Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Highly_Autistic
Toucan
Toucan

Joined: 22 Aug 2018
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 287

26 Aug 2023, 7:37 pm

Seriously i dont remember the last time when i had a friend. The only thing i communicate with is my family.

I'm feeling like a socially disabled person. Being 25 years old and not going forward since childhood, damn.

Do i try hard to learn social skills, or is it in my genes and cant change it ? If i cant change it, i'd better move to a mountain top and isolate myself completely

Does it get better or worse with age
Anyone who can speak from experience ?



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,811
Location: New York City (Queens)

06 Sep 2023, 10:47 pm

How have you gone about trying to make friends, so far?

What are your hobbies/interests?

See also my post here.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter / "X" (new as of 2021)


auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 113,692
Location: the island of defective toy santas

06 Sep 2023, 11:34 pm

after 6 decades of searching, one finally fell into my lap. but most aspies can't reasonably be expected to wait that long, i realize. i realized early that hermithood was the only thing that would keep me from getting hurt by people, and to keep me from pissing people off just by my mere nature.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,811
Location: New York City (Queens)

07 Sep 2023, 12:34 am

Highly_Autistic wrote:
Do i try hard to learn social skills, or is it in my genes and cant change it ?

There are different kinds of "social skills." I would suggest considering what specific kinds of "social skills" you can reasonably expect to be able to learn, vs. what other kinds of "social skills" are just too difficult and unnatural, to the point that attempting to learn them may even be counterproductive.

Personally, I divide "social skills" into two categories:

1) Blending in with NT's. This involves things that are very unnatural for many autistic people, such as culturally mainstream eye contact rhythms.

2) What I call "autistic friendly social skills" -- the kinds of skills that we, as autistic people, would need just to be able to get along with each other, even if there were no NT's in the world and hence no pressure to conform to mainstream NT cultural norms.

I favor focusing on the latter. See the section of my website on Autistic-friendly social skills vs. blending in with NT's.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter / "X" (new as of 2021)


Sailon
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 13 Apr 2020
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 309
Location: South Carolina

14 Sep 2023, 12:31 pm

auntblabby wrote:
after 6 decades of searching, one finally fell into my lap. but most aspies can't reasonably be expected to wait that long, i realize. i realized early that hermithood was the only thing that would keep me from getting hurt by people, and to keep me from pissing people off just by my mere nature.


Sorry to hear you went through that Auntblabby. That is quite an incredible show of patience on your part.



alwaysRootingForTheAI
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 18 Sep 2023
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 17
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

24 Sep 2023, 6:29 pm

I didn't have what I would really call a "friend" until I was 23. We were introduced purely by chance. Sadly, this friendship was short-lived, as we met near the end of a life phase and both left the area for different reasons. By "friend" I mean someone who:

(1) Made me feel seen, heard, included, valued, and happy
(2) Who I enjoyed spending time with
(3) Who I spent time with outside work / school
(4) Who treated me like an equal, and vice-versa

I didn't find a friendship of this quality for another 5 years, and this in spite of tremendous effort invested in trying to learn to emulate and fit in with NTs (which I would sadly say I have mastered). I wouldn't say that being able to fit in with NTs and emulate their behavior is helpful for forming meaningful friendships. But I do think some social skills are really valuable - in particular learning to listen, ask questions, and find common interests.

What I have found being very helpful is going out and meeting people in places where we share a common interest. I've gone on hikes and to various meetups. I've found that maybe 1 in 20 to 1 in 50 of the people that I meet have been able to turn into genuine friends. It is a numbers game. Unfortunately, it's a numbers game that is absolutely exhausting to play, but the payoff is worth the effort.

I've also found that finding just one or two friends can snowball. I met one person I now consider a good friend, and he introduced me to at least 10 of his friends, one of whom I now consider a friend as well. One of the other people I met has introduced me to several people who I now call friends.



blitzkrieg
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jun 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 15,147
Location: United Kingdom

24 Sep 2023, 7:05 pm

Making friends as an adult is difficult, even for NT's. There is an epidemic of loneliness going on society, where people can't even name a single friend they could rely on in an emergency. It is in the news, often.

That said, perhaps an approach to friendship should be made by doing as others have said in the thread, i.e, join clubs, go hiking if you can, find out if there are any autistic meet up groups in your area and so on. The more you put yourself out there, the better chance you have at making one or more friends.



Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,189
Location: Outter Quadrant

24 Sep 2023, 7:06 pm

when you search for friends please be careful....have repeatedly run into psychopaths , that have appeared to be
friendly for a long periods of time . Then when they see a opportunity for anything to profit them ,from getting
something for nothing,to just using you as a scapegoat . But if you find that diamond friend , just let things grow organically . Whenever possible might be best not to lean on that person too hard..Read anything you can on keeping friends ....And being a friend to someone . :wink:


_________________
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
where ever you go ,there you are


bee33
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,370

24 Sep 2023, 9:52 pm

It's very tough and I feel for you. Personally, I have not found self-help and trying to learn to socialize to be useful. It just doesn't feel like it applies and it feels like homework. And I think it would only make me more self conscious. (But I'm not saying don't try it. It might work for you.)

My advice would be to try to be open to the possibility of friendship happening. Interact with people when you can, whether in person or online. It may come to nothing, but now and then I have found that something falls in your lap when it's not expected.

