Would it matter if someone had no friends?

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cyberdad
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06 Jul 2019, 4:42 am

When you are born you have no friends and when you die you have no friends. When you think deeply about it there's no friends...it's something we invent to pass the time...



KT67
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06 Jul 2019, 5:36 am

Idk if that's true.

When you're born unless you're very unlucky you're born to someone who's alive and loves you the most in the world out of anyone she's going to ever love. Maybe also to a dad who loves you and grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Unless she's very unlucky then she dies 20 years + before you do.

Then people judge what the 'turn out' was at your funeral. Much loved people have packed funerals and people who nobody liked have nobody there but the undertaker.

Doesn't really matter cos you're dead. But I've worked with enough elderly people to know that people are very into 'what the turnout at the funeral was'.

My mum loves me a lot but when I'm 80 she's going to either be dying or dead. She almost gets me entirely. But I would be afraid to ever disappoint her.



AprilR
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06 Jul 2019, 11:44 am

^ You're right but family is different than friends. Most Mothers especially stand by their children despite their faults and shortcomings. Most friends don't do that.
I'll probably have no one at my funeral either though i don't really care.



KT67
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06 Jul 2019, 11:52 am

Exactly. Makes me wonder what my faults and shortcomings are that I can't make deep friendships.

To be fair I'm autistic and it's been a year since I moved here and I have social anxiety. So maybe it's not a moral failing or inherent weakness of mine.



AprilR
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06 Jul 2019, 12:09 pm

Oh, i definitely didn't mean to say autism is a shortcoming! In my opinion something you're born with can not be a fault or shortcoming. Although if you have social difficulties this can be worked on, i don't see it as a fault.
I don't think morality has anything to do with social difficulties either, the fact that you're worried about it shows that you're a kind person who wants to do the right thing. Most people don't worry about things like that and blame everyone but themselves if they're alone.



funeralxempire
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06 Jul 2019, 3:44 pm

KT67 wrote:
Exactly. Makes me wonder what my faults and shortcomings are that I can't make deep friendships.

To be fair I'm autistic and it's been a year since I moved here and I have social anxiety. So maybe it's not a moral failing or inherent weakness of mine.


Whatever the cause, starting from the assumption that it's a moral failing of yours is wrong and just serves as an excuse to beat up on yourself. Among things, plenty of immoral people have friends, so clearly that's not a deal-breaker in regards to friendship.

It's likely the result of circumstances and weaknesses. Avoidant behaviour and withdrawal are common reactions to stressful situations. If socializing is exhausting and stressful, one is less likely to do it. If one is less practiced and also able to and prone to to recalling all of their previous failures and missteps, all of this will feed into the anxiety one feels over socializing and trigger the avoidant coping strategies. It's only once one is removed from that situation they start feeling lonely again and wonder why they can't do what everyone else seems to. (Additionally, except for contexts like here, it's easy to miss all the other people who are socially failing, unless you witness it clearly.)

Personally, I know I self-sabotage by not returning calls, not meeting up with people, turning down invites to get together, avoiding and reducing interaction time with acquaintances outside of the context I usually interact with them, etc. If those behaviours are part of your life, they'll be part of where you need to improve, just like they are for me.


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KT67
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06 Jul 2019, 5:56 pm

In my new town, nobody asks me for anything like contact details. I'm thinking what might work is just time?

In my old town, I always did that sort of stuff. Except I rarely got invited out. I think I might have done it too much and come across as intense? I used to worry when I didn't get responses to things like facebook or texts etc.

I still worry about that now but most people are just acquaintances so they have less 'reason'.

There was one woman from my old work who bothered me with how much she wanted to text and email. Purely platonic. She was about 60 odd and I was about 24 and she wanted to email me all week long so if I sent her an email she had to send one back and it went back and forth all week. I found that a bit of a chore. She liked to always be in the 'loop' and thought everyone else was the same.

Just before I moved here, most of my acquaintances were a lot older than me.

I had a friend when I worked at a bookshop, we were about the same age. And I had other friendly acquaintances.

I didn't have friends at uni and was quite apart from other people. I didn't relate to them.

At school, I always had friends. Except one school where everyone bullied me.

