friendship only in context with special interest?

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Eloa
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24 Oct 2011, 11:33 am

I have been analysing my friendships I had from childhood until now and it seems that I could only connect with someone who shared my special interest, maybe to a lesser degree but still.
An example is that I had a dollhouse and loved to collect all the miniature equipment and a girl which I knew from my parents friends collected too and she became my "best friend". So I would go to her with a huge bag with ALL the interior of my dollhouse and would build it up at her place for the whole day. When this special interest stopped (it lasted like 8 years) I didn't have contact again. Then planes became my special interest and again I had a friend (this time a male) I shared it with and we collected models and books and information and talked about nothing but planes. With my following special interest this friendship ended too.

These are two examples, but that's the way it is. My special interests were always very intense and long-lasting, but each time it stopped I somehow gave up the friendship, because there was another special interest, which absorbed me completely so that I somehow "forgot" about the other person, because my mind was only filled with the new special interest.

Realizing it makes me feel bad because it seems like I only "use" people as long as my special interest lasts.

I had a friend until 6 years ago who I got to know by practising a special interest, but she stopped with it and know she feels strange to me. I haven't seen her in a while and when I met her back it felt very strange.

Does anyone relate to this?



IdahoRose
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24 Oct 2011, 12:04 pm

All of my closest friendships have been based around shared special interests:

My childhood best friend and I bonded over a mutual love of anime. We would watch our favorite series together, exchange fanart and fanfiction that we had made, and draw pictures of each other in anime-style. When we had sleepovers, we would spend the entire night lying in bed and telling stories about what would happen if we were in the same worlds as our favorite series. This friendship ended when we became teenagers and she became more interested in climbing the social ladder and getting a boyfriend.

After that, I was accepted into a group of kids who were just as obsessed with anime as I was. It was really the only thing we all had in common. We mostly just talked about our favorite show (which was Naruto), and a couple of times we exchanged fanfiction.

Currently, I don't really have any real-life friends, but my closest online friendship initially began when we discovered that we had a mutual love of Tim Burton's movies (my current strongest special interest). We also bond over the fact that we each have our own imaginary world based on those movies (in addition to others), and the bulk of our conversations revolve around said imaginary worlds.



YellowBanana
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24 Oct 2011, 1:31 pm

How can there be friendship if there is no shared special interest?!
Seriously ... this is my experience.

I don't understand how folk form other kinds of friendship. If you're not sharing a particular interest, what is there to do together? What is there to talk about?


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sMeow
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24 Oct 2011, 2:35 pm

@YellowBanana : When I saw sole NT talking, they were appear to don't need a specific interest. They could speak of anything, they didn't mind.

Computing is my special interest, so it's not so easy to find someone in real life who's sharing this. But I'm also very, very passionate by video games, so it's easier.

I can't remember how I became friend with the one which is in this day and age my best (obiously, the best and the only...) friend. I just remember I was on primary for the first year, we were back to school since three days... but I can remember that all we were doing when he was going to my place, playing video games. It may sounds a bit common, I know...

If someone says me "why don't go to my place ?", if I know that there's no video games, nothing about programming, I won't go. I can't see the point of it.

All my "friends", apart this guy, are "friends" I have encountered on Internet, by playing games, because I can speak of it everytime. If I can't, I won't stay in touch.

At secondary, I was in a group... I was more like a stopgap (is this correct ?), to be precise. In this group, I could speak of video games with only two people. I'm no longer in touch with them, because they preferred stay with their friends and talk about nothing in particular. So... If I can't speak of a special interest, of very specific domains which I know or with Aspies, generally, I won't stay in touch.

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pokerface
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24 Oct 2011, 2:42 pm

I think that shared special interests are the best and easiest way to form new friendships.



Last edited by pokerface on 24 Oct 2011, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MagicMeerkat
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24 Oct 2011, 3:26 pm

The only way I was ever able to make friends let alone keep them was shared special intrests and the friendship had to be highliy faciliated via a parent or teacher. The only kids I was ever able to make friends with were total pushovers and I only wanted them around to boss around and lecture to about my special intrests. My two closest online friends both have AS and are both Sonic fans and I do not any any desire to meet either one in real life.


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24 Oct 2011, 3:53 pm

No. I have never experienced that. I have never made friends through a special interest. My interests are pretty much for me only.



MrXxx
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24 Oct 2011, 5:02 pm

Absolutely. Though I've been learning recently (and late in life to learn something like this), that it has mostly been my own perception. I've hardly ever considered anyone a real friend unless they did share my interests.

Recently though, I've begun to associate with a few neighbors, only because I started working for one of them several months ago, and had to check in with him once in a while. One night a coule of weeks ago, everybody left the table we were sitting at, except his wife. Don't recall exactly what we were talking about, but at some point, she referred to me as a friend, in a context that clearly implied we were ALL friends.

Interesting. Up until that night, I hadn't thought of it that way. They are my friends. Why wouldn't they be, if they think they are? I guess that makes me their friend too.

Gave me kind of a warm and fuzzy feeling. Corny maybe, but what the hey?, it feels good. And not one of them has any interest in music, at least not to the depth I do.

Still, it seems I have to hear it from them before I have any clue.


