Reply To: A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Women & Girls A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week. Reply To: A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.


Hi Dianne and welcome! It’s great that you want to understand your friend better and improve your friendship! First, if she says she needs space then you need to respect that and give it to her. She may not know for how long and if you want to help your friend an your friendship, you need to try and accept that.

Second, you mention that your OCPD adds to the stress for her. My boyfriend also has OCPD and, like you, asks a lot of questions in an earnest effort to understand. The problem is that his OCPD leads to *obsessive* questioning that feels like an interrogation. His need for perfectionism and his staunch view that his well-calculated way is the best way quite often lead to me feeling like he is forcing his way or opinion or questions down my throat. And any time I answer a question he ALWAYS has an opinion about it or some suggestion to make it better. He is trying to help but it makes me feel like he can’t just let me be me sometimes.

Now, he doesn’t mean it that way but I take it that way. And because I have ADHD, I have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, a hallmark symptom present in almost all ADHDers, that makes me feel rejected by him for what I see as him telling me I am not good enough or my way isn’t good enough. And I feel emotions extra strongly so it can be crushing.

How do we get through navigating each other’s idiosyncracies? Space. Mental AND physical space. And when we do not give the relationship enough space, our dueling “neurosis” combust and we have emotional arguments.

When your friend is ready to catch up, try and be supportive and try to be mindful not to ask too many questions. Instead, make your questions more meaningful. For example, instead of asking a bunch of logistical questions about her vacation (how’d you get there? Where did you stay? What did you do?) you could ask something like “do you feel more relaxed from your trip? What was your favorite moment or event?” Etc. Does that make sense?

You need to find a compromise on communication style, too. If she doesn’t like to talk on the phone, you can’t make her. Maybe you schedule a phone call once a week and text the rest of the time or something like that, but be congnizant if her boundaries (as well, she should be cognizant of yours).

I think you’ll find a lot of useful resources on this site that help explain what ADHD feels like and the ways it can negatively (AND POSITIVELY!) impact our lives.