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  #1  
Old 10-05-04, 04:57 PM
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Question Maybe not just ADHD? / questionable listening skills

This post is what got me writing.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...946#post102946

I see this happening in a lot of people that don't have ADHD and aren't diagnosed with anything in particular. That blank stare that says "I could care less about what comes out of your mouth".

I don't know if these skills can be learnt or not. Listening is part and parcel of conversation. It must be a skill that can be learnt. I'd hope so at any rate. I expect it's a social skill that active listening could help if one wanted to learn it. Isn't the term "active listening" part of that process of learning?

If I didn't listen or practise listening I'd only have myself as reference.. I don't think that would be very interesting. I have thought about this a lot. I find it very curious. I'm always dumbfounded when that "written all over the face - I don't care about what you are saying" look comes up.

Lately I've just been stopping in mid sentence when I see it and walking away and not offering up a bale out. In walking away I find myself less likely to become resentful or angry so it works for me. The other people I've done this too are used to me sitting and listening intently and interestedly for long periods of time while they tell me things I really don't give a hoot about but I never let it show. It gets trickier on the phone without the body language to help out but I need to do the same thing there. I'm fed up with people that talk "at" me not "with" me.

What makes it even more awkward is that I've found that those same people that go "duh" on me also like to talk quite a bit. Is this true for you too?

Weird stuff.. I'd love to hear from anyone on this. It baffles me. My youngest brother is coming out on the 15th of this month and he's very quick to go "duh" on me. I see him do it with others so I know it's not just me. Maybe I can poke him in the ribs and tease him about.

In my heart of hearts I know that he'd be hurt by the teasing so I'll have to buck up and find a more honest aproach.

Maybe you could help me with this ADDandMULTIPLY, or anyone.

What would you do if you were in my shoes and faced with someone that can't hide the fact that they really don't want to listen? Do you still want to talk? I really don't get this. I'm convinced it's not exclusive to ADHD. Does anyone else find themselves in this situation? I know the reverse is true by the post listed at the start of this.
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Old 10-05-04, 09:16 PM
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Yeah, I've come across a lot of people like this. It's a shame, makes me sad when it's someone close or that I have a lot of respect for. I don't think it's exclusively ADD/ADHD...outside of ADD/ADHD, I think it's a matter of interest regardless of whether the person realizes and/or means to express it or not. They're just not interested in listening to you talk anymore. When I see it, I usually just quickly wind up what I'm saying and then remind myself not to talk extensively to them again.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:48 PM
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I could understand it if it was them listening to me but it's the other way around. I'm doing more listening by far. It's a pattern that repeats with these people. I must be playing a role in this that encourages it. Too weird. Any ideas about how to deal with this type of thing on the phone?
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Old 10-06-04, 10:35 AM
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> I must be playing a role in this that encourages it.

I guess so, maybe a matter of being more empathetic? Off in your own head about some autistic obsession that most people really do find boring?

I know I tend to ramble only when I'm very comfortable with someone like my wife & she does admit it takes patience to listen to me when I'm like that but generally I have a history of saying very little until I'm sure it's relevant because I guess I hate that feeling you describe of someone feeling your thoughts are worthless. Hmm, so maybe it's the opposite, maybe a self esteem problem where you don't really appreciate your own words so are setting yourself up to be shot down. I really don't know, just trying to throw out some ideas to help.
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Old 10-06-04, 11:17 AM
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Itschaotic, do you mean they look as if you were invisible and don't exist? I have encountered this and find it extremely disturbing.

As for the phone, a polite "excuse me, I'd like to stay and talk to you, but I have a lot to do right now". It works!
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Old 10-06-04, 11:23 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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[quote=paulbf]> I must be playing a role in this that encourages it.

