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Featured Topsy turvy friendships

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Ephraim Becker, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's interesting that my friendships are topsy turvy. I had a horrible first impression on someone in my school 7 years ago and now he wants to help me. In sharp contrast a year later, there was someone I met in someone's house that I had a very good first impression on and he says that he completely doesn't know me and he blocked me. There was 3 other people that I had good first impressions on that started hating me. There was also someone I met in camp that I had a half-bad first impression with and the friendship with him is pretty much one-sided (I'm the only one that calls him and he's the only one that helps me out and when I ask him about himself, he says "nothing much"). Should I just have a very bad first impression on everyone I meet so they can be my friend?
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    That's... really not how it generally works.

    Most people will simply make a point of avoiding you if you do that.

    First impressions are NOT what keeps a friendship going.
     
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  3. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Why is it going that way then?
     
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  4. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost New Member

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    It’s hard to say. Are you doing something that puts that specific person off?

    People aren’t really systems into which you put a specific input in order to get a specific output. They’re all individuals. Your best bet is to ask the person what you did that bothered them. If you can’t do that, then it might be a good idea to talk the situation through with a neurotypical friend to see where you may have gone wrong. You would have to describe your actions / words and their reactions and words.
     
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  5. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I got along the best with someone that I met in someone's house who also has autism and is very similar to me. We had a very good time together. He says that he completely forgot about me. I even sent him a picture of myself and he says that he doesn't recognize it. He then blocked me. I complained to someone and that person I complained to called his mother and said that he's very busy with college and yeshiva.
     
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  6. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost New Member

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    Well, it sounds likely that this was an issue that he had. Maybe he doesn’t remember people well or doesn’t recognise faces?

    There’s not much you can do about that, really. It’s a shame.
     
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  7. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    Ephraim, I am getting the impression that you are one who is desperate for companionship. I get it. I literally lucked out and found a woman to spend my life with,...that frankly,...I don't know where I would be without her. Of course, I didn't have any idea that I had Asperger's when I met her, and we went through plenty of issues with "miscommunication" and "misinterpretation". Still do, but to a lesser extent now-a-days. That said, she scored a 27/50 on the AQ test,...suggesting some degree of autistic thought patterns. 30 being the cut off for suggesting ASD and a professional diagnosis.

    From your post, I am getting the sense that you are trying to analyze your life experiences with friendship,...and as much as I can totally appreciate that from a systems approach,...it doesn't quite work out that way with people. I think you are totally off course with your thinking. Sorry. A good first impression is important in most social situations, as they are more likely to lead to a second meeting and perhaps a building of a relationship. A bad first impression, and then later, a positive relationship happens, is statistically very low.

    In my over 53 years, I have had a handful of what I would call "good acquaintances", that I thought were "friends". These are people that I get along with, have a few laughs, work with, etc....but they are not inviting me over to their house to meet their family, I am not going out after work for social drinking, etc. One might call them "peripheral relationships".

    Friendship is a two-way street in the sense that you both are socially engaged (sometimes daily), seeking each other out, are honest with each other, are willing to defend each other, and so on. For myself, I can say I am very low on the "cognitive empathy" and "interpersonal bonding" scale. I just do not have that "thing", whatever it is, that allows me to get close to someone and maintain a relationship. Most people are "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" to me. That is a friendship killer, if there ever was. Now, I can get into all the neurobiology of it all,...I do understand it,...but it doesn't make me want to seek out a friend. I think it is because I know it would take a tremendous amount of conscious effort on my part,...enough that I think it might be a form of masking,...basically acting,...and it would come off to me as "fake". It's not fair to me or the other person. For neurotypicals, in general, this whole friendship thing comes naturally, and nearly effortlessly.

    In case you are wondering,...yes, I have a difficult time bonding with my parents, siblings, other relatives,...even my children,...and even my wife, which I have found that I have to bond with her physically by touch (holding hands, kissing, hugs, etc.).

    So, Ephraim, I am not saying that you are not going to have friends. What I am suggesting is that to maintain a true friendship as an autistic may require a lot of conscious effort,...much more effort than say, a neurotypical. It may be totally worth it for you, but just understand that maintaining a relationship is not a "passive" thing.
     
