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_steven
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18 Nov 2020, 6:24 pm

Hi,

Self-diagnosed aspie here. (Although many close acquaintances have also mentioned that I probably have autism or said that I'm weird without further specifying in what way.)

I've been working from home for the most part of this pandemic. Now I'm sitting here in my home office wondering why I don't have any friends to hang out with after work. I certainly can't think of anyone to hang out with. Not even my closest coworkers, because I've always treated our relationships as entirely professional. I even get uncomfortable talking about private situations with them during work hours. Especially because I haven't "come out" to them.

Still, I feel like I should try harder to make friends at work.

Before the pandemic, I observed many of my coworkers talking to each other about their personal situations. I'm also aware that it's common for them to meet up after work or during weekends for drinks or other activities such as sports. I just rarely get asked to participate, and I've always lacked the initiative to organize something myself. I try to participate as much as possible when someone else takes the lead. But... I've never been invited to anything other than staff meetings since the start of the pandemic.

All in all, I do consider these people to be my friends, but I'm not sure if they feel the same way about me. I've never felt left out, but maybe I should?

Anyway I'd like to hear your stories about friendships with coworkers.



AuroraBorealisGazer
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18 Nov 2020, 7:44 pm

I get along with my co-workers and even like some of them, but I have no interest in hanging out with any of them outside of work. They do things together and pre-pandemic they would occasionally invite me, but after working all day around people I need to decompress and going out would go against my routine. Maybe if I had one co-worker I really felt could be a good friend, I might try harder. But I'm fairly content. Maintaining friendships can be stressful.



Dial1194
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19 Nov 2020, 11:31 pm

It's certainly different for everyone. I've never felt any drive towards making friends, and in particular in workplaces I've tended towards the mindset of keeping work and private lives at arm's length. I don't socialize, I politely turn down invitations to after-work and weekend events, or to join clubs or circles.

I do try not to be a dick about it; I'm simply uninterested to the point where I really don't want to find myself in the position of pouring ongoing time and effort into things I'm unlikely to ever get any kind of joy or satisfaction out of. To me, it's simply not worth the pain and drudgery of having to hang out with someone for a thousand hours in order to have someone who I could borrow a trailer or fifty bucks off. Even the possibility of getting a personal reference, something which can be almost mandatory in some things these days, makes me look at the sheer mountain of despair and stress I'd have to haul myself up to maybe get to that point and think "No. Just no."



irreversibility
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20 Nov 2020, 10:59 am

So, you are asking for stories about people on the spectrum having friendships at work?

And,... I can't help you. When I started my current job, I did try and socialize with co-workers. I visited some people's apartments, we formed a racquetball club, I talked to people when there was Birthday cake in the office. It just didn't work out. I didn't take racquetball seriously enough, people wanted to learn and share information that would improve their careers, they wanted to do things that led towards marriage, family, and kids. There is one other guy in the office who is never-married and doesn't actively socialize, but I never feel like I've gotten anywhere in the few times I've talked with him. I'm just happy that I've gotten better with small talk in general. Just yesterday I had a very nice 'How are you handling COVID?' conversation with someone who is over in India.

Best I can tell you, You are not alone!

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funeralxempire
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20 Nov 2020, 11:20 am

I have a few.


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Steve1963
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20 Nov 2020, 11:23 am

You don't have to brag about it. :)

I have none. :(



Joe90
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20 Nov 2020, 1:48 pm

I've always wanted to be part of a group at work, as in a clique and friends to meet up with outside of work, that sort of thing.

