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Thankful For Friends

By Aaron Tanner

· Friendship,Friends,Socializing,Aspergers,Autism

This Sunday is National Friendship Day. Those who have read my blogs know that I have Aspergers. Due to the issues with social and communication skills, many have a problem maintaining friendships.

Although it took me many years to learn how to make friends, I am very thankful that I have friends to do things with and hold conversations. Although I may not have as many friends as the average extrovert, what I do have as far as friendship is, in my opinion, high quality.

When my mom was out of town visiting my niece earlier this summer, I had several meals lined up with my friends so that I would not have to eat all of my meals alone. Once a month, I have lunch with a good friend who is in his 70s who shares his wisdom with me and is a source of encouragement.

I think the reason I have bucked the trend of not having friends is not only maturity but also the willingness to reach out to people and plan social activities. Although I have friends who are on the spectrum, I think having friends who are neurotypical has helped stretch my social skills to new limits as I learn how to have conversations with people who are different from me.

Do not get me wrong; sometimes, it takes effort to check with my friends to see how they are doing, listen to their concerns, and plan outings that get me out of the house. However, it beats the alternative of being lonely. I guess you can say I am an extroverted introvert.

When I read social media posts of adults with Aspergers who are in their 30s and 40s with no friends, I feel their pain because for the longest time I did not have any close friends. I had to work at making friends.

For any friends who may be reading this post, I am genuinely grateful for your friendship. Comment below if you have any tips on maintaining friendships and check out my other blog on the Tennessee Valley Unite page.

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