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Featured Forming and maintaining friendships

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by SparklAng, May 21, 2018.

  1. SparklAng

    SparklAng Well-Known Member

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    In the past year or so I have started to attempt to form connections with others. I have formed some friendships with some people, but honestly it is so exhasting. And the deeper the connection that I feel for a person, the more I rely on their company. I get terrified of making people angry. But when I check if they are angry with me, they get annoyed. I am so lonely. I know I am a difficult friend, but I try so hard. I feel like I have scared everyone off now. And I am not sure what to do to prevent this in the future, but also build some new friendships. Can anyone relate to this/ have any advice. It would be much appriciated.
     
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  2. Lichi

    Lichi Think of an idiot, only smarter.

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    I’m 29, I still haven’t figured out how to make friends or have the ones that I have stay. Generally the boundary of when someone goes from acquaintance to friend is blurred out to me.

    I have 3 people I consider friends in my life. They were all people I didn’t feel the pressure to impress. I could be the silliest person in front of them and they would still be ok. They were ok with me not replying to messages. In fact one of them wrote me a bunch of times since January and yesterday out of impulse I wrote back “I love you” and she responded “you have to get out of your anxiety thingy”.

    My advice is to not set a criteria for your friendship and how it should be. Everyone is different, just like you, all friendships will be different. Give the people a bit space to miss you. Don’t be with people who require you to be out of your comfort zone too much. Be who you are at your own pace. Open up only when you want to, and as much as you feel comfortable with at the moment.
     
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  3. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've only had a small hand full of IRL friends in my life, mostly from keeping to myself in school

    And if you'd like, you're more than welcome to PM me :)
     
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  4. saturn123

    saturn123 Active Member

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    Hi! I can relate to the social exhaustion. After most social events (anywhere with people), I get really tired and get a headache afterward. Most of the time, I would need to de-stress alone in my room for couple of hours in a quiet environment to regain my energy to function again. I can also relate to difficulty making friends and feeling very lonely at times. If you would like, I could be your friend:) It seems like I am quite similar to you and share many of your interests (I am a 17 year old girl from USA who LOVEs Biology and is aspiring to become a surgeon as well. I also like astronomy and art).
     
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  5. SparklAng

    SparklAng Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone constantly feel at the mercy of other people? Like they are chasing and doing everything they can to maintain a friendship. I really want a friend who values me as much as I value them (and we have equal feelings about the amount of time we want to spend with eachother). Is that even possible?

    To give an example/ context:

    Currently I am living in a care setting with other people about the same age as me. Prehaps this is magnified because of the amount of time we spend with eachother, but I am becoming increasingly confused by the behaviour of my peers (regarding friendships)

    Somone I live with has gone from letting me spend time with them, and building up our friendship, giving me advice etc. to saying that they are not angry with me but dont want to talk for a few weeks. It is so odd. It kind of hurts, because I was so happy at the relationship I invested so much energy into.... but it seems like they can now ditch me whenever just because they feel like it (but still talk to everyone else)

    And another person who I live with rarely wants to spend time with me. I really do value our time spent together.... but I am exhasted, constantly trying to figure out why she wants to spend time with others and not me. I would choose her over anyone. But I am scared of saying this. I dont want to hurt her.

    Any experiences/ opinions/ thoughts/ advice on this post would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)
     
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  6. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think some people just want some time to themselves, despite enjoying the company of others

    Some may also think they're spending too much time with one person and not enough with another

    It's not too uncommon I'd say

    And you're more than Welcome to PM if needed or you just want to out of boredom :)
     
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  7. SparklAng

    SparklAng Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, your comment was really helpful :) And thank you for offering me to pm you. It is really appriciated.
     
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  8. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're welcome :)
     
  9. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    People have different stages of friendship. People generally have friends they are closer to than others. It may be because of conflicting interests, personalities, differing views, etc. No matter how hard it is, I try to not take it personally, because human chemistry isn't something that really can be helped. It either happens or it doesn't. It can just fade away like that.

    One suggestion I have for you is to not invest so much energy into a friendship if the friend isn't doing the same for you. Friendships are all about give and take. If your friend isn't really putting much effort in the friendship, then it's probably not going to be a really close one. At the same time, the friend may be going through something in their life that is causing them to withdraw or you may have done something to upset them/turn them away (not trying to accuse you here), so that is worth looking into if the particular friendship really does matter to you.

    If you would like someone to talk to, feel free to PM :)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  10. Lichi

    Lichi Think of an idiot, only smarter.

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    I have friends like that. It’s a “it’s not you, but it’s you” dilemma. It’s not a problem with who you are as a person or enjoying the time I have with you. The problem is all the stimuli that I am going through when I am with you that I need to balance down and set it in to. It’s usually overwhelming and I need to settle in to the whole situation so I need to retract from the main trigger of all this commotion of feeling, which is that one person. I still enjoy their company, I just need to neutralize before I can have more.

    For instance when you have so much chocolate that you can’t taste the chocolate anymore. You don’t hate chocolate, or dislike chocolate, you just need to give your tastebuds a rest from the chocolate so that you can enjoy it again at a later point. If you keep eating chocolate it might make you sick.

    So give that person the space to be able process all that stimulation. If you try to be too aggressive it might cause “emotional nausea” as in that chocolate example above.

