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Featured Friend difficult to deal with

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Friendinneed, May 10, 2017.

  1. Friendinneed

    Friendinneed Active Member

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    Hello! Let me start off by saying that this isn't a troll post, or anything to start up a fight or offend people. And if I posted this in the wrong forums, apologies in advance. But recently I've been having trouble with a friend who has Aspergers, and I'm looking for tips in order to solve this particular problem I've been having with him.

    First of all, I see this guy as a close friend, almost like a little brother. I've been friends with him for years, and I truly care about his well being. I try to do all I can to support him when he's down in the dumps. (Since his family is less than supportive to him emotionally) And not only that, he and I have a TON of nerdy things in common that I love chit chatting with him about.

    Now, I don't want to make him look bad, nor do I want him to come off as a terrible person. But... He has absolutely no filter at all in our discussions whatsoever. Him not being 'politically correct is saying it lightly. Out of the blue, he would start off making fun of me for being asian, and would make endless jokes and slurs. And would often joke about the horrible things that's happened to me in the past. A lot of which included the time my mother who had cancer. This behavior would be ten times worse if we attempt to play high-stress survival games together, like Rust or H1Z1.

    Now, I can take a joke; I got my big boy pants on, and I can laugh at myself and take one for the team. But the problem I have with him is the 'double-standard' he puts me in. Every time I would tease him back (For even the most mildest things like mentioning his name that he doesn't like) he would get enraged and hold quite the grudge. He has even threatened physical violence at me multiple times after I joked back at him.

    So I thought to myself "Alright, maybe messing with him back isn't the right course of action. Maybe I could just 'ignore' it. Which also didn't work, because he would just continue on thinking that I'm fine with his edgy jokes. I've even tried having a heart-to-heart talk with him about it; pointing out how 'one-sided' this friendship's become, and it would work for about... A day. Then he'd go back to his old habits.

    Now, I have tried to just 'man up' and let him treat me the way he does, and tread carefully to avoid his triggers. But recently I've discovered that his toxic behavior started to have an effect on me mentally; due to the fact that I feel like I'm walking on eggshells with him. My old social-anxiety problems I've had to overcome as a young man is starting to come back, and I feel it's left me no choice but to find some answers.

    So... Is there a special technique I could do to get him to understand? Is it me? Am I the problem? I really don't want to cut contact with this guy, since I've poured so much into the friendship. But honestly, I'm totally desperate for advice, and I sincerely appreciate what little help I can get.

    Thanks

    -Michael
     
  2. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    It's not you in any way. I'll be blunt, your friend sounds like a dick. Others may be able to weigh in more as to whether his behaviour could be (either partly or wholly) down to being on the spectrum, but ultimately, every one of us is different. I myself would never treat a friend the way that you've described.
     
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  3. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    Aspergers isn't an excuse to be an asshole, which in my opinion is what your "friend" is. Ditch him.
     
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  4. MonolithImmortal

    MonolithImmortal Member

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    Don't ditch him. He might be a dick, but he probably thinks he's being funny and a fun loving guy. If you don't understand perseveration, that's helpful to understand. It sounds like he's perseverating on a joke/behavior that he finds amusing and assumes that eveyone does, even if no one does. You may need to patiently explain to him that, to begin with, you are his friend and you value his friendship and that you have no interest in rejecting him, but explain the way that his behavior is affecting you. Explain that you may not understand each others perspectives, but that you would really appreciate it if he modified his behavior. Don't be subtle, don't beat around the bush, and don't worry about saving face. I don't know how culturally Asian you are, but if face is even remotely important to you, understand that he probably has 0% understanding of that.

    You're friend probably just wants to be funny and to be accepting and has some bad learned behaviors. If he's been on 4chan (which it sounds like it's possible), that's even worse. He's probably not intentionally being a dick, but his behavior isn't acceptable. He needs to understand that, and understand the seriousness of it.

