View Full Version : One sided friendships


littlefidget
09-13-11, 05:24 AM
Iím just curious about other peopleís experience with one sided friendshipsÖ

Iíve never really had a lot of friends. Always had trouble making friends because of my social awkwardness and shyness, and if I ever did manage to strike up a friendship I had real difficulty in maintaining it, for a range of reasons.

Iím making a real effort to turn my life around at the moment. And Iím making a conscious effort to keep in touch with Ďfriendsí but itís completely one sided. Iím the only one that initiates anything. I know that people are busy and that life is hectic but I donít think Iím really expecting too much, just the odd text or email once in a while and meeting up occasionally, to show that they actually care. Iím starting to think that maybe I just donít have any friends and itís kind of getting me down.

CrushCrush
09-13-11, 06:00 AM
I’m just curious about other people’s experience with one sided friendships…

Sure. I basically drive them around. Do everything for them. Pay for their way at clubs and restaurants because they are broke. Cover everyone's bill at Deny's. Invite them to my wedding. Give them gifts. Let them talk my ear off. Give them my cigarettes, let them come use my house a hang out, sleep on my sofa, fake job references for them, cut their hair, burn them CD's, lend them my clothes, fix their computer, give them stuff I don't use anymore, help them move, lend them money, install their car audio, let them stay at my house, eat my food, help them install light fixtures...

"Hey you haven't met my bf yet after all this time.. why don't you guys come over... we go over... ((an hour passes)) .. yeah that light needs to be put back on the fixture before the condo gets put on the market.. ((puppy dog eyes)).. oh.. OH YES! Silly me!!!.. thanks NT person. Yes the NT way of doing things I forgot. Sure I'll put up the light!

And in return, I get stood up at my wedding, don't get invited to theirs, do not get invited to meet-ups, and only get called when they want something or are conspiring to use me in some way. Obviously they think less of me somehow. I must be doing something wrong.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, If I was to want a friend, I'd want myself as a friend. I feel anyone who has me as a friend is lucky, but the NT people just have a different way of interacting that is not compatible to my ADHD mindset. I've always been the best friend someone could want. Especially in my 20's when I bent over backwards and did anything for my friends. Now I just hide from Facebook and don't bother speaking to anyone.

sarek
09-13-11, 07:19 AM
The thing with friends is that the definition of friendship nowadays seems so terribly watered down. The kind of person you describe would in my book be classified not as a friend but as an acquaintance. Which in practice means that I am going to strictly ration the resources I am spending on them.

With my true friends I never need to do that and I want to be able to give to them freely without having to keep tabs on how much I am getting in return. That is my definition of a true friend and those are few and far between.

And that has been my answer all my life. I am extremely careful with whom I am letting into my life. That saves a load of pain, anguish and frustration.

littlefidget
09-13-11, 07:34 AM
I guess that what I'm describing is more of an acquaintance. I don't really have any of those either.

I have one friend. She's my best friend. She's great and I love her to bits and I know I'm lucky to have her. Recently she does seem to take advantage of me and she expects so much from me but I give her the benefit of the doubt because I'm sure that it's only a passing phase because she's depressed at the moment, although I wish that she would understand that I can't fix her or magically make her problems go away.

So I have one great friend and I feel like maybe I shouldn't complain, I mean that should be enough - but I'd just like to to have a couple of friends/acquaintances that I could call up and ask to catch up for a chat over lunch, go to the cinema and catch a movie or to the pub to watch the game. Whenever my best friend isn't around I'm totally by myself.

pechemignonne
09-13-11, 08:03 AM
I can really relate to this. Everyone around me seems to have close friendships, and at best I have acquaintances. I was the kid Barkley describes, where the kids I would have called my friends didn't think of me as their friends. I actually had one best friend at any given time growing up, but they changed. And I'm not in touch with any of them except over facebook.

I remember my sixteenth birthday, calling my sister's boyfriend (who is now my brother-in-law), who I barely knew at the time but was nice to me, crying on the phone because I was spending my "sweet sixteen" completely alone. Nobody called. No party. Nothing.

On the other hand, I think unlike CrushCrush, I know why people don't want to be my friend. I'm unreliable and opinionated and frankly, not a very good friend unless there's a crisis. I am a great friend in a crisis. But I will forget your birthday.

CrushCrush
09-13-11, 05:22 PM
On the other hand, I think unlike CrushCrush, I know why people don't want to be my friend. I'm unreliable and opinionated and frankly, not a very good friend unless there's a crisis. I am a great friend in a crisis. But I will forget your birthday.


But I think it goes more deeper than that.. It's something since childhood. I agree I was in the same boat. The kids would have sleep overs and I wasn't invited. Or I wold hear about some kids haven't play dates and I wasn't there. I thought they were all my friends.