I guess so, maybe a matter of being more empathetic? Off in your own head about some autistic obsession that most people really do find boring?
QUOTE]

I find this difficult to accept Paul, as it's them that want to do all the talking. They don't want to listen, so why would they want to listen to empathetic words? They are "tuned out". Not there. It makes no sense to me....
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Old 10-06-04, 11:25 AM
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These objectionable situations are not the normal experience for me. I love conversation and I have a broad base of people that seek out my company to cultivate and exchange of ideas. In 90% or my social contact where conversation happens about anything more than the frivolous, it's a normal, balanced and rewarding exchange. Yes I can tell the difference.

I'm extremely curious, so it remains an important social element for me to have access to new and challenging ideas. I'm not about to abuse it by boring people to tears just so I can get my two cents in. That's just not my style.

The problem is that I have three regular people that feel the need to talk "at" me and don't require my input at all for content or feedback. It drives me insane. I dread the calls and visits. Before meds it never bothered me. I could kill hours and just enjoy what was positive. I have to stop it and I don't know how to make it clear to them. I have spoken directly to my brother about this and it was all fine and good for a couple of weeks then it was back to the old habits.

I am getting angry and resentful about spending any amount of time providing these guys with a soft platform on which to boast. I have sporadic contact with these people and I rarely if ever initiate the contact. Every time I see that look of boredom increasingly I rage inside.

My expected role, at their initiation, has been to nod, smile and encourage them to talk at length about their important roles in their own lives.

The tell tale sign that it's become unbalanced is how they respond to relevant input from me. In a normal conversation I am met with the usual acceptance or rejection of the ideas and the conversation is somewhat modified in the process and things evolve. In the problem cases, I get met with the facial expression even before speaking that has that look that says that I'm wasting their time and mine and should just shut the **** up and let them talk. Absolutely no interest on their part at all. My wife has no time for these guys and lately neither have I. But instead of putting a stop to it I continue to become more frustrated and now angry and resentful.

I can't seem to make myself heard. The two most problematic characters are the types that deal intimidation as a means of control. I don't know what that says about me and my ability to impress upon them that I can't sit still for their talks. Just like them, I have nothing in common. I find their contributions lame and they have no use for my input.

The one fellow I think might be more than a little angry to be confronted with this idea. But maybe that's what he's after. I've certainly left no shortage of social cues to indicate that I don't want to be there. It wasn't always the case but subtlety isn't in these guys repertoire.

My brother is going to be difficult but he's out for a few days soon and we can have a bunch of face time to sort it out better than previously maybe. The third is a new contact and I'm just not responding so the relationship doesn't get any legs under it.

I hope that's all clear. In small doses I can easily swallow this type of encounter. Because I'm self employed two of the three contact me during the day and recently one talked non-stop for three hours. I did dishes and made coffee and thought about the problem. None of them seem to be able to take a hint.

I'm obviously barking up a dead thread here.
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Old 10-06-04, 11:36 AM
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My father is very good at tuning out us kids. We alway's found new and entertaining ways to bring him back into the conversation since my father is a highly educated and interesting man we enjoy discussing a wide range of idea's and topics with Dad. It started when my youngest brother was discussing a t.v. show he watched with my father...it was an interview with an African American woman who said that "white people owe us" my brother found this very offensive (he was 10 at the time) since he has never and would never own a slave. Right in the middle of the conversation my father just drifted off somewere in his mind and my little brother started in with "Man, dad your hot!" and dad's reply of course was "yeah I know" which brought chuckles from the whole family...still oblivious David says "I think your so hot, does that make me gay?" and dad once again "yeah I know" which brought on more laughter so encouraged Dave says "You wanna go to my room and "insert naughty 10 yr old thoughts" and my dad replies "yeah I know" well he finally snapped out of it when he realized his wife and six kids were all rolling on the floor laughing AT him. So, it's become a game with us to throw absurd, totally out of context bits into our conversations to keep everyone on their toes. You could try it with your brother and see if it helps.
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Old 10-06-04, 11:40 AM
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I relate to SO much of this it's quite eery. For years and years I attracted people that wanted me to be their therapist. I am not meaning ADHD people, or anyone with a disorder, but the so-called normals.

