How to Meet Friends With the Same Special Interests as You

How to Meet Friends With the Same Special Interests as You

Between 75% and 95% of people with autism have special interests (sometimes referred to as SpIns). Do you also have SpIns? Do you love sharing them with others?

Talking about your special interests with new people can be scary and frustrating, especially if those people are neurotypical. It’s hard to explain why you get so excited about things that other people may see as innocuous. Why can’t they see how great those things are like you can?

While you can definitely be friends with (and even date, if you’d like) people who don’t share your special interests, there are ways that you can meet people just like you.

We’re here to talk about how to meet others with shared special interests so you can bond over something important to you. Read on to learn more.

Look for Local Support Groups

While your new friends don’t have to have autism (after all, you can definitely find friends with shared interests without autism, though they won’t be official “special interests”), it might benefit you to find local support groups for adults with autism. That’s one of the best ways to figure out how to make other autistic friends.

When you hang out and connect with other autistic adults, you’ll be hanging out with people who understand what it’s like to have special interests. Even if you don’t share interests, you can share enthusiasm and learn things about each other’s interests.

You may even get lucky enough to find another person with your special interests, or at least an interest that’s similar enough that your interests go well together.

Find Interest-Related Social Opportunities

This is one of the best things that you can do if you’re looking for new friends with shared interests (special interests or otherwise). This can be challenging for people with autism at first, but it’s worthwhile.

Look for opportunities to connect with other people who may be interested in the same things that you are. When you enter an environment like this, you know that you’re not going to be judged for your interest. You already have something in common with the other people there!

Let us give you a few examples.

First, let’s say that your special interest is a specific anime (or anime in general). Where better to meet new people who might share that interest than an anime convention? Dress up as a character from your favorite anime and you’re going to attract other people who like it.

Do you love card or role-playing games? Look for a local gaming shop and see if there are any opportunities to play.

It can be difficult to walk up to new people and start talking, especially if you have autism. Because you’re somewhere that’s already conducive to meeting people with shared interests, this is a lower-risk situation.

Look for Local Meetup Groups or Chats

When you’ve exhausted your obvious “real life” options, look for local Meetup groups, local group chats, and local forums. Often you can find groups for different interests and activities if you look hard enough.

There are often groups for playing games, seeing movies, playing sports, collecting things, and more. Even if you have a niche interest, it’s not impossible that there’s a local group for you.

You can also talk to locals online one-on-one. You may find someone who wants to meet you due to your shared interests!

Visit Online Forums and Connection Sites

So what if real-life friends aren’t working out yet? Don’t underestimate the power of the Internet. Use online forums and other social sites to find friends with shared interests.

The Internet is your best friend in this case. It’s effortless to find people who love the same things that you do.

You could use a disability-specific website, like Special Bridge, to find other adults with autism who may have similar shared interests. This is a great option if you’re looking for dates as well.

You can go to websites specifically made for your interest. There are online forums for everything.

Sites like Reddit have subforums (subreddits) for almost every topic as well, and if there’s not already a subforum for your interest, it only takes a few seconds to make one.

You might think that online friends aren’t as “authentic” as real-life friends, but this isn’t the case. Many people keep online friends for years, or even decades. You can also meet an online friend in real life as soon as you know that it’s safe to do so.

Basic Tips for Making Friends

So now that you’ve figured out how to meet others with shared special interests, how do you actually befriend them? We get it, when you’re neurodivergent, it’s tough!

Be as friendly as possible, even if you’re shy. Remember that they might be shy too, and also that you already have something in common to talk about.

It’s exciting to talk about your special interests, but make sure that you leave room for the other person in your conversation. Let them share too. Conversations are more fun that way, and you might learn new things.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a step back and self-regulate. It’s easy to get overstimulated when you’re meeting new people (especially if you’re in a place with a lot of people with your shared interests, like a convention).

You Can Make Friends With Shared Special Interests

Making friends with shared special interests might seem challenging, but it’s totally doable. There are billions of people in this world, and no matter how niche your interest is, there are people who share it!

Are you looking for new friends? Why not start online? With a Special Bridge account, you can connect to other neurodivergent adults with shared interests!

Set up an account today and start meeting people!


6 comments:

  1. thomas

    July 28, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    I am tried be alone

    Reply
  2. Jake Swarr

    July 28, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Hey. I’m Jake. Anyone want to be friends ??

    Reply
  3. alnava88

    July 28, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    HI IM ALBERT I NEED FRIENDS TO TALK TO ME AND TEXTING ME AND IM ALSO A FRIENDSHIP ONLY AND I BEEN ALONE SINCE I WAS 12 YRS OLD AND I NEVER HAD ANY FRIENDS OR EVERYBODY TO HANG OUT BUT YOUR WELCOME TO BE FRIENDS IF YOU LIKE LETTING ME KNOW BUT I HOPE YOU HAVE A NICE DAY AND STAY SAFE OK FROM -ALBERT

    Reply
  4. Audra Renshaw

    August 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Hay wait have friendship and date and I am from Texas

    Reply
  5. Travis

    February 5, 2023 at 8:44 am

    I’m looking for friends to get to theme parks and go to movies with.
    I live in rural North Florida. Most of all l want a nice young lady to have a relationship with and one day marry.

    Reply
  6. Nicole Corrado

    September 4, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    Looking for a man who shares my values.

    Reply

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