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Old 02-09-14, 04:22 PM
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Question Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

Hello all. I have come to talk about the deterioration of my friendship with a friend who has ADD/ADHD. I do not have ADHD, and I have come to seek enlightenment from like-minded people similar to my friend. I will refer to my friend as "Licht". If it matters, she is female. We've been friends since high school. We often go to conventions.

Yesterday I went to ComicCon with Licht, who had paid the admission for me to get in, to which I was very grateful and eager to go with her; she is a close friend. Our other friend who also joined along, "Amicus" (he is male), but this was the first time we hung out with him outside of school.

It seems that whenever Licht and I go to conventions, though, Licht becomes way more rude to me and does anything but listen to me. She's fascinated by those in costumes, the merch, etc. She also becomes, for lack of a way to put it nicely, extremely awkward and acts in an embarrassing manner, e.g. shouting at the cosplayers only for them to be startled and wave nervously, seemingly flirting with attractive cosplayers she just met, introducing me to her internet friends who I have no relation to and would rather not meet, bringing up inside jokes between us that have no relevancy to the conversation, etc.
Conventions -> doesn't matter how embarrassing she is to me because we'll "never see anyone there ever again".

The most infuriating was when she left me and Amicus to wait in the line for pizza. "Can you guys wait in line while I go off?" Yes, YES PLEASE LICHT leave us alone in this extremely, EXTREMELY long food line while you run off and have fun. "Are you that impatient?" I said. "Yeah I gotta go." After having waited in the line for over an hour (I timed it), and we got the pizza, she sent us a text saying, "Guys I'm going to go across the street to get something to eat." So she ate there instead. Then me and Amicus, after eating the pizza, went to go wait on a bench for her, and I talked about how she does similar things to me at conventions. She could have overheard me talking (but may not have), because then she was all defensive for no apparent reason insisting that I can't eat any of the junk food she bought or have any of her drink.

I bumped into a two friends, "Mary" and "Octavia" (both females). Mary had a friendly chat with me, and told me of her future plans for college and offered me the idea of staying in an apartment with her in the future. Then later I bumped into Octavia, and we showed each other what we had bought and had a friendly chat as well. Both of them have similar interests to me and were interested in what had had to say, and sadly I can't say the same for Licht most of the time (although we have similar interests). I realized I could easily spend my time getting to know either of them over Licht, and developing much more positive and meaningful friendship(s).

Later, at the end of the day, she complained about how all of her internet friends "ditched" her and didn't want to meet up with her or talk to her. From the friends I saw her trying to talk to, they looked like they already had their little social construct and didn't really need her I guess? I don't know.

I don't think I want to stay with a friend who doesn't care about my feelings. She's always complains about how much her life sucks but whenever I talk about anything that pertains to me she spaces out and daydreams. It's extremely annoying and I don't know how to handle her anymore. I'm beginning to not want to be friends with her anymore, and honestly, I could easily just cut her off. I have other friends that I can attempt to make closer bonds with. From my perspective, she is the one that gets bored easily and needs me; I do not need her, for I am introverted and can handle being alone for long periods of time.

Help me understand... please. Are my expectations too high? I'm also considering breaking it to Licht that I'd rather be friends on a less deeper level so she doesn't bring me down with her negative talk, but still hang out every now and again. I mean, she DID pay for my admission, and I feel like I owe something. How would you feel if this were Licht? What should I say? Is this a toxic friendship? Am I being an inconsiderate jerk? What are the boundaries; what should I expect? Do I have a cold heart?

Don't have to answer all of my questions, just a little advice will do. I don't know what to do anymore.

Sorry for the long wall of text.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:34 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

It's possible that some people who look like they don't care, really do.

Besides that... It seems to me that you've got a bit of a "checkbox mentality" here, wanting to decide once and for all if some person is your friend or not. I don't think real friendship can ever be that way. Throw away your "Who's My Friend" checklist, and let things work out the way they work out. A person who is "a little bit your friend but not much" can still be good. Allow things to work themselves out over time, rather than pigeonholing the people you know.

I'm not sure if I've said that quite the right way, because clearly you do have sort of "levels" of friendship in mind already. Somehow it still seems too rigidly set out to me. I guess what I really mean is "Yes, it's weird, let it be weird, that's it".
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Old 02-09-14, 04:51 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
It's possible that some people who look like they don't care, really do.

Besides that... It seems to me that you've got a bit of a "checkbox mentality" here, wanting to decide once and for all if some person is your friend or not. I don't think real friendship can ever be that way. Throw away your "Who's My Friend" checklist, and let things work out the way they work out. A person who is "a little bit your friend but not much" can still be good. Allow things to work themselves out over time, rather than pigeonholing the people you know.

