I'm sorry that this isn't a post strictly about a romantic relationship. It is however a post about one of the closest people to me - my best friend, and you have all been so supportive when I went through a breakup with my ADHD boyfriend and I have found so much solace in this forum that I want to seek some advice.
I experienced this a year ago with my former boyfriend - and now I'm experiencing this with my best friend (hyperactive ADHD). They're basically suffocating me in our relationship in the constant need for us to meet. I love spending time together and it's one of the deepest and most fulfilling friendships I've ever had, but I feel like they have the entire month planned out to the minute and every my attempt to say no is met with their huge nagging to rearrange my other plans - and disappointment. I'm also an introvert who values their alone time, and like my own space. And I'm also a self-diagnosed people pleaser... so hard to say a plain and definitive no.
I remember an illustrative example from my relationship (and I think this is why this kind of behavior now triggers me in other people, because I had so much of it in the past). We went for a day trip with my ex boyfriend, lasting from 7 am to 11 pm, spending together every moment of the day, and at the end of it, when we came back home, it ended up in a big fight that I didn't want to stay up and party through the night. No amount of time seemed to ever be enough for him. This now seems to be the case with my friend. We have holidays planned together in a couple of days and I told them I'm unable to meet up beforehand (I'm newly self-employed so all my business depends on my diligence and keeping up with projects, sometimes I have to work at nights or on the weekend and sacrifice meeting friends those days, I do try to make it up in quality time). They are however very disappointed and not speaking to me because of this. I mean we have almost 3 weeks together planned in a couple of days.
What do I do? It seems like it comes down to fulfilling my own needs versus their needs and I always feel bad about putting mine before theirs because they seem very disappointed in me. I don't want to lose them but I can't feel guilty all the time like I am now!
I think you know what you need to do... :)
Submitted by c ur self on
I'm much like you...But older ;)...I've had to deal with this...(people pleaser here)....Boundaries have to be placed in life....You evidently are someone easy to be around, and are desired as a friend...Your probably a good listener (based on your friends) and maybe the wise one of the bunch :)....
The thing about your disdain to disappoint, it's robbing you of a little of your peace...(same here, better now)....You have to get to were you don't worry about others thinking, and feelings, as it relates to what you know needs to be going on in your day to day life....True friends will learn acceptance...Even the hyper ADHD ones....
Don't allow yourself to be pressed w/ words (pressured)....IF that starts in a conversation when you have stated I can't, I have work to do, other plans, etc., don't reply to it. Find a reason to say love ya, got to go....Or what ever you say in greetings with your friends....
IF they pout about it, or attempt to place guilt trips, stay positive, and don't address it, that's not on you....Some people will always attempt to control the people and environment, their in....Adhd minded people can be that person (many are)...But, if they truly care about you, they will learn to respect you...(What you determine is right for yourself, your time, etc.....
You just have to do the hard thing
Submitted by 1Melody1 on
c urself is right on with his advice. I have always been a people pleaser and only recently started taking control of it in the last 2 years. I don't regret it. When it works (I set a boundary and put my needs first and that is respected), I feel amazing and strong and I don't get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that I just said yes to something that I didn't really want to do.
However, I will say that it has gone the other way--and I get the impression this is what you're afraid of with your friend. My friend was getting married during one of the waves of COVID last year. There were no vaccinations for anyone yet and my Dad was very ill with cancer. She sent out the invitations and I declined - politely with an explanation and with great disappointment over missing her wedding (she was my maid of honour and I was genuinely crushed to miss her wedding even though I couldn't understand why she would have it despite the risks). I knew in my heart she wouldn't accept my response and I was right. She didn't. After having a tantrum about how I am too over-cautious about COVID and should have told her before the invitations were sent out, she hasn't spoken to me since. She was a friend of 25 years, and although I'm sad I lost her, I'm also glad I didn't go to a gathering I wasn't personally comfortable with and that would have kept me from being able to support my dad for 2 weeks after. A friend who couldn't respect or understand that wasn't a real friend after all.
Maybe you can find a kind way to approach your friend. ''I will have to cut down on going out to only every other Saturday this summer so I can focus on my business.'' And stick to that (whatever you set). Your friend's feelings about that are hers to deal with. ''Sorry you're disappointed, but that's the way it is and I hope you'll respect that.'' It might help to limit communication with your friend if it's too much for you too - maybe don't respond to texts or calls until the evening hours between 7 and 8 for instance. I have started doing this and people just get used it. (Melody doesn't check her texts until after dinner.)
Good luck. If I could do it, you can too. I was such a pleaser! :) I also read a few books about people pleasing and found that aspect of codependency resonated with me if you want to dig into it more. I hope you have a nice holiday regardless of all the issues leading up to it.