I’m a 20 year old with Aspergers and am currently at university, however at the moment I am feeling incredibly down and depressed. This is because all through my life I have struggled a lot with making friends and the friends I did have either just walk away from me or don’t get me. This year at Uni, I found myself three guy friends (I met up with them yesterday) who I think are genuine, however because I have lost so many friends I am worried that I have lost them to due to some of what happened yesterday.
One of my friends hasn’t replied to my text which was about whether he knows any good resources on bees as he’s a beekeeper, and when someone doesn’t reply to my text it makes me think that they are cross with me or no longer consider me a friend of theirs anymore.
I put on this group chat we have a text saying that as I will be graduating at the end of next year, I was wondering whether it would be alright if we did something together as a group to celebrate it such as going to a botanic garden either in the UK or abroad. I had a reply from one friend saying see how it goes and the other two didn’t reply. I am worried that they will think I’m weird because of how I put that up there even though it is just an idea. I did say on the text that I’m aware it’s a way away yet, but I was trying to take their side into account as they are all in jobs.
These are the same three friends who midway through my uni year each said a compliment to me out of nowhere. The compliments were pleasure to know you, the fact you do what you do with AS everyday means to us three that your an exceptional individual, and as far as we are concerned having you in our group and as a friend makes being at uni a lot better.
I am struggling to know whether they are true friends or have I lost all of them as friends because of what happened yesterday. I can overthink things but am worried about this and am feeling down inside and depressed and am starting to give up on my friendships with them because I’m not sure that they consider me a friend. Also does it mean where the friend of mine said that having you in our group and as a friend makes being at uni a lot better, does it mean I’m not a friend of theirs out of uni? Any help would be appreciated as I’m getting very worried about these friendships and need to try and put my mind at ease.
It seems to me that you might be overthinking this. I am pretty sure they didn't mean you are not their friend out of uni. Be careful of taking words too literally. Also, be careful about worrying too much about whether they are your friends because you may then come across as too intense for them. That has happened to me countless times. After all, do you think any of them are worrying this much about what you think of them?
I think you need to relax about this and don't put so much effort into it, to allow the friendships to develop naturally. If they're your friends, great. If they're not, then you really won't have lost anything because people don't just get rid of real friends that easily. If they don't want to go with you to a botanical garden, maybe it's just not their thing, or maybe they can't afford to take time off work. Don't take it too personally if they say no. You could suggest a day trip or a private gathering during the weekend instead, so that they wouldn't have to take time off from work.
Yes, I see what you mean, it’s just as said before, because I haven’t had genuine friends before I just worry more when I think that I have done something wrong and that may cost me the friendship even though it probably hasn’t. It’s what my previous experiences with friendships have done to me in some ways. I don’t want to give up with making friends or on friendships but sometimes I do feel like it.
I'd agree you're overthinking. This sounds just like the kind of situation (someone hasn't replied) that they explain in cognitive therapy. What evidence do you have for or against your fears? What would be a rational, compassionate response to your worry?
NAS38298 said:I am worried that they will think I’m weird because of how I put that up there even though it is just an idea.
In my opinion, it is much better to be weird and sincere than to not say anything at all. Sometimes those are the only choices, and if no one puts ideas out there for meeting up, nothing will happen. Maybe the fact it's a year away and it's 'just' a botanic garden means people won't want to commit to it yet, but it may spark other social ideas too. (I mean to go to Westonbirt but have never been.)
By the way, in my experience, the only way to get over the 'weird' thing is to do it anyway so (a) you can learn from people's reactions whether it was a good idea or not; (b) you can learn alternatives and social skills and so appear less 'weird'; (c) other people can learn to accept you; (d) you get less worried about being 'weird' and see it as expressing yourself instead.
NAS38298 said:The compliments were pleasure to know you, the fact you do what you do with AS everyday means to us three that your an exceptional individual, and as far as we are concerned having you in our group and as a friend makes being at uni a lot better.
That's great. It shows there are good people out there. Maybe the friendship will continue, maybe not. Some of my uni friends I still have over 20 years later, some I haven't.
How often do you meet up? I don't know what other people think, but is there a way to express the fact that you value knowing them and value your friendship, as they did to you? You would do that in your own style, but I suppose standard ways include texts, postcards, meals and little presents.
I can do. The other day I sent them all a text on our group chat saying how I was very pleased to have met them, that it means a lot to me to have three friends who like and appreciate me for who I am, and that they are three of my closest friends for life, and that I hope we remain friends for many years to come”.
Their replies were: that’s nice of you, thanks at least someone likes me, and one of the guys was being sarcastic about another group member. I am not sure whether those replies are a positive or not as they haven’t said to me that they hope we remain friends for many years and that they consider me a good friend.
Sounds definitely positive to me.
I think some people think about 'years to come' and some don't. Some may feel uncomfortable making a commitment to be a friend, especially after a short time - but you might find you are friends for many years anyway. I suppose my philosophy is just behave well and kindly to people and accept whatever happens.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Ok, glad to hear it.
Although I didn’t talk much about depression I am very depressed and do feel like I need help. Do you know of any good places?
I can certainly relate to depression. Have you spoken to your GP about it?
I've posted this before:
Also I suppose you may want to investigate:
You seem to be doing very well, I know some people tend to ghost as a way to snub, but maybe here you need to give the benefit of the doubt.
By my last year at uni I was in quite a state. I had been reading a lot of modern esoteric gobbledygook and started to get very hung up about what was the mystic true self, along with the fear that other aspects of my self might really be false and would have to become obliterated in order to grow into a 'true' self that was nevertheless unpleasant to other people. I had lost most of my friends by this stage, one I had confided in had attacked me using this in quite cruel ways, others had started to shower contempt in other ways on me. I had got sick of being hit on by creepy males who thought they could get me into bed because I seemed so isolated and lonely. One well-meaning friend had told me I appeared to have 'difficulty relating' and had lectured me to be more conventional in dress and not to wear a hat. And to look at people when conversing with them. By the last year I could hardly sleep at all and lost a lot of weight and had constant gut for, not realising yet that glutens might be a problem. I felt such a failure. There was no knowledge of spectrum things at the time though probably at the time I would not have been happy about being labelled that way.
I do wonder whether having this diagnosis does in fact arm you against the enemy more, or whether any advantages would be offset by having g to deal with condescension or stigma. At school I certainly felt stigmatised as a crazy one.
Thank you very much. It’s good to hear that you think I’m doing well. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences at uni. My first year was a bit like that too.
I’m not sure having the diagnosis does help in certain ways because whilst it helped to explain why I think like I do, it usually results in people who I think are my friends walking away from me even though I just can’t see what I’ve done wrong.
You mean friends you thought understood you because they knew of your diagnosis?
I would hope a true friend would be a little less superficial or two-faced and perhaps these two were. I was also going to say the friend you did not respond to your text about beeping may simply have had a doh moment and not known how to respond to your message.