At the next several meetings of the Queens discussion group, we will have a series of discussions about friendship.
Below are some questions we can discuss. Some of these questions might take up an entire meeting, while in other cases we can most likely discuss two or three questions within one meeting.
1) If, at any point during this series of meetings, anyone wants to discuss/analyze failed attempts at making or keeping friends, we can do so.
2) If you ever succeeded in making one or more friends, at any time in your life,, how did you do so? How did the emotional connection between you and your friends develop, and how was it maintained?
3) From your personal point of view, what is friendship?
4) What do you want in a friend? What kinds/aspects of friendship are worth having? (And what kinds/aspects of what most people regard as friendship are NOT worth having, at least for some of us, though they might be valued by most NT’s?)
5) What are both some similarities and some differences between the ways that NT’s seem to make friends and the ways that we can make friends? (Answers to this question are likely to vary widely among us, but we should NOT assume that we necessarily must imitate NT’s in order to make friends.)
6) If a person were to become your friend, what are some of the things the person must do, or not do, in order to remain your friend, or to become a closer friend?
7) What are some things we can do, as individuals, to make it easier for us to find potential friends and develop friendships?
8) What are some things the autistic community can do to make it easier for autistic people to find potential friends and develop friendships, at least within the community itself and possibly outside of it as well?
The last two questions will be the most important ones. Answers to those questions will be informed by our answers to the preceding questions.
[Update, January 13: We aren’t discussing the above questions in any particular order, and we can re-visit previously-discussed questions if desired. We’ll discuss whichever of the above questions — and other questions about friendship too — that people want to discuss at any given meeting in the series.]