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wildom
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28 Sep 2021, 8:56 am

Hey, I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm a woman in my mid-20s and I'm having such a hard time making friends. I have some friends from my teenage years, but I feel like they don't understand ASD no matter how much I try to explain it.

I am pretty good at having one on one conversations with people, but I hate hanging out in groups (especially with ppl I don't know) and I get very quiet and awkward around groups of people. I'm also very sensitive to loud and busy enviroments. This makes me feel very disconnected from my NT friends and they seem to think I am boring for not being more extroverted and into parties and stuff. People have told me that I seem rude and uninterested when I meet new people, but I don't know how to change that since I get so overwhelmed sometimes.

I talked to my mum about it and she suggested I'd try to get more autistic friends. And weirdly enough, a big majority of the people in my class at uni turned out to be autistic. Problem is, I feel like I have nothing in common with them either. They have formed a group and has become good friends with eachother, and they have tried to include me by inviting me to a discord chat and stuff. But the stuff they are interested in, pretty stereotypical "autistic interests" like anime and video games and cosplay and stuff, is not interesting to me at all! I left the chat without saying anything the same day they invited me in because I didn't like it and I was bored, and in hindsight I can understand how that wasn't very polite of me. I feel just as much as an alien with them as I do with my NT friends.

I thought maybe trying to find autistic friends would be easier, and realizing that it isn't makes me feel like there is no hope for me to ever find a meaningful connection with someone again. Does anyone relate to this? I feel so lonely and depressed :(



Steve1963
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28 Sep 2021, 9:05 am

First of all, welcome to WP.

I can relate. I could have written your post. I'm 58 and have never been able to make friends in the real world. I've made some (fine...one) friend here on WP.



mohsart
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28 Sep 2021, 9:06 am

I can defenitely relate.
After I moved from Stockholm 10 years ago I have no friends, and I'm a bit sceptical to being able to make autistic friends for axactly the reasons you state.
I tend to not only have "special interests", but also "special uninterests".

/Mats


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babybird
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28 Sep 2021, 11:19 am

Well you fit in here. We've made a little space for you :D



UncannyDanny
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28 Sep 2021, 11:33 am

Welcome to my world, Miss Wildom. :roll:

Also, welcome to Wrongplanet. :)


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Mona Pereth
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28 Sep 2021, 3:12 pm

wildom wrote:
I talked to my mum about it and she suggested I'd try to get more autistic friends. And weirdly enough, a big majority of the people in my class at uni turned out to be autistic. Problem is, I feel like I have nothing in common with them either. They have formed a group and has become good friends with eachother, and they have tried to include me by inviting me to a discord chat and stuff. But the stuff they are interested in, pretty stereotypical "autistic interests" like anime and video games and cosplay and stuff, is not interesting to me at all!

What kinds of things are you interested in?

Here on Wrong Planet, I would suggest that you edit your profile to include a signature line that mentions your interests. That will make it easier for you to attract compatible potential friends here on WP.


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AquaineBay
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28 Sep 2021, 5:33 pm

I feel the same way. I am better one-on-one than in a group of people. While I do play video games I really don't care to talk about it and I'm also not into comics and anime. I actually don't have any NT friends and only one friend I made on this forum. I'm trying to keep at my social group I have now but many of them have, as you said "stereotypical autistic" things they like.

I'm personally more into stuff like psychology, sociology, pretty much things dealing with the mind and self-improvement. I also like learning about different concepts and ideas, I like a good debate as long as it doesn't get too heated. Sadly these days it's like you can't turn a corner without seeing a Marvel or DC movie or comic or some kind of anime.



Tim_Tex
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28 Sep 2021, 5:45 pm

I feel like I don’t fit in.

Specifically, I like animated sitcoms, have moderate/centrist political views, and I’m a Lutheran. I want more friends who like animated sitcoms (the other two things are not important when it comes to meeting people)

The problem is that I live in Texas. Nobody has the same interests here, even in the big cities.

One thing I have observed over the years is that many animated comedy fans tend to be with the “artsy hipster” and “anarcho-punk” subcultures. I don’t specifically seek out those subcultures, nor do I have any interest in joining them.

I have also observed that based on online fan clubs for my interests, is that people in those clubs tend to live mostly in three metro areas in the U.S.: NYC, the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. The problem: Those are also the cities with the highest costs of living.


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Mona Pereth
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28 Sep 2021, 9:30 pm

Tim_Tex wrote:
The problem is that I live in Texas. Nobody has the same interests here, even in the big cities.

Not even in Austin? I was under the impression that Austin was very different from the rest of Texas.


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badRobot
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29 Sep 2021, 11:09 am

Focusing on common interests and stuff is a huge mistake. I was my mistake as well, I was really annoyed when I would join some interests group and people would barely spend any time on topic. Only years later I realized that subject matter is basically just an excuse and real connection is unspoken - genuine interest in another person's wellbeing, feelings, identity.



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29 Sep 2021, 11:20 am

If you are actually clinically depressed, it makes it hard to make friends and connect with people, not the other way around. I would recommend you to focus on getting rid of depression to unlock "friendship" skill rather then trying to make friends believing it would "cure" your depression.



Mona Pereth
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29 Sep 2021, 1:38 pm

badRobot wrote:
Focusing on common interests and stuff is a huge mistake. I was my mistake as well, I was really annoyed when I would join some interests group and people would barely spend any time on topic. Only years later I realized that subject matter is basically just an excuse and real connection is unspoken - genuine interest in another person's wellbeing, feelings, identity.

Actually, it seems to me that most friendships have multiple foundations, not just one.

Common interests aren't everything, but they are an important bridge to friendship for most people. "Genuine interest in another person's wellbeing, feelings, identity" doesn't usually just pop up out of nowhere. Other factors being equal, it is more likely to develop among people who have things, outside of themselves, that they enjoy talking about or doing together. In other words, common interests.

In my own experience, every friendship I have ever had started with a common interest and evolved into a more general caring about each other's well-being. In all cases, the friendship would not have started without the common interest.

YMMV.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 29 Sep 2021, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

badRobot
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29 Sep 2021, 1:53 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Actually, it seems to me that most friendships have multiple foundations, not just one. Common interests aren't everything, but they are an important bridge to friendship for most people. "Genuine interest in another person's wellbeing, feelings, identity" doesn't usually just pop up out of nowhere. Other factors being equal, it is more likely to develop among people who have things, outside of themselves, that they enjoy talking about or doing together. In other words, common interests.

In my own experience, every friendship I have ever had started with a common interest and evolved into a more general caring about each other's well-being. In all cases, the friendship would not have started without the common interest.

I think of common interests as more like excuse, surface level for underlying bond. And it doesn't really matter if you adopt openminded approach, just stop focusing on interests and make it your goal to have a good time with friendly people in general.



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29 Sep 2021, 2:04 pm

I think it might be a good exercise to get involved with people who have some interests very different to yours. Just to force yourself to find the common denominator that is less obvious.



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29 Sep 2021, 2:07 pm

badRobot wrote:
I think it might be a good exercise to get involved with people who have some interests very different to yours. Just to force yourself to find the common denominator that is less obvious.

Haha, this is basically what "The Breakfast Club" is about.



Mona Pereth
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29 Sep 2021, 4:54 pm

badRobot wrote:
I think it might be a good exercise to get involved with people who have some interests very different to yours. Just to force yourself to find the common denominator that is less obvious.

This would likely work well for some people, so it was worth mentioning, but please don't assume it will work for everyone.


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