View Full Version : I have a question


darkshortcake
10-25-04, 11:05 PM
Hi there.

I'm not really sure I should be on this forum. I don't have ADD. But I am concerned about my friend who has it. I have feelings for him, and his attitudes confuse me. Regardless of how he feels, he is my friend, and I still care about him. I don't know what ADD does or how it affects the people who have it. I myself have ocd I have to deal with on my own. I have read that people with ADD can come off as aloof, they can't really focus on people, or they have trouble standing still with someone very long. My friend does all of these things with everyone, and it makes it twice as difficult for me to acertain where I stand with him. I think if I could just figure out that much, I could try and understand him from whatever standpoint I'm at. I don't want it to sound like I'm overprotective or anything. The guy is very smart and strong. I admire him alot as a person. I had a thing for him even before I knew he had ADD, and my feelings haven't changed in the slightest. If I hadn't been told, I probably would have never even known he had ADD. All I want to know is, really, how I can understand him when he can't seem to stay still long enough to look me in the eye. How do I deal with the feelings I have, while keeping in mind his own feelings? Any advice? Or just ideas?

Thanks
darkshortcake

PS Sorry again, if I'm not supposed to post here. I wasn't really sure where to go.

:confused:

Trooper Keith
10-26-04, 12:24 AM
Well, I'll give you the basic fun information...

When interacting with a person with ADHD, it is best to:

Maintain close proximity.
Maintain eye contact as best as possible, without "staring."
If possible, make physical contact.
Speak directly towards the person, not "off into the air."
Use strong action verbs, instead of passive phrases.
Allow long breaks to prompt active "turn taking."
If possible, remove environmental distractions.

Is this the kind of thing you are looking for? If so, I can get a bunch more of this kind of thing...

darkshortcake
10-26-04, 07:29 PM
Well, that was kind of what I meant. I understand what he does and everything. I know I need to be a little more direct when I talk to him an all. Its just that because he is somewhat distant and has trouble paying attention to everyone, I don't know whether he acts the way he does because of the ADD or because he is actually trying to be standoffish. I know he sometimes says things without meaning to, but its unclear whether he knows how he affects me and the rest of his friends. There are instances when I can be angry because of something he says, but I do not know if I am justified in feeling that way, because I don't know if he meant it or whether he was just saying what first came to mind without thinking. I had heard that some people with ADD do that, they just say whatever they say without thinking about it or the consequences, but I do not know if that is true or not. He does act self-centered, and it could just be that is his personality. But I want to give him the benefit of the doubt because he still does treat me as a friend, and that is the way he always acts. He doesn't stay talking to anyone for longer than a minute, and he can't really pay attention to the stuff I try and talk to him about. I don't know if he expects me to be used to it or something. Should I be concerned? Or should I just leave him be and finally move on?

Any comments are appreciated. Thx.
darkshortcake

crime_scene
10-26-04, 07:54 PM
my best friend has adhd, and moreover, we're friends long distance, which can make it really tough.

I think kmiller's advice is really great for in person convo's, so you should try to practice that.

The key to know I think, is that your friend is very easily distractible and he probably finds it pretty uncomfortable to stay in one spot due to hyperactivity. He has many thoughts on his mind at the same time all demanding his attention, so you are kind of competing with a lot of different things. Why not engage him in some physical activity while you talk to him, like go for a walk?

And keep in mind Kmiller's comments, because you need to get your friend's attention long enough for him to understand that you like him. It is possible he has not noticed that you feel more for him than simple friendship.

I doubt very much he is trying to be standoffish or self-centred. I think his brain is very very busy.

You should also pick up a book at the library on ADHD and give it a read, if you hope to understand him better. It's invaluable.

Hope this helps.

Trooper Keith
10-26-04, 09:33 PM
Make sure if you pick up a book, though, that it is a current, up to date one.

As far as saying the first thing that comes to mind: Yes. This can be an ADD thing. It's pretty common. Remember that we are very impulsive. Also, we do in fact tend to be terrible at self-monitoring. We don't do well at judging or recognizing our impact on other people and the world around us. Much as I hate to say it, we tend to live "in" the world, but not "as part" of the world. Often, it is difficult for people with ADHD to draw the line as to where they end and others start. It also becomes difficult to recognize the perspectives of other people. If we say something that might be offensive, and we don't think it is offensive, then obviously nobody else thinks it is offensive either, and we have a hard time realizing and understanding that other people do. It's just part of the whole thing...

I'm sure a lot of people are going to jump down my throat for saying the above things, but the fact is that clinical psychology has demonstrated time and time again that those things are very often true. While they aren't true "symptoms" of ADHD and they aren't there in every single case, they most certainly are present in a lot of people.

