Successful HFA friendships with understanding NTs??

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shortfatbalduglyman
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21 Jul 2019, 4:57 pm

What is "possible" for some autistics is not "possible" for others



JustFoundHere
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21 Jul 2019, 8:47 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
What is "possible" for some autistics is not "possible" for others


OOOKAAAAY - Now what?



Mona Pereth
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21 Jul 2019, 11:17 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
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).

Why do the people who do this need to be "NTs or (HFAs who are NT-like)"?

I have a lot of ideas on possible ways to build the local NYC-area autistic community in ways that could (among other things) facilitate the development of friendships among autistic people. I hope to be able to put some if my ideas into practice within the next year.


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cyberdad
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22 Jul 2019, 2:18 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
JustFoundHere wrote:
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).

Why do the people who do this need to be "NTs or (HFAs who are NT-like)"?

I have a lot of ideas on possible ways to build the local NYC-area autistic community in ways that could (among other things) facilitate the development of friendships among autistic people. I hope to be able to put some if my ideas into practice within the next year.


I think you need to be careful how you mix/match people using the umbrella term "autistic community"

The OP made it very clear he wants to meet "high functioning autistics" probably functioning on his level (or higher) who can help decode NT social norms and develop friendships/partnerships with. I think you will find most people on WP looking to expand their social networks want the same.

For younger Aspies the "helicopter parents" play cupid when they see HFA kids who they want their son/daughter to play with and dissuade them from spending time with lower functioning kids with clear behavioral/speech/social problems. Of course these HFA kids learn from their parents that being more NT is good and being too autistic is something to avoid. You see plenty them here on WP.

Anyway there's no point asking an Aspie who wants to make friends to spend time with autistic adults who are overly shy or unable to function at their level unless that person indicates to you they are open minded and willing to mix with everyone of any functioning level.



JustFoundHere
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22 Jul 2019, 1:57 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
JustFoundHere wrote:
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).

Why do the people who do this need to be "NTs or (HFAs who are NT-like)"?

I have a lot of ideas on possible ways to build the local NYC-area autistic community in ways that could (among other things) facilitate the development of friendships among autistic people. I hope to be able to put some if my ideas into practice within the next year.


I think you need to be careful how you mix/match people using the umbrella term "autistic community"

The OP made it very clear he wants to meet "high functioning autistics" probably functioning on his level (or higher) who can help decode NT social norms and develop friendships/partnerships with. I think you will find most people on WP looking to expand their social networks want the same.

For younger Aspies the "helicopter parents" play cupid when they see HFA kids who they want their son/daughter to play with and dissuade them from spending time with lower functioning kids with clear behavioral/speech/social problems. Of course these HFA kids learn from their parents that being more NT is good and being too autistic is something to avoid. You see plenty them here on WP.

Anyway there's no point asking an Aspie who wants to make friends to spend time with autistic adults who are overly shy or unable to function at their level unless that person indicates to you they are open minded and willing to mix with everyone of any functioning level.


EXCERPT hits the "nail on the head!" The OP made it very clear he wants to meet "high functioning autistics" probably functioning on his level (or higher) who can help decode NT social norms and develop friendships/partnerships with. I think you will find most people on WP looking to expand their social networks want the same.



Mona Pereth
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22 Jul 2019, 9:32 pm

AprilR wrote:
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.

I think friendships are important, but it's important that they not be one-sided. Hopefully you have qualities that your NT friends actually like and appreciate.

It also seems to me that friendships with other autistic people of similar cognitive profile are (other factors being equal) less likely to feel one-sided than friendships with NTs.


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Mona Pereth
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22 Jul 2019, 9:45 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
EXCERPT hits the "nail on the head!" The OP made it very clear he wants to meet "high functioning autistics" probably functioning on his level (or higher) who can help decode NT social norms and develop friendships/partnerships with.

But you also seemed to be saying that you need NTs to broker said friendships. That's what I was questioning.


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JustFoundHere
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22 Jul 2019, 10:00 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
AprilR wrote:
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.

I think friendships are important, but it's important that they not be one-sided. Hopefully you have qualities that your NT friends actually like and appreciate.

It also seems to me that friendships with other autistic people of similar cognitive profile are (other factors being equal) less likely to feel one-sided than friendships with NTs.


Too often, successful friendships happen by "chance and accident" - esp. with HFA. I've attempted to spell-out the often unwritten guidelines of friendships i.e., a platonic version of matchmaking (for lack of a better term - sorry I'm desperate here) to encourage what might just very well be workable approaches for encouraging HFAs to develop friendships.

Many of us have experienced (again, for lack of a better term) "pseudo-friendships" with awesome people - with at least some small measure of thoughtful NTs involved.