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  8. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    But isn't it easier when both people have autism?
     
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  9. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost New Member

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    I wouldn’t say so. Everyone’s an individual, so their presentation may be different. Then, if you both have communication issues, they’re more likely to be compounded than to lead to an affinity.
     
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  10. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Because sometimes, that's just how events play out. A given type of event will not play out the same exact way every time. However, general trends absolutely exist, and bad first impressions pushing people away is one of them.

    Though, really, trying to explain or understand it too far is rather meaningless. Some things simply dont have to make sense. Trying to apply a lot of logic to something like friendship forming/maintaining will probably get you nowhere. Meet people and be a good person... that's all you need. But dont expect it to be easy, and definitely dont expect someone to immediately want to be friends simply because you have something in common or whatnot. That aint how it works.

    And if you genuinely want to make friends, you're going to have to accept all of that and just roll with it.
     
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  11. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    YES and NO. It can be easier to be a companion if both have a similar autism type in that it may require less conscious effort to maintain the relationship if both are "less needy",...not sure if that's exactly what I mean. On the other hand, if the relationship has no "glue" and both are not bonded, then there is nothing really holding it together. This might be OK, in some cases, where a peripheral relationship is desired,...3 guys sharing a house, for example. However, if you want something more meaningful, like a spouse, then it must take on a higher level of commitment. Sometimes, it takes the motivated neurotypical to point out that you aren't putting into the relationship,...that it is one-sided,...and if you want the relationship to last, you have to put in some effort.
     
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  12. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I used to be social I had some topsy turvey stuff like Ephraim describes. I think it's because I'm a very poor judge of people's character with poor situational awareness, plus not having a lot of choice, it was usually they who sought me out, then turned on me when they knew me better.
     
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  13. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    I understand some family members of yours set a difficult model. Among my suggestions are:

    - try mind mapping problems whether in programming or in relationships or in practical situations. If you orient to overviews with myriad branchings rather than just what one thing comes after another, you can develop visual and spatial thinking. Look up Mind Maps.

    - don't drop old hobbies altogether. Circumstances can seem to make us feel ashamed. I went back to looking at aeroplane pictures like I loved as a youngster, I've started dabbling in subjects I had to drop out of classes in years ago (albeit I don't have teachers in most of them).

    One of my other likes always was, to pore over atlases.

    I now have people I can talk to about things (they often don't understand me). But for many years I learned to be my own best friend and cool in my own presence and with my own likes and tastes.

    You sound like you are constantly on the verge of panic because you can't see what can be next - like looking at a string end on. If you view the whole weave from above you can plot in advance how the options can fan out.

    We were each given the gift of inference, perhaps that is what your professor for example would like you to harness. Like you I had to infer to not wave my arms automatically when frightened.

    We're not going to gain all the answers, we just need to be open to gaining some of the answers that way. We can make a start on "joining dots", whichever dots that might be at any time.

    You don't thrive on intensity - but nor do others - NT or ASC. Be cool with you and your potential and your tastes - great starting point. You'll be well into many of these things long before you're my age.

    And in relationships, don't have rigid expectations. We don't owe each other something (other than reasonable politeness). Let everyone grow in whichever direction they want.
     
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  14. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Find that if l have similar issues that the other person has, we get each other. This co-worker has suffered from abusive relationships, and this is our common area. I tried to be supportive when she had to file divorce. Other friends may happen if you share a similar interest. One friend l cut loose was trying to groom me for *personal services*, l had to cut that loose. That was disrespectful. But l saved her life twice and she personally thanked me. Because l am vulnerable because l am single and older, l have to be extremely careful about who l allow near me, especially with the growing population of people minus resources due to Covid economics and the huge number of our population with arrest records in this state. l have gone to stores and have seen employees being escorted out. Our company hired an employee that had 14 arrests, she was fired.

