Aspies, Emotions and Friends
By Jessika Endsley
Hi. This is Dizzy. I was going to talk about Asperger's on "Emotional Range". Somebody on YouTube several months ago, I watched his video, and he is a high-functioning autistic person. Some of you may not know that high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome are not the same, that there are people with regular autism who function much better than people with Asperger's. That's a fact, it happens. But the issue here is, he explained very well that people who just have high-functioning autism is autism, not Asperger's syndrome, tend to not have all the screwed up, twisty, confusing emotions that people with Asperger's have. And I was thinking about that, and since I have Asperger's, of course, I have the little messed up, screwy emotions, and a lot of times now is involved with the concept of friendship.
I have another video called "Friendship and Science" where I proclaim that I don't want friends, and that a lot of people with Asperger's don't want friends. And it's true, I really don't, I really don't want friends but I want to interact. I think that's true of a lot of people with Asperger's, strong desire to interact but friendship itself, not so much. People with autism or high-functioning autism who are not on the Asperger's level, which is like a little subcategory, and will have to be pushed to socialize even more so than someone with Asperger's because they genuinely don't care. It's not like they have hang-ups and anxiety about the whole thing and about trying to make friends, it's just so removed from them that they don't care, it doesn't bother them.
And since I'm not just plain, traditionally autistic and I have Asperger's, I'm not going to speak for them, but they don't seem to have nearly as much angst as maybe someone who has Asperger syndrome. And I see this in myself a little bit because I do keep very, very strong interactions. A lot of this is through messaging, it's through the internet. I balance out my days to where some days I spend all day gone with people, and it's people who I trust. And they know I'm kind of weird, so I can deal with it, or I stick to myself and only go to my college classes. But the concept of friendship is there for other people.
I'm gonna look up the exact definition of "friendship" because it's something that evades me. Why can't you just give me the definition, Google? Hang on, it's happening. Okay. "The emotions or conducts of friends, the state of being friends. A relationship between friends." That doesn't help me at all. "Friends" definition... "A person who one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive, sexual or family relations." Did they just tell me that the definition of friends is Bromance? 'Cause to me that sounds like Bromance. I mean, do you all see where I'm coming at? Okay, anyway, since I cannot comprehend Bromance apparently the way that I should to have friends, I regulate myself.
And there are other emotions. When we do have friends, we attach. It's like, "Okay, that's my friend, everybody else stay away from my friend. That's my friend, my friend only," and I know that we as Aspies can come across a little stalker-ish, and you can shake your head at that as much as you want. We do. We're obsessive. We are obsessive people. That is the foundation of our diagnosis is that we obsess. I obsess. So I know that in a friendship I obsess. And it's been explained to me that when you become friends with somebody, you can be friends with their friends, and they can be friends with your friends, and it makes this bigger circle. And I'm like, "No, I'm only friends with that person. Everybody else needs to get the [05:23] ____ out because that's all I want, I want that person."
My social life is very compartmentalized for that reason. I do socialize but it's compartmentalized. I don't have groups of friends like in middle school when I kind of did, but they all kind of still hated each other. The only common denominator between most people I socialize with is me. They're not friends with each other. I've tried before to get them to be friends, and it doesn't go well. They fight.
So, I compartmentalize my social life for that reason. Anyway, now, I've kind of just gone off on a rant, but there you have it. Friendship. Disconnected from the concept? That's why if somebody is my "friend", it can mean many things because I don't understand it. Some people will talk to you, and suddenly you're their friend. And I am like, "Excuse me?" For someone like me, there has to be a verbal understanding that you expect each other's friendship kind of thing. I have to know, and they need to have the acceptance from me, that, "Yes, you're not just an acquaintance, we're friends." So what does that mean to me, could be something different for them. It could mean that we have each other's back, or some crap, or whatever people do with their friends, and for me it's something else. It doesn't mean I won't have your back, but it doesn't mean you're not gonna be in my case study. Thank you, and have a good day.