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PhosphorusDecree
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14 Nov 2021, 11:45 am

Does anyone here have experience of getting back in touch with friends after falling out of contact for a while? How did you play it? How did it go?

I've been through several months of severe depression and anxiety. When things are bad, I stop talking to people. At this point, I have only spoken to three of my friends since June- two fairly regularly, the third more rarely. And I've only seen one of them face-to-face, which was a few months ago. It would be benificial to talk to more people, but it feels like my current state is a lot to drop on them all at once. "Hey, long time no see! How are you?" "Suicidal." [long pause.]

There are a bunch of less-close friends and acquaintances I used to meet on the local music scene, which is now pretty much dead. I have rather low-quality interactions with them on social media; not sure how welcome it'd be if I suddenly started phoning them. Five good friends who I would really like to get back in touch with. 'A' lives at the other end of the country; it's not uncommon for us to fall out of touch for a few months. 'V' lives in my home town but is practically impossible to get hold of- she's been known to reply to texts a month later. 'D' lives in my home town and we used to see each other most weeks, but we've both been struggling to communicate in the Plague Era. 'K and P' are married with rather high-maintenance adopted kids, so again not the easiest to get hold of.


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Tim_Tex
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14 Nov 2021, 7:25 pm

I try to reconnect with people, but they apparently don't remember me. All I get is "Do I know you?", "Who are you?", et al.


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blitzkrieg
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23 Nov 2021, 5:01 am

That might be their way of gently letting you down, Tim_Tex.

I have had people who I know, know me - claim that they don't when adding them. It's usually neurodiverse people who don't have any 'theory of mind' or a limited 'theory of mind', rather than an inconsistent 'theory of mind', and don't think you know what you know. Or they are unable to put the pieces together cognitively to understand how their own actions might 'trip them up'.

For example, someone might do something and not encode it into their memory, and not believe it has happened when you ask them, and they don't remember it so don't think it has happened.

Or worse, they might just make up things to fill in the gaps of their memory, and rely not on their own cognitive resources for a sense of reality, but the word of others.

It can be face blindness also, which is common in Autism compared to non-Autistic populations.


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Mona Pereth
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23 Nov 2021, 7:02 am

Tim_Tex wrote:
I try to reconnect with people, but they apparently don't remember me. All I get is "Do I know you?", "Who are you?", et al.

I would suggest that you assume they're honestly not remembering, and that you remind them of where you know them from and describe the circumstances under which you met them.


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Mona Pereth
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23 Nov 2021, 7:19 am

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
There are a bunch of less-close friends and acquaintances I used to meet on the local music scene, which is now pretty much dead. I have rather low-quality interactions with them on social media; not sure how welcome it'd be if I suddenly started phoning them.

If you've had only "low-quality interactions" with them, then it's probably best to wait with contacting these particular people until you're in a better mood. On the other hand ....

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
Five good friends who I would really like to get back in touch with. 'A' lives at the other end of the country; it's not uncommon for us to fall out of touch for a few months. 'V' lives in my home town but is practically impossible to get hold of- she's been known to reply to texts a month later. 'D' lives in my home town and we used to see each other most weeks, but we've both been struggling to communicate in the Plague Era. 'K and P' are married with rather high-maintenance adopted kids, so again not the easiest to get hold of.

So far, it sounds like the best people to contact in your current situation are "A" and "D". Sounds like "K" and "P" may have too many problems of their own.


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23 Nov 2021, 4:43 pm

That's passive aggressive, Tim_Tex.

Regarding re-connecting with people who I have fallen out, yeah, I have. What I have learned is that most re-connections end up in a train wreck because other than getting older, their personality, quirks, and other characteristics will not change. There were a few people who I re-connected with that I regret.



PhosphorusDecree
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24 Nov 2021, 10:49 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
PhosphorusDecree wrote:
There are a bunch of less-close friends and acquaintances I used to meet on the local music scene, which is now pretty much dead. I have rather low-quality interactions with them on social media; not sure how welcome it'd be if I suddenly started phoning them.

If you've had only "low-quality interactions" with them, then it's probably best to wait with contacting these particular people until you're in a better mood. On the other hand ....

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
Five good friends who I would really like to get back in touch with. 'A' lives at the other end of the country; it's not uncommon for us to fall out of touch for a few months. 'V' lives in my home town but is practically impossible to get hold of- she's been known to reply to texts a month later. 'D' lives in my home town and we used to see each other most weeks, but we've both been struggling to communicate in the Plague Era. 'K and P' are married with rather high-maintenance adopted kids, so again not the easiest to get hold of.

So far, it sounds like the best people to contact in your current situation are "A" and "D". Sounds like "K" and "P" may have too many problems of their own.


Well, D got back in touch with me. So. That's a start. Don't think that's ever happened before!

I'm not sure how many people I knew in my teens would still remember me, and some of the ones who would, it's not for good reasons. Ditto for my memory of most of them. When the "Friends Reunited" website was all the rage here, my feeling was more "let's draw a line under all that, shall we?"


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26 Nov 2021, 1:09 am

Summer_Twilight wrote:
That's passive aggressive, Tim_Tex.

Might be passive aggressive, might not be. Lots of people (especially lots of autistic people) have genuine difficulties remembering names and faces. I think it's generally best to assume the most innocent interpretation, but without being overly trusting. "Love many, trust few."

Summer_Twilight wrote:
Regarding re-connecting with people who I have fallen out, yeah, I have. What I have learned is that most re-connections end up in a train wreck because other than getting older, their personality, quirks, and other characteristics will not change. There were a few people who I re-connected with that I regret.

