A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  AnneHW 13 hours, 12 minutes ago.

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  • #99112


    If you have a spat with a friend does it end your world. For a short time anyway?
    During my life I have been so sensitive to friends, our conversations and interactions. I absolutely hate confrontation with friends, hate to argue or think I’ve upset someone. I recognise it’s extreme behaviour.

    On the weekend a friend sent me a text reply: “that’s a bit off, Kate” so I quickly apologised because I didn’t want to upset our friendship. She ignored me. I expect my comment was, as usual- totally loaded!

    Anyway, my point is I cant get it out of my head. It’s spinning constantly from wanting to challenge her to getting revenge then trying to ignore it. She’s had a massive impact on my week, my work, my son, my happiness and I can’t yet get past it and it shouldn’t really matter.

    It happens frequently on social media. One girl on a virtual group said she was leaving because of my comment. I did the same then, let it take over my week but didn’t take any real action.

    I can draw similar scenarios from as far back as college days. I feel I’m better not interacting at all because I always offend someone. I’ve usually got a point but it’s the type of point that doesn’t need to be mentioned, get me?!

    I can count my friends on one hand and they are the types who have a million friends because they need social interaction. If there’s an elephant in the room, count on me to mention it!

    I think I’d be a good friend to someone, other than I can’t go out socially until I’ve tidied the attic. I’ve been trying to for 3 years.

  • #99122


    It absolutely ruins my world until we talk or make up. I’m in the same boat as you I have very controlling friends and I am extremely easy going. I hate conflict, but every now and then I challenge them or disagree and When I do It means everything to me to express myself. But then the next day I get the cold shoulder, unanswered calls and the silent treatment. Then the next day I’m feeling like a deserter and I try to apologize to know avail.

    • #99125


      It also seems these friends aren’t effected by the incident.
      Or maybe they are but the cold shoulder indicates otherwise.

      I really want to take a break from this friend. I rarely see her to be honest and this shouldn’t even matter, but it does.

      I wake up at night thinking of scenarios in my head where there may be future conflict and what I should have done differently this time.

      I always conclude I’m in the wrong, even when in the back of my mind I can justify my action(s). I’ve never really thought about the type of friend I attract or target. Thinking about it, they are all the same- strong, controlling, independent.

  • #99126


    Yep, same here. Are you ADHD? I was diagnosed in June I was started on Concerta 18. Tomorrow I start on Concerta 36..

    • #99127


      I’ve convinced myself I am.
      I’ve booked an appointment to take my 4 pages of symptoms and self diagnosis to the Dr but I keep cancelling.
      I’m scared he won’t agree and then I won’t know what’s going on in my head anymore. I need it to be this or I’m lost again.
      My world is so chaotic.

      I envy you, you are where I want to be.

  • #99137


    I know how you feel but You matter, your feelings matter, your opinion matter. Google adhd symptoms and you will start seeing your self in the symptoms you will feeling a sense of relief because you think wow there’s a name for this and maybe just maybe there is a cure. I just ordered 2 audible books-
    “You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” and
    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F–k!

  • #99358


    Hey hun, don’t stress I am exactly the same. I will completely hibernate for a week, energy levels completely shot and my emotions are incredibly sensitive. The thoughts will continuously play on my mind too, omg it’s so annoying because I try to stay strong and keep myself distracted to pull myself out of the hole but I always find myself back to thinking about the fight and can’t move on completely until it’s resolved somehow. Ive shut out my toxic friends because of their inconsistent behaviours and attitudes, it affected me way too much. If you want to talk, feel free to message me. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is completely thrown after an altercation. Xx

    • #99545


      Wow, I thought “It’s not just me” when I read the heading. This isn’t just with friends either. It is sometimes with people I don’t even like or who are just acquaintances, but the interaction still bothers me and upsets me. I ruminate and still remember past “offenses” that are years old. But I’m getting better.

