An autistic friend, and the effect it has on me

Postby Agate » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:50 pm

Hello. Last year i acquainted someone who i felt was nice to talk to, yet a bit odd. We kept in touch. Now, half a year later, i've come to seriously suspect he is autistic.
I find it very hard to deal with him. On one hand he's friendly, well-mannered, cheerful, generous, and good at chit-chat. On the other hand, he:
- can talk endlessly about his work, seemingly not caring whether i listen or not.
-is emotionally cold and hard when it comes to (my) feelings. He seems to be totally indifferent to what i value and can be rude and disrespectful regarding my boundaries and emotional life.
- talks and acts from the top of his head. I feel no connection apart from exchanging words.
- does things for me but expects me to grovel and say 'thank you' more than i'm comfortable with.
-is only kind and friendly when i am (or act ) joyful, which means i act a lot and he doesn't even notice.
There are more typical things, but i'll leave it at this.
Every time i've spoken to him, i feel hurt, empty and frustrated afterwards.
He doesn't know this, and by now it starts to gnaw at my ( already low) self-esteem.
Of course i want to discuss these things with him in honesty. But i feel there is no openness to do so. I even feel he won't care if he would never see me again. In fact i'm pretty sure he won't care.
I strongly suspect this man is autistic and i'm about to give up on the friendship.
What i encounter within myself ( the lesson ) is, that i tend to get whiny over this but instead of getting weak, i should learn to become strong ( more centered and a more realistic self-esteem). This is something i've procrastinated about for a long time bc i don't know where to find the right support for that. I can't pull myself out of the pit by my own hair.
I think changing myself is the best way to deal with it.
So my question is two-fold:
- anyone has a tip on how to deal with people like the above-mentioned guy?
- where do i start finding a place to vent things that bother me, where i can get insights and encouragement to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life and myself?

Thank you in advance.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm

Agate wrote:I think changing myself is the best way to deal with it.
So my question is two-fold:
- anyone has a tip on how to deal with people like the above-mentioned guy?
- where do i start finding a place to vent things that bother me, where i can get insights and encouragement to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life and myself?


You start by reframing what you appear to believe about friendship. Any relationship is not either yes or no, black or white, on or off. Friendship is only a label. The extent to which you converse with and how you choose to converse is dynamic, there is an ebb and flow. If you don't like your encounters with this person, you handle it by simply distancing yourself. This doesn't mean this person is not a friend, rather a choice you have made that what works best in this particular relationship is less direct interaction. You have other ways you choose to use your time.

This then takes the focus back to you. Why do you feel the need to be friends with this person or any other person for that matter? Can you not simply enjoy life for life's own sake? Why is a relationship so important to you? Self-esteem? I would recommend exploring why you believe friendships are so important, so crucial in your life that you allow a "friend" to dictate your feelings.
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