    It sucks that he's so super sensitive to teasing, but that's typically an ASD thing. He may not be able to differentiate when someone else is being hurtful and mean and when they're being playful. I have difficulty with this. This is why my wife and I don't use sarcasm with each other and don't do playful teasing. The times she's tried it has just left me confused and her confused why I was confused. Not fun.

    It's frustrating having to walk someone step by step through something that might seem so painfully obvious to you, but that's probably what you'll have to do. Patiently walk him step by step to help him see from your perspective, and then regularly remind him. Understand that it's also frustrating for us too. We just want to be known and accepted and are often perplexed, and hurt, why others don't get us.

    Thanks for being a caring friend and reaching out for help and not just blowing him off.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  5. MonolithImmortal

    MonolithImmortal Member

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    That said, if none of that works and he's unwilling to listen, yeah he's a dick, and your mental health is more important.
     
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  6. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie Active Member

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    Monolith has great advice. I have been guilty of doing exactly what your friend is doing without realizing it. Only through persistence from my wife was I able to learn.

    I feel compelled to reiterate something Monolith said. Be blunt with your friend and don't assume he innately knows anything. Aspies learn intellectually what everyone else is born knowing about social cues.
     
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  7. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have also been guilty of doing this kind of thing without realizing it, too. I also agree with Monolith's advice - but I definitely think you should set a time limit in mind, or a limit on the number of times you are going to try this out. Then move on if he doesn't improve - he's just not ready for a healthy, non-toxic relationship, and he isn't even realizing it's toxic. Also, if he's impulsive enough to threaten physical violence - honestly, I would just leave that relationship right now, not trying anything else. You never, ever know what a person might be triggered to do. A lot of social learning for me had to do with screwing up and suffering the social consequences....plus a ton of reading and analyzing the subject. But yeah - loads of social faux pas. I feel bad for the people I have annoyed/hurt without meaning to!
     
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  8. Buzzerfly

    Buzzerfly Active Member

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    Hi there-

    I used to visit my husband (on the spectrum) at his therapy group for lunch sometimes. He doesn't go to therapy groups anymore. Anyway, there was another autistic dude there, a short Asian guy, and he liked to eat with/hang out with us. He tended to blurt things out and wasn't very cautious about what he said, which we didn't mind, but even the other therapy members got annoyed with him. For example, one day he asked us if we had sex and then told us that was arousing. He often made jokes that pissed people off too, but unlike my husband, he wasn't even trying to mess with people. He just really thought being funny was the way to win people's affections. If you spend a lot of time alone and are stuck watching movies/tv to study how people interact, you'll discover a LOT of hip sarcasm and friends trash talking each other constantly. Pair those observations with a person who is really clueless about how you expect a friend to act and you'll get a person that actually does like you but almost resents you for not just knowing how much they do. The Asian guy at therapy was obviously just coming from a friendly place. In a lot of ways, he seemed more genuine then a lot of others that got annoyed with him. But, I'd say as the guys friend, definitely talk to him. Maybe in some ways, you are more worried that he will speak that way to the wrong kind of person and get physically hurt, rather than upset about protecting your own feelings. I find that sometimes, when I'm upset about my own emotional state, I'm actually worried about something bigger...but taught to think it's a "me" issue. Thanks for being this guy's friend; sometimes Autistics and Aspies will pester someone they actually like and respect.
     
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  9. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    He does state in the original post he tried to reason with him
     
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  10. Friendinneed

    Friendinneed Active Member

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    Holy cow, look at all these responses! Ultra mega thanks for the support, guys. I'll take into consideration on what each of you said. And Monolith, I was born in the U.S, and raised as an American, so I was spared the 'saving face' culture that my filipino mother had. Thankfully, I don't have to explain that to him. Heh heh.

    Yeah, one thing that I could sense from him, is that he doesn't 'seem' to be doing it out of spite or hatred, it just seems that he has it in his head that being edgy is reeeally funny. I don't think he ever visited 4chan, because he would've mentioned it at some point. He's always super eager and happy to tell me about every single thing he's into, every time he and I hang out. I suspect his questionable behavior towards me being Asian is taught from his family who are... *ahem* Trailer Trash to put it simple. If this is something he learned, I'm willing to bet my left arm it's from them.

