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  #1  
Old 01-03-18, 11:12 PM
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How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

Made a couple new friends last year. We're still friends but I am getting the feeling that I'm starting to seem lazy and self-centered/selfish to one of them. How can I fix this problem?

She really pressured me to go to this party cause she wanted a buddy to go with her. I said no, I wasn't going even though the party is only 6 minutes from my house so in a normal persons eye, seems like it'd be not asking much so I wasn't being a great friend not supporting her by going.

I haven't told her I have adhd yet and I don't mind telling her. But even if I did, I don't think she's the kind of person that can understand the sheer torture it would be for me to go. I actually attended a going away party just a couple months ago and I couldn't get myself to stay for more than 30 minutes cause it was so noisy with too much stimulus going on, it just made me way too restless. This party is larger and will be way worse.

Earlier, she had told me a story about a friend who kept refusing to do the things other than what she herself wanted. She cut that friend out of her life. In my mind, I think friends should usually (barring special circumstances when a friend really needs help) do the things we all enjoy doing together. But in hers, doing things you don't like because the other one wants you to is supporting your friend.

What do you guys think. Should I suck it up and go through torture (i.e. the party)? Too much of this and I'll be getting more torture than fun through this friendship. Guess that's self-centered thinking of me again.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-18, 01:26 AM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

No, your job is NOT to torture yourself ... and you're guessing at her response, by the way.

Here's what you can do.

Skip ADHD ... revealing that NEVER helps me ... Instead, talk about the behavior ... "I feel uncomfortable at parties." ... or "I am really shy." "Parties exhaust me. I'm not good them. In fact, I'm kinda bad at parties."

Friends aren't obligated to accompany people to parties or movies or anything we don't want to do. Now there are times when we are expected to drop everything and go help our friends. But those are serious times.

Like when someone is depressed and needs to talk ... or just broke up with a lover ... or just got fired and is in the dumps ... or had a loss in the family. A frequent expectation of friendship is that when someone asks, we'll help them pack and move ... I hate that one! ...except of course when I needed the help!!!!!

A friend of mine's daughter was scheduled to get married and three or four days before the wedding the daughter's fiance announced that he had changed his mind, he didn't want to get married.

My friend's daughter was devastated. She lay on the ground in fetal position crying and sobbing and screaming. Literally every one of her women friends who was coming to the wedding, moved up their reservations and travel plans and IMMEDIATELY came to her place and spent like several nights with her, hugging her and cheering her on. They knew their "rejected" friend NEEDED them.

That's when you drop everything and put the other person first ... not for a party request.

Good luck ...

Tone

Last edited by ToneTone; 01-04-18 at 01:33 AM.. Reason: shorten and correct typos
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  #3  
Old 01-04-18, 04:41 AM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

I agree with tone. Tell her how parties make you feel. How you get over stimulated and how they drain you.

It's a bit of a balancing act. And a bit of give and take. I totally agree that we should all be free to do what we want and no one should go anywhere they are very uncomfortable in but if it's just a tiny bit of discomfort once in a blue moon to make the other person happy then that's ok. Sorry I'm not sure I expressed that well or sensibly.

Eg I usually agree to whatever restaurant people want to go it if I like it or not but I won't go to a sports event that I've got no interest in. Though then again if a friend said that they absolutely wanted to see that event but had no one to go with then I'd probably reconsider.

Having said that, I don't really have any close friends now and one of the reasons is that i really struggle to make myself available that often and for so many occasions I don't want to.
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Old 01-04-18, 06:24 AM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

I think i have given up on friendships since a long time because of situations like this.

I am not selfish, i do care about other people's needs, more than i often am credited for even.

But I do experience a lot of conflicts between my own needs and other people's needs, and see my needs often as defective, since they are inconsistent, as my needs are dependant on my fluctuating levels of energy, mood, focus and motivation.

Ofcourse, i tried to hide that inconsistency, i pushed myself to be that friend people expected of me... not to be seen as selfish... and afraid to show my underlying weaknesses... until it just wore me out.

And it killed quite a few friendships.

Perhaps my biggest fault was trying to hide it. Perhaps i didn't know myself enough yet to explain this inner inconsistency to friends, perhaps i was trying to avoid my subconscious shame about this or perhaps i was afraid to be rejected once i would reveal it. (simply cause i judged myself for having it in the first place, then why would someone else even put up with that)

But now i know that the only way for me to keep friends is to first accept myself. Not as someone who is selfish, but someone who simply has some very different operating conditions. And despite those, i think we all have a lot to offer as a friend.
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Old 01-04-18, 06:58 AM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdc01 View Post
Made a couple new friends last year. We're still friends but I am getting the feeling that I'm starting to seem lazy and self-centered/selfish to one of them. How can I fix this problem?

She really pressured me to go to this party cause she wanted a buddy to go with her. I said no, I wasn't going even though the party is only 6 minutes from my house so in a normal persons eye, seems like it'd be not asking much so I wasn't being a great friend not supporting her by going.
Have you supported her in other ways? If you have then saying something like" I dont mind supporting you and please know Ive got your back but parties are very hard for me. How about if me meet up after the party and chat? or you can call me, or if you need an exit strategy I can come pick you up?" This way you are aknowledging the difficulties she has with the party, the difficulties you would have with the party and a viable compromise.

