Seemingly Rude Comments | ADHD Information


I think sometimes ADD makes it possible for me to make inappropriate comments without intending to. I have found that it is very easy for me to make what are viewed as rude comments in an attempt at humor.

Many people tease and joke with each other. But somehow I often do it at the wrong time. I guess this is due to my "checking in and out" and not always being able to follow the tone of conversations from beginning to end.  I am never sure when it is okay to be funny or not. Maybe this is related to ADD and maybe not.

Remember the story I told you about the message that I left for P on his machine...and how I meant it when I said it, but by the next day I felt horrible.  The comment was about my own insecurities...P as you know proved them all incorrect...Well, I agree that those comments are coming from low
self-esteem, but I see two possibilities: the comments
may be intended to put the other person down, or the
speaker may not want to put the other person down and
may not realize that the comments are hurtful.

Note when the speaker says "because you have no friends."
The speaker doesn't count herself as a friend. Because of
her low self-esteem, she may feel she doesn't count in
any way. She may not realize that the other person
values her as a friend and enjoys being with her.

The comment may be more to put herself down: "I'm so
worthless, nobody would want to be with me unless they
had no alternatives."

When asking what the person would be doing if not
having dinner with her: again, it may be to put down
the other person. But, it may be only as an attempt to
collect information.

I have a tendency to ask questions just because someone
has some information that I would like to have. I've been learning
that often it's better to suffer and get along without the
information than to inflict on the other person the
side effects of being asked the question.

But my natural
tendency is just to think: Well, questions are to get
information. If my friend knows something and I would
like to know it, why shouldn't I just ask? What -- you mean
I'm supposed to imagine what she might be imagining I might
be thinking?? How can I cover all those possibilities? I ought to be able to just ask if I want to. If I'm not
thinking something and I don't say it, why should I have to
worry she might think I'm thinking that?!!

Well, just possibly (not likely perhaps) the question about
dinner might be to collect information. She might be
thinking: "I have to make sure I'm not inconveniencing
my friend. Maybe she'd rather be reading a book right
now or phoning her boyfriend, and she's just inviting
me for dinner to be polite. I need to find out whether
she really wants me here. I'm so worthless that I'm not
likely to benefit her much just be being here, so it's
important that I don't cause any harm, which would be
very difficult to make up for because I'm so worthless.
I wonder what she would be doing if I'm not here.
If she would be reading a book while eating, then I'd
like to tell her I'd be happy to just sit with her
while she reads, if she wants. If she would be phoning
her boyfriend, then maybe I'd better pretend I don't
want to stay for dinner." (She may not realize that
pretending she doesn't want to stay for dinner would
make her friend feel hurt, because she assumes she's
worthless so why would her friend care whether she
wants to stay or not.)

Perhaps it could be a combination of the two: low
self-esteem which she tries to treat by putting others
down, plus, because of the low self-esteem, underestimating
how much her comments hurt others.

You might try responding to such comments with
Thomas-Gordon-style I-messages and "Shifting Gears"
(especially if the comments are to put someone down.)
And you might try finding a polite way to suggest
that the person use the book "10 Days to Self-Esteem"
by David Burns (especially if low self-esteem is
involved, which it clearly seems to be). The only
polite way I can think of is to use the book yourself
and then say "I've really benefitted from this book --
why don't you try it." If you don't have problems
with low self-esteem (or anger, anxiety, procrastination, etc.) then maybe this won't work. Actually handing
the person the book helps, I think, because someone
who is depressed or has low self-esteem isn't likely to
specifically go out to a bookstore and buy themselves a
book like that. (Lack of energy plus feeling they don't
deserve it.) Of course, she may just put you down then:
ha ha, you need a mental health book. Who knows.

Other similar books are "Feeling Good" by David Burns and
"Mind over Mood" by Greenburger.Note: a comment is not an emotion. A comment is a
collection of words. The emotion that you would be
feeling if you said something like that may be very, very
different from the emotion someone else saying the same
thing may be feeling. The emotion and the comment may
still both be "true".

You may be able to find out more about the other
person's emotions by using "Active Listening" (as described in
books by Thomas Gordon).

As for your first question, I'm not really sure what you mean. I definitely think they're unintentional but it probably is their true feelings.

As for the second question, I'd say no, that is not ADHD behavior. They usually have remorse when they discover what they said hurt someone. (I do). What you're describing sounds more like a personality disorder or someone who is just plain mean.


For example (a rude comment):

In regards to having dinner together:

#1: What else would you be doing anyway?


#2:  You hang out with me because you have no friends and you can't get a boyfriend.


Hello, MimiKim.

I do not think the behavior you described has anything to do with ADD. Rude is rude, period. Statements such as the ones you mentioned are generally indicative of someone with a low self esteem who feels that if they put you down and make you feel pitiful and insecure, then they will somehow feel better about themselves. They often use such tactics to reduce your self esteem so that you will need them more, and feel like your options in life are limited....These are just general observations.

