View Full Version : How do I deal with verbal abuse from friend with ADHD?


weena39
03-30-17, 08:00 AM
My best friend has untreated ADHD. He is also my neighbor, which plays a significant role here.
It is said that people with ADHD often suffers from low self esteem, which does not seem to be the case with my friend, who appears to have an overly inflated ego. He's constantly praising himself, the effect he has on other peope, how he is often moved to tears, if he for an example holds a speech. I dont mean this in a perogative way, but when it comes to expressing his thoughts on his existense in this worlds, there are certainly no shortcomings.
I can live with the fact that he talks about himself for ages, never displays any interest in my well being and probably wouldnt miss me for a split second, if I vanished into thin air. I can manage, though not very well, that if I get restricted 'airtime', he interrupts me non stop to tell me how I should conduct myself and what I have to say in order to keep him interested. (It should be said that he is one of these people who really know how to be a fantastic storyteller - problem is, I suppose, is that I'm not an audience).
However, things went south a week ago. For his birthday I had bought him a present and written him a poem (One of my few skills). He never bothered to open the present or read the poem until four days later, and when he finally reacted, I was taken aback. He didnt appreciate the poem and went to great lenghts in order to critizice every little detail of the poem. One thing is that the poem wasnt percieved the way it was intended, but the thoughts behind it was not given any consideration. A little like when an elderly relative buys you underwear for christmas, and it is soooh not your style, so you put time and effort into slandering the poor relative's lack of taste and so on.
I was really hurt! So I told him how upset I was, which prompted him to hurl further abuse in my direction. I was being ugly and looked like "Ilse Koch - The red witch of Buchenwald". Then he went on to elaborate his critisism concerning the poem. His final statement was that if I didnt like the smell in the bakery, I could p*** off!
Those last words would have made it easy for me to slam the door behind me, but I knew that it would then be very unpleasant and akward for me to meet him in the future ... which Im bound to, since we live at the same place. I had to bite my tongue, think very careful about my next move, and however horribly it may sound, I managed to shed some crocodile tears, which made a little impact. The reason why I chose such a childish behavioural mechanism, is that I remembered that I had cried on two other occasions, where it was obvious that he sypathized with me.
Im at the end of my tether, and have spend the last week with intense home studies of ADHD symptoms in adults. A little wiser but still very upset and shocked to the point, where I hardly dare to exit my frontdoor, afraid of bumping in to him.
I should remember to point out that we are both grown ups, with him being in his 60'es and me in my 40'ies.
Any good advices on how to handle this situation woud be very much appreciated.

ToneTone
03-30-17, 02:41 PM
How would you handle the situation if you ignored ADHD? ... And by the way, you do NOT know that his ADHD is the cause of his nasty words. You can have a mean personality and have ADHD and those two can have nothing to do with the each other.

It's not your job to explain away his behavior you don't like. That's his job. But he'll only take on that job if you confront him in a constructive way ... without the name calling or sarcasm that you experience from him.

Simply say things like, "I don't like this. I feel hurt by your comments."

Period ... and keep your distance.

Our friends and neighbors and coworkers all need to know when they have offended us or annoyed us. Then they can react ... and adjust their behavior if they want ... or discuss the conflict with you ... But if we don't let them know when we are offended, how will they know? ... They won't ... and they'll continue the same behavior.

I've been rude to people possibly because of my ADHD, but there were also other factors involved. The best thing people did for me was to make clear their displeasure. Their doing so helped me figure out what effect my behavior was having ... and painful thought it was, was very helpful.

Tone

Fuzzy12
03-30-17, 02:45 PM
Adhd or not, I'd avoid him as much as you can. He doesn't sound nice at all.

weena39
03-30-17, 02:59 PM
Thank you very much for your replies. You have truly made my day!

Had my friend been living further away than just two floors down, I would have backed off from him mentally and psysically. I would have ignored text messages and calls - and then just succumbe to the hurt until time healed the wounds. But I'm scared stiff of bumping into him, partly because of the akwardness of the situation, and partly because I'm afraid that he's going to offend me once I again.

