Autism, kindness and social anxiety

I just joined local Facebook group for ladies who want to make new friends, but I have no idea what to do apart from that to actually meet someone I could become friends with. It seems to me I’m a terrible judge of character, or at least females character. What doesn’t help is that I am also usually misunderstood by them.

I did reflect recently on how easy it comes to me to be kind to residents where I work and I realised that when I was in my early 20s I was much kinder to people that I am now. Unfortunately it never gave me the results I was after: appreciation, understanding and friendship of people who I admired. The best I could achieve by being kind was to be pursued for friendship by people who didn’t have their sh*t together. While people who I admired would start avoiding me as a result of me being kind to them and they were also those who tried to take an advantage of me. So it made sense to stop being kind.

Perhaps my attempts at kindness were weird but so much time passed that I wouldn’t be able to reflect on that now. Or perhaps people who have their act together don’t expect others to demonstrate kindness as soon as they meet someone because they have their own ways of assessing whether someone is a good person, or even if it turns out they’re not, those people are strong enough and have enough social support to be able to deal with it and move on.

I saw a couple of posts in that group from ladies with social anxiety and depression and I wanted to say ‘hello, and I’m autistic’ but I stopped myself. What will I achieve this way, I asked myself. Despite of being autistic and having loads of drama in my life during the last couple of years I don’t have social anxiety and I’m probably not depressed, or at least not severely and things did get bettersince I started working.

Will I not feel like a fraud when I talk to those ladies? Some people claim it’s almost impossible to recover from PTSD. But I feel I did. And I don’t want to make anyone feel bad for coping mentally worse than me despite having more resources and support. But I also don’t want to feel bad myself for recovering, or have anyone implying that I make stuff up.

And we need to remember that non autistic people read others body language when they listen to their stories. I think they do it subconsciously so explaining that autistic and I don’t communicate with my body language is not going to be much help.

So yes… how can I make friends? I’d like to be able to meet and be friends with someone who not only can cope with life but also is an inspiration for me. Someone who is confident and assertive and a bit fun, not too much fun though, not like a comedian. But those kind of people have plenty of opportunities for friendship, don’t they? They don’t need an autistic one, who’s not good at social reciprocity.

I probably sound a bit bitter. I do apologise. Maybe things will change with time, but considering how my last friendship ended I do not have that much hope.

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