I have no idea how to make friends at my uni and I was hoping to hear some success stories.

  • Arotrios
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    1511 months ago

    Find an activity group focused around something you enjoy - there should be plenty on campus. If there’s a public event that interests you, go, even if you go alone - even if you don’t interact with anyone, it will give you practice engaging in a social setting and help with your anxiety.

    One trick I’ve found is that people like it when you like them, and expressing a small compliment on a positive quality of theirs you note can often break the ice and signal that you’d like to be friends without being too forward. It also subtly expresses that you’re confident enough that they will like you enough to care about your opinion.

    Use small talk to start a conversation - simply remarking on something you’re both observing is a start. “Nice weather we’re having, ey?” is cliche as fuck, but it works. Angel the conversation towards points of agreement. Each point of agreement further enhances the ease of communication between the two of you.

    Be willing to ask how others are doing, and be willing to listen. Most people aren’t too choosy with casual friendships, and as long as they feel that you like them and are somewhat interesting to be around, they’ll want to hang out with you.

    Acceptance, sensitivity, positivity, confidence and loyalty are generally the traits folks value most in a friend. If you hit a couple of high notes in any of those categories, that’s usually the start of a friendship if you have shared interests.

    Good luck - if you’ve got anxiety, remember that the thought of going out and doing this is much worse than the actuality. Once you’re out there, it will come naturally if you relax and let folks in.

    • Alexmitter
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      11 months ago

      I think you must be of the kind that does not automatically tick off people simply by existing in their space, that makes things easier for you and things like “just have some smalltalk with them” and “if you do that and that they will like you”.

      There is no statistic but I would say that the vast majority of us are not of that kind.

      • Arotrios
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        811 months ago

        Nobody knows what kind you are but you. If you think of yourself as a person that people won’t like, they’ll pick up on that. I’ve never met a person that’s annoyed others by simply existing, and if someone told you that in your past, they’re wrong, a bully and a fucking asshole to boot.

        I do not look like an approachable person - tall enough to be threatening, mouth like a sailor, glasses, smoker, bad teeth, hair past my shoulders, and the mean kind of skinny with a healthy dose of paranoia and anxiety. In my youth, I unwittingly isolated myself because I assumed people wouldn’t like me because of past bullying growing up. Because I assumed they wouldn’t like me, I never gave them an opening to begin a friendship.

        People you’ll want to be friends with won’t care what “kind” you are. They’ll see you for who you are and want to hang out anyway. But you have to give them an opening to like you, and there’s no way you can do it if you don’t know what you like about yourself.

        What makes you a good friend? Focus on those qualities and use that self-analysis to strengthen yourself when you doubt yourself. A friend doesn’t expect you to be perfect. They just expect you to be good for them.

        Side note: the “like others and they’ll like you” approach works fantastically for my semi-verbal fully autistic son. His language is on the level of a five year old (he’s an adult now), but he’s simply so cheerful and happy when he meets new people that he’s ended up with more friends than I’ll ever have.

        • Alexmitter
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          411 months ago

          Okay I see that this is about your non-vocal autistic son. While I speak about Asperger struggles, a completely different world.
          There is quite a lot of research into that already on the Asperger side. There is something with our faces that makes normal people feel unwell and you can not turn that off. It even works with simple portrait pictures. It just scratches something in their brain.

          You de-validate my struggles, and the struggles of most in the Asperger Autism community. The statistics to loneliness and worklessness, the high suicide and low lifetime expectations do not lie. Why we rank so high for depression and illness.

          • Arotrios
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            411 months ago

            No, that was an example. I’m not devaluing your struggles (as I share them), and you’re simply ignoring that to indulge in self pity while simultaneously devaluing mine. Nobody cares whether you have Aspergers or not. They care whether you’re nice person. Nobody wants to share in your misery - they want to be able to take joy in your companionship. If you can’t take joy in your own companionship, how can you expect anyone else to?

            • @SuddenDownpour@lemmy.world
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              11 months ago

              They care whether you’re nice person.

              This is a terrible thing to tell someone who’s having difficulty making friends due to systemic discrimination.

              Nobody cares whether you have Aspergers or not.

              You’re either deluding yourself or gaslighting Alexmitter. A lot of people will discriminate, belittle, harass and leave aside autistic people for things intrisically related to them being autistic, mainly not sharing the same instinctive nonverbal communication, but of course almost none of them will admit that they do any of those things due to the target of their discrimination being autistic. Please leave the motivation porn bullshit outside of this channel.