I can live with the hurt - but I cannot figure out how to react, when I eventually bump into him.

sarahsweets
03-31-17, 09:21 AM
My best friend has untreated ADHD. He is also my neighbor, which plays a significant role here.
It is said that people with ADHD often suffers from low self esteem, which does not seem to be the case with my friend, who appears to have an overly inflated ego. He's constantly praising himself, the effect he has on other peope, how he is often moved to tears, if he for an example holds a speech. I dont mean this in a perogative way, but when it comes to expressing his thoughts on his existense in this worlds, there are certainly no shortcomings.
I can live with the fact that he talks about himself for ages, never displays any interest in my well being and probably wouldnt miss me for a split second, if I vanished into thin air. I can manage, though not very well, that if I get restricted 'airtime', he interrupts me non stop to tell me how I should conduct myself and what I have to say in order to keep him interested. (It should be said that he is one of these people who really know how to be a fantastic storyteller - problem is, I suppose, is that I'm not an audience).
Who says he is your best friend? You? There is no way this guy is your best friend and if he thinks he is, its because he has someone who will listen to him go on and on about himself. So far from what you said:
He doesnt care whats going on with you
He doesnt listen to you and interupts you
He is critical of you and has decided that he is the one who should point that out to you. He is a hostage taker when it comes to conversation. He wants and demands that you listen with rapt attention, and not to interfere or even say anything at all. He is having a very one-sided conversation.
Who cares if he is a storyteller? You are not his audience. You are supposed to be his friend.



However, things went south a week ago. For his birthday I had bought him a present and written him a poem (One of my few skills). He never bothered to open the present or read the poem until four days later, and when he finally reacted, I was taken aback. He didnt appreciate the poem and went to great lenghts in order to critizice every little detail of the poem. One thing is that the poem wasnt percieved the way it was intended, but the thoughts behind it was not given any consideration. A little like when an elderly relative buys you underwear for christmas, and it is soooh not your style, so you put time and effort into slandering the poor relative's lack of taste and so on.
What a total as*hole. Egotistical,selfish,self absorbed, egocentric,self serving,self seeking,manipulative and cruel. No friend would ever pick apart someone's gift, especially a hand made one. If he had genuine questions about its meaning he should ask with care for you to clarify. Was the poem an "Ode to him" because he sure has decided to make it out to be about him.

I was really hurt! So I told him how upset I was, which prompted him to hurl further abuse in my direction. I was being ugly and looked like "Ilse Koch - The red witch of Buchenwald". Then he went on to elaborate his critisism concerning the poem. His final statement was that if I didnt like the smell in the bakery, I could p*** off!
Did you read what you wrote? He wasnt receptive to your pain, had no regard of your feelings and proceeded to continue the attack.

Those last words would have made it easy for me to slam the door behind me, but I knew that it would then be very unpleasant and akward for me to meet him in the future ... which Im bound to, since we live at the same place. I had to bite my tongue, think very careful about my next move, and however horribly it may sound, I managed to shed some crocodile tears, which made a little impact. The reason why I chose such a childish behavioural mechanism, is that I remembered that I had cried on two other occasions, where it was obvious that he sypathized with me.

You should have slammed the door. And you shouldnt kiss his butt and play his game because of where you live. Sure, it might be awkward for a bit but as long as you tell him at some point that you do not want to be friends anymore, eventually he will move on and find someone else. people like him always do. You, do not need to cry(real or not) because of him. And what kind of jerk only backs off AFTER they have made someone cry?

Im at the end of my tether, and have spend the last week with intense home studies of ADHD symptoms in adults. A little wiser but still very upset and shocked to the point, where I hardly dare to exit my frontdoor, afraid of bumping in to him.
Fear will kill you inside. You have to reason to be afraid of him. Does he physically threaten you? If so report it. This is not about adhd . No where in the symptom list of adhd does it say "total, giant, as*hole."


