Living With Autism: 5 Tips to Expand Your Social Circle for Genuine & Positive Connections

Living with Autism

Living with autism isn’t always a walk in the park. Even for people who don’t have autism, it can be difficult to make new connections and build new friendships as an adult. You have an added barrier.

Despite how it may feel sometimes, you’re not alone. Plenty of other adults with autism struggle with meeting new people and forming bonds. You have to develop a strategy and learn how to reach out!

We want to offer some advice so you can start forming real bonds and making positive connections. Keep reading to learn our top tips for how to make friends and build relationships.

1. Follow Your Interests

If you don’t even know how to get started when it comes to meeting new people, that’s okay! Plenty of people are in this exact position, so know that your anxiety is normal.

When you’re no longer in school and you don’t work with peers in your general age group, it’s hard to find people to make friends with. We all take our time in school for granted when it comes to interacting with like-minded people.

One of the best ways to get out into the world and meet new people is by following your interests.

This means that you’re going to visit places that appeal to you and your hobbies (or hobbies that you’d like to start). When you go there, you know that the other people there are interested in the same thing that you are. You have at least one thing in common!

Do you enjoy exercise? Why not join a social exercise club or activity, like dancing, group fitness classes, or even rock climbing?

Are you interested in tabletop games? Look into local game shops to see if any of them host tabletop nights. You get to have fun while interacting with new people.

You can even take classes at your local community college or various learning centers nearby. There are art classes, cooking classes, and more. These classes will expose you to other people who are also learning something new for the first time.

If you’re nervous, consider bringing a pre-existing friend along. This might make you feel more confident.

2. Consider the Internet

Is the idea of seeking out people in the real world too stressful to handle right now? We understand. Jumping right into the deep end is scary.

There’s nothing wrong with forming positive relationships online. While it was once stigmatized, online friendships and dating relationshipsΒ are normal in 2021. So many people meet online!

You can use local apps to find friends and meet new people, or you can take a more global approach. You can look into interest-based forums, online game communities, and even communities that are full of people who are similar to you (Like Special Bridge!).

Socializing online is a great way to learn how to manage social interactions in a safer and more anonymous environment.

3.Β Do Volunteer Work

Are you looking for a more structured way to expand your social circle?

When you do volunteer work, you’re doing your part to improve your community while also opening yourself up to new friendships and relationships. Why not give it a shot?

Look for local volunteering options in your town or city. You can volunteer with a local clean-up group to help the environment, an animal shelter to play with pets, or even a local soup kitchen.

Volunteer groups often work together to do their important work, so you’ll be amongst like-minded people who you know have good intentions. If you struggle with social cues and determining whether or not people are friendly, you’ll be safer amongst other volunteers.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Reaching out is hard for anyone, but it’s even harder for people with autism. When you can’t gauge how someone feels about you, how are you supposed to know that it’s safe to approach them?

If you have acquaintances that you’d like to befriend or get closer to, consider that they might also have anxiety about forming new bonds. Remember, making friends is difficult for almost all adults.

With this in mind, what would you want them to do? Would you want them to reach out to you for friendship? If so, maybe they want the same thing.

This thought process might help you have less anxiety about reaching out to new people.

When you reach out, pay attention to how the other person is reacting. Are they smiling and listening? Do they display open and comfortable body language?

Now, not all instances of reaching out will work in your favor. Prepare yourself for potential rejection, but don’t go into a situation expecting it. Learn how to receive rejections with grace; they don’t mean that you’re a bad person.

Remember, if you don’t reach out, you don’t give yourself that chance to make a new friend.

5. Take Baby Steps

All of this is difficult for someone who isn’t used to putting themselves out there. It’s scary to meet new people.

Don’t try to jump in all at once if you aren’t ready. Start small.

You can start by saying hello or making small talk with people near you. Try to remember that not all situations are appropriate for small talk and that some people prefer their quiet time when they’re in public, but others will be happy for the attention.

When you feel ready to take the next step, push yourself. The worst thing that can happen is someone not being interested in forming a relationship with you, and that’s okay!

Living With Autism Doesn’t Mean Living Alone

Living with autism shouldn’t stop you from forming meaningful relationships with others. You can find friends and even relationship partners if you put yourself out there and work on expanding your social circle.

Starting a friendship isn’t easy, but it’s a worthwhile venture. Think of all of the friends that you could be missing out on right now!

Are you ready to start building new friendships online? Why not join our supportive community? Join us for a safe and supportive environment where you can make new friends (and perhaps more) today!


  1. omnibus

    July 9, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Sorry to say, but this website has not exactly paid off big dividends for me as far as new friendships, relationships go! I am at a loss as to how to explain why, so please don’t ask, feeling overloaded this afternoon with my parents at each other’s throats in quarreling!

  2. maddyoneil

    July 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I agree with finding new friends and expanding your friend group. I like to find friends through town recreation programs (Special Olympics) because they may have similar profiles and some of them are your age. Also you can become friends with your co-workers. I have friends through school, work, recreation programs, and through my group home.


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