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one sided conversations

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one sided conversations

Postby ttt123 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:31 pm

I know a couple of people who have mental illness. They ignore questions and just say something totally unrelated in response to a question.

Like I may ask how was your date? And they answer with "I'm trying this new diet and exercise regime etc...." And never answer the question.

Then I ask another question it doesn't get answered, they just go on about something else.

What is this?
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby lilyfairy » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:51 am

It's called changing the subject. It's not something unique to people with a mental illness.

People do it when they don't want to discuss the thing you are asking about. People do it when they're not comfortable answering such personal questions. It's another way of saying "mind your own business".
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby thegentlepath » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:24 pm

I agree with lilyfairy. ‘Avoidance’ might be the term you’re looking for? They might feel they’re being interrogated.
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby ttt123 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:53 am

I don't think that's what they are doing. I am not aggressive or rude, just asking normal daily questions, like "how did you date go" and they talk about something else instead.
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby thegentlepath » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:31 pm

It sounds like you know the situation better than us then. Have you tried asking the person why they aren’t answering your question about their date? Or do they just go off on another tangent?
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby redrob » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:10 am

I totally understand. I have a friend who has mental health problems and has relapsed with alcoholsim and since then I find that even a basic question like 'how's your new kettle?' for example will be totally ignored and then they will be off on their own interests. A lot of their interest is questioning my personality traits, such as 'do you think you are totally honest with yourself?' or seeking answers about theirs from me such as 'do you think I am an intelligent person?'. For some reason I feel I owe them an answer to really quite personal things. Like I am always having to prove my own awareness of myself. Yet if I were to ask him some pertinent questions they would be ignored or turned around on me.

I'm kind of tired of being told their beliefs in what makes a good person by someone who does not practice what they preach and it feels like preaching lately. For example he says people shouldn't shove their own opinions down others throats yet he knows I don't care much for Dr Jordan Peterson, but will repeatedly link me to the same video over and over as if one day I will suddenly 'get it'' . I understand what JP is saying, I just don't feel the same connection that my friend does. Sometimes I think he's doing it to be deliberately frustrating to me. I used to get frustrated but now I have been exposed so much to this behaviour it has just become predictable. Other times it feels as if they are trying to make me feel less 'evolved' than them.

What is sad is that sober, they are great. Intelligent, funny, kind , self aware and a good conversationalist. There is nothing I can do to help they need to want to change however I question whether tolerating passive aggressive or plain nasty behaviour is making me an enabler.
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Re: one sided conversations

Postby MindOnAir » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 am

ttt123 wrote:I don't think that's what they are doing. I am not aggressive or rude, just asking normal daily questions, like "how did you date go" and they talk about something else instead.


But this is exactly what avoidance is. To an avoidant, even asking "how are you" is really offensive. For everybody else, asking "how are you" is a normal thing. How is it offensive you might ask? Because it is such a daily question, do you really care how my day went? Is this a genuine attempt to try to be friends with me? How can I be sure?

Of course, I am not saying the people you spoke with are indeed avoidant.
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