Depends on the reason for falling out of touch. If you fell out of touch because of a serious interpersonal issue, then it's probably good to be wary of getting back in touch.


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PhosphorusDecree
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26 Nov 2021, 8:38 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Summer_Twilight wrote:
That's passive aggressive, Tim_Tex.

Might be passive aggressive, might not be. Lots of people (especially lots of autistic people) have genuine difficulties remembering names and faces. I think it's generally best to assume the most innocent interpretation, but without being overly trusting. "Love many, trust few."


I'm a bit prone to accidental ghosting, and have been known to spend the first half of a conversation trying to discretely figure out who someone is.


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26 Nov 2021, 9:57 am

Freinds.....am now burned by so many ., in big ways that professed friendship . That at time it has felt a friend at distance is a better friend . Reconnecting with friends is a two way street i feel .
but have never felt poorly for making the first gesture .
But occassionally it is good to try to recall about why , they became distant friends in the first place. even at times on this site , i wonder about people .... but i still wish them good holiday season . Even though some have seen it rough," And let me tell you i have the roughest around "
(musical note implied here .) but as the old saying goes Cheer up it could worse .! Sure enough i cheered up and sure enough......


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26 Nov 2021, 10:17 am

I moved back to my hometown after being away for 20 years and my experience is that it's a bigger thing for my old neurotypical friends and acquaintances than for me that a long time has been going without having any contact. I don't have any old autistic friends in my hometown so I can't compare.



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26 Nov 2021, 11:19 am

I remember doing this with a college friend I hadn't talked to in ten-ish years. He said he had to keep it short so he could make it to the store before it closed. You haven't talked to me in ten years, but getting to the store has priority? Yeah, that was the last time I ever talked to him. He's dead now, too, so that was pretty final.



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27 Nov 2021, 2:35 pm

TenMinutes wrote:
I remember doing this with a college friend I hadn't talked to in ten-ish years. He said he had to keep it short so he could make it to the store before it closed. You haven't talked to me in ten years, but getting to the store has priority?

Depends what he was getting at the store, and why. Might have been truly urgent, or at least inconvenient to do without. (Or he might have had an aversion to sudden changes in plans, as is the case for many autistic people.)

I would not have taken this as a personal brush-off, unless there were other reasons to take it that way. Were I in this situation, I would have used the "short" time to exchange contact info, and perhaps to arrange a specific time to continue the conversation.


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28 Nov 2021, 1:47 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
TenMinutes wrote:
I remember doing this with a college friend I hadn't talked to in ten-ish years. He said he had to keep it short so he could make it to the store before it closed. You haven't talked to me in ten years, but getting to the store has priority?

Depends what he was getting at the store, and why. Might have been truly urgent, or at least inconvenient to do without. (Or he might have had an aversion to sudden changes in plans, as is the case for many autistic people.)

I would not have taken this as a personal brush-off, unless there were other reasons to take it that way. Were I in this situation, I would have used the "short" time to exchange contact info, and perhaps to arrange a specific time to continue the conversation.


How many times in your life have you gone to the store for something more important that a first-in-ten-years contact with an old friend?

The simplest explanation is generally the right one, and in this case thinking charitably of this exchange would make me a chump.

There was no offer of explanation or to reconnect later, as someone offering a lame excuse would want to do if the excuse was legit. I would, in fact, say the use of such a lame excuse, not explained, was an FU. And the conversation was not what you'd expect from a welcome contact.

There are things people say that they don't mean literally, to express disinterest, and "I have to get to the store before it closes" expresses disinterest, possibly even contempt.



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28 Nov 2021, 2:02 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
I try to reconnect with people, but they apparently don't remember me. All I get is "Do I know you?", "Who are you?", et al.

I would suggest that you assume they're honestly not remembering, and that you remind them of where you know them from and describe the circumstances under which you met them.


There was an autistic youtiber who posted a video titled "do people care as much as you", or something. It basically described the embarrassment of learning that other people find interacting with you much less important than you find it. I wish that video was still available, because it was perfect in tone to express the embarrassment. Humiliation, really.

If they don't even remember you, how much is there to gain by reminding them? Clearly you weren't important to them. How eager are they going to be willing to rekindle what they consider a casual relationship, even if you are successful at reminding them who the hell you even are? I'd offer no more than name as a reminder, and then only if it's been so long they aren't likely to recognize you.



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28 Nov 2021, 3:20 am

TenMinutes wrote:
There was an autistic youtiber who posted a video titled "do people care as much as you", or something. It basically described the embarrassment of learning that other people find interacting with you much less important than you find it. I wish that video was still available, because it was perfect in tone to express the embarrassment. Humiliation, really.

If they don't even remember you, how much is there to gain by reminding them? Clearly you weren't important to them. How eager are they going to be willing to rekindle what they consider a casual relationship, even if you are successful at reminding them who the hell you even are?

Casual acquaintanceships can be valuable too. At the very least, there's no harm in having a brief conversation with the person to catch up.

Then, depending on what is said at that point, there might or might not be a basis for staying in touch after that, or perhaps even taking it to a deeper level of friendship. For example, if you and the other person previously had very little in common but now share a hobby, or if it turns out that one or both of you are now in a good position to give each other useful advice, or if you both are now in similar life circumstances, then there might now be good reasons to stay in touch, whereas previously there weren't.

On the other hand, if previously-shared common interests have faded, or if your and the other person's worldviews have significantly diverged, then you probably don't have much reason to stay in touch after that conversation.

TenMinutes wrote:
I'd offer no more than name as a reminder, and then only if it's been so long they aren't likely to recognize you.

I'd give as many hints as are necessary until the person remembers. I wouldn't take their non-remembrance personally.


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