Successful HFA friendships with understanding NTs??

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JustFoundHere
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18 Jul 2019, 7:22 pm

Yes, it's possible to develop and maintain friendships with awesome NTs (even though this personally still proves an elusive goal). The power of positive thinking must become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that is to break that cycle of negative experiences with social skills.

I've inferred that successful friendships with NTs would probably involve NTs with some professional AND/OR personal experiences with HFA e.g., professional experiences can be an NT helping an HFA friend/colleague secure TECH. related employment.

I also sense that HFAs have long practiced (after being encouraged to build) "small talk" skills, and sensed social skills through osmosis; hence opportunities to build on the social strengths to get to the weaknesses of relating personally to people.

The more I've read about HFAs who pretty much are NT-like, I sense it's possible that friendships with NT-like people are good possibilities!



Mona Pereth
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19 Jul 2019, 12:28 am

JustFoundHere wrote:
Yes, it's possible to develop and maintain friendships with awesome NTs (even though this personally still proves an elusive goal).

I think we should focus on more easily attainable goals, such as making friends with each other. NTs, even "awesome" ones, are more likely to be friendly to us once we've developed some self-confidence via the attainment of easier goals.

And we don't need NTs (or even the more "NT-like people") to help us make friends with each other. We can figure that out amongst ourselves.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
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cyberdad
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19 Jul 2019, 1:20 am

There are plenty of NTs on the parent forum if anyone wants to practice small talk

I'm also available if anyone wants to learn the art of NT chit chat :D

Don't be afraid we don't bite



JustFoundHere
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19 Jul 2019, 12:41 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
JustFoundHere wrote:
Yes, it's possible to develop and maintain friendships with awesome NTs (even though this personally still proves an elusive goal).

I think we should focus on more easily attainable goals, such as making friends with each other. NTs, even "awesome" ones, are more likely to be friendly to us once we've developed some self-confidence via the attainment of easier goals.

And we don't need NTs (or even the more "NT-like people") to help us make friends with each other. We can figure that out amongst ourselves.


Thank-you for your response in the discussion thread 'Caught In The Middle!' (LINK). Again, by the very nature of HFA, it's elusive to develop friendships with both HFAs and awesome NTs. Too often, establishing friendships happens by chance and accident. This is not good enough!

Again, I sense that the best options are to have awesome NTs and/or HFAs who are attuned to the NT world "break the ice" so to speak by acting as intermediaries in encouraging friendships.

P.S. After writing in the 'Social Skills & Making Friends' Forum, I sense what is meant by the unwritten rules - that need to be spelled-out to encourage HFAs.

(LINK) viewtopic.php?t=378295



Mona Pereth
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19 Jul 2019, 1:50 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
Thank-you for your response in the discussion thread 'Caught In The Middle!' (LINK). Again, by the very nature of HFA, it's elusive to develop friendships with both HFAs and awesome NTs. Too often, establishing friendships happens by chance and accident. This is not good enough!

Again, I sense that the best options are to have awesome NTs and/or HFAs who are attuned to the NT world "break the ice" so to speak by acting as intermediaries in encouraging friendships.

I think it's better to focus on making friends with each other and develop our own subculture instead of focusing on imitating the way NTs do things.

We will need autistic-friendly NTs to interface between our world and the NT world (e.g. by being salespeople for and/or investors in companies that hire lots of autistic people). But first we need to develop our own subculture to the point where a lot more autistic-friendly workplaces can come into existence. In my opinion, trying to blend in with NTs, with or without the help of "awesome NTs," is a huge (and hugely stressful) distraction from the goals that will, in the long run, enable more of us to lead much happier and less stressful lives.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


SharonB
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19 Jul 2019, 2:59 pm

I wondering that all my friends have Aspie traits, or that the NT ones are married to ND folks, so my ways are "familiar" to them.



BTDT
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19 Jul 2019, 3:03 pm

I've found that I do best with highly intelligent NTs who still love to learn new things. And share what they have learned. Common ground that is surprisingly hard to find, so they don't mind that I'm different. Sometimes I find out that we are more alike than I would have imagined.