      I have ADHD and depression. My youngest son has mild depression and ADHD, and my oldest son has high functioning autism and is at a special school in a state on the opposite side of the country then we are because he could not leave his room. Both of our sons severe struggles came out in the last two years and I truly found out who my friends were. I was barely functioning and keeping it together and all the friends with whom I had spent a lot of time with prior to this were NOT the ones that helped or reached out to me. I realized that I had kind of two sets of friends:
      Those that were fun to hang out with (mostly) but I always ended up not feeling very good about myself if I spent too much time with them
      AND Those that were fun to hang out with (almost always), didn’t see as much, but always ended up wishing I could spend more time with them.
      Guess who provided the most support in the last couple of years? We get different things out of friendships. Some are meant for deep connections some are not. I’ve learned to figure out who serves what purpose. (Not on a calculated level, just based on interactions, etc) I have friends that I love to grab a cup of coffee with, go get my nails done, take a walk, see a movie, but deep meaningful supportive conversations are not possible. I sort of call these “human interaction” friends. I love to be alone, but I can also get too much in my head if I don’t get out and do stuff. I know I can not count on these friends to provide the emotional support I need so I don’t try to get it from them anymore, but I do enjoy their company with in limits. So I CHOOSE to keep them in my life and believe we both find value in the type of friendship we have.

      Because of all the challenges my boys have had, I have been learning a lot about myself. My younger son and I did a parent/teen DBT group and I must say, out of any ‘therapeutic’ help I’ve had in the last 30 years, this has provided the most immediate and useful tools. It helped me ‘accept’ my feelings, and also helped me realize that I was in control of how much I suffered from them. I don’t ignore them or judge them, I just try and look at them from a different perspective. It is sort of like hitting the pause button. Not ignoring, or beating myself up, or telling myself to stop, just telling myself to CHOOSE how I want to deal with the emotions. Just giving myself that power helps minimize the impact. My favorite skill is RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. A different approach to “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry”. That is so passive in my opinion, but to Radically Accept something? That makes me feel powerful, like I’m in control.
      Sorry if I sound preachy and I know this is long, but I can’t tell you how many years I have struggled with being sensitive and emotional and over reacting and suffering because I seem to just be so much more of these things than others. DBT has been the only thing that has helped me really feel like it’s ok, I don’t need to bury the sadness, anger, frustration, etc. But I can control what I do with them. Seems like a simple concept but it really wasn’t for me until someone helped guide me.

      If you want to private message me, I will be glad to listen and support you.
      Hang in there and try and be kind to yourself.

  • #99370


    This one immediately caught my eye!

    I try to be very careful about how I respond to people, but every now and then I think I reach a point of saturation. Last winter a good friend was complaining (once again) about something her husband had done. I won’t go into the details, but it was kind of typical, and IMO she puts up with a lot from her family, in general.

    I’d been really sick with the flu for almost 3 weeks, so I guess my ability to filter my response was not working. Anyway, I told her she needed get a “f**king backbone.” I was worn out and tired of hearing about it, and at that point I felt like I didn’t even care about our friendship. So, it was probably harder on her than it was me.

    We eventually mended things, and I wish I’d handled it differently. That is not my normal response, and I could have done so much better!

    On the other hand, I find social media to be very hurtful at times. I’ve commented on something, not thinking that much about it, only to discover I’ve managed to offend someone! I’ve even had them gang up on me!! I’ve quit a couple of groups because I felt as though the topics were often a “setup.” They were meant to be controversial, but it seemed as though they were fishing for the people who didn’t agree. Sometimes it’s impossible to have a civil “conversation” and people will say some awful things that are completely untrue. Yet, I take it so personally. Why? They don’t know anything about me, and are making assumptions based on a very small bit of information that really tells them nothing.

    The only thing I can say is we are all flawed, and we all make assumptions, say things we wish we hadn’t, and misunderstand one another. Sometimes people react because we’ve said something that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s an issue for them. They don’t always do a very good job of explaining or trying to understand. Friendships take work, and that means being able to tell the other person why something bothers you. It also means not making them feel like the “bad guy” by placing all the blame on them.

    I’m a work in progress, and I keep trying to see how I can manage my interactions and expectations in a more realistic way. Sometimes I fail, but I think/hope I continue to do better.

