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Featured Did you grow up wanting friends?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SusanLR, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. I've always wanted friends.

    10 vote(s)
    22.7%
  2. I wanted friends and to feel I belonged, but really didn't know how to go about it.

    24 vote(s)
    54.5%
  3. I wanted friends because it was "the right thing to do."

    6 vote(s)
    13.6%
  4. I never really desired friends, but, sometimes I enjoyed social interactions.

    15 vote(s)
    34.1%
  5. I never developed the want for friends. Don't really understand the concept.

    2 vote(s)
    4.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    Did you naturally want to make friends as a child or did that desire come later in life as
    you grew older?
    Did it ever develop at all?
    Maybe you wanted friends, but, it was difficult to know how to create a friendship?

    I'm interested in this usually normal reaction between fellow humans.
    Are we born with a natural instinct to want friendship connections or is this an instinct
    that is missing in some of us from birth and even as we mature?
     
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  2. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member V.I.P Member

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    I've had some friends growing up, but only about a dozen or less that I really interacted with

    I did have a couple best friends but one moved away and the other when we were in High School, starting in Grade 10 or 11 started to hang out with kids (who were incredibly annoying) that I didn't like
     
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  3. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    i wanted to have friends when i was younger,
    but it think i was more of a question of wanting to belong
    seeing that others had a bond and assuming that that was what was expected of me
    despite being fully aware of the fact that i was different
    but not understanding why

    when i learned to accept myself
    and when i understood what i needed to be happy
    i realised i did not need to belong
    and the need to have friends disappeared
     
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  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I had one "friend" but it was a strange friendship.

    In truth, I think I felt honoured that she wanted to be my friend and looking back, I guess I was obsessed with her, but never in a carnal way.

    My younger sister by two years, had tons of friends. In fact, when we would go away on holiday, within 2 MINUTES of our arrival, she was surrounded by girls and that was pretty much the last we saw of her!

    I was perplexed as to how she did it!

    Me: by the end of the holiday, would just strike up a chat with another girl and I mean, I was very zealous and then, felt crushed that nothing could come out of it. It never occurred to me to ask for a phone number!

    I would often feel frustrated that just as I made a friend, it fizzled out due to circumstances.

    And, unfortunately when it was apparent I could have a friend, I had no idea how to keep it going and so, would deliberately make her back away!

    I have 2 friends now. One only texting and the other texting and face to face.
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember ever desiring friends and have trouble knowing whether or not someone I know is my friend. All of my friends have been people who imposed themselves upon me. Which sounds bad but often hasn't been. Thank God for those kinds of people. :)
     
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  6. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Just speaking as a matter of desire, I've always wanted friends. It's my ideas and expectations that have changed over the years.
     
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  7. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard

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    I was a very friendly kid, but I don't really remember ever actively thinking about wanting friends. Maybe that's because I had friends already. I mostly just wanted people to play with.
     
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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think now that how I am is simpler than neurotypical people, I lack agendas and do not expect or sometimes recognise them in others, and I feel as if the agendas create a level of perplexion or falsity for me, although I see they are important to neurotypicals and probably have aspects I don't utilise in my way of communication.

    Also being relatively unconcerned about norms and more inclined to evaluate evidence and decide based on that, or just go my own way, because it seems right to me, can make me too untypical to be user friendly. So I have tended to expect less and less from others, however also trying and tending not to be negative about this.
     
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  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    When I was a child, I was very aloof. In primary school, I played alone a lot, but sometimes interacted with other kids too, but I had poor social skills and didn't know how to go about it. Those interactions didn't develop into friendships.

    In middle school and high school, I had one or two friends, but only ever one at a time, I never could socialise in groups and didn't belong to a friend group. I always felt like I was tagging along if I sat with them, I hardly spoke and didn't really belong. I remember that I made friends with a girl and was invited to her house to play a couple of times when I was about 13, but I went exploring in her garden but didn't do typical girly things like chatting, if you know what I mean. Then, she made friends with another girl who did do chatty, girly stuff. Their interaction was more fluid back and forth, on a totally different level, I just hadn't developed the ability I guess and I immediately felt left out. I left them to it and didn't speak to that girl again. And that has been the pattern of my friendships - one or two friends and no more, not able to join in groups, not belonging to friendship groups and not included, only able to interact with one person at a time.

