When it comes to people who have developmental disabilities, there are no two who are exactly alike. We all have different interests, needs, and goals for our lives. While some people find it easy to make friends and can become close with someone after just a few minutes, not everyone is built that way. This is why you will find a lot of resources for making friends, especially for those who are on the autism spectrum. Most people want to learn how to meet new friends and develop long-lasting friendships, it can just be a bit harder in some cases due to anxieties and fears of rejection. Overcoming disabilities, and more accurately, fears of rejection because of disabilities, can make all the difference. Friendship and disability do not need to be mutually exclusive – you can do something to change this part of your life.
Worth the Extra Effort
So making friends does not come naturally, but there are things that you can do to make it easier. When searching out resources for making friends, you might come across the All Friends Network. Our program was started as a means of creating a resource that would help those who are developmentally disabled have unique opportunities to interact socially with others and learn how to meet new friends. We have online resources that are exclusively for our members and a Live-LINK social app that creates a safe and friendly space for meeting others. Everyone in our membership has a developmental disability, so you don’t need to worry about anyone coming it to bully or be judgmental – there’s only friends here!
Learning how to meet new friends and overcome anxieties is worth the extra effort. Having someone to talk to, share things with, experience new things with, and spend time with – either online or in-person – makes it all worthwhile. However, it all starts with one big step, and that is joining the All Friends Network and signing up to attend one of our live events. Overcoming disabilities, dealing with all of the day-to-day struggles, and learning how to live as independently as possible is one thing. However, learning how to overcome fears of rejection or a past history of bullying can be overwhelming. Be encouraged in knowing that everyone in the AFN membership has likely experienced similar feelings and situations themselves. What a great place to start a friendship than with people who already get you.
Confront Your Own Anxieties
What is it that is holding your back from making a friend? Think about your childhood and experiences that you may have had that put you into this mindset. Teasing, exclusion, bullying, and rude comments are all common things that people with disabilities experience throughout their lives. Sometimes these little moments are what add up to put you where you are right now – alone and friendless. If you want to make a change, you are the only one who can do it. Take control over your life and promise never to let friendship and disability stand in your way of happiness. Overcoming disabilities – including anxieties and fear of rejection – can be liberating and provide you with the strength and encouragement you need to move forward with your life.
Dig deep inside yourself and find a way to let out all of the anger, fear, and hurt from your past. Consider speaking with a therapist if you feel that you need some help in this area. They might even have other resources, tips, and support that you can use to make significant changes in the way that you see yourself and others. Make a promise to do things differently as you try new things, and don’t allow yourself to be stuck in the same rut of fear and rejection. You know what type of situations can be the most difficult for you, whether it is being in a large crowd, sensory issues, or certain activities. Avoid those types of events, but make plans to attend others that you think you can successfully manage. Start today by joining the All Friends Network. You can reach out to our team by calling 941-587-7172 or by using our online contact form to reach out to one of our staff.