Friend like me
Greetings readers! I hope your week has been fun. I’ve had a rollercoaster of emotions. From meeting artists and fellow cosplayers to meeting the new doctor in Doctor Who. Something very sad happened to the world this week however - Robin Williams, comedic legend died. He is my inspiration for comedy, second only to dad. At times like this it’s great to have friends to help you out and support you through hard times.
These past few weeks I have been wondering; what does it mean to have friends? What makes friendships meaningful? And more importantly, why is it hard to keep friends when you are on the spectrum? Right now I’m in a transitionary phase; the friend group I used to trust and hang out with don’t have time for me anymore. Like many other Aspies, I have asked myself, what went wrong? Did I say or do something wrong? How can I improve myself? So I began the journey to find out not the Thomas within, but the people who make up our lives, that ‘circle’ outside the family circle – the one about friends.
We have expectations in our lives; we expect to have the nice car, the great job and a good group of friends. But like everything else in life, we can’t expect to remain with the same friends all the time. Things happen, life gets in the way. So does this change anything between the friendships of Neuro-typicals and Aspies? What does friendship mean to these people?
The People’s Voice
Searching through the seas for the ‘friend-ship’ I decided to ask all of my friends what friendship meant to them. Here’s what they said.
From Neuro-typical perspectives, I was told:
“Every day people are people you are forced to tolerate and interact with each day, such as a colleague, or classmate, the moment you leave, you never talk with them again.
Friends are people you actually want to hang out with, you listen to what they say, you trust them, and it's the people you tell really bad puns to just so you can annoy them, and they say ’oh god that was awful, I can't believe we're friends’, but are around.”
“A friend to me is someone who has your back even if you are wrong, someone who you give money to without asking for it back, someone who you can have the most random talks with.”
“Friendship is having that bond with another human being where you can joke with them about anything, have mutual interests, snort/laugh without them being disgusted, being able to eat like a pig in front of them and they join in. But most of all they are someone that doesn't judge you for who you are but embraces it and encourages you even if you are weird as anything.”
“It's a two way street. It's a mutual thing. It doesn't mean you need to contact the person all the time, it just means you are there for them and they are for you at any time, or you just want to hang out.”
On the Aspie Side I was answered with:
“Few times I spent time defining what a friendship means to everyone. Perhaps, a friendship is really more of a two way traffic. It pretty much desirable of respect, integrity and affection. What make us special is the person got to know others is standing with them as well. It’s like knowing there is a person wanted to be like part of you.”
“Wanting to share my world with someone and wanting to know their world in turn.”
"A friend is someone who sees the best in you, is willing to be frank and honest with you for your own good and is interested in what you have to say and willing to support you even when they have things going in your own life "
My Two Cents
Time to go on a tangent. I have watched plenty of tv shows, movies and played many video games. I have seen friendships on every level, there are friends that solve crimes, friendships between the rich and poor and even human and genie. But there is one thing that I have noticed about all those friendships that you can’t get in real life. They are fake. They are well written, they can make you think about life and the world we live in, but they are fake.
True friendship cannot stand on one thing alone, whether its movies, sports or video games. There must be more. You have to share each other’s emotions, experiences and lives. Talk about what is going on in your life; tell them what they mean to you. Otherwise, they drift apart and you lose someone that can mean so much to you. That’s not to say you shouldn’t play video games with your friends, just don’t get so obsessed with a game that force your friend to play it on his own birthday party.
Look at me, sounding like some friend Nazi. When it comes down to it, everyone has their own terms on friendships. Some say its hanging out every Saturday night in the city; others say its meeting up online once in a while to play online games. What we must understand is summed up pretty well with what both neuro-typicals and aspies said. Friendship is a two way street. It doesn’t mean you have to wait on them night and day; it’s all about being there for them and having likeminded interests. I mean, if we start getting rid of friends because of some silly spats in the past, where would it end?
The concept of friends is something that is as old as time. You can see lion cubs play joyfully as their mothers relaxing, talking about that gazelle they ate last night or what kind of meerkat they will pick out to chew on.
But as safe as they are, friendships have dings in their hulls, sure there may be times where the waters are choppy and all may seem lost. If those times do come, just remember, it’s easy to hate someone, but hard to put the time and effort into working at it. If you do work at it, your friendship will be much stronger.
To end this week’s blog, I leave you with a quote from the legend, Robin Williams.
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”
Okay ladies and gents, as you wipe tears from your eyes (last weeks riddle!) just remember that some day things are goign to get easier, for you and your friends. until next week, make sure you have fun with your friends, but dont weird them out like this
I cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
I lie behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes I fill.
I come first and follow after,
End life, kill laughter.
What am I?
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