When i was in P7, i think i was 11, i started getting friendly with a group who maybe weren’t the best for me to be friends with.
That is not a rude thing to say. But because i am different, I need to be safe and to be within a safe group of people. I am similar to all aspies in that we are easily hurt and easily led. We are not born understanding all about people. We are born without much knowledge about people or social situations.
We have spent a lot of time sort of learning what makes a decent person, and seeing who would be different kinds of friends and people. So we got a huge page and put on it all the different types of relationships i have to manage. THEN decided what qualities i would need in a best friend… and then tried to fit the right people into the right group in my head.
- close friends.
- friends that you are not close with but manage with.
- people you should avoid.
- people who you don’t like for some reason but have to exist with.
- two-faced people.
It’s so difficult because some people might seem to be in one category and are really in another. I have a few friends who have been friends all my life- they are “safe” and i know i could trust them.
You have to spend time looking at and learning about people before you can really see which kind a person is.
Social networking “friends” are even more complicated because you may think they are lovely and they seem nice but then you really do not know anything about the “real” person. Also Social media is not always “nice” place –
- there is always people snapping at each other
- there is always people competing with each other
- laughing at people or saying hurtful things
- it can make you try to do things that wouldn’t socially do to look cool.
- you can snap-chat and think it’s only for a few seconds but if someone screen shots it it would end up anywhere.
- sometimes people write stuff that they mightn’t mean, but cos it’s on social media they think it is funny. If that is on my page i have to learn a way to stop it i guess.
- I think the best way to use it is to imagine “if mum and dad saw it” and that’s what i do. And mum and dad are on my page, and i don’t mind cos it keeps me safer.
The best way for me every so often to think of “who is a close friend?” is to try like i did like i did with mum and Lorna (my old classroom assistant and other mother ) to write a list of what i NEED from a friend, and to categorise them accordingly.
As an i NEED a friend to be:
- trustworthy and
- someone who is safe,
- someone who would watch out for me
- someone who would stand up for me if i needed help
- a friend will TELL me if someone is doing something behind my back an making a joke of me
- someone who would TELL me if i was doing something wrong
- someone who likes me how i AM …weird, funny, hyper, different and Fionn
People i am safer avoiding are:
- easily led people would not keep me safe.
- people who think there is a “way to be” and if you are not like them you are not right being the way you are.
- people who are sneaky.
- people who try to get you to say bad things about a friend.
- people who gossip about others will gossip about me when i walk away
- people putting pressure on me to do something i don’t want to do – my real friends wouldn’t do that.
I hope that as a friend:
- i look out for people who need help or are lonely
- i am quiet first cos i am “learning about the group by listening” – you get to see what they are like
- i hope i a kind person – people are generally kind back.
- when someone shows an “unpleasant” side i just remember it…and be aware of it.
- i would hate for someone to think i wasn’t nice.
- i get on really well with a lot of people.
- my own class and me built up really good connections and am going to miss them a lot in September when the classes in the year group gets reshuffled but hopefully now that we know each other we will stay friends.
i think i will ALWAYS be a bit wary on social media. Maybe it’s a different category of friend. Who you might think are nice but you don’t know them or their families. So it is a much more risky way of making friends. So unless you would be happy with your mum and dad seeing it, you DO NOT DO IT or send it or receive it.
this is ME before i had ANY friends.
it took me years to learn “how to make friends”….GENUINELY! it was only a few at the start and then i managed to get close to everyone else… and then it was time to break the group up- end of primary school!
it was the same here in year 8 – it took me a while to get used to everything and everyone hut in the end i was happy with who i was with and who i was….and NOW they are time to shuffle the classes.
i think i am lucky to have so many friends who are girls too. And i want to keep it that way – i don’t want to have to pick one or two and lose others, or offend or hurt anybody..i am just doing the same thing as all the other times. I want to keep friends and be happy. And keep learning about people. And every so often, STOP and look at my friend categories again!