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Do any of you fellow autistic people ever like to randomly seek people out to want to befriend?

MOPS

New Member
Hey All,

I am a 23 year old guy that is very high functioning autism. I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome back when I was a kid. I was just wondering, do any of you fellow autistic people tend to like to target / seek out someone specific to want to be friends with at all?

Because most of my friendships came by me literally seeking out someone and basically starting conversations and trying to befriend them. Very often, they could be people that I did not even know or have personally met before but maybe just heard their names through mutual friends. Or sometimes people I met once or twice but do not see them on a daily basis. It's often the vibe, emotional energy, and the position they are in that makes me want to be friends with them.

I often have the idea like this: "I am not looking for friends. I just want to be friends with this specific person." And again it could sometimes be someone that I have never even met, but maybe heard mutual friends talk about him/her and then kind of stalked them on social media a little bit to learn more about them and see whether they'd be a good fit for me or not. I might even ask mutual friends around about him/her and ask if they could see me and him/her being friends.

Here is an example:

A few years ago, during my junior year of college, I was hanging out in my dorms living room with many other people. We were being extremely loud and there were people on the floor below us that were trying to sleep and couldn't. The 4 RAs on my dorm were having a talk because the RAs on the floor below us were complaining about people trying to sleep and we were making a lot of noise. I overheard their conversation and of them mentioned the names, Holly & Hannah (not their real names but I am just using those names for the scenario). I jumped into the conversation and asked who Holly & Hannah were. They told me they were the RAs downstairs. I have never met them before, but immediately took an interest in them and thought to myself: "Hmm, maybe Holly & Hannah would be a good fit for me to pursue friendships with." Then I started asking around about Holly & Hannah, and what they were like. The RAs on my dorm found it so weird and couldn't understand why I was so curious about them.

About a week later, I went downstairs and sought out Holly & Hannah, and then started to talk to them. Within a few weeks, we became friends and I really loved them so much. They are both still my friends til this day. It's not like I shared any life experiences with them at all, but just intentionally sought them out to want to befriend them, without even knowing who they are. The RAs on my floor basically told me that what I did was super weird and they couldn't believe how well it even worked.

How weird is this? Is this actually an autistic thing, or is that just my personality? Because I haven't heard of hardly anyone doing things like this, even other autistic people I know.
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I'm not really like this at all... it takes me a long time to establish a strong enough connection with someone to consider it a "friendship..." and then building up trust takes a long time too. I'm outgoing, and personable, but that doesn't mean I like (or trust) everyone.
But when I develop legitimate close friendships, they become "family" and I wear my heart on my sleeve. Which makes it even more devastating if the friendship doesn't last.

When I was younger I was much more likely to rush into something and label it as a "friendship," like what I described in the other thread earlier. But after getting hurt emotionally too many times and also realizing how annoying I was when I was clingy with friends, and how everyone misinterpreted it as me having romantic feelings for everyone and thinking I was promiscuous, I have much different rules for friendships now.

It takes me a long time, at least a several-month trial period, for me to figure out if I really want to be friends with someone... Do we share interests? Do our values align? Do we get along one on one, or only in a group? Can I talk to them about important things and not just fun things? Do we enjoy the same activities? Do they respect me? Can I trust them with things? Are they the type to start drama, gossip, or talk behind someone's back?
Are they introverted or extroverted? Are they empathetic and kind? Are they using me, or only interested in something shallow about me? Will they help me or give me advice if I need it? Can I rely on them? Can I be helpful to them in some way? Do they see our friendship as meaningful?
And the most important hurdle for me to get over emotionally is: Does this person genuinely like me? Or do they feel "obligated" to be my friend for some reason (like pity) or are they somehow taking advantage of me?
Unfortunately, more often than not, both of those things have been the case with friends I've had.

If someone can pass all (or the majority of) those "tests," and it's been at least a few months, then I do consider them a real friend and will hope that the friendship lasts. I have an expansive social circle in real life but I consider most of those people acquaintances when it really comes down to it. I only have a few "best friends" or very close friends. The reality is unfortunately that a lot of people in the world are not that nice and will take advantage, and that a lot of friendships have an expiration date. I'm saddened by how frequently I've lost friends or had to cut ties. I would really recommend that you spend a lot of time getting to know someone and spending time with them both one on one and in a group setting, before you consider them a close friend.

