Hiya, I often don’t like being touched or having people get very close or breathe on me, I also can’t handle too many people talking at once etc. (I have actually suspected that I have autism for a while now) But one of my close friends always gets really offended when I ask her to stop touching me or to leave me alone. It’s gotten to the point where she stresses me out so much I try to avoid her all day. What can I do? I enjoy her company sometimes but she really pushes my boundaries…

realsocialskills said:

I think it might help to identify when you enjoy her company. What kind of circumstances is it in, and can you make more of your interaction with her happen in that kind of setting?

Some people are nice to spend time with in some contexts, but don’t treat you well in others.

One way this can play out is that some people respect physical boundaries in environments that suggest them, but not in more open-ended space.

For instance, some people who will touch you if you meet up in their house or yours won’t if you meet in a restaurant and sit on opposite sides of the table.

Some people will respect your physical boundaries if other people are present, but not if you are alone. Or vice versa. 

Similarly, if the boundaries she pushes are all or mostly physical, it might be that spending time with her online works better than hanging out with her in person. 

It’s also ok if you decide that you’d really rather not spend time with her. Even if you like spending time with her sometimes, it might not be worth it. Most people who do deal-breaking things are also pleasant to be around some of the time. I don’t know what you should do, because I don’t know you or your situation - it’s up to you and how you feel and what you decide.

Do any of y'all have suggestions about how to manage this?