Autistic Friend - Being Rude and Jealous

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Autistic Friend - Being Rude and Jealous

Postby returntoself » Mon May 08, 2017 7:13 pm

I have a friend at my university who is autistic, and over the last several months she has become very rude and outspokenly jealous and resentful of the accomplishments of those around her. She's 21 years old, and smart, but it seems that she either wasn't taught about this kind of behavior being wrong, or that maybe she really can't filter her disappointment. I really don't like losing my patience with her, but I feel like she's always trying to compete and can never be happy for anyone who does better than she does at something. Is this common behavior?
Is there a "best" way to approach this issue? I really want to talk to her, but is it okay to be telling her how it makes us feel when she behaves this way? Or should we just ignore it and move on?
I'd appreciate any advice/feedback. I really care about her and her feelings, but I don't know what to do.

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Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 3:01 am

Re: Autistic Friend - Being Rude and Jealous

Postby goatmon » Wed May 10, 2017 3:53 am

As someone who is guilty of doing this a lot, I would suggest trying to be as up front with her about it as you can. I speak from experience when I say there's a fair chance she doesn't realize how her behavior comes across to you and other people. I've lost count how many times I learned that people, friends whom I thought I could trust, were harboring a grudge with me over stuff I had no idea was a problem in the first place.

Does she express this negativity around everyone? OR is it more something she does around you? If the latter, and if the two of you are pretty good friends, there's a good chance that she talks about this stuff the way she does because she feels secure enough to be honest around you and doesn't realize how resentful she sounds.

Also, folks on the spectrum (she sounds like an aspie, personally) frequently have trouble filtering their feelings and may sometimes unconsciously say things out loud that most people instinctively just think to themselves. I don't know if that's part of the problem, but if she has Asperger's it may well be.

The main problem of dealing with someone on the spectrum is that we can't always be 100% reasonable, even if we'd like to be. It can make life needlessly complicated, ESPECIALLY when it compounds with other psychological problems and make things way more complicated.

Personally, I am a party bag of issues. I've got ADHD, Aspergers Syndome, Depression (I might be a case of bipolar, but I'm not 100% sure), and I'm also a (probably mild) case of PTSD thanks to the severe (mild expletive removed) my Dad put me through growing up. It can be really rough dealing with myself, sometimes.

I am especially difficult if I'm playing a video game and do very badly. I can get EXTREMELY loud. Like, the loudest you'll ever hear a person get. I literally had police at my door once because I lost my temper over something to do with a friend of mine and just screamed bloody murder in the house for a few minutes, and the police wanted to check the house just to make sure I didn't have a murder victim lying around the house somewhere.

But anyway. :P

Ideally you may want to approach her about it someplace where she is least likely to feel defensive or vulnerable. By approaching her in a place she is most comfortable, it can make it easier for her to be open to criticism. However, I don't know her and I can't say for sure ideal environment for her would be.

However, I tend to shut down if I get ganged up on. I don't know if that's a common issue for folks on the spectrum or more of a personal thing, though. I also know that it's a common issue for folks with Asperger's to withdraw and shut down when someone starts yelling at them. I assume that won't be an issue, but I'm just throwing that out there.

Anyway, so do you have any hangouts where you sometimes spend time time together? If you're both women, do you ever sometimes chat in the bathroom, or anything? Really, anyplace where she appears to be pretty at ease would be best.

If she's more comfortable talking online, you might try messaging her on whatever website or software she uses. Maybe facebook or skype or twitter or wherever she spends a lot of time. Anything that works for her. I use twitter and steam and the Penny Arcade forums, personally.

Just try to carefully explain exactly what it is she's doing that bothers you and/or others, and also lay out exactly why it's a problem. Even if she knows what the problem is, it may be difficult for her to get around it if she doesn't understand why it's an issue. If nothing else, it'll likely get better results than not speaking up about it at all.

If you can at least get to a point where she's able to understand what the issue is, she may be able to think about it and try to adapt. But that's up to her. Just do your best to help her understand.

Even if she does listen, it may take time for her to process this and adapt. Changing the way you do things tends to be more challenging for folks on the spectrum. For some, it can be VERY difficult. If she also has ADD/ADHD, it may be necessary to remind her of this once in a while. But maybe don't be too harsh about it.

Best of luck!

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