Mental Health and Friends

So, this week I did a TikTok Series on how to build rapport and relationships with autistics. We long for nothing but to be noticed and appreciated for what we do and the intellect and care we have for others. But sometimes, we the autistic become overloaded with too many questions, sometimes with ones they we may need some time to respond to.

Sometimes, it may trigger our senses to the point that we may need some time to ourselves. I personally feel that if anyone wants to befriend an autistic the autist must make aware to that friend that they because of their sensory and / or trauma needs may at times need to take a break to regulate themselves. For the longest time, I had to understand that I sometimes have to tell others that I just need a break. As an autistic, it may not register it is OK if I don’t respond at that very moment to that person’s message or call. I may very well need time to regulate myself and come out with an appropriate response that doesn’t offend my friend.

While there are a host of personality types out there, some people are very outward and continuous about making sure they are there. To us as the autistic, this may upset us by the constant signals that apps omit. It is OK if you have to put a pause on something, but foremost if that person is indeed a true friend to you, then they will understand your need to be to yourself and that you not only need time to process things, but you need time for yourself.

Within the autistic mind in the course of the day are several little blurbs of information that process through; Oftentimes, we long for friends and that isn’t just something you find on every street corner. True friends stay with you through the thick and thin. They encourage you to stay positive instead of whatever cloud of negativity is brewing in your head by breaking that negative cloud up and sending it away and bringing positive rays of sunshine in it.

Everyone has flaws, that is what makes us unique. They are just more noticeable in Autistics than in Neurotypicals. That doesn’t make us bad people. If we find what you are talking about something that we as autistics may not find as interesting, we may lose you, many find that parring up two autistics may be a good thing because we “act the same”. While in many cases we may act in the same mannerisms’ just because we are autistic. While this may be true and we as autistics being friends together may compensate each other because we “get it.”

We may very well struggle with one’s special interests because they may not totally want to or have the understanding that friendship is a mutual and sometimes there is two (or more) sides to friendships. This I personally feel that this is essential skill that must be instilled in autistics because it is one of the key factors that maintain and keep friendships. Yes, there are times where we will get upset and we will need a break from each other and that within the friendship should be a general understanding.

Having friends outside of family in the past few years has taught me to set my own boundaries in what I share, how I respond to others, standing up for my personal needs and values along with respecting myself. Likewise, I have learned from friends skills of how to be my true self and be who I want to be and how to do so safely, therefore friends can be an educational outlet in a avenue of you as an autistic growing up and having your own life and focusing on what is best for you and having someone that gets you for who you are.

Have a good week, friends!

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