"It's a two-way street."
"You need to start calling and texting me first."
"The ball's in your court."
"If you won't make the effort, why should I?"
These are just a few of the jabs I have heard from people who cannot tolerate my communication skills. I won't lie, my skills are NOT the best. My friends start conversations most of the time, and I'm very grateful for that.
However, not everyone has been as understanding.
I have autism spectrum disorder (formerly known as Asperger's) and poor communication skills are one of the main downsides.
Combine this with social anxiety and you have me! Maintaining friendships is more difficult for me than it should be.
Some people don't initiate contact most of the time. Why? Well, there could be several reasons why.
Let's get this one out of the way: "if you don't make the effort, you don't care." This is not always the case.
Sometimes the thought of trying to start a conversation can make one anxious. It definitely makes me anxious. There have been times where I want to talk to one of my friends and will want to text them, but even saying "hey" makes me sweat.
Another reason is fear of rejection.
It sounds silly, but hear me out. I hardly ever ask my friends if they want to hang out or Skype because I'm afraid that they will be too busy or they just will not want to. I know, it's stupid.
Since it takes a bit of courage to initiate contact, I feel like I mustered up the strength for nothing. It will take a while for me to try again. The discouragement sucks.
Sometimes I don't even think to start a conversation at all. I tend to live in my own little world and will forget to check up on my friends. I really don't mean to. I do think about friends and I care about what's going on in their lives.
I do want to make something crystal clear: I want friendship. I crave it! It's just hard for me to hold up my end of the deal sometimes. I truly love my friends and I appreciate them more than they know.
I know it takes a lot of patience to put up with communication skills like mine. I don't know how my friends do it.
They must really like me!
Just kidding, I know they do. One of my best friends even said to me that our friendship means so much to her, she does not care who initiates contact first. That meant so much to me. That was one of the biggest demonstrations of unconditional acceptance I had ever experienced.
I'm extremely thankful for the friendships I have. I never want to take them for granted, especially since my friends are always willing to talk to me, no matter how the conversation starts. Thank you, guys. You mean the world to me.