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Brainiac42
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08 Jul 2021, 9:13 am

I’ve completely lost interest in hanging out with my friends. I have one best friend and I haven’t hung out with him in over a month, and another friend who’s started to annoy me that I pretty much just ignore. (He is an alcoholic and it’s all he cares about). My other friend is great though, and I’m not sure why I’ve lost all interest in being social. I just want to hangout with my family, girlfriend, and dogs.. I don’t want to be social at all anymore. I think I may regret losing my friend if I continue this.



IsabellaLinton
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08 Jul 2021, 10:24 am

I made a choice to stop seeing friends many years ago. I don't make plans or commitments for things like family gatherings until the very last minute, so I won't have to disappoint anyone if I change my mind. I made my world much smaller. Only select people, and select sensory experiences, are really allowed in my life. For example I've been retrofitting my home to make it more sensory-friendly, and I try not to go anywhere that will undo that sense of security.

I'm older than you though, and I've done enough socialising and sensory-masochism in my lifetime to put it all behind me. You'll know what's right for you if you start to feel better instead of worse. I'd recommend keeping your communication open with your family or even one friend (via text etc - you don't need to see them if you aren't into it), just in case you ever need support or advice in your relationship with your girlfriend. Likewise have someone you can talk to about your family, if needed.

The word Autism comes from the idea of "autonomous" or alone, which doesn't mean we need to be completely shut off from people, but it's common for autistic people to feel more secure in smaller social circles, like you describe. Let your friends know you're going through a transition to find out what feels best for you, and that it's no offence. Some will tolerate it and others won't. That will also help you to determine which people to stay in touch with electronically, or not at all.



Mona Pereth
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08 Jul 2021, 1:37 pm

Brainiac42 wrote:
I’ve completely lost interest in hanging out with my friends. I have one best friend and I haven’t hung out with him in over a month, and another friend who’s started to annoy me that I pretty much just ignore. (He is an alcoholic and it’s all he cares about). My other friend is great though, and I’m not sure why I’ve lost all interest in being social. I just want to hangout with my family, girlfriend, and dogs.. I don’t want to be social at all anymore. I think I may regret losing my friend if I continue this.

Since you feel that you may regret losing your friend, I would suggest that you think carefully about how you can continue to include your friend in your life without putting as much time and energy into the friendship as you did previously.

First, how long have you been together with your girlfriend? How long have you known your best friend? And does your best friend have a romantic partner too?

It's normal for there to be greatly-reduced contact between newly-coupled people and their friends. It's normal to want to spend more time with one's romantic partner and less time with platonic friends.

A lot of people lose friends at this point, which is very unfortunate in my opinion. I believe that it's important to keep one's friends if at all possible -- or at least the friends with whom the friendship has been mutually beneficial. (Thus, perhaps it may be best to keep your best friend but drop the annoying alcoholic one?)

Among other reasons why losing one's friends is a bad idea, if it can be avoided: Losing friends increases the danger of becoming too emotionally dependent on one's romantic partner, which can be bad for the romantic relationship. Therefore I think it's important that both you and your girlfriend find ways to keep your respective longtime close friends.

I would suggest that you have a frank discussion about this matter with your best friend. Let him know that you still value his friendship, even though, now that you have a girlfriend, you want to spend as much time as possible with her and therefore won't be able to hang out with him nearly as often as you did previously.

It might then be a good idea to come up with some specific plans for how you and your friend can stay in contact. For example, if you and your best friend happen to be adherents of the same religion, then you could just make a point of talking to with each other briefly after church/whatever. Otherwise, if everyone involved is okay with this, you could host occasional (maybe once every two or three months or so) dinners to which you invite your girlfriend plus your best friend plus your girlfriend's best friend if she has one, plus maybe some family members of both you and your girlfriend. Or, if there there is some hobby that you, your girlfriend, and your best friend all have in common, the three of you could all attend occasional (no more than once every few months or so) events related to that hobby. If and when your best friend finds a romantic partner too, then the four of you could get together occasionally as couples.

Whatever plan you come up with, it needs to be something that will reaffirm your friendship on a regular basis without taking up too much of your time and energy.

For most NT's, such reaffirmation of friendship is one of the purposes of birthday parties and holiday parties. If, like many autistic people, you can't stand parties, then you will need to come up with your own lower-key alternative means of keeping friendships alive.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 08 Jul 2021, 5:28 pm, edited 9 times in total.

kraftiekortie
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08 Jul 2021, 1:42 pm

Point Blank:

I wouldn't stop hanging out with the friend you like. Autism doesn't mean you have to change your approach to certain friendships.

How much does this guy know about your autism?



HeroOfHyrule
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08 Jul 2021, 2:22 pm

I have never had a huge interest in hanging out with friends, and I am personally fine just texting people once in awhile and doing things with them once in a blue moon. Me and my current friend shoot each other texts via Discord a few times a day and sometimes listen to music together or play a game, which I find fulfilling.

Do you think that if you kept up with texting that friend sometimes and doing things with them occasionally, but not too often, that it would fulfill your social needs without you having to lose your friend? If you currently do much more with them then you should talk to them before you do that though, so they don't think you completely lost interest in them.


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I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I have two cats, a rabbit, and a dog. I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


Brainiac42
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09 Jul 2021, 1:18 am

Thank you everyone for the advice. I asked my good friend to hangout and we now have set plans, although I don’t really want to be social right now.

I think I’m experiencing autistic burnout from constant masking. When I’m alone I don’t have to mask, I can be myself around my girlfriend and my dogs. I’m more anxious lately, had a complete shutdown a couple weeks ago where I couldn’t speak, and I am stimming a lot with my hands/feet. I think I am just done with masking and it is causing me to want to be a recluse.



Mona Pereth
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09 Jul 2021, 12:17 pm

Brainiac42 wrote:
Thank you everyone for the advice. I asked my good friend to hangout and we now have set plans, although I don’t really want to be social right now.

I think I’m experiencing autistic burnout from constant masking. When I’m alone I don’t have to mask, I can be myself around my girlfriend and my dogs. I’m more anxious lately, had a complete shutdown a couple weeks ago where I couldn’t speak, and I am stimming a lot with my hands/feet. I think I am just done with masking and it is causing me to want to be a recluse.

Hopefully you can be yourself with your best friend also?


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- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)