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bguimaraes
Snowy Owl
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25 Jul 2014, 1:54 am

Warning: this will be long and boring, but please help me...

I have seen that NT's usually have close friends. I never had close friends in my life because they don't last long time, and if I have one friend, it's just one by time.
I had only one in high school because we had a common interest. I remember one day she hugged me, and said "Oh this is the first time you let me hug you, that's cool!", so I realized that NT's like to hug friends, something that I don't like, and I felt bad for this. (Even this text I'm writing I'm feeling bad because I feel like this is all my fault).
Another year, another friend, but this time was different, she started complaining that no one can say what I'm feeling and your friendship finished with this quote "Stop with this poker face, sometimes everybody thinks you don't have feelings". All because she was sad, started crying because a boy and all I did and said was NOTHING. What people expect we do? Cry together? Say lies for example "You'll find someone better". I really don't understand what could have been done!
So this year, a girl started calling me to hang out. We have nothing in common, just the same college, I keep thinking if I have another friend she will realize that something is wrong with me, that I really don't want to go out to talk about things that I don't care. My family keeps saying that I should have friends. They don't know that friends makes me anxious, sometimes I wish they could understand that I really like to spend a long time on my own and NT's just like to be aaaaaall the time there, making callings, asking for go out, expecting we feel the same (and if I feel the same, I can't even know how to express it). I see that everybody want's friends, but I don't want anymore, I like more the friends that I make online, than in real life. Please, someone here tell me that I'm not the only one. Do you guys think I should give a chance for friendship after all I said?! :roll:



nerdygirl
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25 Jul 2014, 4:38 am

Friendship is very important.

When I was growing up, I only had one "real" (close) friend at a time. For periods, I would go without any (usually because that one friend would move away.) There were kids I would talk to at school, but outside of school I spent a lot of time alone. In my case, it was not because I liked it. I wished that I had friends like my sister. She was always the social butterfly, getting invited here, there, and everywhere. She still has many of the same friends she had in high school and college, while all my former friendships have dissipated into thin air for reasons unknown to me.

But, I relate to friends differently than my sister, so I can't be the same way. I prefer talking to one friend, one on one. We could do activities together, too, but one on one. I don't like groups, and I definitely will not let people really get to know me in a group setting. I'd ideally like to have two or three close friends because I feel like I am so intense that I would "burn out" just one friend. And sometimes, the one friend is busy.

But, I still want friends, and I still need them. I found my best friend for life in college, and we got married. :D But other than that, I have no close friends. I see other married women who are always going out and having "girls' nights out" and chatting on the phone and whatever. I don't get invited, I don't get calls. The only people I really see socially are my family members.

I can see, though, that friends are important in old age. If something were to happen to my husband, I'd need someone to really talk to. Life can bring a tremendous amount of stress, and sometimes we really need someone to talk to in order to relieve that tension. There have been some very difficult times in my marriage when I wished I had someone to talk to besides my husband. Either, we were having troubles in our relationship at that point, or we were both so stressed out about a situation we were facing that we couldn't be a real support to each other.

So, for these reasons, I keep looking for real friends. They are hard to find. I once had someone in college tell me I was a lousy friend, coming across selfish/uncaring/unemotional. My college years really helped me develop some empathy.

I feel like I "connect" at that special level which I can't describe with *very* few people, and I can't always develop a relationship with the few that I feel I connect with. But I keep looking...



persian85033
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25 Jul 2014, 8:49 am

I used to want friends when I was in elementary school, but no one liked me. Eventually, I saw that I don't really need friends. I have my pets, my books, my collections, what more could I possibly need? Well, apart from money to add to my collections. Although I do meet people I like very much. There are a couple of volunteers at work, and I've grown very fond of them. We have a few things in common, and I can talk to them about them. I do consider them friends, but they're different other people I've met. I really like them.


