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  #1  
Old 01-05-15, 02:50 PM
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Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Hi I'm new to this site my partner has adhd.
I would love some advice.
need to know how to start a conversation with him as don't want to turn into an argument .
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Old 01-07-15, 01:51 AM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

In my experience anything can start an argument. What they may say today is a good way to start a discussion, tomorrow they'll either A) completely forget and deny they said it, B) completely blow their lid and find something wrong with what you said, even if it's exactly what they suggested or C) not start an argument but go off on endless tangents not fully answering/responding to your concerns.

I'm sorry I'm so cynical. I hope someone comes with some helpful advice.
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Old 01-07-15, 08:44 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

First, don't talk about your ADD SO in such an offensive/accusatory way, Hoping. You seem to me like you're implying that your partner chooses to be that way, when in all actuality, it is uncontrollable. The first step is to stop viewing it as a personal attack.

As someone with ADD with a non-ADD SO, my biggest concern is that he is understanding of the fact that I have it. I gave him multiple resources regarding ADD when we first starting seeing each other and it helped him a lot in being more patient with me.

If you feel as if your concerns aren't being met and/or responded to, then simply tell your SO. It really is that easy. We might have a disorder that causes us to be off in lala land a majority of the time, but we do take relationship issues seriously even if it doesn't seem that way sometimes. I promise it isn't voluntary.

People with ADD have extremely poor working and/or short-term memory. I would suggest researching the impacts of ADD on working memory since that seems to be your biggest concern.

Remember to just show respect and open-mindedness in your exchanges with your SO. We are hard to deal with, but if you show patience, kindness, and love instead of saying the things you said above, I can almost guarantee you that things will go more smoothly.

@niknee, it depends on the kind of conversation you're attempting to start. If it's at all accusatory or "naggish," then it's pretty likely your SO will find that to be argumentative. It's just the way we've been programmed. Most of us have grown up not knowing we even had ADD at all, and so we've had our fair share of harsh criticisms/accusations/nags thrown at us since the time we were young. It's traumatic and so most people with ADD have an automatic/instinctual negative response to anything that sounds remotely accusatory/bossy. A better way to approach any issue you may have with your partner is to put it in a gentle, non-hostile way. Example: "Sweetheart, I know you don't do it intentionally, but [insert whatever is bothering you], has been upsetting me lately. I don't mean to offend you or accuse you of anything, but I just think that if you hear my side of it and why I feel this way, we can work on it together. I hope you can understand."

It's easy to become perturbed with someone and be less than polite to them when voicing a concern, but all it really does is cause your SO to be less likely to cooperate and work on their issues and more likely to block you out completely.

I think the biggest issue (and this goes for the both of you) in your relationship is narrow-mindedness. People without ADD tend to subconsciously assume that because their own brain is normal and gives them minimal issues, everyone's brain is or should operate like that. While this may seem obvious at first, it really is the biggest hurdle to tackle in being in a relationship with an ADD partner. It's very easy to dismiss someone's ADD symptoms as being voluntary, or that they're just making excuses to be a poor SO. Not the case. People with ADD try EXTREMELY hard to control their symptoms, believe me.

I hope that my advice was helpful for you all. I don't mean to sound harsh, but again, as someone with ADD, I would be willing to bet that your ADD SO would be very offended by the tone of voice insinuated in your (Hoping) post.

Another major factor is medication. Are either of your partners on medication? If so, that would help a lot in controlling their symptoms. That isn't to say that it's an end-all, be-all cure for the disorder, however, because even on medication the symptoms are never truly "gone."
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Old 01-10-15, 06:47 AM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoping View Post
In my experience anything can start an argument. What they may say today is a good way to start a discussion, tomorrow they'll either A) completely forget and deny they said it, B) completely blow their lid and find something wrong with what you said, even if it's exactly what they suggested or C) not start an argument but go off on endless tangents not fully answering/responding to your concerns.