My wife has a group of friends and adequatences. All this despite being in Toronto for less than 8 years since moving from Brossard. She's been able to meet them at work and make friends with them. Although she doesn't really have a best friend.

At work everyone goes out to lunch, and then doesn't include me. Even before any beefs or drama starts. They don't like my interactions with them I guess. They come back and start talking about their great time at lunch. I'm just an outsider.

I'm almost positive it's more of an NT vs ADHD thing. We just don't understand them, and they don't understand us so we tend to avoid each other. It's like saying people of different countries tend to segregate to their own race because they understand each others cultures better. When I meet an obvious ADD person at work, it's like we almost click right away and can't stop talking. We have this almost instant connection. Usually it's one or two people in the whole building that seem to have ADHD. Everyone else is NT. This one girl I became friends with.. turns out she had OCD.. she would come into work early just to clean the kitchen area. She was 'different' I guess like me.. wide eyed, smiley, distracted.. on the go. We just naturally got along really well. She was good looking, dressed well, nice hair, was asian. Lots of personality. But I noticed that she was shunned by everyone else.

I don't think that people with ADHD are all bad people and can be great friends. I just don't know why it's hard for us to have that NT style 'circle of friends'. I know a lot here disagree with that last statement.

I wish someone would write a book or study into the social and behavioral differences between the two groups. I know many don't like to be 'grouped', but if we're all suffering from the same problem of friends, and we know we're all in the same group of ADHD, then obviously there's a much bigger group called the NT group who don't like hanging out with us. I just wish I knew what made them tick. I don't know how to be a better friend than I already am.

Oh and in real life I never throw out opinions.. I find people don't like other people that are opinionated. Especially at work and especially mangers.

pechemignonne
09-13-11, 05:56 PM
I'm almost positive it's more of an NT vs ADHD thing. We just don't understand them, and they don't understand us so we tend to avoid each other.
That might be the case for you, but I don't find it to be the case, and I know that there are lots of people on the forums who have a very different experience. My bf doesn't have ADHD. My "best" friends have mostly not had ADHD. I like lots of NT people for whatever their individual qualities are. And, I don't know if you've noticed, but there are some people with ADHD that I *really* don't get along with.

Lots of people on these boards have an NT partner or best friend that they feel a real connection with. So I doubt it's an NT vs ADHD thing, or else so many of us wouldn't feel connections with NT people.

For sure, we can sometimes be immediately recognized as "different", like many types of people who aren't neurotypical sometimes that gets us ostracized. But I really don't think it's as simple as you are framing it.

casper
09-13-11, 09:37 PM
My so called best friend will call when she needs something. Will never come to my house or anywhere near my house to hang out. I always always have to go to her house or near her to hang out. It doesn't matter if I have a problem and want to talk or she has a problem and wants oto talk to me. Its always the same.

Why do we get drawn into these one sided relationships???

StoicNate
09-14-11, 12:39 AM
Fair-weather friends.
They don't call or text or hang out with you, until they need something from you.

I hate those kind of "friends". There was always a gut feeling, something is wrong here. I got used.

I'm not good at making friends. I seem to make the wrong kinds of friends.

eggyolkes
09-14-11, 02:08 AM
Iím just curious about other peopleís experience with one sided friendshipsÖ

Iíve never really had a lot of friends. Always had trouble making friends because of my social awkwardness and shyness, and if I ever did manage to strike up a friendship I had real difficulty in maintaining it, for a range of reasons.

Iím making a real effort to turn my life around at the moment. And Iím making a conscious effort to keep in touch with Ďfriendsí but itís completely one sided. Iím the only one that initiates anything. I know that people are busy and that life is hectic but I donít think Iím really expecting too much, just the odd text or email once in a while and meeting up occasionally, to show that they actually care. Iím starting to think that maybe I just donít have any friends and itís kind of getting me down.


I know the feeling. I also think I tend to be overbearing...

SweetCode
09-14-11, 02:26 AM
I can really relate to this. Everyone around me seems to have close friendships, and at best I have acquaintances. I was the kid Barkley describes, where the kids I would have called my friends didn't think of me as their friends. I actually had one best friend at any given time growing up, but they changed. And I'm not in touch with any of them except over facebook.

I remember my sixteenth birthday, calling my sister's boyfriend (who is now my brother-in-law), who I barely knew at the time but was nice to me, crying on the phone because I was spending my "sweet sixteen" completely alone. Nobody called. No party. Nothing.

On the other hand, I think unlike CrushCrush, I know why people don't want to be my friend. I'm unreliable and opinionated and frankly, not a very good friend unless there's a crisis. I am a great friend in a crisis. But I will forget your birthday.

I'm just like except that added to that I moved A LOT.

It feels sometimes to me that I am the same child that I was when a kid added life experience while other peoples changed and don't want that annoying kid around anymore. I feel like I am great at meeting people but they soon will get tired of me and just get away , but I don't think that I would act any different if I was in their position.

