Why finding friends is difficult for people with Aspergers

Why finding friends is difficult for people with Aspergers

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– When you’re on the autism spectrum, making friends is legitimately difficult. And that’s not because of
any deficit in communication, or in understanding other
people, or social skills, or any kind of, you know,
interpersonal relationship skills. A lot of people on the spectrum have challenges in those areas. But even if you have
amazing communication skills and all of those things, there is one main, massive barrier. And that is because friendships are built on common interests and common activities. And if my interests, for example, are different to other people’s interests, then it makes it legitimately difficult to find people who want to talk about the things that I want to talk about. It makes it legitimately
difficult to find people who want to do the things
that I want to do at all, let alone finding more than one, to have an actual group of
friends to do these things. So, let me give you an example, alright? I am a 30-ish year old male, living in Melbourne. And I don’t watch T.V. I don’t listen to the radio or any other form of popular music. I have no interest in football and I have no interest in cars. What am I supposed to
talk to people about? When typically I’ve found
when guys get together they might go to the pub, drink beer. I’m really not a fan of beer. I love one beer, but after that it kind
of gets a bit boring. So, I don’t enjoy drinking beer. I don’t enjoy going to the pub. I don’t enjoy sweaty locker rooms, or playing football, or talking
about any of these things. What am I supposed to
connect with people about? So that’s the first thing. So that’s not to say it’s impossible. I manage to find friends based
on lots of common interests. At university I did Tae Kwon
Do, I played hacky sack. My friends and I liked doing
cryptic crosswords together and listening to Metallica, and various other things like that. So, it’s not impossible, but
it is legitimately difficult for reasons that go far, far
beyond any kind of deficit, which may or may not exist, in communication or social intelligence. So what’s the point? What do I have points? Do I have a point? I suppose one thing is that
one thing I have learned is that friends are not optional. Making friends, finding friends, keeping friends might be difficult, but it’s not something
that I can just opt out of and choose not to do. I need friends. I believe it’s a social thing that human beings need support
from other human beings. Especially in the society
that we live in today. It’s almost impossible
to get by, by yourself. And then if something goes
wrong, there’s no one to turn to. So I have to put a lot of energy into maintaining the good
friends that I do have, to make sure that I keep
that support network of friends and family. Yeah, so it’s difficult, but
it’s absolutely necessary. So if you’re having
trouble finding friends, get help and keep going. As it’s not worth giving up. It is possible. Maybe that will do for today. I suppose if I want to
finish on one final tip, it’s that the friends that I made when I was trying to fit in, and trying to do what everyone else did, or be interested in what
everyone else was interested in, they were too much energy to maintain. And I haven’t been able to
maintain those friendships. The only friendships
that are worthwhile to me that I have been able to maintain, are the ones where I have
found that one in a thousand, one in a million person who
accepts me for who I am, and who doesn’t ask me to do things that I don’t have the energy to do. And when I can be authentic
with myself in a relationship, that’s a good relationship. That’s the kind of relationship that is worth me investing in, because I can use that
relationship in the future when I don’t have the
energy to look after myself. I can rely on someone else sometimes. So friends for the sake of friends, (Bronx cheer) But friends in general,
friends who accept me and support me when I’m authentically me, incredibly important. Difficult to find but
incredibly important. Yeah, that felt like a bit of a rant. But hopefully you liked
it and I will talk to you about some other random
topic that comes to mind and I’ll rant about it some other time. Okay, bye.

88 thoughts on “Why finding friends is difficult for people with Aspergers”

  1. As Aspies, we're known for having deep interests in specific topics, but sometimes those interests become a prison to us. When we becoming pathologically incapable of venturing outside of those interests, it becomes off-putting to the perspective friends. It's the inability to empathize with the interests of others that becomes isolating. We limit ourselves by only allowing ourselves to form relationships around common interests. Sometimes people will talk to me about subjects I'm not interested in, but I get that it's important to them. People respect that you're willing to listen to them, even if it's a subject that you don't have a lot of strong feelings about.

  2. I'm blunt so people believe I don't care. When someone doesn't understand. I tend to over explain because I don't know what they don't understand and they don't state what they get or don't. And when I say I don't understand something they take it from the top and explain the whole lot. When I don't understand just a piece of one step. Then I look bored or uninterested. So they give up on explaining and just call me lazy and take over my work duties of whatever is going on.

  3. Wow. Very interesting. I'm in some very similar situations. I'm watching your vids and have been struggling with the idea that I might be in the spectrum you are talking about. Some of the things you are talking about here and in other vids I do identify with. I'm articulate but not with everything and not with many things many other people thing have value.