    Now, as an adult, I don't feel I need to make friends, I'm happy with my own company and know that I don't need them to be fulfilled or happy.
     
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  10. Graphin

    Graphin Master procrastinator

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    Earlier at least, I mostly didn't want friends because I wanted friends, but because I wanted to play or pass time
     
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  11. Moomin

    Moomin “My servants never die!”

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    I’ve had a few friendships growing up. Retaining those friendships was another matter. I found that when I was a child (so pre-diagnosis) that once we hit high school that it became a lot harder to keep and make friendships. When previously, a small elementary school in a small village we knew each other , so it was easier. In high school, I went to an all girl school, so quickly discovered that I was highly out of place. And was subjected to heavy bullying by those harpies because of it. I then did homeschooling, until I went to university. University was a good experience for me overall. I did meet people, many on the spectrum, who I did form friendships with however, I still felt like an outsider. I don’t think I’ll get over that feeling. I want a friend who has me in their inner circle. Not me on the outside to make up a number.

    It’s one of the reasons why I’m reluctant to make friendships again. I’ve become highly jaded by people. Suspicious, cautious, confused. I’m jealous that my sibling can make friendships who like them so much much.

    To be honest, I don’t really know what I want.
     
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  12. Annanda

    Annanda Active Member

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    When I was a little girl I didn't feel the need of a friend. I was always occupied with creating something by myself and others would have been disturbing, I guess. I had a brother who is nearly my age and a mother, who was fluctuating between her tremendous need of attention and complete (mental) absence. I was already overwhelmed by these two.
    Much more than humans I desired an animal to be my friend.
    My parents "forced me" into a friendship, when I was five years old, it worked out fine for five years or so, but we didn't become best friends, the neighbors girl and me. Another girl of my age used to stay two afternoons in a week in our house, when I was in elementary school, because her parents were at work and couldn't take care of her. She was the beloved, only child in her family and her neurotypical, in my eyes sometimes mean behavior brought me to really hate her. I was glad, when she didn't stay in our house anymore.
    For some years I was lonely, but comforted myself with my books, the rare friendships, that occurred didn't last long, because of my autistic traits.
    When I was thirteen, my grandfather presented me with a little dog and I was perfectly happy.
    Then the need of belonging to a social group dawned at me, because I was bullied a lot in my early teenage years. I actively searched and found several groups, who accepted me with my need of my own space. But I never belonged to the very inner circle of these groups. They would leave me out at some gatherings. But needing a lot of time to practice music, it wasn't a problem at all for me.
    Later in live I had friendships time and again, some lasted longer others not. But it seemed to me, if I wasn't able to feed the needs of my friends anymore, the friendship would end up.
    So I rediscovered, that I'm perfectly happy with myself having enough space to follow my various interests.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  13. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I wasn't aware of "wanting to make friends" when I was a child.
    There were kids that I played with and some were more fun than others.
    The girls next door and the brother and sister across the corner were
    my friends. Also, depending on which year it was, one or the other
    of various girls I met at school.

    The school was right across the street from my house so it was like
    having my own personal playground. All of the kids on that side of the
    block felt that way, I think. No fence around the playground.
     
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  14. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Made friends easily when I was a child. Grew up in a tiny house on a street of eight homes. All the families who lived there included veterans of the second world war. Veterans were employed by a nearby business after the war. In order to live there, you had be employed by the business, be a veteran, and have more than one child.

    Everyone on the street knew one another, and all were working class. It was like one large extended family with different christian religions and languages. Children were similar ages, so I had several friends who were my exact age, and others who were the same age as siblings. When we played games like hide and seek and red rover and kick the can, there were twenty or more children playing at the same time.