              • Arotrios
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                311 months ago

                It’s terrible to tell people that others care whether they’re a nice person? What fucking crack are you smoking?

                Do you care whether someone’s autistic or not? Or is it more important that they be nice to you?

                If someone is discriminating against you for a condition you can’t control, then it’s a problem with them. If you’re not a nice person, it’s a problem with you. Alexmitter is claiming no one will be friends with him because he’s got Aspergers. This simply isn’t true, and he’s shooting himself in the foot before he even begins because he assumes people won’t like him.

                Finally, the actual question asked was How to Make Friends. I answered, and as someone with Aspergers and multiple family members on the neurodivergent spectrum, I answered based on half a century’s worth of experience dealing with it.

                I never said it was going to be easy. You’re never going to be friends with everyone. There are assholes everywhere. But if you’re an asshole, you won’t be friends with anyone.

                That someone took issue with the answer because it’s difficult advice to take, doesn’t classify it as motivation porn. These are basic social tools that folks on the spectrum don’t have easy access to, and lessons I learned the hard way as I became an adult. You can either accept or it or reject it as you wish, but by trying to devalue my experience because you don’t like what I have to say is pretty much what neurotypical people do all the time to the neurodivergent.

                • Alexmitter
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                  011 months ago

                  How can someone just be so full of themselves. It impresses me. You did not even read what I wrote and think that I am just a friendless loner.

            • Alexmitter
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              11 months ago

              I must have already been a terrible person in per-kindergarden. Or maybe you are wrong.

              • Arotrios
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                511 months ago

                JFC stop with the self-flagellation already. It’s not about you being a bad person, or being different, or being right or wrong. It’s about you liking yourself enough to project that to others. Right now, you’re projecting as someone who’s been so badly hurt that they can’t realize when someone is trying to help them, and strikes out at those who are willing to help them.

                Who would want to be friends with someone like that?

                • Alexmitter
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                  11 months ago

                  Had to think about this today and really have to tell you how amazed I am how oblivious you are to reality.
                  Those Bullies, have they just made poof and vanished from the surface of this world? No, they are still there and they still do what they always did.
                  If the People did not like you when you were young, they don’t like you now either and that for the same reasons, and you are just too blind or naive to smell that.
                  Self love comes from seeing that others love you, if others don’t, and you still act it, you are just acting narcissistic and everyone knows.
                  You tell us all, in all honesty, that how we are is wrong and we should be different for people to like us, and rejecting this ridiculous idea makes us “so badly hurt that they can’t realize when someone is trying to help them, and strikes out at those who are willing to help them.”. You are so full of yourself, and you love yourself, we can all sense that.

                • Alexmitter
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                  11 months ago

                  Yea, I guessed you just wanted to help. You don’t, you are just full of yourself.

  • @Eirini@lemmy.world
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    1411 months ago

    Go study computer science, find a bunch of nerds, realise you naturally click and that you’re all probably autistic. I’m half joking but for real, it’s easy to make friends with people like you. I’m lucky to be a programmer and there’s always someone obviously autistic in my team that I naturally become friends with.

    It doesn’t have to be programming but embrace whatever autistic-friendly hobby you have, from chess to climbing or whatever it is, something that attracts other autistic people naturally.

    • @lmemsm@lemmy.ml
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      511 months ago

      I’m also a programmer by profession. Haven’t been as lucky as you with finding friends through programming even though I’ve probably been to every computer related Meetup or group in my area. Speaking of computer science, anyone doing anything for Software Freedom Day in September? I’ve tried the past few years to hold an event for it online and no one showed. Would love to do something for it, but it’s really not much fun doing it alone.

  • @AspieEgg@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    1111 months ago

    As an adult, I’ve found friends from a few different places.

    1. A board game meetup. My partner and I made a couple of friends this way. They were both autistic.

    2. My closest friends I made at work. I work in IT and there are a lot of neurodivergent people in that field. These friends were the first people I knew I would probably have as friends for the rest of our lives. Well, besides my partner.

    3. When we moved to a different country, we joined another board game group, but this one for transgender adults. This group is fairly new, but I already feel pretty good about this group.

    4. My partner made a friend on Bumble, an app for finding friends. There’s also a dating side to the app, but it is kept separate from the platonic side. I also enjoy hanging out with her, but my partner definitely hangs out with her more.

    Almost all of my friends are neurodivergent or suspect that they might be. I think it works best to put yourself in a situation where you can be around other people who think like you. For neurotypical people, that might be easy because most people thinking like them. For neurodivergent people, we have to find ways to make that happen.

