Is it my fault that people won't befriend me ?

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chris1989
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12 Jul 2021, 9:53 am

I seem to think its my fault that other people don't want to maintain a friendship or relationship with me. I don't know if that's to do with not understanding me because they can see my social ques are different and so they prefer to leave me alone. I find it frustrating that since leaving places of education where people meet new people and socialise and so on. You are basically on your own from then on without any close friends from school days to still go out with and then it feels like the world is passing you by while those people you wanted to be friends with are having a good time, seeing the world, forming relationships and then getting married and having children while I'm still on my own like I'm stuck in the past still. I remember reading a guide book for parents who have an adult with Asperger's that unlike those in their late teens and early twenties who start to form and maintain relationships, someone with Asperger's syndrome won't get to that stage until their mid to late twenties and at the moment at 31 I'm still not in a relationship. I don't know if may be I am a late bloomer.



Last edited by chris1989 on 12 Jul 2021, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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12 Jul 2021, 10:04 am

To attract people, you must first be attractive to them.

To have friends, you must first be friendly.



DuckHairback
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12 Jul 2021, 10:15 am

I think its probably healthier to take personal responsibility for our own social failings. Not to blame ourselves but it puts you in a position of control, or at least agency. There's plenty of thread on here where people blame everyone else for not being able to attract a partner.

So I'd take issue with the word 'fault'. It's not your fault. But you are the only person who can actually do anything about it. Even if the thing you do is just deciding that relationships aren't for you. Do you see what I mean?

If I could tell my younger self anything, it'd be 'open your eyes'. I stuggled to get into a relationship, I didn't have a girlfriend until I was 24 (which I know is young compared to a lot of ASD guys but I wasn't comparing myself to ASD guys at the time, I just thought I was unlikeable). But I've subsequently discovered, and realised, that actually there were girls who liked me when I was younger - I just didn't pick up on it. Either because they weren't the girl I was hyperfocussed on, or I just wasn't receiving the signals. Not saying they were all madly in love with me, but just that they might have been more open to a closer relationship with me had I noticed. Might be worth re-examining some of your friendships of the past - I find with hindsight I see a lot more of the social cues than I do in the present.

I'd recommend trying to replicate that 'school' environment where you're closely grouped with people working on a common goal. Interest groups are a good way to do this. It does get harder to make friends the older you get for the reasons you listed, unfortunately.



AprilR
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12 Jul 2021, 11:10 am

No i don't think it is your fault if you are trying your best to act kind and friendly to other people.

Autism is a disability at the end of the day, not everything is under our control. If you are making an effort to gain friends and/or a significant other and it is not working out its not your fault. You should be fair to yourself.



Fnord
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12 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

People are responsible for their own social behavior only insofar as their intellectual, perceptual, and physical capabilities allow.



AprilR
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12 Jul 2021, 11:27 am

Fnord wrote:
People are responsible for their own social behavior only insofar as their intellectual, perceptual, and physical capabilities allow.


Word. Things like insulting people, harrassing them, stalking etc. Are always offlimits for everyone. But making an off remark by mistake etc. is a normal thing, even nt s say rude or inconsiderate things sometimes.



Fnord
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12 Jul 2021, 1:08 pm

AprilR wrote:
Fnord wrote:
People are responsible for their own social behavior only insofar as their intellectual, perceptual, and physical capabilities allow.
Word. Things like insulting people, harassing them, stalking etc. Are always off-limits for everyone. But making an off remark by mistake etc. is a normal thing, even nt s say rude or inconsiderate things sometimes.
The flip side is when people use their limited intellectual, perceptual, and physical capabilities as excuses for bad behavior...

"It's not my fault I ditched you for that other girl!  It's my ADD and OCD!  I see cleavage and a short skirt and off I go!



