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Woman confronts friend with autism on his inability to be 'kind.' AITA?

Woman confronts friend with autism on his inability to be 'kind.' AITA?


When this woman wants to confront her friend who is on the spectrum, she asks Reddit:

'AITA for confronting my friend with autism on his inability to communicate?'

My friend (21M) and I (20F) have known each other for over three months, and I've grown to care about him deeply during this time.

At the beginning of our friendship, I noticed he had the tendency to be rude about certain things, and his tone would indicate that he genuinely did not realize certain things should not be said to a friend (things like 'oh I only talk to you as much as I do because I'm nice,' or 'You're actually not good looking, I don't know who told you that.').

Upon confronting him about these issues, he said that his way of showing love to friends is by 'roasting' them from time to time, as for the comments about my appearance, he has autism and doesn't fully understand what shouldn't be said in certain situations with friends.

I reiterated the fact that I'm not comfortable with a dynamic where friends are constantly mean to each other, even as a joke, and he said he'll work on it.

Eventually, I also began to realize that he had issues with expressing his care for me as a friend, including either reminding me verbally, or by making an effort by himself to make plans or to do things together. His reasoning was usually that he'd rather I initiate the conversation first, and he'd add onto it.

This would put me off because it made me feel self-conscious if I made plans too much or expressed myself way too often. If I did make an effort to talk to him about it, the response would usually be that he spends most of his day talking to me and makes an effort to hang out with me, so it should be obvious that he does care about me as a friend too.

Earlier today, we got into a fight because I was fed up with his inability to reassure me properly, or how dismissive he is about the fact that his behavior hurts my feelings.

I told him how I felt clearly, including the fact that his attempts at 'roasting' are downright rude at times and not how friends should talk to one another. I also told him that I think the friendship does not add any value to my life because I rarely get emotional support from his end, and we wouldn't hang out if it wasn't for me making plans.

He responded by sending me a paragraph over text about how he cares for me a lot and that he him texting me and should be a reminder that he likes me even if he doesn't say it directly. He also said that there's certain things he's been through that make him this way but he can't disclose that information.

I told him that if there are things serious enough to impact the way he interacts with friends, I at least deserve some form of explanation for why that is the case, and if he can't even do that much, he doesn't care about our friendship enough.

He told me to 'believe that if that's what you think' and 'just leave' which upset me so much that I said his inability to communicate properly is what is wrong with him as a person and why he won't find meaningful friendships. We have not spoken to each other since. AITA?

Let's see what readers had to say.

reindeergood1255 writes:

YTA it doesn’t sound like you two are uncompatible, you can’t force him to be different than he is and whatever he is doesn’t seem to be enough for you, you’re going to have to let this one go. You are not compatible as friends.

umeil writes:

NTA. Seeking respect in a friendship is reasonable. Expressing discomfort isn't wrong, and your friend's dismissive response isn't excusable, autism or not. Prioritize your well-being.

neelysilverleaf writes:

NTA. He's communicating fine - he's telling you this is how he treats people. If you can't handle being treated that way, it's okay to back away.

So, is OP TA here? Any advice for them?

Sources: Reddit
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