  • #99372


    Full disclosure – I am a coach and spiritual guide. I’ve studied, personality, conflict, and emotionally focused therapy, as well as trauma. But speaking from my personal struggle with the same dynamic, let’s not forget that there are two people in any relationship, situation, or conversation. Understanding the science behind what goes on in the brain and body can help us shape the environment of our relationships and conversations. We generate the environment, so we start with ourselves, strengthening and caring for ourselves, clearing away the past hurts while we’re looking with fresh eyes at how we create a friendship – or should I say co-create. Maybe we just see more deeply into what a friendship can really be? Also, we tend to put stories on top of everything that we experience, and this blocks us from asking open-ended, powerful questions, which is linked to what our intention is in a relationship and conversation. Go in knowing what we intend shapes what comes out, if our intentions are honorable and inclusive, we can always recover from the inevitable bumps. Humans bump into each other, our feelings are like the cat’s whispers sensing as we go along. In EFT the wisdom is that the predictor of success in a relationship is the ability to repair. Each bump is an opportunity to love each other for who we truly are – as a whole. Stop labeling traits as good and bad! And let’s get to the bottom of our worries about people challenging or disagreeing with us. They all have their stuff going on. Perfection is an illusion, except it’s all the Perfection. Without the bumps, we are incomplete. Ask for help from friends when things get bumpy by saying, this feels really uncomfortable to me but our friendship is important so I’d like help talking about it. Here’s my first draft about what is going on, and please remember, I can’t see into your thoughts, feelings and experiences, so please share them. And then ask them for their first draft. If people turn us down then, it’s on them, and we’re meant to be somewhere else. Kudos to everyone who keeps trying despite getting thrown off for a week. And when we need to, let’s be gentle with ourselves. When other’s aren’t there to love us, we need and have a responsibility to love ourselves all the more. There are great techniques you can Google like the Golden Sequence and R-A-I-N. to help manage and work through feelings with resilience too. Each one of you is special and needed – deeply. What would I have done if you hadn’t been on this forum and given me so much to consider?

    • #99408


      Meli, that was a lovely and very helpful response. It’s something I need to save! Relationships are complicated, especially the ones we care about the most.

      A girlfriend I felt very close to, and had known since childhood became distant for about a year. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done, and the last time I’d seen her we parted on a good note. The only thing that bothered me was she was always so busy, and it had always been difficult to get together. However, she had children and I didn’t, and we didn’t live close by (or so I thought).

      Things came to a head when I got a letter for my class reunion, and I noticed a return address for a town that was only a 30-minute drive from my home. My girlfriend was on the committee, and had included a short note saying she hoped to see me there.

      I can’t tell you how hurt I was to realize she’d been living so close by, and had never contacted me! I found her phone number so I called, but had to leave a message. Of course, I told her how I felt. I few days later I received a letter from her explaining that she felt as though I took no interest in her, and never asked any questions about her family. To be honest, she was right, but my feeling had always been that she didn’t want to share those things with me! I immediately tried calling again, and had to leave another message. This time I apologized profusely, explaining that I WAS interested, etc.

      Well, we got together and ended up hugging and apologizing to one another. She told me she had taken her frustrations with family members out on me because she felt none of them ever listened to her; she was always the one doing the listening. It took us awhile to stop apologizing each time we got together, but it’s been years since then, and we have never been closer. We’ve since moved further apart again, but we get together 2-3 times a year now, and have a wonderful time. She still doesn’t like to answer the phone, but I discovered she loves to text! So that’s another great way that we stay in touch.

      I guess my point was to say that your response reminds me of this. I don’t think either of us knew how to approach the other person and ask questions or explain our needs. We’ve been friends for over 50 years, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.

  • #99373


    I have several friends like this. I may occasionally do this, too. Thinking about any issue over and over again may indicate what my therapist calls rumination which may indicate some OCD is involved–Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD often goes occurs with ADHD and depression and or anxiety. The rumination keeps you thinking in loops over and over and having a hard time stopping. I think writing down your thoughts and feelings about a situation may help you to analyze your feelings and help you to figure out how to handle a situation. Impulsivity of ADHD in saying things that may offend other people may be involved, too. Try to distract yourself if you think you are going to say things that may offend someone until you can think through what you want to say and make sure what you are going to say is accurate and not going to offend your friends. I hope I do not offend you here, but rather offer you some insight to what may be going on.

