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Marc Segar 1974-1997


A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome

Finding the Right Friends

  • It is often difficult to tell the difference between a true friend and a hoax friend but for autistic people, this can be many times harder. Here is a table to help you tell the difference:

True friends

Hoax friends


Treat you the same way they treat all their friends.

Make you feel welcome in the long term as well as the short term.

If they give you compliments, they will be genuine and sincere.

Will treat you as an equal.

May help you to see the truth behind other peoples hoaxes when suitable.



May treat you differently to how they treat others.

Might make you feel welcome in the short term and then drop you in the dirt.

Might give you many compliments which are NOT genuine.

Might often make unfair requests of you.

Might want you to make a spectacle of yourself.

May threaten not to be your friend anymore or play on your guilt if it is to help them get their own way.

May ignore you most of the time.

Will make you feel unwelcome and will notice all your mistakes and may bring them to the attention of other people.

May give you anything from sarcasm, put-downs and temper tantrums to the silent treatment.

Will often treat you as a less important person than them.

What to do:

Repay them with the same attention they give you and listen to them.

Accept any compliments they give you by saying a simple "thank you", and then you won't make them feel silly in any way for having complimented you.

Try to show that you like them using the rules given under eye contact (see body language).

What to do:

Stand up to them and don't feel guilty about telling them to p*ss off if they have said something which is obviously unfair.

They could be the kind of person who gets pleasure out of hurting people more vulnerable than themselves because they feel weak and inadequate inside.

What to do:

You might have done something to annoy them or they might just be jealous of certain skills or knowledge you have. If it is jealousy they will never admit to it.

If you find them on their own at any time, they might switch to being quiet and shy towards you and you might be able to ask them awkward questions as to why they behave differently towards you than they do towards other people. Also, if they can give you a good enough reason, it might be a chance to apologise if you have annoyed them in some way and say that you will try not to annoy them as much in future.

  • You are likely to meet many people who don't fit exactly into any one category in this table in which case you must use your discretion.
  • Don't be living under the illusion that everyone who knows you cares about you because they don't. People who care about you will probably fall under the category of true friends or will otherwise be family.
  • Never underestimate the value of a true friend.
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