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Define “friendship” » Blogging AS an Aspie
Matt has Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is writing this blog so that people can gain more of an insight into how people with the condition process thoughts, feel emotions, react to situations and generally handle life.

01 Jun 08 Define “friendship”

An impossible concept for an Aspie, I have learnt from many different experiences. But we are not as alone as we may first imagine. I was amazed at how similar to the neurotypical we are when it comes to deciding what a friend is.

I was talking to my friend last Friday night, albeit for 5 hours, and during the course of the conversation, we talked about our times at middle & high school, and our times at college. She reflected on how she didn’t have many friends at middle school, and then we laughed together when I just said “And here’s me, the Aspie, thinking I had the social difficulties” This moved on to high school, where she had found some good friends, through “forced situations” such as being in tutorial groups that you stick with for most of the day. Again, I shared similar experiences, certainly with my second tutorial group at that school, and also in the science classes, where the groups were together a lot of the time. We could both say how ‘easy’ it was to make friends from the group, and how we just knew they were friends.

But then we moved on to each other, and how we met at college. She didn’t know if I was a friend because she had never been in the situation where she had to make her own friends in a “voluntary situation” like the busy life of college. I commented I didn’t know if she was a friend, because I’ve never been in the situation of having a proper friend, and my “lack of social interaction” makes it even harder.

After looking back at how we think of each other, and the interactions we have, we decided that we were friends, and probably close friends. She knows a lot about me and my life, and vice-versa. Its weird how we had to have a conversation to figure out we’d been friends for 6 months, though. I also mentioned that I used a discreet method to turn a “voluntary scenario” into a “forced scenario”, I used a little quiz, which I was struggling with to start conversations with people (name 10 Disney Classics with just one word in their title); by the end of an hour long lesson, I had the number of two of my classmates, who have both gone on to be considered good friends by me!

Anybody else have any similar experiences or thoughts?


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