  4. I just get tired of listening to some people, it seems like a lot of nicety talk, just bores me, I have one friend that I talk to a lot where we were raised alike and we have some long deep conversations, they ask me to church, and I’m nope, cause I like it how it is, don’t want to be in crowd, and pressured, I like short conversations that I can escape from, before that get long winded, cause they are so boring, I seem to be a lot like you, don’t do bars, cars, ball games, beer, so forth, I like video games, rock, and exploring cooking new recipes, and trying wines, nature, my pets, and the beach, a lot my age work, sleep, work, sleep ect. They say next year, next year, life’s too short, I like it best by myself, cause I can think.

  5. I've just lost a friend because she's hurt that I don't text her often, when I did it was already too late for her, she just gave me one word answers and started to post in Facebook hints about fake friends and got a mutual friend involved… Months later finally I ask her openly about it (too afraid of reject that I suspected would come) she tells me we're no longer friends, and now the mutual friend we had also excludes me. So now I have two less friends (that makes I still have two left) and I'm so heart broken I can't even

  6. I'm speculating that I might have minor Asperger's (highly possible) and I completely understand what your talking about. Having good social skills is great and all but that isn't necessarily the underlying factor with how we aren't making as many friends. One thing I've never understood with NTs is the obsession with cars (I understand that some people on the spectrum like cars but just pointing out an even odd) I mean all it is, is a motorized wagon. I find the obsession with computers to be far more rational because computers have almost an infinite amount of capabilities. What NTs see in cars, I see in computers. Something else that I can't understand is the taste in music as well as video games. Almost every guy that I've met listens to rap and plays games like Call of Duty, hardy any exceptions. While I usually listen to bands like Green Day and play games like Final Fantasy. It can become quite frustrating especially when you live in an area with a diversity in personalities, but is dominated by the jocks/frats/preps.

  7. I got an idea for anyone who has trouble finding friends: Let's make a group and help each other as much as possible. When we then walk through places where everybody comes with a group, many people will think we are completely normal 😉 I believe it's the best way to really be open. Is if we find mind-similar people like here.

    Who finds the idea good? Then write me in the comments 😉

  8. I find it hard because I feel I can only bond with people who have similar interests, my two best friends had aspergers and I didn't even know till they told me one was a boy and one was a girl I known them at different parts of my life , they were the kindest people I've met as friends.

  9. My husband has made one good friend in the twenty years we've been together. Their common interest is metal detecting.
    I have two friends at work. We hang out there, and our day is spent interacting with the public. When work is over, I have no desire to socialize with anyone else.

  10. That's why I will eventually die from alcohol abuse would rather have that tool to exist than live alone without it.

  11. Um, I think you should marry my sister my whole family is on the spectrum and she’s a teacher and she’s great with Aspergers folks. You sound delightful to her.

  12. I have asburges and I've never had a friend at school or out of school. I know how difficult it is.
    I hate everything you mentioned except cars I love cars and if it wasn't for my interest I probably would have given up and would not be here today. Also I have really bad anger issues.

  13. Just watched this video again; the title caught my eye because I can relate! You are so smart. Authenticity is so important to me too.

  14. I can find with common interests with people it's just it's usually drug related and using buddies aren't the best kind of friends imo

  15. I relate to what you say about finding friends. I am not diagnosed with Aspergers. But I do identify with your symptoms. Thanks.

  16. Okay so! Where do I begin? YOU are refreshingly hilarious, I felt almost like I shouldn't, but I found myself laughing hysterically at many points in this video because I can relate and completely understand what you mean, so it was almost like a revelation for me. The last part rung very true to me, as I find friends for the sake of friends completely pointless too, and I only make an effort with those who love me for who I am, and feel I can be myself around those types of people, the ones who don't expect me to be someone I aren't, this is why I feel very isolated at times, as those kinds of people are very rare.

  17. I find myself liking lots of music maybe due to that’s what everyone else listens to but I prefer indie pop and math rock. I’m afraid to express myself because I’m partially afraid I won’t be accepted. I know I’m really weird and maybe embarrassing for others.

  18. It just get worse as you get older. I'm 48, and am completely alone. Friends i have had, Have moved on with family and careers, and people just don't seem to want make new friends at my age.

  19. Good advice for anyone. I am NT and feel lonely quite a bit of the time. I have a couple good friends and feel very blessed.

  20. No matter how old you are especially if you got Autism or Aspergers chances are, there’s not much friends left in the world and you would be described as an outsider or an outcast.

    Make friends and socialising is very hard for people with Aspergers or Autism and that includes me.

  21. I personally Like to connect about language learning and fortunately I like popular music. Language acquisition is what got me to find people like me parasocially and socially.