I'm not sure if I've said that quite the right way, because clearly you do have sort of "levels" of friendship in mind already. Somehow it still seems too rigidly set out to me. I guess what I really mean is "Yes, it's weird, let it be weird, that's it".
I do have problems with my challenging black and white way of thinking, so I appreciate you pointing out my "checklist". My concern is that the friendship feels like its becoming less mutual. As in, her ADHD symptoms are beginning to annoy me, to offend me, and I feel like if the friendship continues that it'll feel toxic and that I won't even want to be friends with her anymore. I feel like I'm being unforgiving of her ADHD symptoms, but I'm also concerned that my boundaries are not firm enough. I'm often questioning,"Is it the ADHD, or is it her? When is she responsible for her actions?".

I feel that I am wrong to compare her to my other friends. My other friends do not have ADHD and come off often as “being better friends” than her. They listen to me, I listen to them.

We have conflict, we solve them and move on. With Licht, it’s I listen to her, she doesn’t listen to me. Which, I suppose, like you said, can be misinterpreted, but... It happens often.

Last edited by Cold Heart; 02-09-14 at 05:02 PM.. Reason: Forgot details
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Old 02-09-14, 05:16 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

OK, that makes sense. I think I see where you're headed. I don't think you would be asking these questions if not for a good reason. Licht might turn out to be high-maintenance kind of friend to you, if it works out between the two of you at all. There is no law saying that once you make friends with someone you have to stick with them.

The two of you might have a casual ongoing conversation about what she expects from a friend, what you expect from a friend, and how those might fit together. You can't have that conversation officially out in the open all at once, because she'll probably freak. You might not want to have that conversation in a "OK, here's my opinion, this is where I stand" kind of way either, because again she'd probably freak if you did that. But gradually introducing the topic of what you expect from each other - not "As Friends, What Are The Rules", but more like "in X kind of situation, would you mind if I did something like that", and so on. And if the answers come out to something that the two of you are both OK with, then... good. And if there are lots of disagreements and confusion about expectations, then gradually moving toward others is perfectly legitimate.

An example: anyone who's a long-term friend of mine recognizes (to some extent because of ADHD, but really it doesn't matter why) that I go through times of not feeling like answering messages, and even though I like and appreciate the person I just want to not communicate for a while. And (maybe irresponsible or disrespectful of me) I tend not to mention "in real time" that I'm doing it, I just sometimes kind of ignore everything for a while. Tee hee, maybe I'm some kind of "slow cycling introvert" who acts like an extravert for weeks or months and then drops off the face of the earth... but anyway, there are two groups of people, the "Where were you!'s" and the "Oh hi, how's it going lately!'s". One group gets along better with me than the other does.

So if (just for example, could be anything) you see Licht going into non-communication "ignore mode" for a while, then either that's OK with you, or it's not, or maybe you're not sure. It's not about "How To Be A Real Friend", it's figuring each other out, and asking "Is this kind of thing OK with you".

Last edited by dvdnvwls; 02-09-14 at 05:31 PM..
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Old 02-09-14, 05:34 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

About my "random ignore mode" - sometimes it's actually about fear. I've done "random ignore mode" on my boss because of fear. Definitely not a recommended course of (in)action.
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Old 02-09-14, 05:56 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

It's adhd..... Either accept her or don't.

Adhd thinking it is kind of hard to have half friendships. We tend to be all in our all out with friendships.

Not wanting to stand in line, being charming, being intuitive that you were upset at her actions but not understanding why, not being mindful of how now will affect her future friendship with you.

Ultimately you're the one who decides who your friends are. Don't keep her as a friend out of pity.

Good luck with the break up talk. I don't know how that would go... i would encourage her to seek treatment or take her meds when you guys hang out. "I like you alot better when you're on your meds" goes a long way.
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Old 02-09-14, 06:09 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

I don't have half-friendships I guess... not sure... But certainly I do have friendships with blank stretches of time in them.
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Old 02-09-14, 06:33 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

Now that you guys point out the "all or nothing thing" that does seem quite likely with Licht. If I were to say "Can we just kind of be... less of friends than we are now?" It'd be taken all wrong, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
OK, that makes sense. I think I see where you're headed. I don't think you would be asking these questions if not for a good reason. Licht might turn out to be high-maintenance kind of friend to you, if it works out between the two of you at all.
You got it! I'll take note of the advice you've given me.

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It's adhd..... Either accept her or don't.
This is very powerful to me and I think I have a lot to think about.

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Originally Posted by Nicksgonefishin View Post
Ultimately you're the one who decides who your friends are. Don't keep her as a friend out of pity.
I think I do stay with her because of pity, but I also do enjoy being in friends with her. She can be fun. But she has trouble making friends, has jerk parents, has given things to me, is in depression... I've recommended a therapist before, but she said she can't.

Also, I wonder how she felt when Mary offered me to stay in an apartment? Because, beforehand, I offered Licht the same thing.

"After we graduate, we should stay in an apartment to get away from our parents!"
"Yeah!"

But really, if Licht is like she was at the convention, I don't know if I can accept her condition. For this, I feel wrong and close-minded. I'm just like all of the other people who leave their friends with ADHD. People with ADHD lack friends because there are people like me. This just doesn't feel right.
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Old 02-09-14, 07:59 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

You're right... It sucks.... My ex refused to get help. I made the choice not to be around her anymore. (There is much more to it than that). this kind of decision must be made on a case by case basis.