    I'll be blunt, but also take it step by step, and slowly try to get him to understand how I feel if the situation arises. Because simply telling once him during an altercation doesn't seem to get the point through. I'm also starting to suspect that part of the reason why he's so touchy (And it's gotten worse over time) is because he's depressed. Can't really confirm that though, so I might be wrong!

    Also to Buzzerfly, that actually IS one of the things I'm afraid that might happen to him. I feel as though he's going to one day get into a stressful situation, and he's going to say the wrong thing to a person out there that isn't going to be too agreeable. I mean, having a fit behind a computer monitor at a few meme-spewing bandit players that killed you, and took your stuff in a video game is one thing. But in the real world, he's going to end up getting his clock cleaned by someone who's not going to tolerate him as I do. *sighs*

    If I can't get through to him, and if it all turns out for naught, I will most likely sever ties with him for good. I really hope it doesn't come to that, but I will if I must. :/

    -Michael
     
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  11. radasp

    radasp Well-Known Member

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    As an Asperger female with an Asperger father, I see this from two perspectives: I "understood" my father. No one else in the family did. He could be outright cruel - say outrageous things that really hurt people and jeopardized his job. BUT - he was infinitely patient with my endless "Asperger" curiosity and why this, why that? questions and would spend hours explaining "How the world works" He was always the first person to help someone out - a friend or stranger, with no thought to being "praised" or rewarded. This was such a contradiction and difficult to understand; but, I decided to "call him out" when he was mean and would leave him to himself to think about it. Sooner or later he would realize that he was out of line and apologize. I found it much more reasonable to focus on his good actions as the real person. He didn't grasp the "meaning" of words as "weapons" in the social universe! Over the years, I have found his "outbursts" to be far less objectionable than the constant lies, insincerity and manipulation of so-called "empathetic social typicals". I can say for myself that I spent most of my life being angry at "normal people" who are highly hypocritical - slam Aspergers for "being honest" while stabbing other people in the back.
     
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  12. MonolithImmortal

    MonolithImmortal Member

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    No offense, but it seems like you have a low amount of patience for people or behaviors you don't like and get kinda reactionary. Not judging or anything, I have no idea what you've experienced in your life that might make you that way, but it's not ideal.

    People need patience, and sometimes you have to be in it for the long haul. Running at first sign of trouble won't lead to a life of fulfillment.

    Besides, I've got a friend I've know since I was 2 and we're still best friends. I'm pretty sure I've been a big bag of dicks to him before and he's put up with me and is probably the reason why I'm so capable of passing as normal today. I have no idea where I would be if I hadn't had a good friend like him.

    If @Friendinneed 's friend is from a "trailer trash" type family he's already got a mountain of disadvantage even without having ASD. I would probably still be an ignorant white guy consumed with unknown racial bias if I hadn't made friends with some people of color (Hispanics, Ethiopians, African Americans and Koreans) in college. My life was positively impacted because my friends showed me their life and let me into their world, and now I see the world differently. I understand that their experience is not my experience, and I don't know what it's like to live their lived experience. I didn't understand that people could have different lived experiences before meeting my friends.

    Edit: I realize trailer trash may not translate to those of you from the UK (or it might, I have no idea), but if left confused, substitute trailer trash for Chav. It's not perfect, but it'll get you close.
     
  13. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    I have little to no patience for assholes these days, no. Because I have spent years being treated like **** by people that disguise it as "banter" or "jokes".
     
