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Alice

Friendship for females on the spectrum

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Alice

I just read this article https://thesector.com.au/2018/11/23/friendships-are-particularly-challenging-for-girls-with-autism-research-finds/?fbclid=IwAR1KDfb09FcaB7ssgMYdIHAjfdCNuLqfAoDMoR2yDZJZn0fXYhu_iMJdwVM


It is saying that females on the spectrum find it harder to make friends

I relate to this a lot. Im very black and white when it comes to friendships. I dont have time for pettiness, gossip or power games. Once trust or respect is violated I wont go back. I partly see this as good boundaries, and valid expectations of being a decent human being, but I do also see its not very open/forgiving and means you are less likely to have many or any female friendships.

What are other peoples experiences?  Just for females for this one

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RiRi

I don't think I've ever had any real life friends, maybe mainly acquaintances. I don't think I ever got involved in the real life drama where you tell a person a secret and then they tell other people. I had people who'd tell me things about other people but I wouldn't tell the other person or wouldn't engage in talking bad about another person. I don't currently feel a need to create friends or become friends with people. I guess this is because I'm an introvert. It could also be because I'm a private person and I find it stressful getting closer to people, I don't want them knowing anything about my life, at least people that I would see in real life. I can be polite to people but we don't have to be friends and preferably, I don't want to be friends. That is and has been my current mentality regarding friendships. So, I guess to answer the OP,  I can't answer that question really because I haven't had any real life friends or haven't been involved in that sort of drama. 

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Alice
1 hour ago, RiRi said:

I don't think I've ever had any real life friends, maybe mainly acquaintances. I don't think I ever got involved in the real life drama where you tell a person a secret and then they tell other people. I had people who'd tell me things about other people but I wouldn't tell the other person or wouldn't engage in talking bad about another person. I don't currently feel a need to create friends or become friends with people. I guess this is because I'm an introvert. It could also be because I'm a private person and I find it stressful getting closer to people, I don't want them knowing anything about my life, at least people that I would see in real life. I can be polite to people but we don't have to be friends and preferably, I don't want to be friends. That is and has been my current mentality regarding friendships. So, I guess to answer the OP,  I can't answer that question really because I haven't had any real life friends or haven't been involved in that sort of drama. 

Im not ashamed of having trusted people, and having my trust broken. It doesnt say anything bad about me, it just meant learning to be more discerning with my trust in the future.

I too am a very private person and an introvert, but with the right people, I enjoy having a deeper quiet connection. Im quite a warm person so its something I crave though its been a few years since ive had any friends in my life. Real friendships are not drama, it is just mutual support and human connection.

I think it does answer the question a bit, thanks

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Nesf

I have always found that I don't fit in with friendship groups of girls and have only one or two close friends at any one time, as suggested in the article. I found that I think in a different way, have different interests and priorities. I don't play the games and politics of these friendships and don't deal well with conflict and had the all-or-nothing approach as described in the article. I never liked 'girly' activities and conversations. Friends were always people I do things with, rather than people I talk to or go to for emotional support.

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Heather

I have never been very good with friendships either.  I was fortunate in school that there were girls who took the initiative to approach me and be my friend.  I don't remember there being too much conflict or emotional games, though it has been many years since we were close friends and seeing each other all the time so I might just forget some of the things.  Although I think we were NOT very stereotypical for a girls friend group, we were not that girly, none of us dated in high school.  We haven't gotten together much in many years. 

Currently I don't have many friends.  I count my partner as my closest friend, and would count our siblings as friends, especially our younger siblings as we have spent more time with them in the past couple years.  I find it difficult to make friends at work because I get anxious to be too vulnerable around my coworkers. My coworkers are very nice and I try to let a few personal details out, but I am hesitant to be too vulnerable with them. Also I feel like I don't have enough time outside of work to spend with friends.  During the weekdays after work, I eat and spend time with my partner and watch something on Netflix and go to sleep, and on the weekends I either catch up on chores or spend time with family or just relax and recover my energy.  

Sometimes I wish I had a closer friend group but in reality I don't think I could handle it. Like others here have said, I am an introvert and so it is exhausting to be too social and I need time alone at times.  I do have a few friends I have made online over the years, although I haven't kept up with them very well but I still consider them friends for my part.  There are a few people from old work places who I have considered friends while we worked together, but I haven't really ever gotten together with a coworker outside of work so I don't know we were really friends.  