  22. As an African-American Trans Woman born with ASD I have had to face the fact that no matter what I do there is no place for me in society. There are no models in people's minds for someone like me too legitimately exist, no precedent people can look and think, "Sure, that's really a thing". Attending Aspie groups here in the Bay Area of California I have been greeted with the same suspicion and incredulity I have faced elsewhere all my life Neurotypicals. I hear people say the "feel" I have an "Agenda". As if all people somehow don't have an Agenda. I get it though. They mean some naferious agenda, something unsavory I am compelling them to believe somehow. Like mentioning the very Racism that causes their anxiety they express by this suspicion. My being Trans and a Lesbian only confirms their suspicions.

    When I seek to accomplish things people do not associate even with Neurotypical Black people I am derided and called arrogant for the attempt. If I ducted in any effort assumed beyond my capacity, people immediately think it fraud of some kind or if they were not a witness, then I must be lying.

    I have no friends, no family, and people who share interests in the books I read, the music I love, hiking, backpacking, flying kites, motorcycles to name only a few things never accept me. Nothing I do changes that.

  23. I don't know if I'm on the spectrum, but I'm definitely neurodivergent in some way and very much of an introvert. I never fit in in groups and it triggers social anxiety.. it's ugly and makes me feel left out ):

  24. Oh my, that’s exactly why I find it hard to make friends, I think a lot of people on the spectrum are simply just not Flexible enough, I cannot put up with people who are not my kind, and I can really ONLY be with people who can share my interests or at least want to talk about things I want to talk about…..

  25. you are more normal than you think. you look and act like almost every other person on the spectrum. therefore you have at LEAST the option of being friends with them. myself however, failed a personality test- (they aren't designed to be able to fail is why that is meaningful information), because i am a social chameleon, and can fit into any group, but belong to none of them. you follow me? doctors can't pin me. people can't label me. i have not heard of anyone like me. I'm a master of blending. I'm good at just about everything: math, science, sports, engineering, music, art,….(I'd trade it all to just be normal) i can relate on a massive scale. like i said, i fit everywhere, but belong nowhere. so feel lucky sir, cuz you are FAR more normal than you realize. try being the "black sheep" in a flock of one; THAT'S a truly lonely feeling brother.😔

  26. alot of what you said sounds alot like me. i dont watch tv, i dont like sports, i dont like the radio, i dont drink alcohol. i dont really do anything that most normal people do

    i like to play video games, which is really popular overall. but i dont really like playing any of the popular video games. which makes it really hard to talk someone else who plays video games

  27. I just stumbled upon this video and it nerves me. "Making" friends is a huge problem for me just because I don't whant to have friends. I totally agree that social network of friends sometimes is a staple point for surviving.
    In fact I have one old friend for 20 years. Sometimes we don't see another for years. But I still consider her my best friend and don't whant neither more friends nor more frequent visits.
    I do have family, though. My husband is the same. My mother in law has tons of friends and relations and concider both her son and me "a little weird". Nether of us have any diagnoses.
    So for me it was strange to hear that autistic people DO whant to have friends.
    Who am I then?

  28. it's hard for you but i do understand other inrest's are what can you cook talk about do u like to play pool talk about that u like movies not everyones like's things but u make the best in your life

  29. Dont know where to start but it's frustrating how people dont talk about their interest . but if they do its usually some normie pleb tier shit. I literally dont know anybody where I live who actually takes heavy interest into designing clothing and making it . but ive noticed things like music, video games , tv shows or sports is easy to share with other people but we all have different taste in it so its hard as shit. Dont know how these normies do it

  30. The thing is, I WANT things to go wrong. I WANT to have nobody to turn to so then maybe I will crash and burn and then I wont even care. Aspergers sends me into total apathy

  31. I have exactly 2 friends, two in case you thought that was a typo, outside of my family members. And I'm fine with that, lol.

  32. what scares me is that i dont have any friends and i dont know how to make friends, im introverted and have trouble communicating with other people. i look around at work and see how easy it is for others and wonder why cant i be like that

  33. My boyfriend gets upset when I dnt get excited about things he cares about ..like when he brought home a motorcycle and I didn't really care to go look at it.

  34. Some questions Paul which I hope aren't too personal. What are your interests? Do family members support you? How did you meet your wife? Just curious.

  35. Wow … I need to watch more of your videos … Reading the comments below, I also see myself and my feelings being expressed by others … Am I not the only one who feels these things? Am I not really alone? Like Anna, I have zero friends since I stopped drinking and, in my case, using drugs too. But were they really friends in the first place? Not really … but why can't I ever make friends or find one person to feel totally comfortable with and be myself … I may have stumbled onto something here … Thanks!

