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Maintaining Friendships and the Little Green Monster


Well-Known Member
To most outsiders, it would seem that I have lots and lots of friends. To me, there are lots and lots of people who only get a hold of me if they need something from me. I feel if I want to hang out with someone, I have to have the plans and invite someone to go with me. Then, of course, I run the risk of rejection when they are busy or being stood up because they don't really want to hang out. About a year ago, I was fortunate to find a friend that shared my interests and all of a sudden, we are best friends. She came first, when making plans and I came first when she made plans; it seemed perfect. Over time, as she has dealt with many things that have caused high levels of stress for her, the friendship has waned due to my ability to handle her emotional problems and her change in attitude. I just didn't know what to do to help and I slowly started stepping backward.

I met someone new, and we immediately bonded; new best friend. The stress of having to deal with drama was gone and I found someone who was interested in me as a person, that didn't treat me like a doormat. I was unable to maintain the friendships at the "best friend" level for both, and my first friend noticed my lack of interest. I have managed to remain friends with her, but I don't feel we are at "best friend" level anymore.

My new friend is the perfect friend most times. He is attentive, supportive, generous in the way that I am to others, and genuinely likes me for me. When we are spending time together, life is grand; but when I am alone and I know he is out (without me), I get sad and start to analyze everything in the friendship. If my friend chooses to spend time with other friends, when I am free, I plunge into depression and develop a severe jealousy. The problem then, is that my friend will get upset with me for being jealous and sometimes it gets to a point where we almost break up the friendship over it. I didn't have to deal with that with the first friend, we always put each other first.

Has anyone else felt this way and what did you do that helped?
I used to feel that way but over time I have gradually stopped having friends and I find that I am better off. I am obsessive book collector and my books are my friends. They speak to me from as long ago as 1519 and as recent as yesterday. I don't have to deal with any interpersonal nonesense or misunderstandings. I am afraid I am somewhat cynical about people. I generally believe that people are always just a step or two from letting you down. Time after time I have "confided" and "trusted" people only to find their daggers planted firmly between my shoulder blades (metaphorically of course).

My new approach is that, except where business compells me, I prefer to keep to myself. I try not to talk to people or have conversations. Nobody gives a **** about my interests anyway (including most of my family) so why bother and I find it exceedingly difficult to pretend to be interested in other people's stuff. My opinions are either dismissed or viewed as contentious. Selective mutism is a much better (and safer) approach.

Sorry to be so negative but I am 44 and life has tought me some harsh lessons.
You know I have felt that way sometimes. In my new friendships I have learned to be straight forward and say that I have Autism and that sometimes I don't react the way people are accustomed to with friendships and that includes sometimes feeling jealous of how easy it is for the other person to be around and with people. My ex-friends were similar to what you described Swedtroitgirl90. I couldn't do anything spontaneous and would get upset with them if they treated me like the third wheel and they often did or would change plans so that I couldn't go, or even would tell me they would be online then wouldn't be and I would wait and wait for them....and now I realize that they weren't friends even though I told them finally three years after the fact that I have autism. So I find that people seem to respond better if you can tell them right up front that you have issues with socializing.

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