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Friendship Anxiety

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by allan619, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. allan619

    allan619 Well-Known Member

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    You won't be shocked to hear that I don't have a lot of friends, I have all the typical difficulties in maintaining them that you all probably do, but I do have one, my oldest friend from high school. We used to hang around together when we were teenagers but as the years went on we spent less time together, this didn't bother me so much as I guess its quite normal as you get older. The problem is that whenever we would get together I used to feel like we were still good friends that just didn't hang out as much but lately over the past few years I get the feeling that he just doesn't seem to see me as the close friend that he used to.

    A few years ago when I was meeting up with him after a few months he told me that he had got engaged to his long term girlfriend. Which was great, I assumed that this had just happened but as he went on he told me all about the engagement party and who else was there. He realised this was awkward and said it was just a small impromptu thing but he mentioned some other people who I didn't think out ranked me in the friendship hierarchy so to speak. So I have to assume he made a conscious decision not to invite me. A few years later I got in touch with him after quite a while to find out that he and his wife were now parents and again I got the impression that I was the last to know.

    I'm not sure if I should feel hurt by this, I mean I guess I do feel hurt but I also feel that maybe I'm being selfish, neurotic or paranoid. I cant imagine that if the situations were reversed that I would not invite him to an engagement party no matter how small or let him know that my wife was pregnant, maybe not instantly but at an appropriate time. Am I just being a clingy neurotic friend?

    There were other smaller things as well like he would tell me about having people over to their house for small gatherings, drinks, movie nights things like this and I don't seem to ever be given a second thought. he tells me these stories and I'm thinking to myself always "thanks for the invite". He's got lots of other friends but I think maybe he's ashamed to be associated with me .

    I'm actually starting to think that it is his wife that doesn't like me. I like her, shes perfecly nice but I'm socially awkward and I can't really hold a conversation with her so I can understand that she may not like me.

    Is this all in my head?
    Can anybody relate to any of this?



     
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  2. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suspect that this is a normal growing apart of a friendship as you grow older. I remember reading somewhere that autistic people have a tendency not to lose interest in friendships over time and distance like neurotypical people do. (I vaguely remember it had something to do with object permanence. If someone knows what I'm talking about and could help me out here that'd be great.)

    So for him, the friendship has grown apart due to time and distance, you are now an old friend, but no longer a close friend. For you, he's still your best friend even though you haven't spoken in ages. There's a mismatch between the way autistic people do friendships and the way neurotypical people do friendships here. (This, sadly, ruins friendships for autistic people because we expect the friendship to still be where we left it and others move on after not hearing from us for a while.)
     
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  3. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    Oh, definitely.
    I can. It makes me feel like you're trying to hold onto something that has already gone. I've done this a few times myself. It's like you still want things to be as they were, when he's showing you that they're not. I know the feeling. It's not easy to deal with.

    [email protected] said it better.
     
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  4. allan619

    allan619 Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is a common theme in my life and I'm sure many peoples lives. I often find myself fantasising about my teenage years because back then I didn't know I had Asperger's Syndrome, I thought I was just like everybody else, that we were all the same. I had a bunch of friends that accepted me and they didn't require much from me if you know what I mean. I was the quiet one in the group and that was just the way it was. I had it pretty good back then, I liked being in the company of others but I was only required to interact minimally. You can get away with this when your younger, in some sense children and teenagers can be more tolerant than adults of an individual that is less socially equipped. In my experience if an adult realises that your socially awkward then they give you a wide berth. As I've got older all those friends slowly disappeared never to be replaced.
     
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  5. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've actually had the opposite experience - as a child/teen I had NO friends (save a very precious few) and didn't hang out much or socialize at all. Most other kids gave me a wide berth, if they didn't outright harass me. My only friends were adults.

    Now, I have a ton of likely neurodivergent friends as a result of shared hobbies.

    The caveat here is that some people will pick up on neurodivergence and befriend you with intent to do you harm in some way (take advantage of your trusting nature, loyalty and generosity for instance) as has happened to me a few times. (Also, I'm sure you can see how being a female who learned never to trust her peers, that only relates to older people and who relates better to men than to women could get in a fair bit of trouble...)
     
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  6. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Whenever anyone says, "It was just a small, impromptu thing......" that is a euphemism for something like, "Crap, I didn't even think of you and now you are hurt..." to "Heck no, I wasn't going to invite you BUT I still want you to think I am a good person!" etc etc.....
     
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  7. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    It seems sadistic to mention this and never invite you. I would have moved on from the friendship. Friends come and go, real relationships are few and far between. l don't place huge importance on friends because l try to be independent as a rule.
     
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  8. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I doubt it was sadistic...more like thoughtless. "Oh this cool thing happened I want to tell you about...oh crap OOPS I didn't invite you. *backpedal*"

    I really doubt it was done deliberately to make OP feel bad.
     
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  9. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You definitely are one of us, this is how NT's sometimes treat us. NT's don't realize how our minds work. NT's don't view their friendships as we do. My best friend died and I(Ron) did not even hear about it until a year later, his sister did not even call me until she found my number. That's the reason I(Ron) joined this site, it is very hard for him to meet people especially now during covid. Please note Ron's wife typed this.
    sorry she is having some issues separating first person from second.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Have you invited him or them to anything ? Have you called or emailed to arrange to meet up with them? If not, they may just be mirroring what may seem to them to be your disinterest/distance. You probably would have to make more connection with them in order to maintain a friendship. Did you send a gift or card for the baby? How old is the child now?

    I think this may be fairly typical of how things may go with friendships between NTs and people with autism /Aspergers, as we don't seem to keep up with them, or take enough initiatives to maintain sufficient contact. I find it similar, but I would say it's as much about what I (don't ) do, as about what they don't do.
     
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  11. selena

    selena Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could move on like that, but my idea of self-worth has been damaged from not having any friends during my formative years, a little bit because people were mean to me and a little bit because I had (still do) have a speech problem that also was never diagnosed, to the point that when people were nice to me I only felt humiliated and had to walk away from that potential relationship (no, really, sometimes I literally just walked away).

    Even now, there's this guy at work who's super nice to me every time he sees me, that after a few interactions I'm beginning to wonder of its because I'm so obviously autistic and he's overcompensating. (This thought, in turn, made me realize most of my experience with people was neutral/acquaintance-y at best, but not exactly pleasant/friendly.)

    Most of the people I got to call friends in the last 5 years I met at work, where we had shared experiences (and shared enemies). Once we left for another job, while we stayed friendlh toward the end, the friendship almost naturally fell apart.
     
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