Take A Big Leap!
Strategies & Resources for Positive Relationship-Building
Recently, I have been approached by individuals wanting to build relationships, both professionally & personally.
Satisfaction & success in this area can positively impact our feelings of well-being in all aspects of our lives; when we feel good about ourselves & our social lives, we tend to also be happier and more effective at work or school.
Developing the relationships we want takes time & effort, and we do get better at it, if we are willing to expend a bit of both. This will require maturity, and becoming more socially & emotionally aware. We may have to expand our opportunities for meeting others with whom we have shared interests, perhaps participating in activities that are outside of our usual activity range. We will need to nurture curiosity about others, and to show interest in their interests, and to demonstrate flexibility around shared activities.
Few people will want to expend the effort required to build better relationships unless doing so aligns with their goals – some of those might be -“fitting in” at work or school, being considered for promotions at work, being less lonely, being invited to social events, and experiencing sexual intimacy.
However, in embarking on this relationship-building endeavor, you do not need to feel like you are on a runaway train – there are aspects of this process that you can control. Know yourself, and how to take care of your mental health, and employ healthy living/sleeping strategies to give yourself the respite & life balance that you need. Think of your weekly schedule in terms of an energy budget, and plan the number & type of activities, in addition to school or work, that you can take on each week without becoming overwhelmed. Consider approaching your employer to ask for some accommodations – working remotely some, or all of the time, working in a quieter location at work, or using noise-cancelling headphones. Socially, know that increasing your opportunities for interaction doesn’t mean that you have to engage in conversation with everyone at an event, or be the last one to leave the party! It is also perfectly OK if you decide that, along with work, a small group of good friends is just fine with you. You may also decide that an intimate relationship is too demanding, and, therefore, not for you. Keep in mind your social goals & aspirations, and use the resources that are available to learn how to do so. For everyone, ASD or not, changing behaviors and habits requires commitment, but we can all can exercise choices that enable us to make personal change while preserving our mental & physical well-being.
Here are a few resources & options for you to consider:
- Registered Clinical Counsellor, Lianne Naguiat is offering a 3-day Positive Mental Health small counselling group, (online), August 16, 17, 18. In addition to the time noted in the flyer posted on our website, Lianne is also offering this program on these same dates, but from 6-8pm, to accommodate people who work during the day. The evening sessions are for individuals 19-35 years of age, likely breaking into groups aged 19-25 & 26-35. Contact Lianne directly at [email protected]
- PosAbilities, in consultation with SPS, is developing a 7-session workshop, on relationships and dating (online dating apps & meetups), beginning in October. Stay tuned.
- Michelle Garcia Winner’s articles social relationship-building (links below).
- Aide Canada has an extensive free library of recorded webinars, videos, books & articles on relationships & dating. (links below).
Beginning is the first step! Be kind to yourself, and know that if you are reaching out, there are others who will see your effort who will reach out back to you!
See links below:
Michelle Garcia Winner – Social Thinking Methodology
10 tips for Making & Keeping Friends
Shared Imagination: What is it & Why is It Important in Relationships
|Socialthinking – Free Articles & Strategies
Building on the core social concepts and vocabulary introduced in We Thinkers!Volume 1: Social Explorers, multiple award-winning Volume 2 provides the structure, curriculum, storybooks, and support materials to teach executive functioning and social problem solving to neurotypical children ages 4–7 in a classroom setting, as well as to Neurodivergent students who might have social emotional …
||Socialthinking – Free Articles & Strategies
Our best-selling curriculum for children ages 9-12, The Kids’ Guidebook introduces select Social Thinking Vocabulary through colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand content. This award-winning two-book set provides the teaching tools to break down complex social concepts to make it easier for interventionists to teach and for students to learn.
Aide Canada Resources – Webinars & Videos:
Aide Canada Library: