Never had friends

well I’m 31 and I don’t think I’ve ever had friends. Yesterday I was assessed and diagnosed with autism and aspergers and within the assessment it was pointed out I have a weird tone of voice ie tone vs context, my wife pointed out I can sound aggressive of which I was partially conscious about but unaware of how noticible it was. Also something I didn’t know was a lack of facial expressions resulting in a “blank face “ as the psychiatrist put it. Know I know y I struggled to make friends. But not sure how this knowledge will help me to make friends? 

  • Good question.(Meaning I'd like to see other peoples' answers.)

    We were talking about gestures here a month or two ago. I'm not sure if lack of emotion in your face or hands or posture is a huge barrier to friendship, or if social awkwardness is. Maybe the way to make friends is not related to that knowledge, it's about doing the kinds of things where you'd meet people you'd get on well with. Role-playing games has been one example.

    You have a wife though, which is pretty good going in my books.

  • Hey Jason, this Hassan i'm not in the same situation but i have worked with persons on the spectrum. first i would advise you to try as much as possible to have even if one friend, our friends play a big role in our lives, some of what we do in adult age is because we had chance to copy them from our good friends. it will challenging but give it a go. Thank you for sharing with us. 

  • Hi Jason

    Welcome to the forum.

    I think there are always pros and cons with a diagnosis.  You'll find that it explains a lot about yourself which you may or may not know.  Some things will be easy to understand or accept while others may come as a surprise or, even, shock.

    And you've come away from your diagnosis with 2 areas - tone of voice and lack of facial expressions.  You're also fortunate with a partner who can help - perhaps you could spend time together seeing if you can adjust your voice so it is less aggressive sounding.

    I'm finding that acceptance of the condition (still waiting for assessment/diagnosis) allows me to learn about myself and look at how I can adjust to help act, react and interact with others.  I know that it won't necessarily mean that I will make friends but it has boosted my confidence so I'm better placed to face the world in stages.  I'm gradually becoming less reclusive and taking the first steps to get involved with activities locally - early days but starting with small steps.

    Have you seen or know if there is a local branch of the NAS?  It might provide a real-life forum where you could talk with others (that's been really valuable to me over the last few months).  If not, this forum has been equally valuable for raising things and getting feedback.

  • Do you have acquaintances.  People you know, maybe at work, or outside work that you strike conversations with?  they aren't quite full blown friends, but you might say go and have a pint with them after work?  Maybe sit and talk crap on a lunch break.  Then you probably know people who may think of you as a friend.

    I have one proper friend. I have one almost friend who is my gym partner and several acquaintances.

    Anyway, you have a wife.  Thats more than I ever achieved. Plus she obviously loves you.  So I wouldnt massively worry about it.

    So how to make other friends.  Join a club, maybe with your wife.  Sports clubs are the easiest to approach generally.  Maybe a walking club or bowling, etc.  You get the idea.  By joining one, you will socialise, even if its in a pseudo aspie way.  With time and familiarity you will gain friends, and maybe you will decide to let them in on your issues (or maybe not).  At least that sounds good on paper.  In reality, having ASD and making friends is just hard.  Your best bet is to find other people with ASD.  My main friend also has ASD.  Since we are both tuned into the same wavelength we get on fairly well.