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Featured I'm an aspie; Please help me help my aspie friend!

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by TheGuyWithTheTacoma, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    I was in a group for young adults with Aspergers called from January 2009 until sometime in the spring of 2011. I left because it was taken over by a new service provider that really messed things up and destroyed the founding principles.

    Ten years later, I am still friends with most of the people I first met at this organization over a decade ago. There five of us from there altogether who still hang out and do stuff together (four guys and girl). All five of us have driver's licenses and our own vehicles, and four of us have steady employment.

    One of the guys has really been getting getting on my nerves the last couple of years. He is a nice guy and I would do anything for him, but he is gruff and unpleasant at times. Over the years, I have had to put out many metaphorical fires started by this guy and vouch for him to my NT friends in order to keep him from being socially ostracized.

    One of my other Aspie friends lives 2 miles from me, and the friend I am writing this post about lives out in the boonies a good 20 minutes from both of us. We recently started going to an AMC movie theater about 15 minutes from our houses (mine and the friend who lives near me), because it is superior to the Regal movie theater we've been going to for years. My friend who lives in the boonies has fought us every step of the way, saying that the Regal theater is "our home" and just generally acting like a pantload. The AMC theater is nicer, and doesn't have lines at the concession stand like the Regal does. It also has reclining seats! Sure it is farther, but my friend has been outvoted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  2. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    I could go on and on about this friend of mine, but first let me say that in August 2010 he was violently mugged at a train station in North Philly while heading home from a Phillies baseball game with the girl he was dating at the time. All of the muggers were in their teens, one of them had a handgun, and one of them clobbered my friend in the jaw. They then proceeded to push him and his date onto the train tracks before running off with their cell phones. My friend's jaw was wired shut for six weeks and they never caught the muggers.

    My friend was difficult before that happened, but that mugging sent him into a downward spiral, and it is the only reason I give him as much sympathy as I do.
     
  3. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a question? What are you looking for?
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Try to cut a deal to Compromise and alternate Regal, AMC, Regal, etc. Maybe then he will get used to the AMC. We do get very set in our ways very easily.
     
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  5. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    A way to deal with a friend I care about before he metaphorically gets “voted off the island” by my other friends.
     
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  6. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    And the movie theater thing is just the tip of the iceberg. He can become very agitated if you, for example, criticize his driving or talk during his favorite TV show.
     
  7. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    Have you tactfully but clearly talked about this to your friend? Direct and honest but friendly communication can solve a lot more than letting things go further out of hand with no communication about the issues.
     
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  8. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but another example would be the extremely limited topics he discusses. He will accuse me of talking only about what interests me (cars and HVAC), which isn't true. He on the other hand will watch reruns of 90s sitcoms and talk about just those sitcoms for weeks. He tells jokes and makes wiseass remarks based on stuff he hears on TV. When asked to broaden the range of his topics and talk about other things, he'll say it's all he knows. I have tried to talk him into changing his ways, but to pretty much no avail. He has this condescending and confrontational way of talking that really makes me mad.
     
  9. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    One time we were in his car. He was driving and I was riding shotgun. A song he liked came on the radio, and he started turning the steering wheel left and right in unison with the song. This is bad enough on some deserted residential street, but we were on a busy stretch of road. I naturally got a bit pissed off at him and he had the nerve to get mad at me for this. He has actually slammed on the brakes and ordered me to get out of the car for criticizing his lackluster driving skills before. I am much bigger and stronger than my friend, so all I ever had to do was glare at him and it made him change his attitude.

    On a side note, I will tell you that I shamelessly sing along to songs I like while driving. I will drum on the steering wheel or on the side of my truck. I can't fathom turning the car left and right in tune with the song!
     
  10. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Another time he flipped out at me because I unbuckled my seatbelt in my own driveway as he was pulling into it. He was going maybe two miles per hour.
     
  11. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    If it's not one thing it's another...

    This friend has cats. He is obnoxiously fond of his cats. I am allergic to cats. I went over to his house a lot from 2012 to 2013, but my allergies started getting worse to the point I could not longer go over there. He knew I was allergic to cats, but whenever I suggested we hang out at my house or another friend's house, he conveniently forgot about this. He confronted me about it one day, and I chewed him out, telling him I was allergic to cats. We hang out fairly often, but I have not been to his house in probably three years.

    Whenever we get over one issue, another one seems to manifest itself.
     
  12. WildCat

    WildCat and his scatterbrain V.I.P Member

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    Did you bother trying to address this with him instead of complaining about it with half a dozen posts or so? Did you sympathize with him before he got mugged?