From my own experiences, the other person(s) "broke the ice" to initiate acquaintances. I cannot remmerb "ever initially "breaking the ice." More often than not, there were positive intentions, yet "breaking the ice" seems to work best with mutual intents.



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22 Jul 2019, 10:05 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
JustFoundHere wrote:
EXCERPT hits the "nail on the head!" The OP made it very clear he wants to meet "high functioning autistics" probably functioning on his level (or higher) who can help decode NT social norms and develop friendships/partnerships with.

But you also seemed to be saying that you need NTs to broker said friendships. That's what I was questioning.


Thank-you for being active here in the 'Social Skills & Making Friendships' Forum.

Yes, I was saying that not just NTs who would act as intermediaries (in brokering) friendships. People with HFA who are pretty much NT-like can also exercise their roles. Again, that mix of personal, and professional experiences with HFA can be beneficial.



Mona Pereth
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22 Jul 2019, 11:51 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
Yes, I was saying that not just NTs who would act as intermediaries (in brokering) friendships. People with HFA who are pretty much NT-like can also exercise their roles.

Well, I'm pretty obviously not very "NT-like" (e.g. I can't do normal eye contact, and I've been told by various people that I don't have normal "affect" in my voice, facial expressions, and body language), but I do hope to be able to broker friendships among autistic people in the following two ways:

1) via a website I plan to create within the next year or so, and

2) via a new in-person group I've begun building here in NYC.


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23 Jul 2019, 8:08 am

I am getting pretty good at doing eye contact with other drivers to communicate well enough to speed traffic along.



AprilR
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23 Jul 2019, 9:23 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
AprilR wrote:
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.

I think friendships are important, but it's important that they not be one-sided. Hopefully you have qualities that your NT friends actually like and appreciate.

It also seems to me that friendships with other autistic people of similar cognitive profile are (other factors being equal) less likely to feel one-sided than friendships with NTs.


I don't know, a person can have many redeemable qualities but if they're extremely ugly i don't think they'd have many friends. I don't think friendship is that important if you're a nice person overall. Because when you think like that you begin to think yourself as a bad person. That's what i used to feel anyway.



AprilR
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23 Jul 2019, 9:25 am

:roll:

AprilR wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
AprilR wrote:
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.

I think friendships are important, but it's important that they not be one-sided. Hopefully you have qualities that your NT friends actually like and appreciate.

It also seems to me that friendships with other autistic people of similar cognitive profile are (other factors being equal) less likely to feel one-sided than friendships with NTs.


I don't know, a person can have many redeemable qualities but if they're extremely ugly i don't think they'd have many friends. I don't think friendship is that important if you're a nice person overall. Because when you think like that you begin to think yourself as a bad person. (for not having friends) Being unlikable by choice is one thing, being born unlikable is also possible.



Nydcat
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23 Jul 2019, 9:51 am

For myself, what seems to work is:

-Someone I share a cohesive link with.

-An empathic geek or person with geeky interests.

-Someone who has a somewhat similar difference, like adhd.

-A somewhat marginal and empathic person.

-An extravert or ambivert seems to work better.



Mona Pereth
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23 Jul 2019, 11:40 am

AprilR wrote:
I don't know, a person can have many redeemable qualities but if they're extremely ugly i don't think they'd have many friends.

They could perhaps make friends with other "extremely ugly" people?

AprilR wrote:
I don't think friendship is that important if you're a nice person overall. Because when you think like that you begin to think yourself as a bad person. That's what i used to feel anyway.

How does regarding friendship as important result in thinking of oneself as a bad person? Because you have difficulty making and keeping friends?

Having difficulty making friends does not make you a bad person. As autistic people in an NT-dominated world, we face lots of disadvantages when it comes to making friends. And the problem isn't just us lacking relevant skills. An even bigger problem is lots of NTs making prejudicial snap judgments against us. See:

- Autistics Make Others Uncomfortable, Instantly by Christopher Scott Wyatt, The Autistic Me , January 14, 2018
- Neurotypical Peers are Less Willing to Interact with Those with Autism based on Thin Slice Judgments by Noah J. Sasson, Daniel J. Faso, Jack Nugent, Sarah Lovell, Daniel P. Kennedy & Ruth B. Grossman, Nature, Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 40700 (2017).

However, in my opinion, that's not a reason to give up on the idea of making friends. We should figure out how to make friends with other autistic people with compatible personalities and with interests similar to our own. And we should figure out how to build our community in ways that will make this easier. We can figure these things out together, with each other, here on WP.

Also, to help us keep our friends, we need to learn how to resolve any inter-personal problems that may arise between us and our friends. To that end, we can learn things like (1) assertiveness (how to be assertive without being aggressive), (2) active listening, (3) giving and receiving constructive criticism, and (4) conflict resolution. There are lots of web-based tutorials and role-playing exercises that we can learn from.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 23 Jul 2019, 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.