  • #99396


    I have similar experiences: I seem to say the wrong thing with some frequency and without being able to see why it was the wrong thing. It can be particularly problematic at work as I work in govt.

    While I haven’t been able to solve that issue, besides asking people to check my responses before I send them, my psychiatrist recently gave me a great tool for when I am having obsessive thoughts about a situation. He said to intentionally have the obsessive thought — give yourself a cap like 1 minute or think the thought 5 times — then physically slam your hand down on the table or desk and say “STOP!” It really helps! It allows you to take back control of your thought patterns.

    As for getting a diagnosis: there’s nothing to be afraid of. But I would definitely recommend seeing a psychiatrist or therapist who *specializes* in ADHD in order to get the most accurate diagnosis. Some doctors who aren’t familiar with adult ADHD may think your symptoms are something else (and they could be!) or, as in my experience as well as a friend’s, treat you like a druggie who just wants to get some pills. Someone who knows the nuances of ADHD that aren’t listed in the current DSM will be your best resource for diagnosis IMO.

  • #99435


    I am like this for most conflict. I will often give in to avoid conflict and the other’s person’s anger. When someone does get angry at me, I live in constant anxiety. My stomach hurts, I cannot function well at home. This is especially hard as my adult children frequently get angry with and can be very hostile. I have never been diagnosed with anything but depression. I take wellbutrin, but it does not do much of anything.

  • #99467


    I really try to avoid saying anything unkind on any social media. If I do disagree I keep it focused on me:
    “In my experience…” or “I feel this way about that…”
    Rather than:
    That’s ridiculous, how can you believe that?” or “You should/shouldn’t do X”

    I finish with YMMV a lot (Your mileage may vary.)

    When apologizing, you needn’t admit you were in the wrong if you weren’t. Say you are sorry you made them upset and that wasn’t what you intended. That makes it more about caring for your friend’s feelings and the social media topic is not the focus.

    This was only possible for me after taking meds. Before that, it was easy for me to get my knickers in a twist about things. Right-brainers actively seek out argument and conflict as it gives us dopamine just like pleasant things.

    Keep in mind if someone is making you feel bad a lot it’s probably not about you, they are just acting out. If they are just a toxic person, it may be worthwhile to cut them loose.

  • #99486


    Yes. I also feel very hurt and ruminate if something like this happens between me and people I care about.

    Ever since discovering my ADHD, I’ve seen patterns where I can seem hyper-focused so much that I steam roll over people (without knowing it). I have also gotten into A LOT of trouble when I send emails. Usually, I say more than I need to say. I offend. Others take my tone in a way that wasn’t intended.

    I am learning to do more conversations face-to-face. Especially if a lot of explaining seems necessary or if it is a touchy subject. Thankfully, those close to me now gently tell me if something sounded too harsh or they ask if I wanted to say x, y, or z. I am getting a little coaching from them as they see my true intentions when face-to-face.

    Yes, I get angry at times. Yes, I say more than I need to, at times.
    However, I am learning to be more mindful and much less wordy in emails.

    Good luck on your journey!
    We’re all on it.