  • Kit Sorens
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    911 months ago

    You are the master of your SI. You must harness it to indoctrinate people into your hyperfixation. Many will fail the test, but hold firm, brother. There will come a nerd, like you, who just happens to love obscure wargames, or anthropology, or TRAINS. Become the DM of trains. Buy a bunch of set pieces and invite your uni students to open a box and build a massive train set along the desks of an empty lecture hall. Become Train Boy and you, too, shall have that which you seek.

  • @FollyDolly@lemmy.world
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    811 months ago

    I made my best friend in collage by walking up to him and telling him I liked his coat. It took all my courage, but I had spent all of highschool just barely hanging on to the outskits of my friend group and I swore collage was going to be different. (Also it was a really sweet coat.)

    From there he introduced me to a whole slew of wonderful poeple. I was able to move out of the dorms and all of us rented a big house together and it was fucking amazing! I’d never been happier. My new friends taught me how to interact with the normies, drug me to parties and showed me the ropes of true genuine social interaction and for that I am still grateful.

    You just need one friend on the same wierd wavelength as you and grow from there! If you have trouble with icebreakers, or being in anyway charismatic I recommend memorising a handful of dad jokes. Especially if you have a dry, flat tone of voice. Yes, most poeple groan and roll their eyes, but the one’s that don’t? They are the keepers. And poeple will remember you favorably if you can make them laugh!

    (Bonus joke: Did you hear about the huge sale at the Lego store? Poeple were lined up for blocks!)

  • @DaSaw@midwest.social
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    811 months ago

    Every time I made friends, it was in the context of some kind of common interest group.

    In high school, D&D was the leading edge. One guy noticed me reading Lord of The Rings and invited me to play with his group. I met another guy in that group, who lead me to another group where I met a third guy, who lead me to another group that had nothing to do with D&D, but which is where I met a great many of my friends. And my best friend in high school (and for many years afterward) was a mutual friend with that second guy, which we didn’t realize until we were comparing previous D&D campaigns and realized they both had the same DM.

    The second time I made a lot of friends in my late twenties, it was in the context of an anime fan group. I had gone to a bunch of groups… a hiking group, a Diplomacy board game group, maybe a few others, and the anime group was where I found my social home for several years. The key was that I kept trying different groups until I found one that worked.

  • Alexmitter
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    711 months ago

    All my current friends are either internet people from a different continent or some people I retained from that “difficult kids” school I was forced to go to. Those people are weird enough themselves that they have fun with Me and I have fun with them. Since then things did not work that well even though I tried hard.
    People just generally do not want to spend time with me, when after-work activities are the current talk topic of the room, they switch topic when I enter.

    Adults are the same, just different. They may not beat you daily at a place you can not escape aka school for the fun of it, but they still let you know that you are not one of them, that you are not welcome beyond what your work capabilities can provide.

  • @s12@sopuli.xyz
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    711 months ago

    There was a neurodiversity group at mine. I joined it, and continue the weekly sessions with them even after leaving uni.

  • GONADS125
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    611 months ago

    Just wanted to pop in and share these free resources after reading the title. These are all evidence-based, so not some self-help mumbo-jumbo. I used these with my clients a lot when I was a caseworker.

    Want to point out that I understand this isn’t simple social anxiety, but some of the materials on social anxiety includes strategies for improving our social abilities and provide some great suggestions for how to engage with others, propose activities, etc.

    Not going to say they will be game-changers, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share the resources. I personally benefitted a lot from certain topics on that site, like anger and procrastination (ADHD).

    Hope this comment doesn’t come off the wrong way. I don’t have Autism and I don’t want anyone to read this like I’m trying to say I know what you’re experiencing or anything. I just like to try to help when I can, and this is how I know to do it.

  • @Bloodwoodsrisen@lemmy.tf
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    611 months ago

    My best friend was the only person I actually talked to in 6th grade during PE, I have no idea how it happened but I’m 90% she’s somewhere on the spectrum or at least neurodivergent. We’ve been friends for over ten years now

  • torpak
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    411 months ago

    I have two close friends apart from those my wife brought into the relationship. I latched onto both out of necessity while going to the university. I am very bad at orientation in time and space. So I never knew which the next class was and where I had to go to. So in the first semester I had to find people with similar classes and just tag along. This was not easy since I’m also bad at identifying people. Over time the number of people I followed reduced to about four. And two of those are my best friends to this day.