“Not Everybody Who Is Nice to Me Is My Friend”

A very simple definition of the word “friend” is a person who somebody knows, likes and trust. The title of this blog is actually Rule number six in Temple Grandin’s book “Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships”. My blog titled “How Can An Asperger’s Teen Know Who Their Real Friends Are” was just simply a “how too” guide on figuring out whether or not somebody is your friend. I have been taken advantage of people many times, because of one thing, kids with Asperger’s often don’t understand when someone is really telling the truth. When they are around someone who acts nice when they first meet them, they automatically think that they are their friend. I am very careful when I am meet a new person, because you never know what they are really like. Even when you are getting to know someone as a friend, it takes a while for their real personality to come out. When you know a person that seems really nice, and all of a sudden they say something mean about you or to your face, it is very confusing. That is especially true for individuals on the Spectrum.

Kids usually don’t start to learn this rule until their middle school. Temple and Sean both mention that younger kids are very honest when they are telling their feelings to others. When I start to get to know a person and think of them as friends is when they start to avoid being around me. I really get upset when people avoid me and ignore me for absolutely no reason. I would rather a friend be honest and tell me they don’t want to be friends instead of just sitting there and ignoring me all the time. Growing up in the small town of Sarver, Pennsylvania makes me feel that nobody even knows that I exist. It seems that the only people that actually do know I exist are the ones that want to just sit there and make fun of me for absolutely no reason. If you want nothing to do with me, than why the hell don’t you just tell me? Being honest and telling your feelings about me is better than sitting there and tolerating me when you don’t want me around. Besides, it is your problem if you don’t want anything to do with me, not mine.

If you remember me talking about my old therapist named Mike, who would push me to the limit and try to shove social skills down my throat. I always dreaded having to participate in sessions with him, and he knew it. He seemed to think that doing so would magically make me learn social skills I needed to know for life. People often say that “A Smile Says A Lot About You” and “People Fall in Love With A Smile”, I have to say that is the most ridiculous statement that I have ever heard in my entire life. When somebody is constantly happy, that most likely means that they are trying to hide something that they are upset about, whatever it may be. I personally think that a person that is happy all the time is a bit strange, balance is one of the things people need in life. Instead of hiding something you are upset about, why don’t you tell someone about it? Hiding something you are upset about makes the situation even worse. Back to my point, just because somebody smiles doesn’t necessarily mean they are a nice person. Even if they smile, they could still be the most arrogant, mean spirited and absent minded person on the face of the earth. And regarding the “People Fall in Love With A Smile” quote, nobody is going to fall in love with somebody just because they have a nice smile. I remember when our school’s website used to have our teacher’s ID photos by their names, and there were some teachers that smiled and there were others that didn’t. I looked at their photo IDs because I was going into my freshman year at the time, and one of the teachers had a really nice smile. But, when school started it turned out that this teacher was the most sour, unhappy person out of all the teachers at Freeport that hated their job and everything about it. The teachers I saw that didn’t smile actually turned out to be the nicer ones that enjoyed teaching at Freeport. My final thought about someone that smiles all the time is that they are hiding something they are upset about, or hiding the fact that they might try to do something to bring me down. When I first saw the teachers that smiled in their pictures, I thought they were going to me nice and friendly, but it turned out that wasn’t true. This teacher absolutely hated her students, the teachers and everything else about her job. When I was working with the therapist, Mike, he tried to make me smile in the mirror five times during each of our sessions. I always refused to do so, because I disagreed with him when he told me that a smile says a lot about somebody. I have been mistreated by people that have a lot of friends and that are happy most of the time, and it is hard to trust new people when I meet them. Instead of judging somebody that looks like they are unhappy, why don’t you talk to them and try to figure out what is wrong with them? If you don’t like that fact about me, then that is too bad. Rant over.

One of the things that people often ask when they meet a new person is “what are they like”? Because of the fact that they usually hide their emotions about another person, it is difficult to tell what their real personality is like. My first recommendation when you are meeting a new person is to ask them to introduce you to a few of their close friends. When you find a chance to talk to their friends without the new friend around, try to ask them some general questions about them. Try to ask them what their personality is like, what they like to do in their spare time, what their family is like, and if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you might want to ask the same questions about them too. When I meet a new person, I like to know a bit of general information about them so that I can decipher if they would be an appropriate person to trust or not. This is especially true when you are looking for a person to date, if it is possible, I would like to know some general information about the potential date so I can tell if they are the right person for me or not. I am not interested in dating, so I don’t even have to worry about that. One thing to keep in mind anytime you meet a new person, try not to be judgmental when they are around their friends. Just because they have friends that are different than you doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad person. Just be cool around the person and don’t be pushy or controlling. That is one of the things that will draw people away from you.

To wrap up, people not following this rule is one of the reasons why there have been so many kidnappings and murders. People always assume that when they meet a new person that they are automatically a friend that they trust. I am not trying to scare anybody, but I am just trying to make people aware. There are people out there that you most definitely not trust and avoid at all costs. I hope this blog will help people, especially ones on the spectrum understand why this rule is very important in life.

I hope you found it interesting and informative, and I will be back to write soon!

7 thoughts on ““Not Everybody Who Is Nice to Me Is My Friend”

  1. Derek,

    A smile says “bugger all” about a person but it does make them more attractive to others.

    People prefer to be near people who seem pleasant and smile a lot than those who seem sour. It’s just human nature. Of course, you’re right – it doesn’t mean that they’re actually really happy or that they’re friendly.

    You seem to have a lot of hang-ups about friendships – do you have decent friends now?


  2. Yes, I see many of your points. I would also agree with Gavin that it certainly is more pleasant to approach and be around someone who seems pleasant and smiles a lot. A smile is sort of like a little “invitation” to say hi to someone or to let someone know you want to get to know them. After you get to know and trust that person, you will continue to appreciate their smile and their pleasant attitude. You will understand them and be able to discern when they are unhappy or hurting or angry, EVEN IF they continue to show a pleasant face to the world.
    I would add that for many people, making friendships takes time, and that is okay. There are in fact a small percentage of people who smile and act pleasant, but are actually bitter, unpleasant, and sarcastic, and maybe even evil. Part of the friendship-making process is allowing yourself the time to discern this, and not to adopt a general feeling of distrust because of these few “bad apples”. Good luck!


  3. ” he tried to make me smile in the mirror five times during each of our sessions”. Yes, that probably seems forced and ineffective. However, I’ve heard over the years that people were hesitant to approach me because I didn’t smile often. I think that’s true about myself. I was self-conscious about my teeth as a child and teen, and the habit of not showing my teeth has become ingrained. I’m trying to change that. In the privacy of my room or in the car, I often make myself smile in the mirror, sort of my own personal “smile practice”. You might try it! It sort of loosens up the facial muscles…and it probably makes the other drivers either wonder what you’re up to or smile back at you. It’s all good!


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