  36. I dont have one single friend. I live in a part of the US that is very family oriented, in the south. I am 46 so the women my age are married with children. I find that is all they can talk about. I try to talk about things of interest and they just look at me like I'm nuts. I am so lonely and I don’t have a family.

  37. I dont mean to sound mean but I also find people to be very uninteresting and listening to most people talk is just so boring! I think most NTs are just not intelligent. I certainly enjoy listening to you talk because you sound just like me!

  38. For me I find it ok making work mates. Outside of work I only 4 friends. One I live with…two who live in the same town as me…..one who lives out of town.

  39. For me I personally have interest in multiple areas. But if I can interest from other's it doesn't last long because the conversation is just focused on that one thing

  40. One thing that I've noticed this year and that i not only have trouble reading people… people also have trouble working me out.

  41. A two-fold problem: WE finding people who will accept us for who we are, as well as finding people we can accept for who THEY are. It's easy to be egocentric when talking about our problems.

  42. There was that movie with Paul Rudd where he has no male friends and he’s about to get married. Somehow I have no friends but i am married.

  43. OMG this is so true for me! Unless there is a shared interest, it's so hard for me to socialize with people.

  44. Go to university talks, or corporate shows or auction houses, or whatever. Darwin went to animal-breeding shows, for example.

  45. If one has no friends or any social contact, how does one get help? I need only one other person, but I cannot find them. So………?

  46. You’re basically describing that you don’t like being feminine. The things you’ve described are feminine. Men behaving femininely does not mean that such is masculine. What you’re describing is very odd for an urban area, but it is normal for a rural area.

  47. One of my issues in socializing is that my brain historically and seemingly always has made a habit of "getting to the point"…if we are having a conversation unless it is about a topic that I'm interested in I find it extremely difficult to listen to you. It almost sounds like womp womp from Charlie Brown my brain just filters out the "fluff" and retains the literal stuff. I suppose this has made me come off as nonrelatable or too serious.

  48. I have at least one friend in my life, he has ADHD which is kinda similar to Aspergers which is why I guess we are friends

  49. I wish you were in the US , i would love to have a friend like you.your videos have been a great help to me. I have known i was since i was a child that i was "weird". i never had many friends. but , i never made the connection that i had a form of autism. i have always had a problem with small talk and eye contact. When you explain how you feel , the thoughts in your mind, i see that i am not alone in this. What you are doing is a great thing. You are helping many people. Keep up the good work. Your friend Richard.

  50. I am not in the spectrum but I feel the same. You are great! I almost gave up many years ago. You are completely right – only people how looked you and share your interest worth efforts. Understanding this is very helpful. Thank you for you r videos, love them.

  51. Not always true. Sometimes the opposite instead you can easly make friends with anyone but can't stay friends easly with someone. This is what I experience and I don't care anymore because most of the so called friends who dumped me turn out to be narcistic people, sociopaths or people that arnt honest with others.

    I have friends but not many and that is a choice of mine.

    On one my medical papers they have put that "I don't have friends" which isn't true at all. In every stage at my life I had atleast a friend or atleast a few. I don't know who told that to the person who wrote that but it wasn't me.

    So called counselors claim that I never had friends which isn't true at all.

    I sometimes get bad counselors of different fields that only do half the job that they supposed to do right.

    My autism is not yet diagnosed. I will get tests the end of this year and I hope that those counselors,therapists will be good at their job because not every counselor or therapist is good at what they do. I will get angry if I discover a few lies if they do those tests with me.

  52. I don’t want friendship anymore. It’s waste of time and overwhelmed. I don’t watch TV, Radio, football, soccer etc. So I can’t connect to anyone. We share the same interest. I have interest in girls, home broker, foods etc.

  53. It amazes me that you do not understand why its difficult to make friends. Its easy, you just said it, you mentioned takewoundo. Thats the key you know, you got to find what you are intetested in and build on that. If you dont know, try different things and see. I myself like fishing, hunting, hockey, metal detecting scuba diving. In these environments I found my good friend because we can eagerly talk about and experience together. You asbergers seems to not understand this simple logic.

  54. You speak to me. I’ve never been able to have a group of friends without being the person that is the butt of all the jokes. I’m happy that in adulthood at least people aren’t inviting into a friend group just to manipulate me. Yet I have no real consistent friend group. As a woman, I’ve never had a group of female friends.

  55. I know exactly where your coming from, it the same with me, I’m not really into sport, I hate commercial radio, I hate commercial tv, can’t stand materialism like clothes fashion items etc, not into the car thing, it’s hard to find a person who has similar interests to me, when most people I know are into sport,cars,fishing etc, I do have a handful of mates that are similar to me , so I’m grateful for that, but you know I rather have a handful of mates instead of hundreds otherwise it gets too overwhelming.

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