Hope this was more helpful.

GirlDriver
10-26-04, 10:57 PM
Shortcake,
CrimeScene's advice @ the walk is brilliant! Wish I would have thought to say it. I know ADDers who do their best communicating while moving.

Keith's perspective on impulse control reminds me of something: if you do go forward with this ADDer, try to appreciate the fun side of ADD. This is jumping the gun a bit, but he probably will blurt out what you really wanted to say (but did not have the nerve). He may act silly and impulsive, which can be great fun.

Work WITH the ADD, not against it. If you know that his manner of interacting is about him (& his ADD), then don't take it personally. It is not about you. If your relationship endures, and you two mutually care for one another, then he will express his feelings in ways that make sense to him. It is more gratifying to appreciate those than to bemoan the lack of conventional loving gestures or actions.

Okay now, stepping down from my pulpit . . . GD

crime_scene
10-26-04, 11:50 PM
That's ok GD, that was a very good sermon. Fighting the ADD is a total waste of time.

Books! Ok one of the best books I've read so far is ADD and Romance by Scott Halverstadt. It helped me the most to understand the interpersonal stuff as a non ADDer myself.

darkshortcake
10-27-04, 02:46 PM
Hey. Thanks for all the advice. I will definately try some of the stuff you guys said. He is important to me, and I want to give him my effort. I think I will go grab a book too. That might help me also.

I appreciate the comments! Thanks!
darkshortcake

darkshortcake
10-28-04, 06:32 PM
I also forgot to mention he takes Adderall everyday. I do not know if that makes a difference, but I thought I would mention it. I heard that Adderall can sometimes make feelings weird. But again, I have no idea. I will still take the advice, but I hope that the medication would not have something to do with the way he acts.

Swamp Donkey
11-01-04, 10:05 AM
Something I have to train ever person who I have frequent contact with is to say my name first, then pause for the count of 3, when they want to talk to me.
If you say something to me, such as "What time to you want to eat dinner, Jonathan?" I'll say "What?" because all I heard was my name.
If you say "Jonathan, (pause) what time do you want to eat dinner?", by saying my name first, you get my attention; by giving a pause, you give me time to disengage my concentration (it's very intense) from whatever/wherever it is, and refocus it on what you are saying.
This is even more important if there are several people around, all of whom are talking to each other in different conversations. Trying to follow them all is overwhelming, so I tune them all out. Thus the necessity to call my name first; that's my signal to tune back in.
When you have my attention, you have it 100%, but it is an all or nothing thing.

Now, with this said, I do not like putting a burden on other people by requiring them to do things in a special way to accomodate my ADHD, but I don't know any other way around this.

Also, your friend's actions sound like perfectly "normal" ADHD stuff, so don't take in personally.

cellar_door
11-26-04, 04:24 AM
Well, I'll give you the basic fun information...

When interacting with a person with ADHD, it is best to:

Maintain close proximity.
Maintain eye contact as best as possible, without "staring."
If possible, make physical contact.
Speak directly towards the person, not "off into the air."
Use strong action verbs, instead of passive phrases.
Allow long breaks to prompt active "turn taking."
If possible, remove environmental distractions.

Is this the kind of thing you are looking for? If so, I can get a bunch more of this kind of thing...
Oh man that is exactly what I wish more people would know. If someone doesn't do that with me, I couldn't even tell you a word of what they said.. I must have eye contact, even physical contact and yeah short sentences are good and don't get mad when I interrupt. But yeah... if only everyone knew these things...
And yeah, call my name or yell at me... I tend not to even notice that people are talking to me unless I hear my name.

paulbf
11-26-04, 01:57 PM
A few more thoughts...

Some ADDer's freak out about personal space so be careful not to stand too close & he might be sensitive to touch so some touching might freak him out, a gentle touch on the arm always seems harmless and comforting.

ADDers are always seeking stimulation (something interesting) so you could get him talking about something that fascinates him or fish for something about you that he finds fascinating is even better. If you see those eyes light up when you mention something about yourself then engage hime in that & ask his thoughts about it & he will be fascinated to hear your ideas too. If you see it's a boring topic & he's slipping away, that's the death knoll.

Also I don't know, it could get into a dependancy thing but ADDers can seek opposite complimentary types to support their weak points so if he's struggling with something that you are happy to help with that could be good.

Lastly, yes you are allowed here. There is a group specifically for non-ADD partner support where you might enjoy reading the struggles that non-ADD spouses go through. That's probably the most appropriate place to have posted this but no big deal.

bmint
04-16-05, 09:12 PM
wow, would have been nice for my previous gf to have cared enough about me to look for help instead of saying yer crazy and goin, whoever u are darkshortcake, u are a good person