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Norny
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25 Jul 2014, 8:59 am

When I don't have friends, I feel that I don't need them, but then I make some friends and don't understand how I could have possibly felt that way.

Not only do you get to do group activities (including movies, though you can solo those), but having someone to hug is the best thing (for me)...

..unless they are sweaty or gross... then no thanks. =)


I don't think you should ever give up on friendship. You will make a good one eventually, that is just like you. Perhaps they will be autistic.


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Girlwithaspergers
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25 Jul 2014, 12:13 pm

I had one close friend in elementary and middle school. However, she had other friends that she preferred over me and I only hung out with her because our mothers were friends. She was very obese and made fun of me for being smaller than the other kids, which really bothered me at the time. She would also bad mouth her other friends to me so I could do it and then she would tell them. Plus, we always liked all the same boys which wasn't good.

High school was a little different. I had one friend there also and a male one at that. We were very close and sometimes flirted and acted like more than friends, but we never labeled it as such. I stopped hanging out with him the last year when I switched classes and I tried to contact him after graduation, and he was somewhat congenial at first, but later stopped replying to my emails without warning. As I have mentioned before, he, unlike my first friend, had AS traits but I don't think he was diagnosed, and it is possible that he was just one of those quirky NTs.

To be honest, I have kind of given up on having friends after this, although it could be said that I gave up long ago when I had tried to be popular which was a special interest of mine in years 4-5. I never did succeed in gaining the popularity I sought in school, and most of the popular kids would engage me a little, but then they would just brush me off as a pest or as uncool.


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League_Girl
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25 Jul 2014, 12:49 pm

I gave up in my teens. I figured out they were making excuses to avoid me when I read about it online. They always had something to do. Yeah that is how they avoid you. I apparently took the hint when I gave up and lost interest even though I didn't know it at the time. I just thought they were too busy. They may have been nice to me but I don't think they liked me as a friend, only as something else. In elementary school I would be told to go away. In high school, it was kids getting mad at me and then being mean when I would try and interact with them. I remember the support I would get would be "Only two more years and then you are done" and I always said "But then there is college and work" thinking it won't end. But after I graduated, I find people are more mature. Plus I don't really talk to anyone or join in any conversations and lot of people in my work all spoke a different language and they were hard to understand when they spoke English. I also don't go out of my way to try and invite anyone

I don't think I ever had a true friend. I found out in junior high someone was my "friend" because she was just being nice. But we were not friends, we were just acquaintances. She also didn't like me as a friend. When I asked if she wanted to come to my house, she couldn't because she had to "take care of their horses." In elementary school, my own friends were mean to me and I was the last one they wanted to play with. I had a love hate relationship with one of them. I think I can only think of two friends I had who were never mean to me and that was third grade. But then we weren't friends anymore because school year got out and then started again and we were in different classes so we lost touch even though I kept seeing them through school but we didn't play together. I think that happens with everyone, people move on and it's pretty rare to have a friend from your childhood. I did have a bunch of friends when I was seven and eight before I went to mainstream because I was in a special class with other special kids. But outside of that class, lot of kids didn't like me and only few few did and were friends with me but only in homeroom, a mainstream class I would go to for music, PE or Library. But I never invited any of them to my house and I never went to theirs, we only played in school. I also played alone too. I can think of some other kids in middle school who I considered a friend and were never mean to me or told me to go away. I was friends with a girl who was an outcast in her grade and she also came to my house and we always played together until she moved. She always came over with her brother. I was also friends with someone who had Down's syndrome when I was 12 and 13 right before we moved and I saw her again in 14 years but she wasn't interested or didn't seem excited to see me and her mom told me she had gotten private. I realized we had outgrew each other and didn't seem to have things in common. I did notice she had changed too based on how her room looked and I noticed she was more polite and more mature. I could have caught her on the wrong day but who knows. She had just gotten home that day and maybe needed to rest and be alone.