  • #99508


    I experience the EXACT same thing, completely distracted and dysfunctional until a personal problem is solved. I think it’s definitely ADHD related because it’s an inability to regulate attention. I’m starting to figure out that ADHD isn’t just about missing details, but it has just as much to do with obsessing over details or giving too much attention to things, even feelings. Since my diagnosis and especially since I somehow managed to get the greatest non-ADHD friend in the entire world, I have made tons of progress in terms of understanding exactly what it is I do that pisses people off. I’ve learned it from my friend, who does not have ADHD, by hearing her complain about other people. So, I’ve gotten a good sense of what behaviors make other people mad, mad enough to ignore you and walk away. I think the biggest problem people with ADHD have is the fact that they can’t keep a friend long enough to learn from them or we are so desperate for friends we keep toxic people around us for way too long. I wished that someone had given me a cheat sheet on social etiquette. I asked my sister for
    one, but she refused LOL. She didn’t want to offend me. I was fortunate enough to find a friend who was almost the opposite of me. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve learned. 1.) Let people know you have ADHD because any odd behavior you may display will be given a degree of grace; 2.) use the Myers-Briggs personality test to learn more about yourself; 3.) understand that in comparison to others you are REALLY easy-going and other people take themselves far more seriously than we do. We are used to “failing,” we are used to being hurt, we put up with a lot of behavior that other people wouldn’t put up with. So, we tend to come off as superficial (laughing is a subconscious coping mechanism) and offensive (we are surprised that other people get so offended by things we say. That’s because we think well it wouldn’t bother me if someone said that. Apparently it DOES bother other people, so it’s best to toss that “rule” out the window.? The following is a list of behaviors other people can’t stand (remember they’ve got plenty of friends, so you are dispensable. Don’t be late. Write things down so you don’t forget them and don’t flake out on plans. You’ll come off as unreliable and eventually people won’t invite you to things because you’re a pain. When people ignore you, then you’ve done something wrong. When someone changes topic, walks away, looks the other way during conversation, you’re talking too much about something that interests you but not them. There is a give and take in conversation and you have to be aware of that otherwise you’ll never catch yourself talking too much. Read signs and follow the rules; read emails and try to do what is being asked of you (keeping a calendar is vital) otherwise people think you’re a pain in the butt. Watch what other functional people are doing and do what they do. It may feel like you need to change your whole personality for other people, but what we don’t realize is that other people do it. They regulate themselves enough to fit in, but they are still the same person. It’s is expected. I hope that helps a little. I am so very, very fortunate to find a good friend who has given me grace long enough for her to get to know me and appreciate the person I am. I don’t think I would have made it past a few faux pax without revealing my ADHD. (I asked her when she was due and she was NOT pregnant). Good luck. I really hope something I’ve shared helps. Know that I am WITH you and by no means think I know everything, but like I said I wish someone had given me a cheat sheet. So that’s what I’ve tried to do here. Best of luck. Christine

  • #99525


    OMG, I will be 50 next month and the people that know me ie, “work friends” my boyfriend, family ect… know me and accept me (probably because they have to.) I always seem to voice what everyone else around me is thinking and won’t say because it’s 99% of the time, inappropriate or should’ve been left unsaid, BUT leave it to me. I try to recover with humor, which works a majority of the time and again the people that know me expect it. Most of the time I’m not taken seriously and that can be good and bad.
    As far as friends go, I have NO close friends and up until recently I couldn’t figure out why. Well, HELLO. Confrontation used to bother me too. Anymore, I don’t stress about it or over think it. Life is too short and I have way too much going on to worry about whether I have offended every person I have a conversation with. I don’t intentionally or knowingly hurt anyone’s feelings, I just don’t waste my time dwelling on conversations that I think might have caused an issue anymore.
    I am however, hypersensitive to what I call “static” or crazy vibes in the air. I can immediately tell if someone is talking about me as soon as I walk in a room or I can tell if someone is upset with me instantly. This does bother me. It’s the static or vibe that drives me crazy. It’s like nails on a chalkboard and at times almost physically hurts. I will drive my boyfriend crazy until he spills it or just tells me he needs some space to get over “it” and then we can talk. I like to call this my “ sixth sense. “ It can very be eerie at times, well honestly most of the time.
    I hope you get some answers or maybe helpful suggestions in regards to how you can better deal with future “misunderstandings.” I have found though that unless people really understand me and who I truly am, they know I am harmless and my heart is always in the right place. If they don’t know that much about me, they don’t really know me at all.
    One last thing, a friend once told me; only worry about the things you can change, don’t waste your time on the things you can’t. So I guess what I’m saying is, you are who you, PERIOD. Don’t change who you are for anyone. Either they will accept you for the awesome person I’m sure you are and the tremendous attributes you have/do offer to any friendship or they aren’t worthy of having a friendship with you. Maybe that’s why my best friend is my boyfriend, because I haven’t met anyone else worthy of having a friendship with myself.
    Good luck!!!!

