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Is this Friendship Worth Hanging on to?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a woman in the U.S.:  I have a friend who has autism just like I do. At first we had a lot in common when we first met. As the short two years go by, I’ve learned we really don’t have a lot in common besides video games, anime and plush toys. Our values and beliefs differ from each other. She prefers family while I choose independence.

The friend thinks she can’t do some things that I want to do like holding down a job, getting transportation, moving out on her own and so forth on. (We go to the same day program for people with disabilities aged 22 and older. )

Plus I don’t feel comfortable around her because of her dyfunctional family. Her family consists of people with disabilities. Her brother would get jealous of her beating certain games and keeping them. I’m afraid of coming over to her house because of her greedy brother. Thankfully I haven’t been to her house due to us having different lifestyles. I hold down a retail job with an inconsistent schedule while she goes to a day program but participates rather than being a staff member.

She likes lady gaga while I don’t care for lady gaga.

I don’t open much to her because I’m afraid I’ll regret the time I’ve spent with her. Also I don’t want my interests to be associated with her. Also we don’t talk much outside the day program regardless. I’ve been writing in my journal on how I dislike her and so forth .

Is this friendship worth saving?

Is this Friendship Worth Hanging on to?

Answered by on -

A.

The simple answer is “no”. You don’t share interests. You don’t feel safe in her home because of her brother. You don’t like spending time with her. This is not what goes on between good friends.

However, it’s important to understand that not all friendships are the same. There are levels of friendships.

Close Friends: A very few people become close, close friends. They are the people who share many of our interests and with whom we feel very comfortable and supported. Best friends share their dreams and their problems because they know they will be understood and supported.

Friendly but not Friends: Another kind of “friend” is someone we see often, like the woman you described, but who is not a person we would pick to be close to. Since you see each other a lot, it’s important to remain friendly without becoming close. Conversations are kept very general and polite. Such people don’t expect each other to spend time together outside of work hours. The person you described probably fits in this category.

Acquaintances – people we don’t really know well but are maybe friends of friends or people in the community we get to know because we bump into them regularly. These are the people we wave to politely or say “hello” to when we happen to see them. There is either no interest or no time to get to know them better. (Sometimes acquaintances do become friends if there is opportunity to spend time together but it isn’t expected.)

I hope you take a step back from this relationships. Be on the look out for someone you find more interesting and approachable. Really good friends are sometimes hard to find but it is definitely worth the effort.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is this Friendship Worth Hanging on to?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Is this Friendship Worth Hanging on to?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/06/16/is-this-friendship-worth-hanging-on-to/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jun 2019 (Originally: 16 Jun 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jun 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.