How did you make friends during childhood?

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JourneyFan
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23 Jan 2022, 7:48 pm

I am still trying to piece all parts of my life together to make sense of who I am. I am currently being assessed for ASD and ADHD.

I was wondering how you all made friends at school. I only had a few close friends over the years I went to school. But there were other kids I wanted to be friends with and I think I went about it the wrong way. This pushed them away and I expect made them think I was weird.
I would find their phone numbers in the phone book and call them frequently. They were never nasty to me but I did call a boy from primary school every night for a few weeks/a month and in the end, his dad came to our house and told my parents that I’d been calling him every night. My parents were not happy about this and put a stop to it.

At high school there were a couple of girls in my class who I really liked and wanted to be their friend so I used to call them a lot too. But at school, they didn’t include me in their groups of friends. I was never any good in a group and tended to sit with another girl who I called my best friend. She did want to be my friend but our friendship ended when I left school.

I seem to lose friends easily. The person I thought was my best friend recently has stopped contacting me. I don’t know if this is because I have said or done something wrong and I keep trying to work out what has gone wrong. I don’t want to ask her because I am wary about coming across as needy or insecure. I am not upset - just a bit confused.



IsabellaLinton
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23 Jan 2022, 8:43 pm

1 - When I was about five I was obsessed with the little girl across the street from me. Her mother told me that she had gone to another girl's house to play. I was so jealous I went marching over to the other girl's house by myself, to bring my friend back. I didn't watch for traffic and I got hit by a bike-a-thon which was cycling past on the road. One of the young men carried me home all bloody. I likely would have been hit by a car if there hadn't been a bike-a-thon closing the route from cars.

2 - That girl ^ moved away. Two new girls moved into the house. I walked over uninvited when they were in the garage opening boxes. I just stood in the doorway and stared at them until they looked up. We never became friends.

3 - Everyone else was the younger sister of my big brother's friends. Our parents would try to make us be friends by going to birthday parties but none of them were real friendships.

4 - I had a best friend at age 13-14 but it ended in disaster.



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24 Jan 2022, 12:37 am

I made friends by doing that group-to-group thing, as in if I was rejected by one group of kids I'd go around and find another to try to talk to. Lots of trial and error until I found kids who would tolerate me.


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24 Jan 2022, 6:34 am

Friendships were easy in primary school. They just happened. And I was often invited to birthday parties.

In high school friendships were hard. Teenage girls were so hard to please. I often got targeted by kids I didn't know, and got rejected by kids I did know.

When I was 12 there was a new girl in my class who really liked me and wanted to be friends, but stupid me seemed afraid of branching out and I wanted to stick with the girls who I already knew - but who didn't like me. I knew they didn't like me but I just latched on to them anyway because I wasn't very confident or wise. Then when I was 14 I suddenly realised that I needed to make new friends, but by then everyone had found their cliques or groups and so friendships weren't so easy to find. I just wish I had made more effort when I was in my first 2 years of high school rather than the last 2.

So I went on being lonely and isolated, and it got to me. I clung to my mum during the school holidays because I was lonely and felt nobody liked me and had no friends to see. When I was 13 I literally went through a period where I had 0 friends. I saw my cousins as my friends, even though they were at different ages, but relying on your cousins isn't always a good idea because they start to want to be with their friends (if they're NTs that is, which all my cousins were :roll: ).

I think I would have been more into beauty and taking care of my appearance if I had a few good friends to learn it from. That's how most teenage girls get into the habit, because they learn from each other. My younger cousins who I hung about with at weekends were into cars, and although I wasn't interested in cars I still found myself becoming interested because I was around the cousins a lot. So I think the same would have happened if I had been around girl friends who were into fashion and beauty.

So yeah, I missed out on my teenage years and I wish I could get them back. It even comes back to haunt me, and if I experience any social rejection in adulthood I get really sensitive to it and causes me to become depressed and suicidal.


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mohsart
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24 Jan 2022, 6:41 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
1 - When I was about five I was obsessed with the little girl across the street from me. Her mother told me that she had gone to another girl's house to play. I was so jealous I went marching over to the other girl's house by myself, to bring my friend back. I didn't watch for traffic and I got hit by a bike-a-thon which was cycling past on the road. One of the young men carried me home all bloody. I likely would have been hit by a car if there hadn't been a bike-a-thon closing the route from cars.

That reminded me of when I was 6.
I don't remember exactly what happened, but something like a "friend" was playing with another boy instead of being with me.
I was extremely upset and rode my bike as fast as I could down a slope that was a bit tricky. Suddenly there was a lady standing in my way and when I turned so not to hit her I fell and hurt my face quite badly.

I never really had any friends during school, it wasn't until High School that I started to make real friends.

/Mats


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24 Jan 2022, 8:14 am

I don't think some of them are the best examples. The first five or so friendships I made were incredibly toxic. Just the entirety of primary school was an absolute dumpster fire of a time. So let's skip ahead to the healthier connections I made in secondary school. Although, even then there were a couple of toxic friendships but there were less of them. Focusing on the good friendships though, I mainly connected with others through mutual interests.

Usually we'd both be a class together and I'd comment on something in our surrounding. Then we'd start talking about it and gradually the conversation would lead into getting to know each other such as discussing music taste. Sometimes I'd just click with someone. I remember one day I was wandering the halls because I was trying to avoid a particular group of people, when a group of girls in an older year group approached me. They asked if I'm a nerd, I didn't know what to reply so I just said "Uh? I um? Uh?" :lol:

Anyway, they took this as a yes and told me to follow them as they dragged me along. I thought I was done for. However, they led me to this girl in my year and said we should be friends because we're both nerds and then they left. So I introduced myself and we were friends for a brief while until she went back to her home country.