I have very few friends, but I miraculously made a friend about a year ago on Instagram. He was interested in some of my artwork that I had posted, and he wanted to ask me about it, so we met up and he is now one of my closest friends. I have told him that he is like an angel that landed in my life. (I'm an atheist so I don't literally believe in angels, but he is like an angel.) I didn't know that putting that little bit of myself out there would lead to this, and it very well could have not led to anything, but it did.

Many years ago, when I met my second long term partner, who has since died, I was moping at home but I knew there was a party happening that was for an activist group I had been volunteering with, and I thought, well, I definitely won't meet or see any people if I don't at least go.

Even by posting here you are making an effort to make connections.



elastogirl
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 12 Nov 2016
Gender: Female
Posts: 8
Location: Scaggsville, Maryland

24 Sep 2023, 10:18 pm

I know what you mean by psychopaths, yikes and ouch! By now, I’ve learned to really pay attention to the red flags, things I know that will eventually come around to bite me—people with anger issues, rely too heavily on their instincts, more extroverted than thoughtful, negative about others, aggressive, etc. It’s so easy to ignore the signs and think, awww, everyone has flaws. But people like me are too vulnerable and so easy to attack because we don’t fight back. So I look for gentle, smart, analytical people. I avoid people I can’t tell where they’re coming from, what do they really mean, or can't tell if they accept me. For social skills, I find it easier to ask questions, for example: problems at work—what happened? Fixing the house--What’s your favorite thing about it? Exercise--Do you like to run or what? I tried to start an aspie meetup, but got only one member. I threw in the towel after six months. Now I look for events with the 50+ crowd and keep trying.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,811
Location: New York City (Queens)

25 Sep 2023, 2:09 am

elastogirl wrote:
So I look for gentle, smart, analytical people.

Those are the kind of people I've usually looked for too.

elastogirl wrote:
I tried to start an aspie meetup, but got only one member. I threw in the towel after six months.

Very sorry to hear this. Are there any other autistic adult support groups or social groups in your area?


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter / "X" (new as of 2021)


GreenVelvetWorm
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 3 May 2023
Age: 30
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 363
Location: Canada

25 Sep 2023, 2:54 am

I'm also really bad at making friends. I have two actual friends: my partner, who I've been living with for over ten years, and a friend from university, who lives far away now but we keep in touch through text and video chat.

In both cases, they approached me and showed an interest in becoming my friend. It's rare, but it does happen. My advice is to put yourself in situations where there are people around, and where you can show some of your personality. My partner approached me because he thought my clothes and bike were interesting. My university friend approached me because they liked my art. In both cases, I didn't have to go to a party or a typical social gathering



Twiglet
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 24 Sep 2023
Gender: Female
Posts: 72

27 Sep 2023, 11:53 am

I think it depends on why you have no friends.

If you make the social effort, but people are put off by you, then maybe learning social skills would be a great help to you. Alternatively, you could stick with going to social events where you meet just other autistic people. They may find it easier to get on with you.

If you don't have friends because you don't bother socialising or trying to meet people, then maybe you just need to focus on socialising more. The more people you meet, the higher the chance that you'll make a friend.

If you have no friends because you don't socialise due to anxiety, then maybe try getting treatment for anxiety.

If all that fails, try socialising online to try and get an online friend.

If that fails too, at least know that you are not alone. I have no friends either. In my experience, it gets worse with age because there are fewer social opportunities.



Summer_Twilight
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,157

28 Sep 2023, 7:40 am

Have you looked into Best Buddies International? They do lots of cool things.

As for making friends, there are a few unwritten social rules

1. You can't force yourself on other people
2. People don't like it if you are negative, talk about the same topic over and over again
3. People don't like it when we go into lots of details
4. Most people don't really understand what autism is and nor do they want to



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,074
Location: England

03 Oct 2023, 2:32 am

I think something has gone wrong in human society. When I was at school and university, even in my first jobs, I had friends. And I know they were real friends because when I had a breakdown in my 20s and some awful things happened to me, my friends dropped everything to come and help me. I got a lot of support. In fact they helped me a lot throughout the years and I helped them.

But as time wore on and I reached my 30s, friends fell away and when I needed support during that decade, it mostly came from online friends, who couldn't do anything practical to help me, of course.

So it's not just us being bad at making friends- humans have changed and life has changed. Somehow in ways to exclude anyone who is a bit 'different'. Conditions are not as favourable for any 'outsiders' now.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to why that has happened.


_________________
That alien woman. On Earth to observe and wonder about homo sapiens.


blitzkrieg
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jun 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 15,147
Location: United Kingdom

03 Oct 2023, 5:59 am

KitLily wrote:
I think something has gone wrong in human society. When I was at school and university, even in my first jobs, I had friends. And I know they were real friends because when I had a breakdown in my 20s and some awful things happened to me, my friends dropped everything to come and help me. I got a lot of support. In fact they helped me a lot throughout the years and I helped them.

But as time wore on and I reached my 30s, friends fell away and when I needed support during that decade, it mostly came from online friends, who couldn't do anything practical to help me, of course.

So it's not just us being bad at making friends- humans have changed and life has changed. Somehow in ways to exclude anyone who is a bit 'different'. Conditions are not as favourable for any 'outsiders' now.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to why that has happened.


I totally agree with this, KitLily. Society is more selfish, in the current day. :|