CrushCrush
09-14-11, 04:47 AM
[QUOTE]That might be the case for you, but I don't find it to be the case,

You just said above that you had trouble with keeping friends (a hallmark of a person who has ADHD). So how can that not be the case?

My bf doesn't have ADHD.

He's a significant other. They don't count. It was me who said that we are best fit with non ADHD people for relationships actually and most disagreed with me.

My "best" friends have mostly not had ADHD.

And you don't keep in contact with them much anymore.

How can you say there is no NT/ADHD friendship correlation?

I like lots of NT people for whatever their individual qualities are.

Same here. But I can't seem to keep any as friends or even aquantances these days. My wife has no problem moving here and meeting new people and seeing them the odd time. I moved here the same time from Ottawa and I wonder why I haven't been able to keep in contact with friends like she has?

And, I don't know if you've noticed, but there are some people with ADHD that I *really* don't get along with.

Well I never said that ADHD people get along with each other regardless. That would be silly.

But I really don't think it's as simple as you are framing it.

We're going to Brossard in 2 weeks for a wedding in Montreal.
The person getting married is my wifes younger BROTHER.
The bride is going to have 7 brides maids. All are NT's.
This bride and groom were in our wedding party a few years ago.

We are hated so much, that my myself and my wife is not invited to be in her own brothers wedding party. Both of us aren't welcome. This is without conflict, without any family fighting. We are nothing but nice to her. We've given them lots of gifts and money. They were part of our wedding and bought their outfits and even paid for their friends hotel rooms when they came up with them to Toronto.

And we aren't even invited into their wedding party. (wedding 'party' means you are a groomsman or bridesmaid)

When it came to our wedding, we could barely get 2 bridesmaids and groomsmen. We invited over 100 people and 50 showed up. We got stood up by like 8 people. ($800 down the drain)

This is how much NT people don't want to be around us.

At work, I can say that I instantly connect with people are non-NT. I never even noticed it until all the thought I've been giving it lately. These non-NT people made for a great day at work, and I really enjoyed their company. They just never stayed employed for long for whatever reason.

Actually once I went to a doctors and the secretary was around my age and I could tell she was non-NT just by looking at her. We had a very bubbly, fun conversation lasting for about 10 minutes then started gossiping about the doctor. She talked about how her bf was from Montreal actually and how when she was there, she got acid reflux for the first time in her life and was freaked out and almost went to the ER. Just corny fun stories. We just went back and forth. Like an instant connection (not romantic.. you know what I mean).

I just feel that there's a lot left to be explored with NT vs ADHD behaviors. The world is made up of NT's.

gerwin
09-14-11, 06:41 AM
well for me it has to do with many things:

Low self-esteem (so i rarely ask for anything in return)
I'm the type of guy that'll give you the shirt off his back
getting the happiness from a recipient makes my life worth while.
and so many more which i won't put out on the internet.

so i get "used" a lot.
It's the story of my life and if i want to do something about it I'll have to be the one to change.

pechemignonne
09-14-11, 08:15 AM
You just said above that you had trouble with keeping friends (a hallmark of a person who has ADHD). So how can that not be the case?
It is not the case for me that there is any difference between how I connect to people who have ADHD or who are NT or who are otherwise neurodiverse. I have just as much trouble keeping friendships with people who share ADHD-like traits as I do with NTs.

He's a significant other. They don't count. It was me who said that we are best fit with non ADHD people for relationships actually and most disagreed with me.
I think it's possible, although I haven't read the post you're referring to, that they objected to you saying that there was a "best fit" for ADHDers. Some people have ADHD spouses, and have been together for years, others have NT spouses and are very much struggling, and there are various combinations of the above.

How can you say there is no NT/ADHD friendship correlation?
The only correlation would be the fact that many if not most people with ADHD have trouble keeping friendships. I don't think whether the friendships are with NTs or NDs makes any difference across the board.

Same here. But I can't seem to keep any as friends or even aquantances these days. My wife has no problem moving here and meeting new people and seeing them the odd time. I moved here the same time from Ottawa and I wonder why I haven't been able to keep in contact with friends like she has?
Like I said, trouble keeping friends is common. Regardless of who those friends are.

Actually once I went to a doctors and the secretary was around my age and I could tell she was non-NT just by looking at her. We had a very bubbly, fun conversation lasting for about 10 minutes then started gossiping about the doctor. She talked about how her bf was from Montreal actually and how when she was there, she got acid reflux for the first time in her life and was freaked out and almost went to the ER. Just corny fun stories. We just went back and forth. Like an instant connection (not romantic.. you know what I mean).

I just feel that there's a lot left to be explored with NT vs ADHD behaviors. The world is made up of NT's.
I think that there is something to be said for our ability to recognize ADHD traits in others, but you should be careful about assuming that this means that you can "tell just be looking at" people.