Making friends in my late teens was an odd experience. I remember telling someone that it felt wrong because I hadn't proven myself yet and that I felt as though I didn't deserve the friendship. This was met with concern and I realised that I had a really messed up view of what a friendship was, which I had based on the toxic friendships I had previously experienced. I had to unlearn certain ideas. However, it took a while to learn how to trust people again and not assume that the friendship is a joke or because they ultimately want something from me.

It was a really odd transition going from being the girl were it's a joke to hang out or compliment her, to being weirdly popular in University and having people genuinely compliment me. A part of me almost expected a camera crew to pop out and say I'd be pranked or something. Over time though, I became confident in myself and I realised that the jerks who treated me badly as a kid are nothing like the genuine friendships I have now.


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24 Jan 2022, 8:55 am

One thing I never did was phone friends. I know some kids did. I was not inclined to do that.

I'd rather talk to people in person, physically. There was a lot of comradery. Even despite being somewhat aloof,distant, out of sync, psychologicaly on the inside.

I hanged out with friends, sometimes all day 9:00am - 10pm e.g. on a weekend.

On a schoolday, Playtime was the best time. Lots of fun. Classes were a chore, but sometimes entertaining, lots of clowning about. Occasional drama, but 90% good times.

After school, either stay inside, indulge my own interests. Or go out and play, sometimes kids knocked on your door, sometimes just went out, bumped into people.

Of all my peers. Only a few had a computer. I didn't have a computer till 1999. Mobile phones were a novelty. It was great childhood overall.

I had a few close friends. But many acquaintances, I/We would roam locations and depending who lived there, hang out with whoever, talk to, get into trouble, run into people, part ways, even visit their houses, I ran in groups of either 2 or 3 or more.

It was all very spontaneous and unpredictable. I had little order in my life, i was never forced to go to piano lessons, or other such things. I was left to my own devices for the most part. Very carefree.


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24 Jan 2022, 4:17 pm

Mine just happened.
It helped a lot when I was great with games, both physical and non physical.

But the truth is that I initially just am interested in winning. That draws other peers in.
And went along with whatever they want if anyone never crossed me off as wrong.


That was until I met another childhood friend when moving to an apartment.
I honestly learned a lot more about handling relationships with this particular person than anywhere else.


School didn't taught me much except the world is competitive, you have to be rich, privileged with a lot of network, talent draws people in and appearances mattered, and also the fact that not only people do not get it, they may hate something too different...

Nothing to do much with relationships or relating to others.
Except the essence of survivalism and the use of pretenses to get whatever one wants.


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funeralxempire
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24 Jan 2022, 4:43 pm

Poorly.


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Summer_Twilight
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24 Jan 2022, 4:44 pm

Hi,

Yes, I found that it was easier to make childhood friends than during adolescence and adulthood. It was especially hard when my friends became teenagers and wanted to engage in activities that most teens engage in.



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25 Jan 2022, 12:47 pm

Essentially, I just got really lucky. In 1st grade my teacher was worried because I wasn't talking in class and didn't play with any friends. She suggested autism and my mom took me aside and told me I had to make some friends. One thing she suggested was if someone was new to class or sitting alone that I go introduce myself. It just happened that a girl started in the middle of the year that week. I went and introduced myself and she was outgoing enough to talk for both of us.
I clung to her for the entirety of elementary school and she was popular so being in her loose friend group kept me from being bullied. In 8th grade I went to a new school in a new state and fell apart. I didn't know anybody and I only went there briefly before switching to online school but I did make one friend. I once again followed my mom's advice and introduced myself to someone sitting alone.
I have no clue how to make friends outside of that though



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26 Jan 2022, 1:18 pm

I didn't have any friends from school until i was age 13 or so. Before that i was always too scared to approach people. I had a childhood friend that was the daughter of my mom's friend though i didn't have to make friends with her because we grew up together.



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26 Jan 2022, 1:21 pm

JourneyFan wrote:
How did you make friends during childhood?
Mostly, us weird kids just kinda gravitated toward each other.



JourneyFan
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26 Jan 2022, 3:29 pm

Fnord wrote:
JourneyFan wrote:
How did you make friends during childhood?
Mostly, us weird kids just kinda gravitated toward each other.


Yeah when I look back on the friends I have had over the years, they were always social outcasts - apart from one who I idolised for a while before we actually became friends. I used to copy everything she did (eg. if she picked the yellow colour to make her Mother's Day card, I would pick the same colour) I don't remember how our friendship started but I assume I initiated it.
Everyone else I have just been drawn to because they also did not fit in.



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26 Jan 2022, 8:09 pm

Apparently I was well-liked and had many friends in preschool and 1st, 2nd grade or so. But my development started charting strange routes after that. Only one friend remained by age 11, and then he suddenly transferred to another school. I tried getting back together with the children I had been playing with in preschool but they had already matured to a social level far beyond mine so I had to endure a lot of bullying. Put simply, I imitated them and tried to pretend as if I was their friend and it misfired.

After that I ended up in the outcast group because, hey, you needed someone to work with for group tasks. Kept getting stuck more and more in my own world, which makes my life a story of mental isolation.



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26 Jan 2022, 10:52 pm

AprilR wrote:
I didn't have any friends from school until i was age 13 or so. Before that i was always too scared to approach people. I had a childhood friend that was the daughter of my mom's friend though i didn't have to make friends with her because we grew up together.


Some Autistic folk have never had a friend in their life, so I suppose it is all relative, really, for each Autistic individual.

Good to hear you have had friends though. :)


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