I used to feel pressured to follow what others believed to be socially successful. I think society has unrealistic expectations on what friendship looks like for autistics teens.
Friendships have always been a mystery to me. I remember thinking, “how can you tell if someone is your friend”? Everyone has a different concept of what friendship is. I have valued friendship more than what the other person has.
Someone who is your friend, suddenly decides not to be your friend causing confusion, as you search for answers that give you closure.
There was a time that I was so desperate for friends, that the wrong friends found me.
There were times I settled for friends that didn’t respect or value me.
I’ve been bullied by kids that I thought were my friends.
Overtime, I closed myself off to the thought of having friends my own age. Let’s reframe the focus on friendships differently for autistic teens like myself who struggle with friendships or connecting with others their own age. Instead, focus on connecting with others with similar interests.
Let’s take the pressure off finding friends and focus on company of others, reducing pressure and expectations of trying to fit in.