ToughDiamond
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12 Jul 2021, 1:19 pm

Reminds me of my youth when I read "How To Win Friends And Influence People," which recommended taking an interest in the things other people are interested in. I realised I hadn't really been doing that, but then I realised that I simply didn't want to. So I knew why I wasn't popular then, but it wasn't of much use to me. I'm just not good at taking an interest in stuff just because I think I should, which I gather is a common ASD problem.

But it wasn't quite that bad in the long haul. Shopping around, I found people with whom I had interests in common - usually anything but maintream types. So then I didn't have to take an interest in anything that bored me, yet I could still have friends. The supply of such convenient people has waxed and waned, and I still have little control over that. I suppose the answer would be to put myself out there more and keep searching, but somehow I can't be bothered, and this pandemic has put the kibosh on that approach anyway, except online. And I never was very outgoing anyway.

As for specific interests that I've successfully shared, the biggest one by far has been playing music. I suppose I was just lucky that I happened to take up music up as a special interest when I was about 10 years old, and spent so much time working on it that other musicians started to like my results and they began to invite me to play with them. Without music, I don't think I'd have had much of a social life at all. Last time I did a performance I arrived at the bar first and until the other musicians arrived I was just the same fish out of water that I naturally am without my super-power - so I just sat there alone pretending to be comfortable in my own company. Then moment the rest of the band arrived everything clicked into place as we pursued our common purpose together, and finally I felt part of what was going on.



Mona Pereth
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13 Jul 2021, 1:12 am

chris1989 wrote:
I seem to think its my fault that other people don't want to maintain a friendship or relationship with me. I don't know if that's to do with not understanding me because they can see my social ques are different and so they prefer to leave me alone.

You need to find the kinds of people whom you can relate to and who can relate to you.

After the pandemic is over with, I would suggest that you do both of the following:

1) Look for an autistic/Aspie adult support group in your local area.

2) Look around, e.g. on Meetup.com, for groups devoted to specific topics or activities that interest you.


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13 Jul 2021, 1:25 am

^
Seems like good advice to me. And online interaction has a lot of the qualities of in-person interaction - I get a lot out of it here and there, and would feel lonelier if it disappeared. There's a lot of potential in it for developing communication skills and for relating with people. If the pandemic remains much of a problem for some time yet, it'll be pretty much the only thing, unless you have a reasonably Covid-safe social bubble.



cyberdad
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13 Jul 2021, 1:47 am

chris1989 wrote:
I seem to think its my fault that other people don't want to maintain a friendship or relationship with me. I don't know if that's to do with not understanding me because they can see my social ques are different and so they prefer to leave me alone..


Without knowing how you are engaging its a little difficult to tell anything. But in order to engage with people you need to be agreeable and flexible (within reason) and be prepared to learn a little give and take.



Earthbound_Alien
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13 Jul 2021, 6:41 am

Fnord wrote:
To attract people, you must first be attractive to them.

To have friends, you must first be friendly.


Attractive? You man compatible, things in common

Friendly? makes no difference....



Earthbound_Alien
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13 Jul 2021, 6:44 am

I don't need friends but I won't turn them away if I find them and the friendship works

I am shy..cant accept it...oh dear (sarcasm)

want an extrovert...find one



ToughDiamond
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13 Jul 2021, 7:57 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Friendly? makes no difference....

You think being unfriendly doesn't drive people away?



Fnord
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13 Jul 2021, 8:11 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Fnord wrote:
To attract people, you must first be attractive to them.  To have friends, you must first be friendly.
Attractive? You mean compatible, things in common.
No, that is NOT what I mean.  I mean displaying qualities that attract other people.  Compatibility and common interests can only be discerned after the attraction takes place.
Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Friendly? makes no difference...
To the friendless, I suppose friendliness would mean nothing.



Fireblossom
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13 Jul 2021, 9:17 am

If you're actually trying to interact with people and don't do anything rude on purpose then no, it's not your fault, but it's not the fault of those people, either. No one's obligated to be friends with anyone.