Originally Posted by NovemberRain
I'm not sure what you mean by 'can't do any group related activities the first day.' ?? Can you elaborate?
I can't speak for the OP, but I am mildly autistic and am no stranger to social anxiety. In an unfamiliar place or with unfamiliar people, it can very literally take every bit of energy I have to keep myself from going into a meltdown or just taking off. On rough days, I'm even uncomfortable in familiar places just by the addition of someone new to 'my' whole group. It can be physically exhausting to 'put on the costume' for long enough to become comfortable.
All that said, once I am comfortable with a person or group, especially in a familiar 'safe' place, I am perhaps over-social and yet it takes much less energy and I worry very little.
I am a little ashamed to admit this, for some reason, but I've come to realize one of the ways I deal with it all in social situations is by purposely directing attention to my tits, and making somewhat inappropriate conversation.
It lets me figure out who the prudes are immediately, and I am very good at the polite/civil thing and won't waste any effort putting on the me-costume. They get a costume that comes right out of a Miss Manners book, which takes significantly less effort. They aren't likely to become dear friends, though. With folks that respond in kind... well, being 'one of the guys' except with tits is fairly close to 'actual me' when I'm with folks I trust, so while it can be taxing it is a familiar role. Being somewhat predictable, it is somewhat easier for me, and pretty much always the way I handle new people in group situations.
I realize all of that was just a long way of saying 'be yourself, even though it sucks monkey balls sometimes' and offers no real advice, and I'm sorry. Hooray for solidarity?