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Featured What kind of friends/acquaintances do you keep?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimplyWandering, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    Like the question says. Are the people in your life understanding of your situation? Do they know?

    I don't really have many friends, or at least not those that put as much into the relationship as I typically do and they don't often care to know, I seem to be a bother, so I usually just stay quiet.
     
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  2. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    A couple of my IRL who I still kinda keep in contact with from HS and played Warhammer 40k and Magic the Gathering with are on the Spectrum like myself; other guy who I also played Warhammer with (and helped me get into the hobby in the first place) is NT but treats us like he would anyone else
     
  3. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    Hardly any.

    It's very hard to find anyone I really click with. Some drift in and out according to my work troubles. I want to be uncharitable and call those "fair weather friends", but I do understand the dilemma. Everybody has to make a living, and so much of making a living boils down to politics, at least in my field. I'm not easy to like, or even to get to know, and there's often a social price to be paid in befriending me.

    Right now I have my family, one real life friend, and a smattering of internet friends.

    When I have a regular job I usually have one or two friends at work, but we don't hang out. I would wish to have a few more, but then I wouldn't really want a ton. I don't have much social energy and nurturing the few relationships that I have takes almost more work than I'm willing to give.

    I look for people with similar values (intelligent, good hearted people who work hard and mind their own business and are interested in ideas). I need someone who can accept that I will be straight with them, and who I can count on to be straight with me in return.
     
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  4. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I have two best friends. They know close to everything about me. I’ve grown comfortable being vulnerable around them and telling them when I’m not doing well. They’ve seen me at my worst. They know that I need time alone to recharge, but they also know me well enough to yank me out of my comfort zone when I’m isolating myself too much.
    I also have a handful of close friends, most of whom I’ve known for 5-10 years. They’ve been through some pretty dark times with me as well. Due to life we don’t get to hang out often, but when we do it’s just like old times.
    Then there’s the distant friends. There’s quite a lot of those. Most of them know I’m on the spectrum, but how much they know and how much we hang out varies.
     
  5. Progster

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

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    I don't really have any friends of my own, at least not close friends, apart from my partner. I don't talk to people much and don't meet new people. Most of the people I know are friends of my partner.
     
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  6. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

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    I have a good few. Since getting treated for severe illnesses and comorbid conditions, I've made lemonade out of my sour lemons. I've found friends who have gone through similar experiences and we've grown quite close. I don't go out with them nearly as much as I should but I have been trying; going from cocooned caterpillar to social butterfly takes some time. It's all about making the best out of your situation and finding the right support. Don't have understanding friends? Pff, find new friends!
     
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  7. Nihil

    Nihil Active Member

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    Usually I'm friends with people who are open-minded and have interests in art/music, science, or philosophy. No interest in being friends with people who can't think outside the box. :p
     
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  8. DCA

    DCA Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have a few good friends. All if my current friends revolve around my gaming hobby, & my good friends are the ones we've had an ongoing D&D campaign for close to 20 years. It took me a long time to feel like I wasn't on the outside of this group, despite the opinions of how they felt about me! I really don't have any friends that are outside of this hobby, so gaming has been an important area of socialization for me.
     
  9. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    I've found a small group of really great friends. Some of them know I'm aspie, some don't. They all know I struggle with mental health issues, and most of them do too, as we met through mental health support groups. They have a variety of interests and hobbies, but the sort of things we do together are going to the beach, out to dinner, board game evenings, and activities like water parks.
     
  10. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have a very small circle of friends, mostly people I have known for many years. They are all aware that I am on the spectrum. I would say that they are all supportive, but really, they just seem to accept me as who I am, which inevitably includes the consequences of ASD.

    Were I to make any new friends, which doesn't seem all that likely, I would expect him/her/them to also accept me as I am, and as and when explaining one or more of my 'quirks' became warranted, I would explain that I'm an Aspie and what that means. I would not expect their attitude to me to change at all at that point.

    I also think that acceptance is a two-way street. Not only do I expect to be accepted by others, but I also accept those others myself, including all their quirks, whether ASD or NT related.
     
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  11. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    What does it mean to accept someone for who they are? Is it possible to criticize or disagree with someone while accepting them for who they are?

    Do you feel any conflict between saying what you really think ("being real/being yourself") and accepting others for who they are? If so, how do you negotiate a compromise between the two? If you choose not to tell someone all of what you think, does it ever seem like a betrayal or a withholding of information from them? Like a kind of condescension?

    How do you decide what kinds of things are best left unsaid in a relationship?
     
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  12. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Accepting people for who they are is simply the process of not applying judgement, but rather presuming everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and leaving others to be themselves.