Have you looked at the detaching with love thread? It might benefit you. I know it benefited me.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:13 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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You're right... It sucks.... My ex refused to get help. I made the choice not to be around her anymore. (There is much more to it than that). this kind of decision must be made on a case by case basis.

Have you looked at the detaching with love thread? It might benefit you. I know it benefited me.
Your ex had ADHD? Do you have ADHD?
Also, what do you mean by case by case?

And also, thank you for the recommendation! I shall look into the Detaching With Love thread.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:20 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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But really, if Licht is like she was at the convention, I don't know if I can accept her condition. For this, I feel wrong and close-minded. I'm just like all of the other people who leave their friends with ADHD. People with ADHD lack friends because there are people like me. This just doesn't feel right.
It would be wrong and closed-minded to say "Licht shouldn't live like she does". It is your perfect right to say "I don't want to live the way Licht does, I don't think I would handle it well".

Judging for yourself what you want in your own life, is not the same as judging someone else for what they want in theirs. It seems obvious when put in words like that, but in real life it can lead to some situations where you kind of wonder which side of the line you're on.

There are things you need - things that you're not going to give up for someone else - and there are things you want - sure, they would be nice, but OK whatever. You can sacrifice some of your wants, if it means you get a good friend out of the deal - your choice. You can't sacrifice any of your needs; it would drive you crazy or make you unhappy all the time - you'd be forced to find ways to get those needs back again. I'm pretty sure there's a circular definition built into what I just wrote, but I think it might be good enough to work with.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:28 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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It would be wrong and closed-minded to say "Licht shouldn't live like she does". It is your perfect right to say "I don't want to live the way Licht does, I don't think I would handle it well".

Judging for yourself what you want in your own life, is not the same as judging someone else for what they want in theirs. It seems obvious when put in words like that, but in real life it can lead to some situations where you kind of wonder which side of the line you're on.

There are things you need - things that you're not going to give up for someone else - and there are things you want - sure, they would be nice, but OK whatever. You can sacrifice some of your wants, if it means you get a good friend out of the deal - your choice. You can't sacrifice any of your needs; it would drive you crazy or make you unhappy all the time - you'd be forced to find ways to get those needs back again. I'm pretty sure there's a circular definition built into what I just wrote, but I think it might be good enough to work with.
Thank you for your advice, especially the bold! I must first assess what it is that I want in each friendship, then I will follow through. My decision on what I want will determine what I tell Licht when I see her again. I'll give it some thought tonight.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:43 PM
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Wink Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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Your ex had ADHD? Do you have ADHD?
Also, what do you mean by case by case?

And also, thank you for the recommendation! I shall look into the Detaching With Love thread.

Yes and Yes!

The case by case basis is about noting that not everyone is the same and that you and I are not the same so wether or not to continue the friendship is solely up to you(and her). If you add up her awesomeness and weigh it against her toxicity how does it balance at the end of the day?

Perhaps the better way to look at it would be the way many of my friends handled me and have told me since treatment. They hung out with me in "small doses". We all have friends that are better in small doses or only in certain situations Ie- work friends, fishing buddies, comicon cohorts ect. ect.

I have a concept of friend cirlces... I wish I could draw it out for you. Imagine a bullseye or a dart board. In the center is myself. The next ring is my family. The 2nd is my SO if I have one. The 3rd are my best friends. 4th are my other friends. 5th would be coworkers/facespace friends.

Bumping her from your inner circle to one further out isn't an evil or mean thing it is simply a necessity to your own mental health. You have shown a lot of compassion and understanding on here. So much that I would encourage you to change your user name.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:59 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

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Yes and Yes!

The case by case basis is about noting that not everyone is the same and that you and I are not the same so wether or not to continue the friendship is solely up to you(and her). If you add up her awesomeness and weigh it against her toxicity how does it balance at the end of the day?

Perhaps the better way to look at it would be the way many of my friends handled me and have told me since treatment. They hung out with me in "small doses". We all have friends that are better in small doses or only in certain situations Ie- work friends, fishing buddies, comicon cohorts ect. ect.

I have a concept of friend cirlces... I wish I could draw it out for you. Imagine a bullseye or a dart board. In the center is myself. The next ring is my family. The 2nd is my SO if I have one. The 3rd are my best friends. 4th are my other friends. 5th would be coworkers/facespace friends.

Bumping her from your inner circle to one further out isn't an evil or mean thing it is simply a necessity to your own mental health. You have shown a lot of compassion and understanding on here. So much that I would encourage you to change your user name.
Your interpretation with the dartboard was really nice!! I resonate with that. Except, personally, I think my SO would be my second ring, not my family. To each their own, yes?

How should I go about telling my friend that I would like to see her in "small doses" for now (and maybe forever)?

And your comment about my username made me lmao haha!
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Old 02-09-14, 09:10 PM
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Re: Deterioration of Friendship/My Experience with my ADHD Friend

I just want to say fabulous posts dvdnvwls and Nicksgonefishin!
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