    Both of you are human and not without flaws, so I'm sure you two can figure something out.
     
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  13. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Your friend appears to be quite a stereotypical autistic adult. He clearly has a great affinity with the familiar (the cinema, wanting to meet at his house) can be blunt & tactless, has narrow fixed interests etc. Maybe he's simply more obviously autistic than your other friends and yourself, has difficulty masking (we're not all that good at maintaining a fake identity) or possibly simply feels that since you are all autistic you'd understand and be forgiving of his personality in a way that most people wouldn't.

    The question here is whether you are willing to make accommodations for your friend in the same way we ask the rest of the world to accommodate ALL autistics. If you are willing then you'll understand that much of what you're describing as problematic is just part of who he is and not something he can help. You can make it conditional that to continue your friendship that he mask his true nature to suit your expectations, you could end the friendship or you can work around his differences and support him appropriately when others criticise him or he is mistreated by people who don't understand that autistic people can't help being different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  14. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    Perhaps I'm missing the point but I feel sorry for your 'friend'.

    Like a lot of autistic people, I am rigid in my behaviours and I would be really hurt if one of my friends were to post what you have :(

    There's nothing obnoxious about having a fondness (or an obsession) for cats.

    They're usually the animal that people either love or hate. But just because your friend is in the 'love cats' camp, doesn't make his love of cats obnoxious.
     
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  15. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid I see a divergence of lifestyles between you and this friend. You can't change him, and apparently it is increasingly difficult to tolerate him.

    I'd let the situation run its course. You don't owe him friendship, if it's too difficult to maintain.

    At the same time, I see you feel badly about the problem and feel for your friend. Try to remember that some of his behaviors, like the left-right turning while driving, may actually compromise your own safety and well being.

    Does he have support systems, such as parents, you could talk to privately? If so, I would simply let them know they should begin looking for alternate activities to substitute for the dwindling contact with the existing group.

    This situation will weigh less heavily on you if you discuss it with the others in your friendship circle. You might find that they are not as bothered as you are; but you might find they are ready to let go and possibly, talk to the person's support system with you.
     
  16. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    I was kind of thinking this too. When my friends start talking about things that don't interest me I fade out and think about other stuff, I can't help it, I'm just not interested in what I'm not interested in. But then again I also don't really have many friends and never see the ones I do have, and in the few times I do go out I make sure that there's more than just me and one person cause I know I can't hold up my end of the conversation so I just like to get two friends and listen to them talk and I can pop in if/when I have something relevant to say.

    Also, if anyone was upset about how much I love my cat I don't think I'd want to hang out with them again.

    Which brings up another question, if you and your friend disagree so much about seemingly everything, is there even a reason to keep being friends?
     
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  17. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    I don’t mean to judge you.... however I’ve noticed that your threads seem to share a similar pattern. That pattern is that you seem to mention that you have “a driver's licenses, own a vehicle and, have steady employment.” And that you also have your own way of thinking and wonder why others do things that are different to your own ideals.

    I’m going to suggest that you can choose not to be friends with whomever you want, but a better choice might be to accommodate others with autism and understand that how you feel about him is possibly how Neurotypicals feel about you. We need a greater understanding of others, not to treat them differently.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  18. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    It's funny you mention that, because there are times when he trusts me more than he trusts his own parents. His dad is 70 and still working because he wants to support his adult son.
     
  19. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Actually, we don't really disagree about anything (except maybe politics). I just refuse to be a passenger when he's driving because he almost got me and another friend killed. There were three of us in his car, and he was obviously driving. I was riding shotgun and my other friend was in the right rear seat. It was pouring rain and he was making a left turn into a Walmart parking lot. He had a green light, but not a green arrow. There was an Infiniti sedan coming from the opposite direction. If I had been driving, I would have made it through that intersection without an issue. My friend just moseyed through the intersection like an old man, and the driver of the Infiniti laid on their horn and slammed on the brakes. As this was going down, I saw the Infiniti bearing down on us and started yelling at my friend to move it. He immediately freaked out one me as if I were the one who'd done something wrong.

    Needless to say, my other friend and I have not ridden with him since.
     
  20. TheGuyWithTheTacoma

    TheGuyWithTheTacoma Well-Known Member

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    I'm allergic to cats and I grew up with dogs...

    I actually like cats, but I just can't be around them too long due to my allergies. What annoyed me is that he angrily confronted me the one time because he thought I was purposely avoiding his house to be a jerk even though he knew full well I had a cat allergy. My health started to suffer, and that's why I stopped going over there. I used to hang out out at his house all the time, and his parents tell me all the time that they miss having me over.