I'm sorry I'm so cynical. I hope someone comes with some helpful advice.
If you weren't in the US - I'd think you were my wife.

The problem can be the emotions. The fact I find is that I can go out the house in a good mood, be gone for 1 hour and then in that hour something (completely useless and irrelevant) has stressed me out and caused me to get paranoid, meaning I'm in a totally different mood when I get back.

Maybe try to start it as a simple and non-threatening question? I find due to my inablity to deal with negative situations that as soon as something could be negative then I start playing the victim in it all, it's the only way I can cope - so it might be a very small thing, but I'll blow it off the scale. Or maybe try it when you and your partner are in a touchy feely mode (if you partner likes that), could eb just good to do it when your partner is in a secure psoition, if they feel relxaed and comfortable in bed with you, try then.
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Old 01-10-15, 07:36 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivid_thoughts View Post
If you weren't in the US - I'd think you were my wife.

The problem can be the emotions. The fact I find is that I can go out the house in a good mood, be gone for 1 hour and then in that hour something (completely useless and irrelevant) has stressed me out and caused me to get paranoid, meaning I'm in a totally different mood when I get back.

Maybe try to start it as a simple and non-threatening question? I find due to my inablity to deal with negative situations that as soon as something could be negative then I start playing the victim in it all, it's the only way I can cope - so it might be a very small thing, but I'll blow it off the scale. Or maybe try it when you and your partner are in a touchy feely mode (if you partner likes that), could eb just good to do it when your partner is in a secure psoition, if they feel relxaed and comfortable in bed with you, try then.
Thanks very much.

I agree, from my offline life, that timing is everything. In our house sometimes its just not the right time to start a communication of any kind, because, as you say, he's carrying an extra load from something else.
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Old 01-10-15, 07:52 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

I'm great at starting and finishing one that usually ends up in a big stfu and go f off
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Old 01-10-15, 08:02 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niknee View Post
Hi I'm new to this site my partner has adhd.
I would love some advice.
need to know how to start a conversation with him as don't want to turn into an argument .
Yes, I don't want things to turn into an argument if I'm not arguing!

At the moment, niknee, I'll trying out what to do about it if something non-emotional, factual, or good willed coming from my side of it seems to be setting off argument or accusation.

I really do agree with vivid thoughts that some times are especially loaded with extra charge in my ADHD partner that, while real, and I can appreciate in the abstract, I can't predict always. Why should I know when something elsewhere is creating extra stress in him, if I've had no signals of it before he starts into an argument?

The solution to your very real, good intentioned question, however, is not "walking on eggshells", meaning tiptoeing around his feelings, all the time. That doesn't work for the long haul

There is excellent advice from people with ADHD on this site about timing. Your wish or your judgement of a good time, or what to you is a neutral time, even though completely well intentioned, might not be the determiner of when to start a conversation. I'm on the learning curve about what you're naming. Thanks for posting.

Currently, I'm working on not participating, if it turns into accusations or an argument when I didn't start it or intend it. If I don't want to argue, I am trying not to, no matter what he says, or says I mean, or said.

My SO is such a wonderful man, and I mean that 200% 300%, actually.
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Old 01-10-15, 08:07 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

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Originally Posted by lmg2474 View Post
People without ADD tend to subconsciously assume that because their own brain is normal and gives them minimal issues, everyone's brain is or should operate like that. While this may seem obvious at first, it really is the biggest hurdle to tackle in being in a relationship with an ADD partner.
Well said.

And, I must say, the river flows the other direction as well.

It's a feat, for my SO to understand that my brain operates differently from his.

Bouquets to him....
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Old 01-10-15, 08:07 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Try to avoid "you" statements, sentences that go like "I hate it when you..."

Instead, use "I" statements."

Like, "I feel sad about this"...

Less likely to put people on the defense.

Also, don't force the conversation on him.

Make sure you start it at a good time, when both of you are calm and happy.

And make sure he has eaten recently, as ADHD'ers are often more sensitive to low blood sugar.