Mona Pereth
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19 Jul 2019, 3:16 pm

cyberdad wrote:
There are plenty of NTs on the parent forum if anyone wants to practice small talk

I'm also available if anyone wants to learn the art of NT chit chat :D

[EDIT: Are you offering to talk to people via Skype or something? Online text-based chat, and all the more so online forum-based conversation such as we are having here, is not at all the same thing as in-person chit chat and does not entail the same set of difficulties. Video chat could be a better simulation of in-person chit chat, but it would need to involve at least three people to simulate the kind of chit chat that many of us find most difficult.]

Hopefully those who wish to learn, and can do so without too much difficulty, will appreciate your offer and take you up on it. However ....

cyberdad wrote:
Don't be afraid we don't bite

You don't bite. But multi-person NT chit chat does bite -- for me personally, at least. The problem many of have with multi-person NT chit chat isn't simply that we haven't "learned" it, but that it is intrinsically difficult for us due to attention control issues. In conversation, I need something to focus on, either a person or a topic.

So, in my opinion, we need autistic-friendly workplaces in which we don't have to strain our brains on stuff like that, and can just focus instead on whatever kind of work best fits our abilities. And we need autistic-friendly social spaces in which we can have intellectually-stimulating conversations on topics of interest to us, with people who share our interests.


_________________
- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Last edited by Mona Pereth on 19 Jul 2019, 6:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.

JustFoundHere
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19 Jul 2019, 4:01 pm

Please share specific experiences. For example, just what helped "break the ice" initially?



SharonB
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19 Jul 2019, 7:44 pm

What broke the ice for me was personal loss. As a teenager, I needed support so had to relate. As an adult, I joined support groups. Of course I don't recommend going out and getting a loss, so perhaps a more mundane shared activity - one that puts an Aspie in touch with a lot of people (in small groups), so chances are higher to find a "fit". If Aspies are 1 in 100 and NTs that hang with Aspies are 1 in ???, then figure you'll have to meet a lot of folks to find those few...



cyberdad
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19 Jul 2019, 7:54 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
There are plenty of NTs on the parent forum if anyone wants to practice small talk

I'm also available if anyone wants to learn the art of NT chit chat :D

[EDIT: Are you offering to talk to people via Skype or something? Online text-based chat, and all the more so online forum-based conversation such as we are having here, is not at all the same thing as in-person chit chat and does not entail the same set of difficulties.


A few years ago I organised a face to face get together in Glen Waverley with a group of local Aspies on WP. Nobody turned up.

I've offered before and nobody local has taken up the offer. The offer stands and if people want to skype they can...the offer still stands but I guess it must be how I come across as I don't expect to get any takers



cyberdad
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19 Jul 2019, 7:56 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
But multi-person NT chit chat does bite -- for me personally, at least. The problem many of have with multi-person NT chit chat isn't simply that we haven't "learned" it, but that it is intrinsically difficult for us due to attention control issues. In conversation, I need something to focus on, either a person or a topic.


That's a good point! thanks for the idea



JustFoundHere
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20 Jul 2019, 3:07 pm

I sense that posting to (and reading) here in the 'Social Skills & Making Friends' seem very similar to how creative writing might truly be an initial ice breaker - that is creative writing might be that seemingly humble effort to encourage social interaction (and yes, I'm imagining people telling me "why quibble?" - or "don't waste your time splitting hairs!!").

Lately, I've sensed another potential "ice-breaker" - that is participation in the arts e.g., painting, drawing, and sculpture. No quibbling, or splitting hairs here in mentioning that it's an elusive process to find like minded people!



AprilR
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21 Jul 2019, 10:34 am

I do have nt friends that are super understanding and nice. But once in a while i get negative thoughts like "they must be a saint to put up with me" Friendship are nice, but giving them too much importance is not right either i think. Friendships should not be considered sacred things vital to someone's happiness.



JustFoundHere
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21 Jul 2019, 3:03 pm

In review: I've discussed the need of having NTs or (HFAs who are NT-like) act as intermediaries in encouraging e.g. coaching the development of friendships. In short, such intermediaries exercise roles best described as something like, 'platonic matchmakers' (who also take on the roles of matchmakers in encouraging intimate relationships - that is when HFAs feel encouraged to develop intimate relationships).

For lack of a better term, 'platonic matchmaking' best describes a very elusive concept - that is I have yet to find awesome non-English language terms best describing the overlooked, and diverse roles of matchmakers.

Any specific experiences would be very welcome!