Yes, understanding NT behavior is useful.

QuantumIguana
09-14-11, 11:01 AM
It's really not an NT vs. ADHD thing, it's pretty common. Some people - NT or ADHD - are "takers". They are happy to have a relationship with someone, so long it is convenient for them - only doing what they most want to do, when they want to do it, regardless of anyone else's feelings or interests. This sort of "friend" will expect you to do things you aren't really all that interested, but won't want to do anything you want to do. Or expects you to drop your plans at the last minute to do what they want, or won't care about your budget. You can wind up only going to their choice of movies or restaurants. These people, if they find someone willing to go along with this, are pretty happy, they get without giving back.

Whether or not you think it is worthwhile to have a friendship with such a person is your own choice. Personally, I prefer to divest myself of such people. Being a "need machine" isn't an ADHD or NT thing.

StoicNate
09-14-11, 11:12 AM
But when you are cold and need a jacket or some food, the "friends" look at you like you're some kind of freak....even though you've given them more than they could ever repay you.

CrushCrush
09-14-11, 03:29 PM
It's really not an NT vs. ADHD thing, it's pretty common. Some people - NT or ADHD - are "takers". They are happy to have a relationship with someone, so long it is convenient for them - only doing what they most want to do, when they want to do it, regardless of anyone else's feelings or interests. This sort of "friend" will expect you to do things you aren't really all that interested, but won't want to do anything you want to do. Or expects you to drop your plans at the last minute to do what they want, or won't care about your budget. You can wind up only going to their choice of movies or restaurants. These people, if they find someone willing to go along with this, are pretty happy, they get without giving back.

Whether or not you think it is worthwhile to have a friendship with such a person is your own choice. Personally, I prefer to divest myself of such people. Being a "need machine" isn't an ADHD or NT thing.

Ok I find literally ALL my friends (and family) to be the same way. Even my inlaws. Especially my inlaws.

Those who I suspect have ADHD, I have been best friends with in the past. And the best friends with at work.

I was thinking of making a 'friend list' and then determining whether I believed they have ADHD.

I actually thought about messaging a couple of them asking to take online tests. We were always late, couldn't pay attention, impulsive, drunk driving, smoked cigarettes, bad with money (well they were more than me), did poor in school, wen't out to clubs a lot, cut each other off while talking, had trouble with getting employment. They all had a lot of symptoms and histories of not keeping best friends.

Relationships in general though are very complex topics and probably something that we wouldn't be able to conqure on the forum. I will side with Barkley though and medical research. ADHD people don't have a lot of friends.

I wonder if the real reason why is because we 'give' a lot and feel relationships are one sided we cut them off?

Do you agree? Then in that case, it would indeed become an NT vs ADHD issue.

Got ya there didn't I lol..

QuantumIguana
09-14-11, 04:28 PM
I've known plenty of people, whether they are ADHD or NT who are one-sided need machines, who take without giving back. The issue isn't whether or not people with ADHD have a lot of friends. I side with the research too, but not necessarily with your interpretation.

blgw99
09-14-11, 04:28 PM
On the other hand, I think unlike CrushCrush, I know why people don't want to be my friend. I'm unreliable and opinionated and frankly, not a very good friend unless there's a crisis. I am a great friend in a crisis. But I will forget your birthday.

I think that's it - simple gestures versus real actions and real loyalty.

I'm not saying it in a judgemental way or anything, it is again a matter of differences of how we perceive things.

NT people see - especially in the initial stages of friendship - these gestures, like making small talk, making that damn first step to ask to hang out, remembering the birthday, whatever, as the "giving" part...

That is what they value in a relationship, and if the other person, on top of constantly missing all this, is loud, opinonated, unpredictable and weird in general, they back off and could not care enough to find out if they are in fact a nice person.

I was constantly puzzled as to why some people who were always telling others off and letting them down still had a ton of friends, while I would never do anything like that, was still treated like I did.

Basically, a sequence of really bad first, second, etc. impressions. Maybe it's the human nature to notice the little things first?

The good thing, if getting past it, there are people who like us for who we are.

pechemignonne
09-14-11, 04:40 PM
NT people see - especially in the initial stages of friendship - these gestures, like making small talk, making that damn first step to ask to hang out, remembering the birthday, whatever, as the "giving" part...

I know NT people who can do both, be there in a crisis *and* remember the birthday. I don't think those things are necessarily less important. I think if your birthday is important to you, it's fair to be upset that a friend didn't remember it.

I have had NT friends who really valued my being there for them in a crisis. But then I would do something and/or say something stupid, and then I wouldn't return their calls, and we would just drift apart.

blgw99
09-14-11, 05:01 PM
It definitely is not less important, that is just the way friendships work and different people perceive things, even between NTs.