Are the rude, uncalled for and sometimes hurtfull comments ADHD's (non treated) make actually their true emotions?

Once they have discovered other peoples (family, friends, lovers) insecurities, do they like to use them against them?

Hello MimiKim

I have read all of your posts and it appears that you have it together. This is not meant to be a punch in the stomach but a wake up call. You can only put so much time into a one way relationship. If he does not realize that he has the partner that comes along once in a lifetime than abandon ship before you sink with him. Do not make excuses for yourself, get up and grow as your own person anyone such as yourself will find truelove elsewhere. In the mean time is there anyone weather at home or work that has truly proved to you that they are a friend? This is the time to turn to them for friendship to heal the wound. You will be OK just be strong and if he truly loves you he will come looking for you.

Best of luck to you

Out There

Well I think we all have an evil side .  When I was younger and less empathetic/compassionate, I would get a cheap thrill out of using my wits and manipulative abilities to really hurt people.  But karma comes to all of us and I have had it threefold back.

The lack of learning from our mistakes, I believe is a choice.  Some people choose not to look at their faults and misgivings and choose to be blamers and never achieve anything.  Others say, geez I was a bitch or a rotten scoundrel, I feel really bad about that what can I do to be a better person.

Let your past mistakes go if you have failed in the past, forgive yourself and believe you can be a better person.  Dont allow that little devil on your shoulder to get the better of you, perhaps even flicking the little begger off when you hear his whispers might be a good idea

I remember when I first started meds I had these unbearable peaks and valleys. I also noticed that my emotions were like a roller coaster.

For example:
My wife was talking to me about something and I thought she was attacking me for being ADHD. I was really sensitive about it then, and I said "Look, just because you don't have to take meds to think like a 'normal' human being, does not mean that I am stupid, so get off my back!"

Looking back now, I still feel guilty about saying that. I noticed back then, not only was I trying to grapple with having to learn how to do everything in life a different way, I still had to go through the normal peaks and valleys of that specific medication. It was a tough road. Maybe the person did not mean to say it at all. Maybe they were internalizing something else. Maybe they were in one of the valleys that resulted from some type of medication.

There are soooo many reasons, it's really hard to pinpoint just one. Personally my largest battles were emotional completely. I felt ashamed for what I was, and only wanted people to see me for who I wanted to be. That was a major reason why I was so sensitive...

Who knows, maybe they will work through it, maybe not. All I can say is that there is not a day that goes by NOW, where I am not loving that iddy-biddy-little-white-pill and saying thank you for changing my life.

Hello MimiKim

I have not heard back from you so I would asume that things are much better. Thats great.

Take care

Something (maybe ADD, maybe some other thing) makes me blurt out what ever is on my mind. Often times I don't realize how it might be hurtful until I hear myself say it - other times I never figure it out. Over time that caused me to become a loner - I just got so down on myself and frustrated that I was always hurting people that I just withdrew. Now I'm older I'm still a loner, but I've gotten used to it but it's all a bit sad.   But, it's no excuse. I've become an expert at apologizing.

Hi All,

Thank you all so much for your thoughts regarding my posted topic.  I haven't been psoting lately b/c I want to sort things out on my own.  I have been receivng positive and negative feedback and it makes it all more confusng for me to sort out. 

To answer Out There, I'm still hanging in there.  It may be a one way relationship but, he has ADHD and he's worth it!  This is not an excuse, it's a fact.  I'm learing to set my own boundaries and he's learning how his actions effect other people. Let me add, he's learning slowly.  I think, I'm not pushing the issue.........only time will tell.

Now that I'm here, I'd like to address my post again.  I notice that after a rude comment has been made a few days later if I were to bring it up his first reaction is to deny ever saying it?  Can anyone explain that?



Denying ever saying it: I think it's very natural to forget
that one has said something bad. It's easy to think
"I would never say something like that -- so I'm sure
I didn't say it."

One person may remember the comment as slightly worse
than it really was; the other may remember it as
slightly better -- and then forget it existed at all.

The best way to handle this, in my opinion, is:

If a rude comment bothers you, say something about it right
away -- within seconds. It could be something like
"I feel hurt." or "when you talk to me like that, I
feel crushed." or "I'm afraid that may be the sort of
comment that will maybe sink in and make me feel bad later on." Thomas Gordon's books have good techniques
on how to phrase this sort of thing.

If you don't say anything immediately, then it may be best
to just let that one drop -- and wait for the next rude
comment and be ready to say something immediately in
reaction to that one -- not bringing up the past, but
just responding to the comment that has just been made.

I think immediate response is most effective, both
subconsciously and consciously.

I don't think it's worthwhile spending time arguing about
whether something had been said or not. Maybe you can
both agree on "Well, if I did ever say that, either I
didn't mean it, or I hereby take it back." Or just
forget about it.