    Thus it is possible to disagree with someone, but there is no purpose in criticism at all, because that is based in personal judgement.

    So I say what I think, and accept too, bearing in mind that I only have connection of any kind to others I choose to connect to. There really is no compromise needed.

    As far as I am aware, I don’t exercise any form of restraint in what I say, and don’t need to, because those I spend time with are well aware of who I am and what I am like. Just as I chose them, so they chose me.
     
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  13. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    I don't know. Maybe I'm just mincing words, but it does seem like if you disagree with someone's belief, you are (at least implicitly) criticizing the validity of that belief. If you disagree with someone's behavior, you are (at least implicitly) challenging the appropriateness of that behavior. So I'm not sure I agree that disagreement and criticism are entirely distinct, or that they are different than judgement. Of course disagreeing with/criticizing/judging someone's ideas or behavior is different than devaluing or condemning the person, themselves, which may be what you meant by personal judgement.

    If someone you spend time with does something to annoy you, do you never tell them so? What if, in your opinion, they're doing harm to themselves? Do you still let them be themselves, to their own detriment? What happens when you feel so strongly about it that it begins to jeopardize the relationship? What happens when a problem comes up that's so big that it's impossible to ignore and you're forced to make a choice to either voice your criticism or abandon the relationship? (I'm not necessarily talking about giving someone an ultimatum but, rather, telling them how you feel? Talking about your differences and coming to some kind of understanding rather than leaving things unsaid?) Do you really never compromise or criticize, or at least never until the relationship has absolutely ended?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  14. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have no idea what you expect of me other than to repeat what I already posted, because that's exactly what I meant to say and exactly how it is - or at least my perception of how it is - and the way my admittedly few friendships and my relationships with people work.

    You also inserted 'beliefs' into your argument which was not what you had originally specified, but I can say that if, for example, I have a friend who is a fervent believer in a god of his choosing, when I am not, or who is a Republican, when I am not, I respect their viewpoint, and listen to their reasons, but have no desire to try and argue them around to my view instead. However interested I am in their viewpoints, arguments or beliefs, and however much I might indicate where mine differ, there is no criticism, implied or stated, nor judgement. It is a purely intellectual engagement of ideas as far as I can tell. There is plenty of talk of 'differences', in the sense you seem to mean of differences of opinion, but the understanding we look for isn't in moving one another to a single viewpoint, it's in understanding the difference itself.

    As for 'what happens if....', I think perhaps you misunderstand the nature of my friendships. It is possible for someone to annoy me I suppose, but my friends don't. I think that's not because they specifically try not to, but because my friends are people who are as respectful of me as I am of them. Hence were something to happen which might cause a problem, I would likely presume it unintentional (in regard to me, and/or the friendship) and leave it unremarked because it is not remarkable, or at most, simply state what the issue was, and leave it at that.

    I have certainly never had reason to criticise a friend, and that seems such a strange notion to me that I find it hard to imagine a reason why I would.
     
  15. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    I can imagine a reason why, but I don't want to risk offending you if you'd rather let it go.
     
  16. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    By all means, imagine away. It has proven rather hard to offend me over the years other than with the deliberate application of ignorance, but that is clearly not your purpose.

    I should add that I don't have imagination, so I am curious as to what this might produce.
     
  17. HidinginPlainSight

    HidinginPlainSight Well-Known Member

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    None that I see face to face. I have one that I keep in touch with over text messages, but mainly to do with things of a gambling nature. We are both pretty good with numbers and it helps to have one check your calculations. We don't really talk about much else.

    Other than that, there is my son's mother whom I speak to out of some abstract sense of obligation. That's about as close as I get to a personal relationship to someone not considered family.

    I suppose I have uncomfortable interactions with people at work, but nothing I would elevate to the level of acquaintance.
     
  18. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Mostly friends of the family, people who I've known for years through my Parents.

    I do have a small circle of friends I know in my own right, including friends on Facebook who I've known for years but hardly ever see in the real world.
     
  19. Khendra

    Khendra Well-Known Member

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    I don't really spend much face-to-face time with anyone outside of my family. They are all aware and don't make a big deal out of it. When I'm at baseline, I don't think other people or acquaintances can tell, including those I encounter in my part-time jobs. I successfully tutored a kid for almost a year this last school year, and I don't think his parents ever suspected anything. I also clean a few people's homes, and I don't think they suspect anything, either. A few people at the local church I go to are now aware of it, though, because I had a meltdown during VBS when kids repeatedly wouldn't listen.

    I've found it's best to stay quiet about it unless a crisis situation comes up where the diagnosis is relevant to the problem at hand. No need to mention it in an everyday situation where everything's calm and there are no surprises, interruptions, or upsets to the flow or routine.