Quote:
I haven't told her I have adhd yet and I don't mind telling her. But even if I did, I don't think she's the kind of person that can understand the sheer torture it would be for me to go. I actually attended a going away party just a couple months ago and I couldn't get myself to stay for more than 30 minutes cause it was so noisy with too much stimulus going on, it just made me way too restless. This party is larger and will be way worse.
The good news is, she doesnt need to have the adhd explanation if you dont want to give it, she just needs to know how you feel. You are uncomfortable and thats all that matters, it doesnt matter why or if there is a reason for it. Your word should be good enough.


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Earlier, she had told me a story about a friend who kept refusing to do the things other than what she herself wanted. She cut that friend out of her life. In my mind, I think friends should usually (barring special circumstances when a friend really needs help) do the things we all enjoy doing together. But in hers, doing things you don't like because the other one wants you to is supporting your friend.
That gave me the "passive aggressive/subliminal message red flag jitters". Do you think this is the case?
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Old 01-04-18, 09:33 PM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

Thanks DeClutter for your touching post. That different operating conditions thing really resonates with me.

Tonetone, that's a very clear description of when I should and shouldn't do something I don't really want to do for a friend. It's what I thought but I guess I was starting to doubt I understood social etiquette anymore as I haven't really made any new friends in an extremely long time.

And yeah Fuzzy, I do think giving in on occasion on little things that don't matter as much to me might help. It's that not wanting to thing that I have the hardest time with too.
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Old 01-04-18, 10:03 PM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
That gave me the "passive aggressive/subliminal message red flag jitters". Do you think this is the case?
Yeah, I actually did wonder about that. I hadn't turned down the party by that time but I do think I did other things even before then that might have made her think at least subconsciously that I might be that type of a person.

I could just be speculating, but regardless, it was a red flag to me that she has a completely different view than I do on what friends should do for other friends. I think it actually isn't just me that is different from norm, I think she's more extreme too in a way that doesn't work with my differences. So we may very well turn out to be incompatible as friends. Bummer.

I rarely can get myself to take the effort to make friends so I do hope I'm seeing more than there is.

I like your idea by the way. I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-05-18, 11:36 AM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

Hi AcDc, Pls keep in mind this is based on the view from my knothole in the fence.

For close friends to casual acquaintances I always at some point let them each know to feel free to ask me any question for help, assistance, personal info, whatever as long as NO is an acceptable answer. I usually add that if "No" is not an acceptable answer then it is really a demand and I would much prefer them to let me know their expectations as well. Also when I ask questions I believe they may be uncomfortable with I quite often add that "sincerely, no is a perfectly acceptable answer".

In the case of your friend and the party I may have tried to find a workaround if she is more than a casual acquaintance. For me I have trouble making small talk for an extended period. I would explain my concerns with going to parties to my friend and tell her I would expect her to bail with me if I couldn't find anything interesting for me. I would keep exploring other possibilities to see if we could make it work for the both of us. Maybe that she would hang w/ me for 20-30 minutes until we found some interesting people to chat with. -LN
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Old 01-05-18, 12:27 PM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

I remember when I was 16 my best friend threw a party for the bullies in my class. Not because they were bullies. I dont think she realised how mean yhey were. She was friends with them (everybody loved her. She was amazing). None of people from our usual friend group could make it somehow and I absolutely dreaded the idea of going and spending the evening with these people who normally just made fun of me. For some reason she was really keen for me to come though.

I got more and more anxious and finally I bailed saying I've got a migraine. She was mad at me and I felt super guilty even more so because the party went horribly. Apparently they found her diary and read aloud from it..everything she'd written about her crush etc. She was devastated and she was mad with me that I hadn't been there to support her when it happened. Not so mad though that we stopped being friends. She was mad but she needed her best friend to confide in and cry to.

Sorry quite a tangent. I have wondered over the years what she was thinking. I mean she knew these guys didn't like me. She knew they were nasty to me. I do feel though that I should have told her the truth rather than making up a flimsy excuse. I was too ashamed though. I was ashamed to talk about how unpopular I was with them and I was ashamed to let her know that if got to me

Sorry I had a point when I started writing yhis but I just can't remember what it was. Maybe it was that if it's a good friend then just be honest. Not necessarily that you tell them that you've got ADHD but just about how you feel or how how uncomfortable parties make you. They might not understand...or might not understand how serious it is but hopefully your friendship can weather yhe disagreement.

I think I've I'd told by friend she would have understood. She might have still insisted that I come but she would have understood that I'm uncomfortable and she would have tried to help. We could have been there for each other. I Was scared but it was really pride that got the better of me.
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Old 01-05-18, 12:59 PM
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Re: How to not seem lazy/self centered to others

I think it's way easier, to just tell people upfront that something like a party, is overstimulating/exhausting, etc.

I finally explained this to my friend, she always wants to "go out and do things" on saturdays that involve rushing around/ not quite enough time for dinner/buying tickets at the last minute, etc; and really I just enjoy a nice meal in a comfortable restaurant.

She teaches (so in the first place, people all day ) and often goes out on weeknights and choir outings; but she understood once I actually told her.
Because she is my friend

A person who genuinely wants to spend time with you, should be ok with this in the first place.
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