I also had some weird friendships. In middle school, there was this boy who always wanted to do a fist fight so we were always boxing at each other and always asking me "how was Mexico?" and a teacher always had to tell us to stop but in high school, his personality changed and he was a jerk, rude and inconsiderate.

In 4th grade, I was attending basketball camp for about a month and there was this girl in class who always talked to me but she was also rough with me too verbally and would act mad at me and then nice.

In second grade, I had this best friend from my early years and she started to get mean to me so I was mean to her back and we both bugged the living daylights out of each other in class but at home we would be friends but on the bus she would make fun of me.

But how much of my friends were actually my friends than acquaintances I cannot answer. An aspie may claim to have a lot of friends when really they are just acquaintances or the friends they have are not real or they could mean their teacher or other adults because they always talk to them.


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jk1
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25 Jul 2014, 1:15 pm

I think it would be nice if you have a friend you are comfortable spending time with. It surely would bring some joy into your life. But if you can't fine someone like that, then you might as well be alone. You shouldn't go out of your way to find a friend. You should just listen to your heart, not other people's wishes/pressure.

My experience is similar to yours and some other posters'. If I became friends with someone, it was only for a short time. I don't think I ever had a true friend. It was disappointment after disappointment. Many people tend to judge you by your reputation. I'm still hoping to find a friend but I certainly won't go out of my way to find one. If it happens, it happens. I don't mind being alone.



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25 Jul 2014, 1:33 pm

First, yes I do relate to what your saying about preferring solitude. But my personal desires change concerning friendship at different times. Sometimes I wanted them, and the environment more or less pushed me in that way, and sometimes I didn't and withdrew as much as I could without withdrawing completely. I don't think it a good idea to pull away completely from socializing. So for me what worked was always keeping a foot in both camps, that is having a private life, but also having contacts for occasional social life.

I also tended to have one really good friend, but it had to be based on some common interest or else it went nowhere and could be messy.

When I was in a relationship, I basically was fulfilled socially and didn't need friends, but would maintain those that my partner needed to be happy. My partners always were and is now NT, and they usually do need more then me socially to be happy.

So as a suggestion, I would say keep looking for a friend that does have common interests or has a personality you enjoy (and doesn't make too much demand of your time). This way you have someone to go places with and explore outer space (real life) as well as inner space (internet life). I think there is a balance and you have to have both to be truly happy, but the proportion is probably different for each person.



Transyl
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25 Jul 2014, 2:17 pm

The tension that is caused by my lack of physical expressiveness and not talking is palpable. Most people want to talk all the time. To hear another person's constant vocal inflections like excitement, laughter, crying, etc. But I seem incapable of this on any kind of remote consistency. Like you, even when I agree with people, I still struggle with expressing that. With most of my friends it simply ended up that they did all the talking. Which in theory was okay. Except that I wasn't expressing myself. Not their fault like I said. I just couldn't do it. So it made me feel bottled up, inferior, and depressed. Also if I'm around groups of people I'm as quiet as a ghost. This made friendships a constant challenge.

Online is a lot easier for me. I can express myself. Not that online is perfect. The level of negative confirmation bias can be quite high if you have insecurity and anxiety. It's easy to think someone insulted you because the wording is ambiguous and the atmosphere is difficult to read.

Anyways, I think I understand what you're feeling. It's really hard for some of us to have friends and keep them happy. Sometimes it's hard for us to be happy with friends. Wish I knew a fix for this but I don't. All I can do is wish you well.



bguimaraes
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25 Jul 2014, 5:44 pm

I feel better now reading all those stories, because I feel bad when I say I don't want people around me, everybody makes a face like "What the heck are you talking about?", now I see that everybody in this post feels the same.
I still thinking this, the best friend that I may have, possibly will have the same problem that I do.
I know I can't expect people be like me, of course, but if this person doesn't want so much attetion like all the NT's people I know, will be ok for me. I get very anxious in places with a lot of people, sounds, colors (I'm not crazy), so maybe this friend will have to watch a lot of series with me than going out hahaha :roll:



Transyl
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25 Jul 2014, 8:38 pm

None of the friends I had growing up were big on watching series. But one friend that I made in high school was able to get into it. A few times we watched a whole season of Supernatural together. He'd bring over brownies that he or his mom made. It's hard to explain yet I was able to talk to him easier than the others.

