I have this friend who's completely asocial. He walks around naked with friends around (my friends who he doesn't know), licks everything when eating in public etc. It's making me and everyone around uncomfortable but talking doesn't help, I never argue just calmly explain yet he feels attacked, cries, gets offended and doesn't change the behavior. We've know each other our whole lives,i don't wanna give up on him but I'm not sure I want to continue the friendship when he's like this. We're 21
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I’m sorry that this is happening. It sounds really tough to figure out what the right thing to do is. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. This type of situation cannot be cut and dry, unfortunately. I understand that you feel as if ending the friendship will seem like you’re giving up on him. That is completely understandable; however, it is not fair to you to continue to feel uncomfortable around your friend. It is admirable of you to want to stay loyal to your friend you have had since childhood. It sounds like your friend is having a really hard time understanding why his behavior is causing discomfort. Here are some tips on how to have a meaningful conversation with someone who is on the Autism spectrum: https://www.mayinstitute.org/news/acl/asd-and-dd-adult-focused/tips-for-talking-to-adults-on-the-autism-spectrum/.
It is important to be direct, but not cruel, when telling someone how their behavior affect you. It is important that you do not do this in front of a group of people, because this can shame a person. Avoid “you” statements like, “you make me feel,” etc. These statements can come across as trying to place blame. Try “I” statements, like “I feel this way when. . .” Also, how you say something matters. How you present what you have to say is important. Timing is everything. If your friend is already agitated and upset, it probably isn’t the best time to talk about his social behavior right then. Wait until you are both feeling calm. Here are some tips on how to communicate effectively: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/effective-communication.htm.
I understand that you are in quite a difficult position. Your friends may not want your other friend around. If that is the case, perhaps you and your friend can hang out alone together. This may take the pressure off of trying to act a certain way. It also might be better to not eat in public as much. Sometimes, people do different things with different friends, so it might be best not to eat in public with him if you can help it. This change may help your friend have less social interaction and feel more comfortable, too. You are allowed to feel however you are feeling about this situation. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and don’t criticize yourself too much. Treat yourself, and your friend, the way you’d want to be treated. There is a way to talk to him about all of this; you just haven’t found it quite yet. I know you don’t want to upset your friend. Not only is it painful for all involved, but it is difficult to get through to someone when they are experiencing such strong emotions. Here are some dos and don’ts of friendships that may help you: https://www.dosomething.org/us/articles/the-dos-and-donts-of-friend-drama.