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PandaPrincess

I have a few real life friends and a few online friends.  I don't get together with my irl friends very much because everyone is busy now.  I've also noticed that once your friends get boyfriends, they just wanna hang out with them.  And when I get to hang out with my friends, their boyfriend always comes along, and I become the third wheel.  Honestly though, I have more friends now than I had in the past, thanks to social media.

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RiRi
On 3/19/2019 at 2:05 AM, Alice said:

Real friendships are not drama, it is just mutual support and human connection.

I think you are right and that a real friend wouldn't create drama. By drama I assume you mean gossip about people and being mean to the other person for no reason and that sort of thing. I think I have had these kinds of drama free friendships before but it was with family members so I don't know if that still counts. I feel like a real friendship is one where you could tell the person anything and you wouldn't feel judged by them. Also, being allowed to be stressed or frustrated when it does happen and receiving support for it rather than being judged. 

I feel like people on this thread have different definitions as to what a friend is. For instance, a friend for me is someone that you hangout with whether that is from time to time or quite often. That's why I've felt like I haven't had any real life friends. I did have this one acquaintance once whom I hung out with a couple of times but I felt this person wasn't as supportive as I was to them. Like, I felt judged sometimes rather than supported. I know if I text her again, she'd probably want to catch up but I haven't felt up to it in years. While I did feel like I could tell her about anything, I did feel judged sometimes. A real friend probably wouldn't make you feel this way.

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Alice
On 3/21/2019 at 7:56 PM, RiRi said:

I think you are right and that a real friend wouldn't create drama. By drama I assume you mean gossip about people and being mean to the other person for no reason and that sort of thing. I think I have had these kinds of drama free friendships before but it was with family members so I don't know if that still counts. I feel like a real friendship is one where you could tell the person anything and you wouldn't feel judged by them. Also, being allowed to be stressed or frustrated when it does happen and receiving support for it rather than being judged. 

I feel like people on this thread have different definitions as to what a friend is. For instance, a friend for me is someone that you hangout with whether that is from time to time or quite often. That's why I've felt like I haven't had any real life friends. I did have this one acquaintance once whom I hung out with a couple of times but I felt this person wasn't as supportive as I was to them. Like, I felt judged sometimes rather than supported. I know if I text her again, she'd probably want to catch up but I haven't felt up to it in years. While I did feel like I could tell her about anything, I did feel judged sometimes. A real friend probably wouldn't make you feel this way.

Yes I agree based on what you said about a real friend. A real friend will not judge - will allow you to be a fallible, imperfect human and still accept you for it (and not shame you) - and vice versa. I think you have to go through enough in life - and make enough peace with being an imperfect human to realise others are the same and to not judge others - even if they 'sin' (make completely human mistakes) in a completely different way from you - some people are so afraid of shame they never open up, and they shame others so quick just to avoid having to be brave and face their own, and face putting aside their judgements and allow another human to be themselves, be whole, imperfect and loveable. 

Yes people do have different definitions, but Ive never enjoyed having a friend just as instrumental company - I could just get a dog to go to the park with me rather than a friend if it were just so I could do things without being alone. That kind of relationship makes me feel more alone, not less. Its shallow company.

But thats more to do with my personality type I think. Im an INFJ personally which means I run on deeper meaning, deeper questions, and deeper connections - I always have. Those who I have regarded as real friends (and my prev partner of 7 years) we could talk about anything, I could bring anything from my philosophy or psychology or religious/spiritual studies and personal inquiry to them, have open ended debates - where it doesnt matter who is right, I just love to know how peoples minds and hearts work - and to express and question my own. I dont see the point of being here or talking to people more than functionally otherwise (*me shrugging*)

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collectingrocks

Sorry to hijack but this isn't just a female thing

I don't do fake, superficial, deceit  or play pretend games to manipulate or control people. I don't do office politics and don't play the social game. I also don't like people who play power games or do "one-upping", backstabbing, eager to "get one over" somebody else. 

I prefer honest, straightforward people with integrity and honesty

 

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Joie6

Hi @Alice Thank you for this article. It's interesting.

As for me, I always had troubles to make friends. When I was a child, I used to begin my school year with one or two mates (girls) and to finish the year alone. Now, I've got a few friends with whom I feel good. I fear to give my trust to bad people, what I used to do when I was younger. That's why I've become more selective. The most frustating experiences are when I want to be friend with a girl but I don't know how to do and finally, I don't have any occasions to do it anymore. 

Otherwise, I find that it's easier to be friend with boys than girls.

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