I used to feel left out at work when this girl used to work there (she was about 5 years younger than me so basically she was the same age group as me).
There were 3 guys there too, also in the same age group as us. The girl was immediately accepted by those 3 guys, but although I made the same effort to be accepted, I just wasn't (only one of the guys spoke to me but it was mostly down to the "leader" of the group to decide who's in the clique and who wasn't).
So anyway one day I heard the "leader" say something about planning a day trip to a theme park, and he said, "we can go, us group" (meaning the 3 guys and the girl). So they sat there planning this day out that sounded fantastic, and I sat there feeling so left out. I didn't want to invite myself, but I did hint that I love theme parks and that I enjoy any type of rollercoasters, but they didn't invite me. To make it worse, they wanted a fifth person to go with them, so they could have easily asked me. But instead they decided to invite this girl who I knew before they did but one of the guys had a futile crush on her (even though she was married), so she went with them and I felt so hurt. And she apparently ended up spoiling their day when she had a meltdown on a rollercoaster (she is not autistic, she just got scared of the rollercoasters) and didn't go on any more rides after that. I wouldn't have done that.
Then after the weekend of their trip, they came to work talking about it, and it sounded like such a fun day (despite the girl being afraid of the rides). I just felt so hurt and left out, that I began to secretly hate them (except for the guy who spoke to me). I jumped for joy the day the girl left the job, because the clique doesn't seem to bother me any more since she left. I suppose it was because I was friends with her so I expected to be more included when she was around. She was just too self-centered to care about me, as long as she was being included.

But I just wanted to experience actually having a day out with friends from work. I would feel so NT if I did that, and I know I'll enjoy it too.

But we have some new guys working there now and I must say I am actually very included, so after this shitty pandemic is over maybe we'll get to meet up outside of work, as friends (and bring our partners too).


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kraftiekortie
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20 Nov 2020, 2:29 pm

I have quite a few "acquaintances" at work----but really only a couple of "friends." None of them really close to being a "bestie."

Being part of a clique has its drawbacks----trust me!



The_Face_of_Boo
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21 Nov 2020, 5:08 pm

Only one from a previous work.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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22 Nov 2020, 12:17 am

The girl that had the nerve to tell me to pull up your pants, just snapped at me today. But she didn't tell me that I did anything wrong. Maybe she is biased against me

One woman keeps calling me "sweetie" and "my friend", but that might be figurative

Some spiders are nice, but that could just be to everyone

Some rodents are kind of curt but likewise

Luckily I don't have to sit around trying to have a conversation with the lil dipshits



AuroraBorealisGazer
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22 Nov 2020, 2:25 am

Joe90 wrote:

So anyway one day I heard the "leader" say something about planning a day trip to a theme park, and he said, "we can go, us group" (meaning the 3 guys and the girl). So they sat there planning this day out that sounded fantastic, and I sat there feeling so left out. I didn't want to invite myself, but I did hint that I love theme parks and that I enjoy any type of rollercoasters, but they didn't invite me. To make it worse, they wanted a fifth person to go with them, so they could have easily asked me.


I can relate. I've experienced this many times. I have conditioned myself to expect to not get invited. Sometimes the feeling of being left out still creeps up on me even when I don't care as much.



Cephalopod
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22 Nov 2020, 3:16 am

Depends on the job. Currently, no. Environment affects everything, and some places lend themselves well to assimilate yourself, and other places, no matter how kind or a good worker you are, people just dislike you for being you. This is even more strained when you're on the spectrum and/or in conservative/rigid regions. Damned if you tell them, damned if you dont. In toxic work environments, disclosing ASD would simply give people more gossip and prying room into your personal life. Sucks.



adromedanblackhole
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28 Nov 2020, 2:12 am

Yes to the above! It depends on the environment and nature of the work. I would suggest the degree of competitiveness or cooperativeness is the biggest factor for how friendly a person should allow themselves to be in their work environment. The more competitive, the more you should keep your friendly but firm professional distances. It is unlikely a genuine interest in friendship is at play and more likely you are being sized up in terms of what kind of a threat you might be to someone else's livelihood or chances of promotion. I mostly see my coworkers are wolves in sheep's clothing and reveal as much about myself as professionally necessary. What I have found that I would hope others can counter, your work friends are ***not*** your friends. It's a shame because you end up spending a great deal of your life with people who fundamentally do not care for you whatsoever.

It definitely varies country by country I'm sure. And different industries as well, different roles. I'm describing my experience in a corporate American environment. It would be radically different I would imagine in a more collaborative environment, say being on a team of computer programmers etc, still in the US just a radically different work culture.



EJoy29
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29 Nov 2020, 1:43 pm

When I first worked at jobs, I had zero. I felt disliked and misunderstood. The more jobs I worked at, the easier it was to have a little more of a sense of connection and friendship potential. Although I haven’t made friends, I’ve had some people at work express interest in me and appreciated my good qualities. Hope is always there in making friends. You just have to keep picking up on the social cues and whatnot.