    I had a friend who I couldn’t tell that I needed a break from her, becsuse I couldn’t say it in a way that didn’t sound too mean. At that point I would just make excuses whenever she wanted to make plans. Coincidentally I would always bump in to her in the most fantastic mood ever, in someone else’s company, and she would get hurt because I cancelled on her but still went out with someone else to do the exact same thing. I don’t dislike her, I actually enjoy her company, but I need to have my energy level on the top in able to give back that same level of energy so that we can both have a good time. I value having some high quality good time we both can benefit from, rather than frequent meetings where I can’t be on my best and she will be disappointed as well.

    Disclaimer: this is just how I am. People are different. Not everyone likes chocolate.
     
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  11. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    People have different lives than you. As Aspies finding friends isn't always easy. With me I have plenty of acquaintances but very few friends. I do my best to maintain those friendships and I find my friends do their best to return the favor.
     
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  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Some friends are a bit intense. I really like hanging out with them, but only in small doses with plenty of time in between. If I had my way, I’d see my best friend once a month. She wants to hang out more often, and that causes tension sometimes. I can’t tell her she’s so intense that I don’t want to see her more than once a month, there’s no way to put a positive spin on that.

    If your friend says she doesn’t want to talk to you because she’s angry, it sounds to me like something happened between the two of you to cause this anger. Are you aware of an incident? If you know what the problem is, the best course of action would be to apologize, then leave your friend be. It’s up to them to let you know when they’re ready to resume the friendship.
     
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  13. Progster

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

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    I think that perhaps the friend finds you a bit too intense, and wants to back off a bit, needs space. That doesn't mean that you can't be friends, but perhaps just not spend so much time together.
     
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  14. SparklAng

    SparklAng Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. It was helpful actually. A problem happened about a week ago, but I apologised a lot. I think that is what made my friend withdraw, when I think about it. I guess I never really think of that because I am so quick to forgive people- to be honest I am just happy that somone wants to talk to me.

    I do try to give people space when they need it. Im getting better at recognising it, I think, but I find it so difficult to figure out when somone wants space. Usually asking 'is this a time where you need space' doesnt get a very good reaction .... which is understandable.
     
  15. SparklAng

    SparklAng Well-Known Member

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    I guess I can be intense. I try not to be.... I think I try too hard sometimes. I go through phases of this, and phases of when I dont want to speak to anybody. They are both quite exhasting.
     
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  16. Progster

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

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    Same here. Perhaps this person is going through a phase of not wanting to speak to anyone, too. You just need to back off for a while an wait for them to come to you.
     
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  17. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am so quick to forgive people too! Some people carry “hurts” and angry feelings around a very long long time. I am over things pretty quickly. I am always surprised when someone explains why they are bothered by something I said beyond a few days ago. I already forgot it and just expect things to get back to normal.
     
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  18. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Something @Mary Anne said made me start thinking about this. I do suspect that people on the spectrum or with personality disorders, struggle with relationships. From the aspie perspectives I'm think one of the problems is intensity.

    Do you have any specific examples? What have you said that has annoyed people?

    When I annoy people it's a lot of small things, like I will ask what they do, if they enjoy it, what they want to do, what are there interests, I will try to completely understand them in as short as time as possible, breaching the 'too much too soon rule'.


    Sounds like basic infringements, all of which I have done. So to prevent this in the future, note down some simple rules:
    1. Don't check. If you go down the "what have I done to upset you?" route then you are advertising that you are over analyzing the situation and too intense. You are saying that you are neurotic and needy. This is guaranteed to put potential friends off. You may not have upset them or they may not realize they are annoyed, so this is a no win situation.
    2. Study small talk. New neurotypical friends like conversation to be empty and meaningless for a set period of time. Only ask about things if they volunteer information, mirror their behaviour. If they ask about your family, ask about theirs.
    3. Find your confidence. By believing that you are a "difficult friend" you make it so. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. If you can find a way to overcome this and be confident in yourself then you will be much more attractive to potential friends.
    4. Be happy with your own company. If you dive in head first with the sole purpose of making a friend then this comes across as desperate. This returns to the intensity issue where we demand "you WILL be my friend, my one and only bestest exclusive friend, now". Reconcile with yourself that friendships will happen because you are a strong confident woman and friends will come to you, concentrate on appreciating yourself and friends will happen.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  19. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't tink it's guaranteed, I think it depends on the person and situation.

    Some people (not just aspies/auties) value open communication and would either welcome such a question or at least not be offended/put off/weirded out by it -- it is not automatically over-analyzing nor needy to ask soemone if you have offended them, and if so, how? It can show honesty and concern for the other person's feelings. It's not like people can read each other's minds, and while not everyone in the world seems to understand/accept this fact, some do and will not freak out or be put off by questions like that -- at least not unless they are being asked repeatedly/constantly.....

    Always assuming that you have offended someone if they are distant, being always anxious about the status of your friendship in the absense of any particular sign that something is wrong is a more complicated thing -- that I can see as giving off anxious, needy vibes which may be difficult for other people to understand and respond to.
     
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  20. Dillon Campbell

    Dillon Campbell Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been in your situation and I still feel like that now. The reasons I have trouble is same that you have I never know if the person is mad at me but I feel like I have done something wrong and I’m always apologizing. People also find me annoying to talk to as in I’ve been told I’m such a bother. I still feel excluded by people as they go hanging with their other friends. Now I have lost some friends lately who I thought were good ones of mine but find out they told me how awkward I am to be around.

    Why I’m I saying all of this well it’s because I have finally found some good friends lately who won’t judge me and know they always got my back even though I still feel the way I am now.
    My only advice is to not give up cause you will find a good group of people who will accept and love for who you are.
     
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