Friendship has been on my mind recently. Partly because I almost always have this on my mind. From a very young age I’ve felt that I’ve had to consciously make decisions about what is appropriate behavior instead of instinctively knowing how to steer through the tangled path of words and actions that define a friendship.
I feel that I’ve gotten better at keeping my mouth shut when it’s better not to tell my opinion. And I feel that I’ve gotten better at keeping the kind of distance between myself and others that is necessary for my own emotional safety.
However, I don’t think this makes me a great, or should I say “easy” friend to have (and so I’m grateful for the people who attempt it)
I took this Nuero-typical to Asperger-spectrum quiz I found online through the indomitable Elizabeth Bear
and it was interesting to take not because I really thought I was Aspie, but because some of the questions they use to judge your behavior really made me sit up and take notice and think about my behavior traits.
Questions like :
“Do you find you need to recharge with solitary time after being with people?”
“Do you find you need to mentally picture what will happen when you arrive someplace or you will become flustered?”
“Do you find yourself pressing your eyes or ears or rubbing your jaw when you are upset or stressed?”
And not that I do those things (except #1) but it did make me think about the relationships I have in a more forgiving light. I mean, it’s so easy to misunderstand someone, for example, who doesn’t want to meet up with you everyday as someone who doesn’t like you or as unfriendly when really they just need solitary time.
Also, my part time work question today was “What characteristics of friends are important?”
Lots of answers about honesty and values. I think I could also talk about values and backgrounds and sympathy, but really I think it boils down to:
1) someone whose actions and speech reflects good will and a desire for me to thrive
2) someone who can communicate their needs to me (because I’m such a dunce and can’t figure it out myself) so I can
help them thrive
It should all be about helping eachother thrive, right?