LFGSS has been pretty helpful to me over the last 8ish years, so I have something I'd like help with, please!
I have a friend who is one of the hardest people I've ever had to maintain a friendship with. We'll call 'Chris'.
Chris is an engineer and very, very clever. He's worked at the same company for 8 years and never made a single mistake with any of his work. He works at a company of 200 people and just about everyone at the company dislikes him, mainly because he will speak exactly what is on his mind when someone has made an error, or he thinks what they are doing isn't the right way to do it. They don't invite him to sit at the table with him at lunch or go out for drinks etc, most of the people despise him.
In the 7 years of being friends with him, he's been round to my house a total of twice, I go to his house maybe once a week. Chris lives by himself and doesn't really speak to his family that much, and me and my other friend are pretty much the only people he associates with outside of work. I once got so fed up of making the effort of trying to talk to him that I left it to see when he would contact me, it lasted 6 months before I caved it.
95% of the time, Chris is a pleasure to be around and I really enjoy his company, he's a great friend who is generous, listens to what I have to say and we go mountain biking, drinking and other fun activities, we always have a great time.
The 5% that I find trouble with. He can be incredibly honest and very rude because of it, and a lot of the time I feel quite deflated and actually quite sad when I leave his house. Just about everyone who knows him feels this way. When he's bad, all he does is moan about things that really aren't important to daily life. His people skills are not far off 0.
When we go out, he'll regularly wear trousers that are ripped and shoes with holes in, and it gets quite awkward telling him he can't do out with clothing that is falling apart. It's not a money or hoarding issue, he just doesn't see it as a problem.
I have long suspected Chris may be on the autistic spectrum. I love him to bits, he's a true friend to me and I value our relationship dearly, but he's honestly the hardest person I've ever tried to be friends with. I feel out of my depth sometimes trying to deal with him and how he makes me feel, and I'm not sure what to do. If me and my other friend didn't work to maintain a friendship with him, he'd do 0 with his life and not speak to anyone.
Can anyone offer me advice on ways to deal with him? I'd really love to learn how to manage someone like him, so I can maintain our friendship.