Friends only ever there for the "good times"

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SadGhost
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26 Mar 2018, 10:22 pm

None of the friends I have had in my life supported me when I was struggling. When I built the courage to mention that I had depression, their responses were always the same: "Damn" and "sorry" or other short answers without meaning. Other times they would realize I was depressed and begin to mimic me ("Oh I'm depressed too!") as if dismissing my problems and refocusing the attention on themselves. I don't open up anymore because of this and it has caused some major trust issues. Part of the issue I think is that as an aspie, I tend to attract 'friends' who only talk about themselves and aren't empathetic in the slightest. I somehow tolerated such bad friends because I was afraid of being alone, I guess.


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ladyelaine
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27 Mar 2018, 10:33 am

I have difficulties trusting people too. There are very few people that I'm willing to talk about my feelings with. Most people are dismissive of my feelings or they make it into a competition of who has it worse. Sometimes people are only interested in my feelings if they think I might dish on someone they hate. Some people like to spread my business around and turn everyone against me. Some people make up stuff about me and spread it around. I tend to attract narcissists, gossips, and other kinds of toxic people. I'm trying to improve myself so I can attract better people in my life.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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27 Mar 2018, 11:19 am

I'm over 60, but when I was young, there was a commonly used term "fairweather friends". It describes what you've experienced - people who aren't real friends, they just pretend, and when times are rough and you need actual friendship, they're nowhere to be found. If there's any "good" news about this, it's that it doesn't only happen to Aspies. It happens to a lot of people; I have no idea what it's called these days, so I still use the old term.

We (Aspies) do definitely tend to attract users and other dysfunctional types, partly because we're not as well defended as others - we'll take people at face value, and many of us find it very difficult to dissemble. This makes us easy prey for con artists - we're an open book, which to them means an open wallet, open crash pad, whatever. And so many of us are so lonely! Which makes us vulnerable to anyone promising to "be there" for us.

The sad thing about this, besides the cost to us when being conned/used/etc., is that many of us will eventually go from completely naive to solidly cynical without passing through the intervening space. We can also be conditioned to accept abuse and neglect as "normal", depending on how our parents and siblings responded to us, which makes it even harder to escape the patterns.

Again, though, I've seen that this doesn't just happen to Aspies. There are some web sites for survivors of abuse - emotional and psychological, primarily - where survivors describe the exact same things, and I don't think the majority of them are Aspie. I visit those sites to read and learn, I don't post. I'm just a lurker. I don't agree with everyone and everything in those places, but I almost always feel that I've learned something.


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SadGhost
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27 Mar 2018, 11:21 pm

Esmerelda Weatherwax wrote:
I'm over 60, but when I was young, there was a commonly used term "fairweather friends". It describes what you've experienced - people who aren't real friends, they just pretend, and when times are rough and you need actual friendship, they're nowhere to be found. If there's any "good" news about this, it's that it doesn't only happen to Aspies. It happens to a lot of people; I have no idea what it's called these days, so I still use the old term.

We (Aspies) do definitely tend to attract users and other dysfunctional types, partly because we're not as well defended as others - we'll take people at face value, and many of us find it very difficult to dissemble. This makes us easy prey for con artists - we're an open book, which to them means an open wallet, open crash pad, whatever. And so many of us are so lonely! Which makes us vulnerable to anyone promising to "be there" for us.

The sad thing about this, besides the cost to us when being conned/used/etc., is that many of us will eventually go from completely naive to solidly cynical without passing through the intervening space. We can also be conditioned to accept abuse and neglect as "normal", depending on how our parents and siblings responded to us, which makes it even harder to escape the patterns.

Again, though, I've seen that this doesn't just happen to Aspies. There are some web sites for survivors of abuse - emotional and psychological, primarily - where survivors describe the exact same things, and I don't think the majority of them are Aspie. I visit those sites to read and learn, I don't post. I'm just a lurker. I don't agree with everyone and everything in those places, but I almost always feel that I've learned something.


I used to be quite naive, but I quickly grew out of that and became cynical and reclusive. My childhood involved being used a lot by my peers or "friends" and it definitely caused some psychological trauma. I have researched C-PTSD and I believe that I have many of the symptoms associated with it - including 'distortions in relationships' involving isolation, withdrawal and persistent distrust. I'm trying to improve myself and my self-perception, to help myself cope with the symptoms.