    • #99528


      That’s interesting what you said about the “static” …I think that’s really my biggest problem too. It’s not the conversation or confrontation itself, it’s the “crazy vibes” some people put off in those situations that makes me uncomfortable! My bf is great at not giving those off so it’s really easy for us to talk, even about hard stuff. My soon to be former roommate, however, is soooooo passive aggressive. She huffs and puffs and puts out the crazy vibes before she can have a conversation and it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach!

    • #99623


      I don’t often tell anyone about my “sixth sense” there is really only one person I have ever had an in depth conversation about it with and the only reason I disclosed my little secret to her was because I could actually prove it to her. After that she was a believer. I’m not sure what to contribute it to, accept that may be we are a little more aware of our surroundings or it could be the whole hyper focus thing. I don’t know. Another issue I have that might be connected is my extreme sensitivity to temperature. I absolutely can not take a really hot shower. It is extremely painful. It hurts to the point that I have to either get out or lower the temp.Some people love a really hot, steamy shower. Not me. I also do not like to be extremely cold either. Sometimes it hurts my bones and its not like an arthritis thing. I can’t really explain it. I’m sure there are other little idiosyncrasies, that are very normal to me, but to a non-ADDer, would seem crazy. I don’t think I’m clairvoyant, or maybe I am and just haven’t tapped into that part of my gifts as of yet. Maybe that’s something I’ll read up on. Lord, now I think I’m starting to sound a little on the crazy side. 🙃😉😜😝😆

    • #99635


      Haha I know just what you mean! I like to think of it as a bit of clairvoyance. But also our brains take in so much around us, even subtleties, and process the info so quickly, that I think it really plays a big part. I’m also very sensitive to temperature and physics sensations. Princess and the pea syndrome.

  • #99642


    It is awesome to know I’m not the only one with these same “symptoms.” My boyfriend thinks I’m a weirdo. Don’t worry, I know I’m not(and if I am, I’m extremely happy being a weirdo.) I’m very confident with my ADHD, personality, just ME in general. I know I am intelligent, in my own way. It has taken me a very long time to mentally get to the point I am at now and I deserve to enjoy all the gifts and surprises my ADHD offers me and anyone that chooses to join me on this ride. Don’t let your “sixth sense” be your guiding factor. Try to learn to use it to your advantage. I’m not sure what you can do to change your perspective. Meditation might be an avenue to explore. Maybe when in one of those situations, you could use some meditation techniques to turn it around. Just a suggestion. I’m sad that you have realized the gift but are unsure how to harness it and use it to your advantage. It saved me more than once in dealing with my ex-husband while I was going through my
    second divorce. I could tell approximately when he was going to pull some crazy and at times, cruel, stunt or even just when he was going to randomly show up. I KNOW, CRAZY right!!!!!

  • #99804


    I am totally overwhelmed by the replies to my post.
    Thank you all, sincerely. There’s so many hints and tips I’ve already made an action list and hopefully I can hyperfocus till it’s exhausted! Go me!

    I’ve learnt a lot just from one post.

    I’m not awful
    I’m not evil
    I’m not spiteful.
    I am kind hearted
    I am sensitive
    I am caring

    I just occasionally say the wrong thing.
    Get over it!

    • #99817


      I’m chuckling because I posted on here about telling a friend to “get a f**king backbone” and then felt bad about it. We are friends again, but I realized today (after a lot of text messages from her) that somehow she annoys me. I’m NOT going to say anything to her because we are just different. But I’m realizing that I’ve moved on, and that relationship isn’t particularly important to me anymore.

      I can still be pleasant, and even supportive, but I can also let things go.

      I had another friend who really hurt my feelings a couple of years ago when she pretty much told me she no longer wanted to be friends. It still hurts to some extent. But I also realize that’s HER problem. I have friends who go way back in my life that I still keep in touch with. They like me and I like them. No one is perfect, but the best friends understand that because they know they aren’t perfect either!

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