I should remember to point out that we are both grown ups, with him being in his 60'es and me in my 40'ies.
Any good advices on how to handle this situation woud be very much appreciated.
He is in his 60's and acts like that? Very immature and very telling as to his mental state. I will say, even though I am not a doctor, my gut reaction was that he is a narcissist.
:
Symptoms
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and other areas of their life, such as work or school.

If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement and when you don't receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having "the best" of everything for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection.

Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others

Little Missy
03-31-17, 03:37 PM
Unless you are desperate for his company, when you see him give him a friendly "hello" and go about your way.

weena39
04-03-17, 09:18 AM
Thank you very much for your honest answers.
I need to tell you this, because your responses have chenged my perspective on my friendship with my neighbor.

I met him this friday by coincidence, and didnt die of either fear or akwardness. (So much for the ghost of fear). He told me that he really liked me, which in his world is probably the closest to "I appreciate your friendship".

Yesterday, he had been sitting in our garden, had a beer and thought of inviting me down. I responded by text that I was ill and had to call in sick for work the same morning.
His response? (Now, I am translating from danish to english, so its not exactly rock solid evidence) "How unfortunate. I'm sitting here with another friend having a beer"

End of story! How about a simple "Get better soon" or something that would display some kind of 'caring'.

Again, I thank you for your advice, It has made me feel on top of things, more clearsighted ... thanks

Sunflower009
04-05-17, 05:55 PM
He sounds awful! I agree with the others that you should tell him straight up that he is making you feel bad, and that the things he says are not OK. If he is that narcissistic, it won't bother him anyways. Just make sure you use I-messages ("I feel like X" instead of "you always do X"), to make sure he really understands what you're saying instead of going on the defensive.

One other thing I wanted to point out is that often the people who have very big egos and are super mean like this actually DO have self-esteem problems. Abuse is often driven by self-hate. Of course, that stuff is absolutely NOT your responsibility - you don't have to try to fix it, and it also does not make it ok.

I wish you good luck! What a terrible situation to be in.

Johnny Slick
04-05-17, 07:28 PM
So... I do agree with a lot of what you've said, and if I'm honest I see an awful lot of that in myself from time to time (the need to talk about myself a lot, for instance). Nevertheless, the fact that people with ADHD do this kind of thing a lot (and indeed have many defense mechansims, some of them narcissistic, to combat the world around them telling them they're lazy, etc.) is an explanation and not an excuse and it *totally* does not make it okay for this person to belittle a bit of art you created for them, let alone hurl invectives at you when you object to this.

I don't feel like I can say this any less bluntly so I'll just come out and do it: this does not sound like a nice person. You deserve to hang out with nice people. I think I totally get that it's nice to have a friend in the person you live next to for a wide variety of reasons, but this person is not acting like a friend and I don't think you have any particular duty to act like one back to them.

As far as bumping into him goes... I don't think you should have to change your walking-around-your-domicile patterns for this ******* necessarily, but... if you know, for example, that this guy always goes to the laundry room or whatever at X time, *can* you work it out so that you just don't go there? If you do bump into him, I don't think you owe him anything more than a polite smile and a "hi" and "bye" (really, even *that* is more than you owe him). He's a man in his 60s, not a 5 year old: if he's interested in repairing your friendship, I'm sure he knows what to do.

weena39
04-06-17, 07:31 AM
I know that I am repeating my self again, but I am immensely grateful that I stumbled over this forum in my dark hour. Your very frank responses has made me able to take a step back and see my neighbor for what he is. At the moment he sends me empathetic text', wishing me to get better soon - and I know this is a result of our little dispute the other week. Come may, and he's back to his old ways. He finished his work life last friday and now has a bright future as an early pensioner. But he is already struggling because the day has too many hours and a shortage of sufficient audiences. As a result I have recieved a proposition every day for a week now to go for a ride somewhere. I dont think I shock anybody by saying that I politely decline these offers. He doesn't want to do things with me - he wants and craves an audience.