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28 Mar 2018, 6:39 am

I think most friends are like that and I call those types of people with that term. Those who're actually there for me the rare times I dare to try to let them close are my idea of good friends. Not that the ones who are under the term "friends" are somehow bad people or anything, but they just aren't that close and just don't understand me that well.



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03 Apr 2018, 4:54 pm

I think those are called "fair-weather" friends. The true ones are much rarer.



hale_bopp
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04 Apr 2018, 2:53 pm

This is very common. I have found a counsellor is the best outlet for this. On the plus sude, you learn who not to talk to.



HistoryGal
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05 Apr 2018, 8:30 pm

Yup



alpacka
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16 Apr 2018, 7:48 am

This could be me writing that... it´s sad and I think especially NT-people see right away what kind of ppl that are easy to use and who´s not. If you are a good listener, boy they will talk! If you are a fun and happy person they will disappear as soon as you having a bad day because you have "bad energy", something they could have for years.


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Aspiewordsmith
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16 Apr 2018, 12:37 pm

Or only want to be around you for what they can get out of you. If you say no then the bullying can start. It can be a perilous risk in trying to be friends with people on the NT spectrum who don't really respect you but see you as a reliable when they are in need and you might not be aware of true intentions. People like that were never friends and a true friend is rare. Most of my so called friendships lasted no more than 3 years. The only allistic friend who respected me I was his friend for about a year that was back in 1977. Nearly all other people just wanted to take advantage of me and nothing more. :arrow:



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20 Apr 2018, 7:19 am

SadGhost wrote:
None of the friends I have had in my life supported me when I was struggling. When I built the courage to mention that I had depression, their responses were always the same: "Damn" and "sorry" or other short answers without meaning. Other times they would realize I was depressed and begin to mimic me ("Oh I'm depressed too!") as if dismissing my problems and refocusing the attention on themselves. I don't open up anymore because of this and it has caused some major trust issues. Part of the issue I think is that as an aspie, I tend to attract 'friends' who only talk about themselves and aren't empathetic in the slightest. I somehow tolerated such bad friends because I was afraid of being alone, I guess.



Those people aren't your friends in the first place because they seem to have no problem kicking you when you are down. Like Esmerelda said, they fair weathered friends.

When I was about 20, I had a situation where I had worked at an amusement park for three seasons where everyone become close to each other. I even thought I had made some friends with that group where we would talk to each other before someone pointing out that most of them were not interested in me. Post my third summer season and prior to the next summer season, the managers decided not to hire me back due to several reasons. This was along with being unemployed and struggling with finding a job. When I got turned down, I tried to reach out to the others who were very callous and did whatever they could to avoid me.

"It's all for the best, you were not happy there (which I wasn't. I just wanted something to do) gotta go bye." Then they would sign off instant messenger. I was so shocked at their responses that it was not even funny. I blew up at that whole group via email :lol: for that by accusing all of them of being "Fake" and that one day at work they were going to miss me and then they would feel bad. :lol:

Of my goodness their responses were evil "I don't know about you. Go see a therapist you have issues because you made me cry." :lol:

Sure people think I am "Mean" or "Rude" but I don't take crap from people like that.



Seraphiel
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21 Apr 2018, 3:24 am

I haven't had many friends growing up, but I did have a few close friends and they were the kind of friends you want to have. They were supportive and had my best interests at heart, and would be there for me. I'm online a lot now though, and I have found a lot of people like what you're mentioning. What I do is I basically have high standards, if I see that people don't actually care about me as a person, I cut them off right then. People should want to be there for you, should care that you are hurting. At the same time, if you are the kind of person that doesn't actually try to be happy, and constantly complains about your depression or sadness just to get that sympathy from people to feel better, sometimes it will make people not want to be there because that's another problem that they can't solve. It's different from a more healthy minded person that is sad and just needs support, as opposed to one who solicits it for a fix. Not saying that's you. Don't accept anything less than you deserve, and really reevaluate the qualities you are seeking in a friend, the kind of people who attract as friends, and why. Not sure if you're looking in the wrong places, or are just too quick to accept things as is. I personally just have close friends, then acquaintances who I play stuff with, but don't refer to them as friends. I'm generally not interested in giving people a friend label, just because I do stuff with them.



Anthracite_Impreza
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21 Apr 2018, 4:27 pm

As others have said, these are not true friends, at best they're acquaintances. I'm sorry for how you've been treated and I hope you can find at least one true friend in future.


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