I have made a couple of mistakes recently with letting people get close to me, and then finding out that our values didn't align, in a significant way. And then ending the friendships was messy.

And as for whether it's an "autistic thing" or not... it varies. There are some extroverted and "personable" autistics (like myself) but there seem to be a lot that are introverted or shy, or socially anxious/uncomfortable. I think it really depends on the individual person and no two people of any neurotype are exactly the same. Personalities are all individual.
You will find some autistic people who are quick to jump into friendships or relationships, and you will find others that are more cautious, and even some who don't really care about making friends.
Hope this helps.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Randomly?

- Never. I'm quite picky and deliberate about who I choose to befriend...and it doesn't happen very often. These days I spend most of my time alone other than to converse with people here.

-Just keeping it real.
 
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Suzanne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Ah, if only that was the case!

It takes me a long time to feel comfortable enough to even contemplate a friendship and even then, unsure how to go about making a friend.

But, maybe that is the difference between an early diagnosis and a late one. I am late.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Nope.
I'm one of the types that don't really have anyone close enough to call friend.
Very cautious about who I allow to be close.
 

Stuttermabolur

A psychologist said so
V.I.P Member
I would also initiate friendships with random people (generally outsiders) when I was a young child (up until maybe 11 or 12), but am now much more selective about friendships after some bad experiences. I'm glad to hear it has worked out for you though.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I go with my gut, and go by vibe. I don't tend to initiate conversations with random people. I probably should, as it's how Meg got starting talking to me, and we get on better than anyone I've met before. Now and then I see people who look different or intriguing. Perhaps I should try and bite the bullet and make conversations with more strangers.

It was a little easier back in the days of (cringe) VampireFreaks and Darkstarlings. They were sites a bit like Myspace but for goths, punks, emos, alternatives etc. You could write a profile, do custom HTML to have backgrounds, GIFs, different designs etc. Some got quite complex with their profile setups. But it was just a nice format to strike up conversations with strangers. Used to do the same on Soulseek. A torrent download site which also had open chat rooms in it.

Online conversations feel a lot comfier for me. But I don't know of any sites outside of forums where I can make an account, talk at length and meet new people. Tried dating sites, but using them just to find friends feels a little duplicitous. People I have got talking to on there often aren't good conversationalists, or randomly just delete their account or unmatch me so I never hear from them again.

Ed
 

Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
I no longer look for friends, but I am friendlier now that I have improved my conversational skills and understanding about people.

I have understood that friendship is more like a temporal alliance that relate to a common group/interest than a live lasting link of respect and care between two souls.

I dont care much about that temporal fragile friendship to put much efford on it.

If it happens, fine. If it doesnt, fine.

Most true friendship experiences I have had are with animals and people with autistic traits. I still dont seek for those activelly.

Im very focused on my family.

Im glad that you are doing friends. :)
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
I can't say that I have or will. Forums are perfect for me...I can reply when I want, I can end the conversation by closing the browser. :) I haven't had a close friend since grade school and I'm now 55 yrs old. I'm ok with that.
 

Darkkin

Lioness of Spoons
V.I.P Member
No. My friends kind of adopted me in college. My group is small, but tight knit. Outside of it, I absolutely never initiate social interaction.
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes, I can relate a bit. Something about someone would catch my interest (something I liked or thought was on the same wavelength) and I would become curious to learn more about them. If things looked favorable and or opportunity appeared I might seek to get to know them. Or might even try to steer things so I had an opportunity. It was hard to just come up cold and just start chatting, that was not my forte, but I could do better if we shared a job task, project or interest.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes I did have particular people I wanted to be friends with, usually because I hero worshipped them a bit, and I sometimes was able to be friends with them. Mostly though I got friends through them picking me, maybe through an interest we shared. Not that I ever have more than 1 or 2 friends, and the second one may often be a friend or partner of the first one...
 

mysterionz

oh hamburgers!
V.I.P Member
Yes and I sometimes hyperfixate on specific ppl I’m friends with/want to be friends with. Lost one “friend” due to this who was relatively rude to other artists and me/my mutuals on insta. Jokes on you Meg as I am better at art now :p
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
No. I know lots of people and among them, there are people I've tried moving from distant acquaintances to friends, but that never happens. I just don't know what to say. We just don't click. Ever. I have a couple of wonderful long-time friends, but how much I can share with them is limited to our social contexts and time and distance.

