A dingo in the wolfpack
I confess a certain ignorance as to how much people from other countries know about Australia, (after all, apparently I get a fair few views from countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, and Mexico, and I know about as much about those places as I do about the sex life of stick insects, something I really should fix) so if you haven’t heard of a dingo, it’s a kind of large wild dog that predates European colonization.
You can see what an adult looks like on Google, but here’s a photo of a friend of mine with a Dingo puppy he found while working with the Fire Department.
Photo courtesy of Jason Lewis.
Okay, now that cleared up, onto this week’s topic!
Almost all my life, I have tended to hang out and form friendships with people outside my own demographic. When I was 3-9, I used to like talking to older kids and adults. Then, from the age of about 11 to this day, I have mostly been friends with people a few years younger than me.
A theory I have about this is that these older/younger friends were at similar developmental milestones to me. As a kid I related to older people because, as a “gifted” child, I felt I had more in common with them academically. Then, as I entered adolescence, my social development was a bit delayed, so I related more to people a year or two younger than me. As I write this, I am 26, but a lot of my friends are 22-24.
Another curious trend is that, since my mid teens, the majority of my friends have been girls. I suspect a significant factor in this that I found them less intimidating; in early high school, I was bullied a lot by other guys, but not so much by girls. (Also, I could talk to them about cool stuff like movies, while most teenage boys only wanted to talk about bloody football!)
This seems to apply to a lot of people on the spectrum that I’ve talked to; their experiences don’t always align with those of their own demographic, leading them to seek friendships elsewhere.
Some people seem to think this is a problem, but personally, I don’t think it is, at least not necessarily. As long as these friendships are mutually beneficial, and are safe and appropriate for the younger party, I don’t see anything wrong with having friends from a different gender or age group as one’s self. Friends are hard enough to come by without placing arbitrary restrictions on who we can and cannot include.