    Children were looked after by mother's and grandmothers who were home at all times. As many mother's had other infants or toddlers. The homes were tiny so most children played outside in a common area which was a large field. Children went in and out of other children's homes during the day. To listen to music, have their cuts bandaged, eat a cookie or a sandwich. We all knew who had cookies, fruit, or who would give us juice or milk as a snack.

    It was a bit like a collective of families, we shared bikes, skateboards, roller skates, toboggans. So the place that I grew up, came with ready-made friends as it was understood that we would play outside with one another.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  15. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid I had friends. But when I became a teenager the others became interested in teenager things while I did not and was still into kid things. So I no longer related to most teens my age and they would bully me. Also the whole making friends thing that seemed to come naturally when I was a kid became something I was clueless about when I became older.
     
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  16. musicalman

    musicalman Active Member

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    I always wanted friends. I am not the type of person to find comfort in being alone. I'm very shy but still seek good company. I've always had trouble making friends because I'm just so different. I was quite an odd kid so my childhood isn't very interesting if you consider the amount of socialization I did. But over time I have met people who I consider friends. A couple are close, most are not, but I like having a balance. The friends I have are a little weird/geeky but I couldn't have it any other way. It feels so awesome when I am talking to one of them about something and nobody else knows what we're talking about. I suppose it's a quiet comeback of sorts to my moments during childhood when I basically just had to look on as everyone else was hitting it up and having the best time. I couldn't do that until somewhat recently. I didn't know what it was like to want to really spend hours with someone unless it was a close family member. But now I know. It isn't quite the dream ride that my childhood self expected, but nothing ever is lol. But I can certainly say I found what I was looking for. I think the reason I have the friends I do is because we sort of just found each other but weren't looking for new friends necessarily. Every time I intentionally looked for friends, I was an awkward mess. And during my childhood I thought there was some discrete process to finding friends. But if I found someone who seemed open, and I just let myself relax without trying to make a friend out of it, then it worked out better. Probably sounds like common sense to most of you, but for me it is hard advice to follow because I think too hard about everything. I guess what I take from all this is that at the end of the day the real connections that build a friendship aren't all intellectual, a lot of the deeper stuff is just raw feelings and vibes that you don't have a chance to think about until after the fact.
     
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  17. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Odd Autie Out

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    I have always been quite happy with my own company, a lot/most of the time....but not all of the time. So I suppose I have always wanted friends.

    When I was a child I had no idea how to initiate social interaction with others. I was friends with children who befriended me -- if no other children had befriended me, I would have had no friends.

    When I started elementary school I sometimes wanted to play with other kids, but had absolutely no idea how to go about it. Sometimes I would stand near them as an attempt to join in....at some point I would usually be told to go away. (I was not hoping to be invited to play; In my mind, physical proximity was joining in and being a part of the group.)

    When I learned the script "Can I play?" it didn't work very well, unless the kids whose game I wanted to join had already befriended me in some other context....in which case I usually didn't have to ask in the first place -- I would be invited before the game began.

    By adolescence I had learned more flexible scripting but I had mostly given up on trying to initiate social activity because I had been rejected so many times (I would attempt to extend my own invitations to socialize only after a person had invited to me to participate in a social activity at least once or twice, which suggested they might actually want to do things with me).

    I think desire for the emotional intimacy/general support/connectedness parts of friendship didn't develop until I was in mid-late adolescence.
     
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  18. Bronzelincolns

    Bronzelincolns Active Member

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    the contentment with my own company came at the age of 30. before then I had a very strong desire to connect with people. since turning 30, I've become more and more accustomed to being by myself.
     
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  19. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Friends are OK. But I wanted other things more. My own castle. Lots of money. You know, the important things in life.
     
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  20. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know, I'm not sure. I don't think I really wanted friends but was always pressured by family to make friends, which was very difficult. I know I was always happier playing alone and really didn't like when my mom would make me go out and play with a neighbor or something. I think eventually it became an expectation for myself but I was never good at it, struggled with it and it was just frustrating. So I guess I thought you were SUPPOSED to make and have friends even though I didn't really want them. And when I did think I made a friend it was just disappointing.
     
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