It's taken me four years to be able to call one of my acquaintances an actual friend. Really, it's because she kept taking the initiative--not me. And I keep thinking I'm going to mess it up and am concerned if I've shared too much about myself or if I've rambled on too much or there are a hundred other scenarios--yet, she's still there. The cool thing is, we click. A lot. Which is a really weird feeling. I can't even tell her how much I feel like I click with her because I'm afraid she'll think it's too weird and not want to be friends anymore. I mean, I keep wondering not if but when I'm going to mess up in navigating this friendship and I'd really like this friendship to last. I don't have a lot of people I can talk to or just visit with, and I have never met anyone who 'gets' me as she does. (I hope that's not too weird.)

I don't know how you could just decide one day to befriend two people you knew nothing about. If I did that, they'd be like, 'hey', and I'd be like, 'hey', and then they'd just turn and walk away and that would be that. I mean, no second chance, no meaningful exchange of words or ideas--just two turned backs and a walk away. So, good for you that you can meet people easily. That must be a real gift.
 

Bolletje

Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
Friendships usually just happen to me, in that I meet people in a certain setting, and after meeting several times, sometimes someone calls me a friend. And then I think, oh, I guess we're friends now.

I had a chat about this with my therapist last week. I've visited a coworker at home a few times this summer and she visited me at home last week (very rare, I don't like having people in my house). My therapist asked me if my coworker is becoming my friend and I just don't know.

This reminds me of something a fellow woman on the spectrum said to me a few weeks ago: I wish I could just hang out with people without having to label them and without having to meet them in different settings. For instance, there's this guy I regularly ran into at a bar. Weused to talk to a lot about music and we often went to concerts together. One day he asked me if I would like to have dinner with him sometime and that was just awkward. So now I just have my music person and my lecture person and my food person.
 

NDR2

Well-Known Member
Making friends has always been hard for me. I’ve always been shy to a degree. When I was little I may have wanted to try to become friends with people, but I often didn’t succeed. In time I generally became more reserved and would wait for people approach me first. It was mainly because I got the impression from the way people acted towards me – people at school and camp, and even some of my sister’s friends - that people were generally not friendly.

In more recent years I’ve tried to become more outgoing and try to make friends with people at different places. I’m still not often successful. It would be nice to be able to approach strangers in public places to try to make friends, but it’s not easy for me, since I don’t have the gift of gab. I have trouble starting conversations and keeping them going.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Randomly? Definitely not. I probably tend to "move faster" than some people, but I kind of get to the point a bit. I have experienced enough that I don't rush most people, but after a certain point, if certain things aren't reciprocated or if I am not able to do enough with so and so within reason, time to move on. People get busy sometimes or want to get busy, but even then, both me and that other person should be good with planning even if we're only meeting in-person and hanging out 1-4 times a year. If someone can't meet me at least once a year and I can't even communicate well with them, not worth keeping the "connection".
 

SRSAutistic

Active Member
In middle school, when I tried to make friends, I was forced to try to pass as NT, which exhausted me at the end of every school day. In 6th grade (Year 7), I joined the chess club and a video production and publishing club, but I still couldn’t make any friends.

In August 2019, I started high school. As soon as I entered high school, I thought, ‘High school is only made for NTs’. This thought crossed my mind as I saw that everyone had friends and cliques. I was the only one in the entire school who did not have any friends. I tried to start a Rubik’s Cube and Sudoku club at my school, but I could not find anyone to help. Being autistic, it was and still is hard for me to make friends. However, some students started stalking and bullying me, and I was forced to try to pass as NT, which was exhausting and tiring. I felt like I had to pretend to be someone else to interact in high school. I used to come home every day feeling exhausted and tired from trying to mask my autism and pass as NT.

Nowadays, when I interact with the autistic community on the forum, I can be myself without judgement, and I am relaxed and rejuvenated. There is no need to mask my autism or pass as NT.
 

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