All I had to do was sit still for 4+ hours and nod, smile, agree and say nothing.

I realized after a while that I had an inability to say "NO". This realization happened after one of them caused me to suffer a depressive period in which I was medicated for.

After that I soon learnt to say NO. I don't suffer fools easily anymore, and I will not be a matyr for anyone; and if I see someone matyring themselves at the expense of their own health, I know they are incapable of saying NO or thinking NO. I call them people pleasers. As an introvert [not in writing, but in real life I'm a mouse] I refuse to even budge towards these types.

But I had to get depressed and end up quite ill before I stopped being a martyr.

Itschaotic, if they need an ear, and they care nothing for you, tell them to get a therapist, or just make yourself less available.
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Old 10-06-04, 11:44 AM
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It leaves me baffled too Viktoria.

They do not look right through me. They make direct unblinking eye contact with all this body language of extreme boredom.

The phone thing works for one not for the other. I've seriously considered blatant lies but then I'd have to come up with a new one every time.

Both are master manipulators.. takes one to know one..

I think I'm just going to have to get rude and interupt them to the point of stalling the talks to get my point across. I hate it though and don't ever want to suffer it again. I can't describe how impatient I am just now with people that can't take the time to consider someone else's point long enough to formulate a question. I also can't describe how long this has been building up in me but it looks like it's come to a head.

When ADDandMULTIPLY wrote about being trapped on the other side of this situation and wanting to engage, I recognised the "look" immediately and these ideas jelled for me. I feel for him deeply. I would love to be able to help him. Maybe the guys I'm talking about want out from behind that thing too, I don't know. I'll be getting into it with my brother if he will go there with me.

As frustrated as I am, it was tremendously helpful to know that at least there is one person (ADDandMULTIPLY) that knows it's somehow necessary to get beyond it for anything meaningful to take place. It was validating for me to hear this from him and he has my gratitude for such an intensely personal post. His girl friend is lucky to have a man such as he is proving to be.
ian
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Old 10-06-04, 11:54 AM
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Fut's my brother is faster than I am and fields those comments handily and dispatches them very quickly. He's a very bright boy. Thanks for taking a swing at this though.

Viktoria. I thank-you. I do believe you've hit the nail on the head. I will print out what you have written and staple it to my forehead until I've passed enough mirrors to learn the truth of it. Gracious this is a wonderful place. Oh to loose the blinders.
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Old 10-06-04, 12:00 PM
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Ian sometime's honesty is the best and only policy.
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Old 10-06-04, 12:00 PM
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Itschaotic, the thing is; your soft and gentle [I would bet my life on this] and people are intensely attracted to that kindness, and then they abuse it.

I'm still looking in plenty of mirrors........it's one of the most difficult obstacles I have ever had to overcome. Until your post, I thought it was only me that attracted these types.

Thank you for sharing this. It's posts like this that allow us to see we are not alone.
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Old 10-06-04, 12:07 PM
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I'm caught somewere in the middle. I find that people come to me for advice on things I have no business discussing (do you think my son has ADHD?) I'm not a therapist how am I supposed to know? But, I cannot just rudely walk away either.

On the other hand I'm guilty of the blank stare when it comes to things I do not understand and have no interest in football, engines and so forth.

Probably, should add that to my fix it list...everyone deserves to be listened to...PAY attention!!!!
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Old 10-06-04, 01:11 PM
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Hmm, well I think I'm not relating to this then and misunderstood. As best I can tell now it's about tolerating insufferable bores which has more to do with being too polite to just cut it off early. The tendency to be a good and patient listener seems to attract them. I have been there but not often. Maybe I'm not a good enough listener (though I think I'm OK) or I've got some other vibe about me that tells people it's no use boring me with long pointless conversations. I guess if someone is boring I don't usually hesitate for long to get out. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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