The previous article in this series looked at why autistic people might lack confidence. This article will take a look at how this can impact on them. A lack of confidence is something that can affect anyone at some time in their life, but how does this lack of confidence impact on autistic people`s day to day lives?
Part of autism is having issues with social skills, and finding it hard to make friends. But that can stem from a lack of confidence. Not being sure what is the right thing to say, when to say it, or even if it`s ok to go up, and say something to someone. Being confident is a key part of being able to meet new people; if someone is not confident to go out, and approach people it will be hard for them to make new friends.
The same issues can arise with dating. Asking someone out takes a lot of confidence. Not so much in being confident they will say yes, but more the kind of confidence to put feelings out there that can not be taken back. Often autistic people will find this hard. But it is not just this – people state often that one of the things they look for in a partner is confidence. Not having any can damage an autistic person`s chances of getting a date.
The impact a lack of confidence can have on getting a job was touched on in the first article. It can be that someone is so unconfident in themselves that no matter how skilled they are they do not apply for jobs. It`s not uncommon for someone with autism to have a skill-set vastly superior to those above them, but to opt to stay in what might be thought of as a starter job. This might be due to the fact that it keeps them in the background, and limits how much they have to interact. Or it might be because they don’t have the confidence to change their routine. This can lead to regrets in later life.
A lack of confidence can even impact on autistic people seeking help. Being able to take that first step, calling up or even sending an email can be riddled with self-doubt and worry that borders on panic. This can lead to lots of autistic people trying to deal with their issues around confidence by themselves. In the end this can result in depression, anxiety and overload.
Lack of confidence can have a huge impact on the lives of autistic people. It can make it hard for them to form friendships, and create meaningful relationships in their lives. It can impact on their work, and job opportunities, and even lead to mental health problems later in life. But what can be done about this lack of confidence in autistic people? The third article in this series will take a look at this.