trying to blend in. Communication, not normalcy, is the important thing.

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