People were quite fond of him yet he was shy. He'd say that he'd rather just hang out with me. That I understood him better. It's as if he saw part of me that other's didn't. Or maybe they saw that part of me but didn't relate to it like he did. Sometimes friendships surprise you.

There's probably no reason to say this but... just don't sacrifice your safety or integrity to please anyone. Drinking and all that. It's not worth it. Danger is never worth it. Even if all that happens is your sick for two days vomiting. Nothing about that is fun.



ResilientBrilliance
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25 Jul 2014, 9:09 pm

In theory, I would like friends. But in actuality, I can't seem to stay friends with anyone.
I've struggled with friendships since the end of elementary school. I saw college as an opportunity to finally make friends, but that never really happened. I found my college "friends" to be more annoying than fun. To be fair, I get annoyed with people very, very easily. And unfortunately I have little need for socializing so it's hard for me to put up with their annoyances for the sake of socializing. You're right when you say NTs have a huge need for socializing. If they spend one second alone, they start to feel lonely. "Lonely" is not a concept I truly grasp.
My lack of social skills also makes friendships or simply socializing difficult. I don't have the right tone or facial expression. Today a stranger told me I look like someone killed my best friend. Uh, ok. The truth is, I'm not concerned with how my face looks or how I appear to people because faking it is too much work.
Additionally, I can't seem to "connect" with anyone. In fact, I didn't realize that friends feel some sort of emotional bond until I was 21. :? I realized this from reading forum posts about how people feel about their friends. I've never felt connected to any of my friends, hence I never missed them. It might be that I didn't relate to them. I once read a post on here that postulated that NTs talk more for emotion than for the subject matter. I agree with that. So basically I would be talking because I find the subject (e.g. movie, book, etc) interesting, while they are too focused on looking at my face and trying to guess my emotion.
I have 0 friends at the moment. I could seek some friends, but it's actually more work than fun to be friends for me.



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25 Jul 2014, 9:45 pm

ResilientBrilliance wrote:
To be fair, I get annoyed with people very, very easily. And unfortunately I have little need for socializing so it's hard for me to put up with their annoyances for the sake of socializing.


Same with me.

I do get very lonely though and would LIKE to have friends. But I usually end up feeling more lonely being around people than I do when I'm alone.



midnightfrost88
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25 Jul 2014, 9:52 pm

I don't have any close friends at the moment. I wish that I have a few close friends who can relate to me and actually care about my feelings. Although I do like to spend most of my time alone, there have been times that I wanted to interact with someone apart from my family and work. I don't think I understood what it meant to be lonely until I was transferred into the general classroom in the 5th grade. After the first of class, none of my classmates one spoke to me or asked me to participate in any games or activities. Some of them were nice enough in class, but they did not interact with me at lunch or recess. The others would only talk to me if they wanted something or to be mean. My mother finally told me I had autism when I was in 6th grade. I didn't have a friend until 8th grade. Most of the time, we would read during lunch and talk about anything we had read. Reading was a great outlet for me during junior high and high school. When my family moved in my junior year of high school, I didn't have any friends. I didn't try though because I was afraid that they would somehow find out I was autistic. So I kept my distance from others. It was when I first went to college that I had a small group of friends. We were members of a christian organization and would often find someplace after the meetings to hang out. They were one of the best times of my life. I felt that I had finally belonged somewhere. However I was unable to continue attending that school and dropped out. I ended up losing connection with most of them. Long story short, I have difficulty with making friends and keeping them.