Also some conversations are just not worth having, pick your topics wisely.
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Old 01-10-15, 08:15 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

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Originally Posted by BellaVita View Post
Try to avoid "you" statements, sentences that go like "I hate it when you..."

Instead, use "I" statements."

Like, "I feel sad about this"...

Less likely to put people on the defense.

Also, don't force the conversation on him.

Make sure you start it at a good time, when both of you are calm and happy.

And make sure he has eaten recently, as ADHD'ers are often more sensitive to low blood sugar.

Also some conversations are just not worth having, pick your topics wisely.
Agree very much with "don't force the conversation on him" and the thing about low blood sugar, Bella. It took me the longest time to figure out that end of the evening conversations were possibly affected by blood sugar.

Although when my sweetie is on a roll of you-you-you that good (excellent, really) advice of not accusing him, and speaking only with "I" doesn't really work. ...at the moment. He doesn't hear "I feel sad..." very well, coming from me, in those moments.

But I sure think it's a good thing to do in general.
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Old 01-14-15, 10:59 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

Just throwing it out there: try to play some music in the background whenever you want to have a conversation with your ADD SO regarding your concerns/personal feelings. It will (paradoxically) help us to focus on you more.
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Old 01-14-15, 11:06 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

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Originally Posted by Pentax View Post
Well said.

And, I must say, the river flows the other direction as well.

It's a feat, for my SO to understand that my brain operates differently from his.

Bouquets to him....
I definitely can relate. My boyfriend tries so hard to understand... the effort means a lot but when it comes down to it, as someone who has experienced ADD full-force my whole life, even I can't even begin to understand it myself.

But a little really does go a long way, non-ADD folks.
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Old 01-15-15, 09:00 AM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

That's nice!!!! Lol well until mrs Browns boys! It wasn't that bad a thing to say !
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Old 08-24-15, 01:30 AM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

1. Know what it is you want to happen specifically and be clear about it
2. Understand the other persons world first, know what things they can not do and do not argue with them when they say why they can not do something
3."Know thyself" know your flaws and compare the things you can or cant change about yourself that maybe they can do. Dont see yourself as superior but as equals
4. Provide questions, not solutions, and no half ***** questions passive aggressive/ self serving questions either, no one wants to hear "Have you tried X?"
5. Summarize, listen, and reflect "So what you're saying is X, correct?"
6. Show dont tell, use the socratic method but don't be blatantly obvious
7. Agree when you disagree, and understand why you disagree, first argue with yourself and narrow down what aspect of x's problem bothers you
8. Use perceptions, not assumptions. Dont say "You always disrespect me and take me for granted!"
For example, act as though you were writing a script based on actions, specifically identify the actions or action that bothered you and state it clearly, nonjudgementally.
Say, when you do X, I feel like it means x
9. Use the 24 hour rule. If something happens that bothers you that day then give it 24 hours, if in 24 hours it still bothers you, talk to them about it, so it doesnt fester into a mental illness and is fresh in everyones mind.
10. Don't take it personally, dont talk to change them, talk to understand first, realize they may be aware of it, they just don't know how to handle it, understand that the most likely scenario of who will have to change their behavior is you not them. Whether you were right or wrong, it doesn't matter, what matters is what you can control and you can only control you. If the situation is toxic, get away from it.

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Old 08-24-15, 09:55 PM
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Re: Starting a conversation, not an argument.

In my experience, asking or expecting another person not to turn something into an argument is usually code for asking them to agree with you before you've even said anything. If you believe something is likely to turn into an argument, it's usually because you're aware that the other person has a considerable chance of disagreeing with you.

Therefore, to have something not turn into an argument, one of the most important things you can do is to begin by honestly assuming you are wrong about the topic at hand. Not necessarily that the other person is right - they may be wrong too, and the truth may be a third thing neither of you has thought of yet - but if you're very sure that you're right, then why shouldn't they argue?
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