I really don’t know how to cope with my friend who has diagnosed Asperger’s recently

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? 

Parents Reply
  • 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.....

    'Negative' in what way?  Negative in your perception?  Which isn't, perhaps, her perception at all.

    Maybe it's that she felt - as many undiagnosed autistic people do - that she had to try to fit in, in order to gain acceptance.  So, she had to try to learn to do things that NTs - of whatever race or culture - take for granted.  She also had to wear masks to compensate for her perceived deficits.  It's often very hard to do these things.  It's exhausting.  Many late-diagnosed people have had real struggles in life.  I myself have never been able to make or keep friends, sustain relationships, etc.  I can't read body language and gestures very well.  Although some of that can be culture-specific, there is also a good degree of universality to such things.  Less than 10% of communication is verbal.  So, that puts people with autism at a severe disadvantage.  And then, with mild autism - Asperger's - you have the added problem of seeming to be 'normal' in most other respects: you can live your life independently, manage a home, study, work, drive, etc.  So others look at you and see a human being just like any other.  But you're not.  And if you're undiagnosed, what else can you do but simply try to keep up?  Do things that aren't natural to you, perhaps - like go to parties and clubs - simply because everyone else is, and you don't want to feel left out.

    With a diagnosis, you finally see that there's a reason why you struggle with such things.  It's because you're wired differently.  What others can do without a problem, and seem to enjoy - you struggle with, and possibly dislike.  So the tables get turned a bit.  No longer do you have to change to suit everyone else.  Everyone else (hopefully) needs to accept you for who you are instead.  Unfortunately, that often doesn't happen.  Even with me.  I work in an autism unit, alongside neurotypical staff who are trained to understand autistic behaviour.  Even so, they get it wrong - expecting me to be able to do things simply because they can do them.  Expecting me to be flexible.  Expecting me to accept change quickly.  I used to struggle enormously in these areas.  I still do - but at least now I have something on my side defending me: my diagnosis, which says I struggle with these things, and therefore need people to make allowances for me.  You wouldn't expect someone with one leg shorter than the other to walk without limping, as you do.  They'd need help with that.  It's the same kind of thing.  It's just that, being in the head, you can't see it.  Or you can - in 'eccentric' behaviour.  Eccentric behaviour is relative.  What's eccentric to an NT isn't necessarily so to an ND.