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Is it normal for teenagers with autism not to want friends?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Ruby, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    I have three friends, but I don't feel that I really want friends anymore. It kind of lowers my self esteem and I think that might be one one of the reasons. I also kind of find it a waste of time. I like spending time by myself better than with other people. I can't really be bothered to catch up with them and there isn't really a way that could happen since my and their mum would have to agree.

    One thing that irritates me is that the intergration coordinater wants me to have friends and doesn't think one is enough for me. She suggested someone for me to be friends with and said she wants to see me with her. If I didn't have friends, I would still be quite happy. I don't need friends! A lot of people say everyone does, but not me. I went for over a year without friends once and I was fine, except teachers weren't happy about that.

    I probably have to cope with having the same friends this year at school even though I don't like it 100%. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing them after the holidays, but being around them makes me feel bad about myself. They usually don't do anything wrong, but when they think something that I don't, it can hurt my feelings. I also don't like being wrong. If they react differently than me, it will probably also make me feel bad.

    Is it best that I have friends or not?
     
  2. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This sums it all up...

    Do what feels most comfy for you. You shouldn't do what "everyone does" either.
     
  3. Cerulean

    Cerulean Well-Known Member

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    I too am happy with just a few. I don't have the social energy to keep up with a lot of people. Once a week socialization for three friends= seeing each friend every three weeks or so. Enough time has elapsed that we have enough to talk about without boring each other, but it's often enough that we keep from downgrading to "acquaintance". Any more than that and I either get bored or tired of them and run down my social energy meter too much.
     
  4. csanon

    csanon Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Do whatever you want in terms of friends. If you feel like at a time later in life you want friends, then go for it. I just think listening to other people who aren't like you and don't understand you will make things worse and undermine your self-esteem.
     
  5. wyverary

    wyverary Bare-footed hippie V.I.P Member

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    I concur with everyone here. I've said over and over that "normal" is a relative term, but that's irrelevant. Do what you are comfortable with!

    If I can play devil's advocate, though, I'm guessing the reason your integration coordinator wants you to have "friends" is to get outside of your own head a little bit, see what other people are about. I don't have many friends, but I value the ones I do have as I feel they provide me with a little variety and perspective and help expand my world a little bit. I think there is a place for that, even (or especially!) if it's only every once in a while.
     
  6. Arashi222

    Arashi222 Cuddling Vampires V.I.P Member

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    We all make friends in our own way and in our own time. Some of us really would prefer to have a few close friends and do not crave friendships with others. I think your integration coordinator wants you to have a friend or two to help teach you about dealing with your trigger issues like when someone doesn't think the same way you do and you feel bad. Its ok that they don't think the same way it has nothing to do with you...and learning that about yourself and how to curb your thoughts on that might be helpful. But again you have to come to this on your own terms.

    Personally I like having a couple of close friends. I do not actively seek out friendships. I find that I prefer to do my own thing and if people want to be my friend then great. I have learned to talk to people about having AS before engaging them too much as a friendship. So it really depends on your comfort level. I went my entire high school years without what I would I would call friends there were people that I was willing to do projects with but other than that I didn't have friends. The same goes for when I was in college. I didn't really have friends I had a few people I got along with ok but it wasn't until I got into my doll hobby that I found two really good friends (after a horrid fall out of someone else) that I was ok with. It really just depends on you.
     
  7. gigstalksguy

    gigstalksguy Well-Known Member

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    Hi didn't want friends as a teenager. Because I lived at home with family and was at school every day, I had enough time around people as it was and really liked to spend my free time on my own. My social life until I was about 20 amounted to me just latching onto my parent's friends and relatives - and I struggled to break out of that in the years that followed although I've learnt a lot in the process.
     
  8. umbrellabeach

    umbrellabeach Well-Known Member

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    I used to want friends, but after spending the last few years either drifting away from or being hurt by so-called friends, I don't want to bother with having friends anymore. Even if we don't drift or fall out, maintaining a relationship is exhaustingly hard work for me.
     
  9. Bay

    Bay Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've always been ambivalent about having friends. On the one hand, I always wished that I had someone who understood me, that I could talk with easily, that didn't misunderstand things I said, and that didn't need constant interaction. I never really found a friend like that.

    On the other hand, the people who I did know were boring at best, and often just plain annoying. I just had no interest in them, and was quite content alone.

    It is important, however, to have some "people skills" even if you don't really want to be with people. We all have to function in the world, after all. I imaging that is why your integration coordinator would like to see you cultivate some friends? Just conjecture on my part. What is an integration coordinator, anyway? I'm only curious.

    Personally, I think it is fine not to want friends. But I think it is also important not to be isolated.
     
  10. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    An intergration coordinator is the organiser of students with disabilities ect (mostly with the intergration aids who are the ones that help people who can have trouble at school or need help with the work.
     
  11. Marycv

    Marycv Well-Known Member

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    I also don't have many friends and I am happy with the ones I have. I too wish to find someone who understand me, but sadly that never happened. Many people say I need to have friends, but I prefer to be home with my pets and writing.

    I agree what Bay said "Personally, I think it is fine not to want friends. But I think it is also important not to be isolated." I think it is hard when a person doesn't have any challenges and it is difficult for them to understand the person has difficulties, or what they are really going through. You do what makes you happy and don't listen to anyone else.
     
  12. Kingmatt333

    Kingmatt333 Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely agree with everybody here. I am currently at high-school, and to be honest, most people just don't interest me. And the people who may remotely seem appealing hate me... All in all, I have come to just amuse myself, friends are an afterthought. They take up time, energy and I am always nervous as to whether I am reacting to them 'appropriately.' Lots of times I have talked to new people and reacted to something they've said in what i assume is a 'normal' way, but then they look at me funny and quickly change the subject.
    But anyway, please excuse my little rant their... Really, just do what you think is best. If the social integrator or whatever it was called thinks you need friends, then just get along well enough without them to prove the integrator wrong.