So it's really a problem of the last place I was at, where everyone was elderly (the second youngest person there was 60 I know that's not technically elderly but it feels like it when you're early 20s) and here, I've lived here for a year. When I was working at my last place, everyone had a lot different politics to me. I did twitter a lot and had a lot of followers including people I had some quite intense online friendships with. But I tried going back on there and nobody followed me again, it's been 6 years, I quit 6 years ago because it was getting addictive to have hundreds of followers and I quit the second time because nobody wants me anymore. I know they're strangers but I was having some in depth conversations with them and we were bonding over shared interests and beliefs.



kraftiekortie
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06 Jul 2019, 6:07 pm

That was just your luck that your work colleagues were much older than you.



cyberdad
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06 Jul 2019, 8:08 pm

KT67 wrote:
Idk if that's true.
When you're born unless you're very unlucky you're born to someone who's alive and loves you the most in the world out of anyone she's going to ever love. Maybe also to a dad who loves you and grandparents and aunts and uncles.


Friends or acquaintances are people outside of your immediate family. Our parents are biologically programmed to show display of love and affection (well most parents anyway)

When you meet somebody else and decide "you are their friend" it's usually a mutual decision that's contrived because we are programmed/evolved to be social and group orientated.



KT67
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07 Jul 2019, 3:59 am

Yes and nobody wants to take that to the next level (not dating, close friendship) because I'm a loser who doesn't fit into groups properly.

At least family cares about me. At least my mother's side do, my dad hates me because I'm against violence.

The lack of friends might change as I get older or as I'm longer in a place.



cyberdad
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07 Jul 2019, 6:52 am

KT67 wrote:
my dad hates me because I'm against violence.


Sorry to hear that..



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10 Jul 2019, 11:10 am

"If you want to know the measure of a man, simply count his friends."

Always hated that quote (it's from the otherwise excellent Muppet Christmas Carol if you're wondering).

But seriously, yeah it does make me feel pretty worthless that I can't make close friends and never really could. Most people have someone that has known them their whole life or most of their life (not counting relatives)...I don't. I have a hard time keeping in touch with people too (even on-line friends), but the burden shouldn't just be on me. Then again, I also acknowledge that I just can't relate to most people, whether NT or on the spectrum.

I do agree with one response that there are definitely "bad" and/or "worthless" people with tons of friends lol.



Mona Pereth
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10 Jul 2019, 11:44 am

KT67 wrote:
Yes and nobody wants to take that to the next level (not dating, close friendship) because I'm a loser who doesn't fit into groups properly.

Perhaps you could make friends with fellow autistics?

(You could start by including your approximate geographic whereabouts in your profile when you post here on WP.)


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 10 Jul 2019, 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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10 Jul 2019, 11:49 am

KT67 wrote:
Like to what extent would that matter?

Would it inherently make them either a meaningless or a bad person?

I know I have casual friends who like me irl. I know my stepdad gets by without anyone who isn't either an acquaintance or a relative (he managed to marry three women though whereas I can't get a gf or bf but that's me being picky). But I don't really have deep friendships or people who are 'into' me.

Does that make me a bad person either in a defective way or in a morally bad way? I keep hearing things about 'if nobody is their friend, that's a sign they're a wrong 'un'.

Thing is I don't want friendship for its own sake. I want it as 'proof' of my worth. As a sort of a validation that I'm not entirely weird or out there on my own.

I'm looking at the autistic average age of death and it's 5 years older than me. Because of suicides. I'm not suicidal but if I continue along this path of casual friendships, will I become that way?

And I know I'm using a lot of me and I and my own life in this but - if someone really didn't have friends, if none of their acquaintances liked them, etc (not my situation), would that person necessarily be immoral/useless?

Also yes, online, nobody watches me. Nobody follows me if I do twitter. Nobody friends me if I do facebook. People occasionally like my stuff and occasionally dislike it. Only a select few people on here like me. But I get the sense it wouldn't matter as much if people I wasn't related to irl would actually tell me they liked me.


What you wrote in the OP are the exact thoughts I been thinking about myself for several years. I also don't have any friends and I am also concerned that it impacts my value as a human being. I am not sure what to suggest since I wasn't able to improve my situation either. But I guess I can be your friend.



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10 Jul 2019, 12:00 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Whatever the cause, starting from the assumption that it's a moral failing of yours is wrong


I don't think she was discussing morality. By "bad person" she meant in other people's eyes, as in, someone others are avoiding. I mean, logically, why would they avoid you if they don't think you are bad? But bad in what way I don't know. Obviously it's not morality since moral people don't tend to be more popular than immoral ones (quite the opposite in fact) But it has to be "something" since they do tend to avoid aspies.

And the related question is this: if lack of friends discourages others from being friends with you, then it is self perpetuating cycle. So what to do?