I wrote a blog about a month ago titled “How can an Aspergers teen know who their real friends are”? It talked about the lack of social skills makes it very difficult for people like me to make and keep friendships with other people. It talked about how to tell whether or not someone is interested in being friends with you, and to tell whether someone really wants to be a true friend, use you and embarrass you. One of the things I’ve learned about friendships is that best friends are extremely rare, they usually only happen once or twice in a lifetime. I have been through middle school and high school years without a best friend, and it has been a very sad and lonely time for me. I have people that I consider acquaintances, but nobody that I consider “real friends”. As I have mentioned before, I have had people that have tried to convince me that they were merely trying to be my friend, when they were just one of those people that wanted to make fun of me and take advantage of me. They obviously thought that I wasn’t as smart as I really was, and they thought that I would actually fall for their tricks. Social skills groups are a good thing for some people, but they most certainly didn’t help me. There were people that most likely will not be able to function in real life like I can, and I wasn’t particularly interested in being friends with them. Growing up in the small community of Sarver, Pennsylvania has made it sound impossible to find that one best friend who appreciates me for who I am. From my perspective, there are five very important qualities that a best friend should have. If you don’t have these qualities in you, then you should definitely reconsider being friends with me.
I put honesty as the first one on the list because it is the most important quality that any friend should have, whether or not they are a best friend, or a “go to the mall together” friend. One of the people that I detest more than ever are people who can’t handle the truth. People are frightened by the fact that I tell people like it is when they are doing something that could potentially harm them or the people around them, or get them into trouble in the near future. I know that many people don’t enjoy hearing the truth, and sometimes is may hurt their feelings, but I show them the truth about the situation because I care about them and don’t want to see the negative consequences that could happen as a result of them not listening to me. Many people out there have had friends that have gotten into trouble, severely hurt, or even killed because of not listening to the dangers of things like drugs, sex or alcohol. You hear about these things that happen, and it happens in almost every high school class across America. I am an honest person, and I show that in a way that will hopefully convince someone that I really care about them. And if it hurts your feelings, I am sorry. Sometimes telling the truth in a stern tone of voice will get the person to listen to you. Sometimes it takes a person to learn a lesson about something, and hopefully saying it in a stern tone of voice will convince them into listening to me. When I really care about someone, I will not give up telling them like it is until they listen and realize that what they are doing is wrong, and could get them into trouble, hurt, or even killed. Honesty is always the best policy, even when you think that it might hurt someones feelings. If you lie about something, they will eventually find out about it.
Aside from honesty, kindness is second on this list for many reasons, but the most important one is when I need help on something, my best friend will try their hardest to go out of their way to help me with the problem. When I ask them a question about a problem I am having, I don’t want to hear that bullshit “I don’t know” answer. To me, an answer like that shows me that you truly are not interested in helping me with the problem, and want to be stuck up and hang around anybody else but me. If a friend gives me a ridiculous answer like that, I will just walk away and find someone else to help me with the problem. There are other people out there who are more willing to help me than that person, and that person obviously doesn’t really care about me, they only care about themselves and their “little group” of friends. They were your typical stuck up, and rude high school clique. The thing about giving the “I don’t know response” when I’m asking for advice on something is that they didn’t even try to help me with the problem. A true best friend tries as hard as they can to help someone with a problem.
As I have mentioned many times before, I know how it feels to be “set up” by people. At Lenape Tech and Freeport, I only have people that I consider “acquaintances”. I personally don’t think it is a wise idea to invite them into my life because of how they have talked to me, I absolutely hate people that treat me like I’m not as smart as I really am. I hate people that think I am stupid enough to fall for their tricks. I am able to tell when someone is trying to be my friend or make fun of me. I may not find it out right away, but I will find it out eventually. I know how high school kids act, especially the stupid ones. A true friend is someone that will never bring you down or make fun of you, no matter what happens. I have a difficulty trusting people in school because they don’t really understand my Aspergers Syndrome, and I fear that they may make fun of me or try to take advantage of me in the future. I am very quick when it comes to finding out whether or not people really have friendship in mind with me. I don’t really trust most of the people I am acquaintances with because they most likely don’t accept me for the kind of person that I am. As I mentioned in one of my other blogs, I hate it when people expect me to participate in things just because “everybody else is doing it”. I consider it an insult when people tell me that I need to be “normal”. A true friend is someone you can trust fully, and someone who accepts you for who you are. A true friend is someone who listens to you, and takes advice from you.
In my opinion, this is the most important quality of a best friend. A true friend is someone who MAKES TIME to spend with you. It’s okay if a friend is busy, especially when they are in college or just getting ready to finish high school, but this is inexcusable when your friend is in need, whatever it may be. Even if they are not able to spend time with you, they should at least make time to talk to you on the phone, or chat with you online about something. When they start to make excuses about that, then you might want to reconsider being friends with the person. I have had friends that have made ridiculous excuses like that in the past, and it is something that you really can’t control. You can’t MAKE someone be friends with you. If you try to do that, they most likely will avoid you. Remember, if someone doesn’t want to be friends with you, it is their loss, not yours. It makes no sense to worry about someone who ruined a chance of making friends with you.
These qualities are all very important to me, they are in no particular order. If you want to be my true friend, you absolutely must have all of these qualities in you. For additional help, please refer to my other blog about friendships.