Very friendly… very few friends

person standing along a fencerow with a sunset in the distanceI caught sight of something on Twitter, this morning: A mention of knowing lots of people, but not having many actual friends.

I’m the same way. I know countless people. And even folks I don’t actually know — well I tend to get along with even them. Other people apparently love me, from what I can tell. I’m open, accepting, tolerant, I let them be who they are, and I can find common ground with them, no matter what our differences.

That’s great for the dynamic, but it doesn’t really do much for the actual relationship. I don’t know many people who actually know how and what I think about things, because it’s hard for me to put into words what exactly is going on with me. Writing is easier, but not everybody likes to read, these days, and anyway, social interactions are largely verbal, so…

The long and short of it all is that I have a lot of people who want to be my friends, but I have no interest in reciprocating. My friendliness is the extent of my interest in them. It’s not even necessarily interest in them, rather keeping the social interaction going. The vast majority of people I know would probably be pretty uncomfortable if they knew the truth about me and my challenges, which would end up isolating me a lot more than now. It’s just easier to mask and camouflage and simulate interest in interactions, rather than being authentically myself 100%.

Yeah, I know I should be past that. But seriously, I have a lot on my plate every day, and I just don’t have the energy or the interest in going that proverbial extra mile for the sake of authenticity.

Just get the interaction over without pain and bloodshed. That’s all I really want. I have no interest in being stigmatized, in being pushed aside, in being seen as less-than or disabled (even if I am really struggling, much of the time). And I’m a terrible activist. I lived in that world as a kid, and I’m done with it.

I really just want to get on with my life and do my thing, without having to worry about the fallout from my surroundings.

So, I continue on my way — very friendly, almost no friends. I’m very comfortable talking to strangers and striking up conversations… “connecting” with others in an impersonally personal way. But telling people what’s really going on with me? I’m not there… and I may never be.

So it goes. So it goes.


6 thoughts on “Very friendly… very few friends

  1. I find your post very interesting. A little sad, not that I pity you because I don’t. Everyone has issues and we don’t announce them verbally or in writing for everyone to gawk at. I have only one real friend that I have known over fifty years. We don’t live near each other anymore but when we do speak on the phone (she is not into computers) it is like we just saw each other yesterday. We never judge each other and we have disagreed on many things, but have never argued or lost touch. I know many other people that I am friendly with and like but I am not their friend. They are acquaintances, some I keep in touch with and others are not in my circle anymore. My point is, you are not alone in that boat, just turn around and you will see many of us helping you row the boat in rough waters of life. You are not alone so smile. Well penned. ☺☺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. VisualVox

      Thanks very much. It does seem a little sad, if you judge by typical friendship expectations standards. But, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a typical friendship. I actually do prefer a solitary life, so it’s easier for me to not have to interact with people on a deeper level. So, maybe I’m getting exactly what I need. Thanks again for your response.


  2. Pingback: Is there an #autistic way of being friends? – Aspie Under Your Radar

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