Hello. I would like to know how to cope with my friend with Asperger’s.
We were good friends. However, the more we become close, the more we argue. I think this is because that we do not understand to each other. Or I should rather say thay it is so hard for me to understand her way of thinking or perceptions....(she says she understands me but she does not sadly...)
We both had tough times last year. We were so stressed out in own issues. I do admit that I was sometimes nasty and horrible to her. I am shamed to say that I have shouted at her so many times. If I am allowed to excuse for it, this was because I was just not be able to put up with her extreme negativity and strong obsession with wanting to tell her favourite things which I do not like to hear and to correct the meaning of the words I used (my mother language is not English) during having important discussions and/or everyday conversations.
Since she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, for me, she now excuses everything that she cannot do or change because of having Asperger’s. It really does not work for me... She has said to me once that I am neurotypical that is why I do not understand her. It may be true but sounded really cold and I felt a big barrier between us.
She found a kind of soul mate who has also Asperger’s in SNS. She is very happy and it makes her strong. She said to me that that person really understood her and made her feel very comfortable. I felt very jealous and was not happy at all because I am suffering from not being able to understand her as a real life friend exchanging many private and life issues but she admires her virtual friend....
I almost decided to end up our friendship because I do not know how to manage my emotions with her. I do not want to but I do become short tempered. Also, she believes in what her SNS friend says and telephone Asperger’s psychiatrist advice only now. She ignores my calls eventually. That is actually psychiatrist’s advice because I shout at her...My close friends advise me to finish this friendship because of wasting time...I really liked her and thought that I could make a great friendship with her though.....I do not know why our friendship became so bad...
Could anyone kindly tell me how to cope with this situations and a friend with Asperger’s, please?
There's such a lot I could say, but the main thing is...
Do you still want to be friends with her?
If so - if she means more to you than superficialities - then perhaps try to accept her. Talk to her about her condition and how it affects her. Find out about it yourself.
'Since she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, for me, she now excuses everything that she cannot do or change because of having Asperger’s. It really does not work for me...'
You could, perhaps, try to understand that when someone gets a diagnosis like this - as I did myself a couple of years ago, at age 56 - it can make a profound difference. Suddenly, all of those problems you had in life - people not seeming to like you, never feeling like you fit in, feeling anxious around others a lot of the time - make sense. It's like someone's given you a code that breaks the puzzle. And of course, when that happens, it's natural to use it to try to explain so many things. Is she making excuses? Or are there genuinely things that she cannot change, or will struggle to change? I work with highly-autistic people. If they do something that most people would perceive to be 'wrong' - such as shout in public, or try to flush clothing down the toilet - you can't just stop them doing it. It's a behaviour trait that needs time and patience and careful work before it can be moderated or changed.
It makes me wonder if your attitude towards her - your self-confessed short-temperedness - is making her react in the way she is by saying she can't change. She feels like she's under attack. Maybe you need - if you wish to retain her friendship - to show a little more patience and understanding. Also, it might help to take a look around on some of these threads. See what other people with Asperger's are saying. Try to learn a little from it.
She's not like you. She's neurodiverse, not neurotypical. She doesn't see the world in the same way you do, and she's in a minority. It's not an easy place to be. And other people can often make it much harder.
Thank you so much for your response.
I too am a kind of minority here in England. I am foreign.
I too felt that I was so different from others when I was in my own country because my way of thinking was very different from others. Also, others saw me different from them because of my appearance. I do not look like people who are in my country. I still feel that I am very different from people here because of cultural backgrounds. I do get depressed and feel difficult to change things. I have experienced to stay home for nearly 2 years and avoided contacting others. Therefore, it is so hard to accept that there are huge differences between me and my friend. She is not the only one who feels different from others and suffers from it.
However, I always try to appropriate what I have, where I am, being able to see and hear, being able to eat and drink, my heart beats and my organs do function and well-being of my parents and myself although I become negative so many times. It is very hard to keep gratitude when things are so tough, but that is my attitude of life: appreciation and gratitude.
I was very patient at first when I met her. I even liked her eccentric nature. I tried to understand her tough experiences and was empathetic. We discussed life attitudes many times but it did not work for her and our friendship, especially we both were so stressed in own issues...I did not shout at her from the beginning though...
If she keeps listening to only her SNS Asperger’s friend and psychiatrist, then I do not think that I can continue this friendship because there is no actual communication with her...
We are so different from each other, aren’t we? We have diversity, don’t we? But we all are just human beings. Why can’t we accept it and keep continuing our life with appreciation and gratitude?
She excuses negative things because of Asperger’s now, I am afraid. I do not want her to be like that. She was much open-minded before.....