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  14. Bolletje

    Bolletje Well-Known Member

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    In the immortal words of the wise Bette Midler: f*ck 'em if they can't take a joke.
    Which isn't to say you should immediately ditch him, but if he honestly does not see what's wrong with his hypocrisy after having you explain it to him, and continues offending you while not allowing you to joke about him, I wonder why you would continue being friends. I agree with @xudo and @ksheehan88 that this person just sounds like a jerk. I'm afraid you can't blame his neurology for that (unless asshattery is a neurological condition, in which case I call dibs on publishing an article about it :D ). I'm an Aspie, I also spend a lot of time being incredibly politically incorrect with friends, for fun. But behind closed doors. I fully understand what is and isn't proper. I also build my friendships on trading mock insults. I could never be friends (or lovers) with someone that can't take a joke as well as dish them out. I know perfectly well what is and isn't okay to say to people when mocking them in the name of friendship. I know the line between teasing and bullying. So yeah, not necessarily an Aspie thing, but maybe you're onto something with the trailer trash thing? In which case I feel bad for your friend. He can't help how he was raised, but he can change how he behaves now.
     
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  15. MonolithImmortal

    MonolithImmortal Member

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    Like I said, no judgement. I have super high tolerance for people I don't like and have been friends with people who otherwise drove everyone else up a wall.
     
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  16. Grandmother B

    Grandmother B Active Member

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    This has nothing to do with his Asperger's. He is just a butt. Even thought he may not UNDERSTAND your feelings, he is intelligent enough to know to stop something that upsets you if he is really your friend. Sounds like someone who is using his ASD to run over people. Don't put up with that kind of treatment. Give him an ulitmatum; either stop insulting you or you end the relationship. good luck!
     
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  17. Grandmother B

    Grandmother B Active Member

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    Using the term "trailer trash" is also insulting and marginalizing to poor people who might happen to live in a mobile home. If they act ugly, it has nothing to do with their socioeconomic status.
     
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  18. bon vide

    bon vide cat lord

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    i think it sounds more like a "him" problem than an aspergers problem, i know you already told him this bothers you but you should try telling him again if you think it will help make him really understand, but if he doesnt care that what hes doing is hurting your feelings... well, i dont know but that sounds kind of bad
     
  19. bon vide

    bon vide cat lord

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    if this helps for perspective: me and my friends used to make mean jokes at each other all the time. they would poke fun at me and i would poke fun at them. especially me and my best friend at the time, but he started to become more distant. little did i know, our exchanging 'jokes' actually hurt his feelings. he only pretended to be ok with it. if he told me that it bothered him, i wouldnt had done it anymore. but i didnt find out that was why he stopped talking to me until a few months after we grew apart so much that we werent really friends anymore. i still feel bad that i lost one of the best friends i ever had cause of this, if only id seen he was uncomfortable then, because it would have been clear to me now.

    moral of the story: communicate
     
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  20. Friendinneed

    Friendinneed Active Member

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    Just a little update on my end! My friend actually got it through his head that I'm not his enemy! It really took a while, and a few reminders, but for a few days now, he doesn't seem to get all fuming when I tease back. Which is a massive step in the right direction. I did offer a 'ceasefire' of sorts; if he can't take it, don't dish it' type of deal, but he didn't want that. I honestly don't know how long this is going to last, but putting my foot down, and carefully reminding him about how I feel really helped out a ton.

    Communication like Bon Vide said was the key to all this, I guess. I do have to admit that a lot of the conflicts in the past involved him teasing me, then I tease him back, then he gets fuming and then the day's suddenly ruined. All the while it goes completely over his head on why I'm bothered about the double-standard of it all. Finally getting through like this feels like such a breath of fresh air, believe me... lol

    Well, my original goal when I mentioned "Trailer trash" was for identification purposes; to give the reader a general idea of what my friend's dealing with, not to put down people who're economically in the dumps. As a person who WAS homeless during his childhood years, I relate heavily to people who are in financial trouble. But... His family are -literal- stereotypes by this definition; the type who makes everyone else they come in contact miserable. And spends what little money they have on beer/drugs, get into fights, and often would get busted by the police.

    But I feel like I'm heading down "Flame-war" territory here. So I'll just cut it off right here; forgive me to anyone who took that term the wrong way! Again, not here to hurt anyone. Just trying to get some answers. And so far, it's been fantastic! Mega-super-ultra thanks to everyone in this thread that helped me. <3
     
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