    A lot of people are struggling to stay afloat, friendship is the last thing on their mind. It can be hard to meet people now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  15. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    Donna Williams describes how she mingled with people with autism - unobtrusively acknowledging the space they created for themselves, including a space of time, by staying peripheral. At their own pace those people set the cue for her to be involved the way they wanted. That was the way she gave them the opportunity to draw the gift out of her. This has inspired me both ways.
     
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  16. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Hope is faith rewarded in advance

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    You are still very young. I am over twice your age.
    [Hurley, HBJ, A Concise Introduction to Logic]

    see. Logical fallacy; "error of the small sample".

    Some other ones. If you want to have a friend, be a friend.

    This is from before you were born. When the internet was on the phone lines. AOL chain letter, circa 1995-98
    It needs cropped.
    ABC's of Friendship
    20210110_063701.jpg
    Let Love Light Your Path

    This is not a great list. Its ok. Not perfect. The alphabet thing is kind of gimicky. Rewrite it if you like. It may make more sense to you as a straight forward list of 20 things, perhaps that might be a good place to start. "What is a friend?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  17. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Hope is faith rewarded in advance

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    This one is about roles, boundaries, in relationships. Its from the glass board, shot with the phone, so its crooked. This is the original from 2011 v1.0. The newer one retains mystery,
    adversary,
    guardian,
    associate, and
    partner.
    All other fields were eliminated. Friend(to me) is right on the border of the inner circle. The self is at the center.


    20210202_104303.jpg
    I changed this part. You would want to block out(redact) any thing that does not apply to you. Perhaps teacher in place of cleric. Its not open scource, but it is mine. You can play with it if you want. You are so good with computers that a digital edit would likely be just fine, like for adding captions to photos. I like to touch things and draw by hand, but that is not necessary.

    20210202_103545.jpg
    like this.
    You are at the middle. Now put in initials of ppl in your life, where they go. Closer or more important goes towards middle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  18. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Not necessarily. Yes, my best friend is also on the spectrum, but that’s not the reason we’re friends. We’re friends because we have tons of shared interests and a similar outlook on life.
     
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  19. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    While my EI/EQ (Emotional Intelligence) isn't the best, it's definitely not the worst either. When someone says they don't recognize you and then blocks you, it implies that they don't like something/things about you but don't want to be honest about it. And when you heard from his mother indirectly respond in that manner, it's safe to assume that the mother and his son wanted to disassociate with you. They feel no benefit to tell you directly. So, they just make up a bunch of BS. I wish people would be more honest about their present feelings. Even if they don't feel comfortable telling you "why" as it usually doesn't help the situation anyway, nor should you question "why" normally, it's human nature to want to know. Usually, it's best to "determine why" yourself to help you move on.


    A video that may help you grow is if you watch this video by Robin Mills.
    He gives a great overview on the basics of emotional intelligence. Growing our emotional intelligence will help us prosper in our social relationships overall. There is no one answer, but I hope this gives you some confidence and a good overview how to better navigate how to communicate with others and be around others. It's a balance between knowing how and when to say things and when and how to stand up for yourself. Context matters, and each person you interact with may require a different response to the same situation.

    Also, don't try to be fake. People will be able to see right through this and how something is unnecessarily rigid. It's just an unclassy thing to do. Simply, try to be an individual willing to grow and respect yourself and others as feasibly as possible.

    I wouldn't watch more than 1 video of Robin Mills unless you really enjoy his repetitiveness because I don't feel it helps me and annoys me. Mills has some autistic traits and likes to speak slow so that ESL learners and foreigners can understand him more easily. This annoys some viewers. He does have a soothing voice, but he bores me personally. But I do feel his content is good though- especially for learning about a basic structure for EI.

    If he has written exercises to try out, you may want to try some of them out too.

    I normally don't advise people to watch soft skills videos like this, but I hope it helps.
    Also, I've watched 3 of Mills's videos so far through Udemy because it will help me obtain internal work badges.
     
  20. Progster

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

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    I don't understand this. Do you mean:
    "I had a horrible first impression of someone"
    or, "I made a horrible impression on someone"?
    I don't understand this question. How would making a bad impression on someone help to make friends?
    Could you please explain what you mean?