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Eloa
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24 Oct 2011, 6:06 pm

Thank you for your answers.
I asked my husband about this and he said he can keep a friendship without special interest, but also connects in a way to it (he is not autistic but does have some traits).
Recently I have no friends at all, because I haven't met people who have the same "depth" of going into the SI and there I feel my social impairment. I made my last SI my job and it's ballet. It's for 18 years now but I never had a "career" because I simply love the routine of doing training more than the competition of getting a job and the aspect of "being on stage" is merely a part of it. I got "lost" just in doing three classes a day. But I also have a motorical problem in coordination and I focus too much on detail that I cannot feel the "total picture" and it is very hard. So lately I started to do my own work and it's very repetitive, but that is me. I also work for a small company, which is my husband leading and there I cannot connect with the other dancers because they see it merely as a job and before we do a performance for example they go shopping for clothes and make-up. I hate shopping (also due to strong sensory overload) and cannot connect to this. But I have this big passion for music and in ballet I love the structure and the lines and the fact you repeat every day the same thing again and every movement has got a name. Though I have big difficulties with complex movements where you need a good coordination.

Quotation MrXxx: Recently though, I've begun to associate with a few neighbors, only because I started working for one of them several months ago, and had to check in with him once in a while. One night a coule of weeks ago, everybody left the table we were sitting at, except his wife. Don't recall exactly what we were talking about, but at some point, she referred to me as a friend, in a context that clearly implied we were ALL friends.

Interesting. Up until that night, I hadn't thought of it that way. They are my friends. Why wouldn't they be, if they think they are? I guess that makes me their friend too.


This is very touching. That is why I feel bad about realizing that I change friends with a special interest, because I am not able to "put me in their shoes" and maybe they might have missed my friendship. But the problem is, that I start feeling alienated from them without the common special interest and this feeling makes me anxious.

How can I put a quotation in a text or more than one quotations?



Last edited by Eloa on 24 Oct 2011, 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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24 Oct 2011, 6:20 pm

My special intrest.. absolutely none of my friends like sonata arctica.

it's sort of sad, because without their music i just might explode

In any case it's nice to have friends with diverse intrests, and some who can get you into them.


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trappedinhell
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24 Oct 2011, 6:35 pm

Yes. I have found that especially true with dating. Of course, from my point of view my special interest (ending global poverty through researching economics) is so important that it's not just a hobby. But to anybody else I suppose it looks like just an obsessive hobby. But it affects my priorities and outlook on life in a very fundamental way, so that everything else must come second. That must be hard for others to handle unless they have the same priorities.



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24 Oct 2011, 6:45 pm

Eloa wrote:
How can I put a quotation in a text or more than one quotations?


Just write this each time (but don't write the word "Code:")
Code:
[quote="any name"]what the person said[/quote]


This will appear as
any name wrote:
what the person said


If you use the "quote" button at the top right hand corner of the person's message then the computer will put quote code around the whole thing. I often miss that button because it's more intuitive to use the "reply" button at the bottom left.



Eloa
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25 Oct 2011, 8:19 am

Thank you, Trappedinhell.

Trappedinhell wrote:
Yes. I have found that especially true with dating. Of course, from my point of view my special interest (ending global poverty through researching economics) is so important that it's not just a hobby. But to anybody else I suppose it looks like just an obsessive hobby. But it affects my priorities and outlook on life in a very fundamental way, so that everything else must come second. That must be hard for others to handle unless they have the same priorities.


I got to know my husband because of my special interest as we share it. Our relationship is more "mentally" than "physically" and we also do not have children but three cats.
I find your SI interesting as I get very bothered with injustice and people screwing up the planet on costs of other people and on costs of animals natural habitat.

Edit: Thank you, your explanation worked just fine.



lola2136
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25 Oct 2011, 9:10 am

YellowBanana wrote:
How can there be friendship if there is no shared special interest?!
Seriously ... this is my experience.

I don't understand how folk form other kinds of friendship. If you're not sharing a particular interest, what is there to do together? What is there to talk about?

Well,I learnt that people never shared my interests. I avoid talking about them because they said that I am repetitive.So, I only listen to them and try to speak about their interests.I don´t know if there is a friendship.



lola2136
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25 Oct 2011, 9:14 am

MrXxx wrote:
Absolutely. Though I've been learning recently (and late in life to learn something like this), that it has mostly been my own perception. I've hardly ever considered anyone a real friend unless they did share my interests.

Recently though, I've begun to associate with a few neighbors, only because I started working for one of them several months ago, and had to check in with him once in a while. One night a coule of weeks ago, everybody left the table we were sitting at, except his wife. Don't recall exactly what we were talking about, but at some point, she referred to me as a friend, in a context that clearly implied we were ALL friends.

Interesting. Up until that night, I hadn't thought of it that way. They are my friends. Why wouldn't they be, if they think they are? I guess that makes me their friend too.

Gave me kind of a warm and fuzzy feeling. Corny maybe, but what the hey?, it feels good. And not one of them has any interest in music, at least not to the depth I do.

Still, it seems I have to hear it from them before I have any clue.


that happened to me.I always had to hear from people if they are my friend.How can I noticed when someone is my friend or not?



johnsmcjohn
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25 Oct 2011, 9:33 am

When I was a child, I had friends in my life that had nothing in common with me other than the fact we lived reasonably close together. Once I left home, I haven't spoken to any of them. Now, I only associate with people who are interested in or involved in my special interests. Not sure if it's an Aspie thing or not. For me it's more of an "if I'm going to put the effort into socializing with someone they need to be interested in the same things I am and have something to teach me" issue. For example, there was someone at work I was interested in getting to know because I thought he was interested in computers. When I learned his interest ended at trolling political forums online, I stopped talking to him. Again, not trying to be mean, but I had nothing to talk to him about.


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