General Not Asking Personal Questions.

0RCH1D

New Here
Hey, guys.

So, quick summary. Until recently I haven’t dealt with anyone suffering from PTSD. But a few months ago I’ve met a guy online, who is a combat vet, suffering from PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks.

We are never short of topics to discuss and he’s open to answering my questions about himself. But he never asks me any in return. Which I find baffling and not something I’ve encountered with regular guys.

Under normal circumstances I’d probably assume he wasn’t that interested in getting to know me. But he is otherwise attentive about what I say & starting to ask a little bit more recently, as our friendship continues to develop. (Though admittedly not without hiccups).

I thought of asking directly, but I don’t want to put him on the spot, thus forcing him to ask me stuff unless he actually wants to. Besides, it doesn’t cause awkward silences, so it’s not a biggie, but I am just curious.

Could it be part of his condition? Or is it just a personality quirk? Anyone else came across this trait in PTSD sufferers? If so would love to know the explanation behind it.
 
We are never short of topics to discuss and he’s open to answering my questions about himself. But he never asks me any in return.

^Maybe he's more laid back than what you're used to. People who are not in rush, don't push for information. He's probably seen a lot and heard just as much. Maybe, he wants to take it all slowly.

But he is otherwise attentive about what I say & starting to ask a little bit more recently, as our friendship continues to develop. (Though admittedly not without hiccups).

^So it seems that you're now seeing him come a little closer. Give him time and as in every relationship there will be pace and balance that are up for negotiation.

but I don’t want to put him on the spot,

^So don't. Imo he's not being secretive about himself from what you've written. What do you want him to ask about you?

Could it be part of his condition? Or is it just a personality quirk?

Who knows... both could be possible. Remember ppl are not so clear cut. You could be seeing a little of both. Either way, if it's not causing a problem why would you want to know?

Anyone else came across this trait in PTSD sufferers?

^Not exclusively. Actually, if anything, the opposite. Willing to talk about you but not them. Being very closed off and private. But, hey he's sounding like he's interested in you and taking his time.

Just a side note: Be careful, very, very careful - online - anyone can 'seem' slow to warm and actually be reeling you in. But best of luck with it.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
@blackemerald1 Thanks for the reply. The reason I asked is because it was something that was concerning me slightly in his behaviour, even if it isn't causing any immediate problems... Intentional or not, but it can be interpreted as him keeping me at arm's length, if that makes sense. It's one aspect of his behaviour I find confusing and not sure how to deal with. I'm new to this and it's hard for me to discern what's ptsd/anxiety related and what's not.

As for meeting online, it wasn't a dating site. We met in a forum for an interest we both share, so for now it's just a friendship. It also gave me an opportunity to see him interact with other people and I did not get a vibe of him being in any way manipulative. So I'll heed your advice and let it play out on its own I guess.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I hope it works out for you but one thing I learned in relationship is the price of silence. Of course if your gut is screaming this guy is not interested, I would not ignore it altogether but I would ask, does he remember what I tell him, specially important stuff? does he plan for future gathering or I am doing all the work? does he show up and seem genuinely excited to see me and be silent type? and are you talking too much too fast and filling the silence...worth to be mindful. That is what I would ask but take them with grain of salt.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
If I have a friend who isn't interested in asking me questions about me? Then I interpret that as they're not particularly interested. Can't force 'em to want to know more about me just because I want to know more about them.

And that, to me? Speaks to an imbalance in how important this relationship is to each of us.

It's easy to tell someone "I see you as a really good friend", and when we want them to like us as much as we like them? It's super easy to project those emotions into any sign that they feel the same way.

Behaving like you're interesting? And wanting to know more about you? Is something people do when they're genuinely interested. Which isn't a ptsd thing.
 

Friday

Moderator
I figure if someone wants me to know something? They’ll tell me. Just plain ole good manners. Not to say I’m always well behaved ;) But I tend to reserve misbehaving for special occasions ;)...

...or work. I have zip-zero-nada-zilch-no compunction about a huuuuuuge range of behaviours for work, that I simply don’t use at all in my personal life by preference. If I’m lying, manipulating the f*ck outta someone, or asking personal questions? I’m probably working. Doesn’t mean I’ll believe jack shit about what someone tells me when I ask them anything personal, it simply gives me more info about them on HOW they answer, married to how they act. I’m not interested in hunting/interrogating my friends. Nor do I believe in tempting dear ones to lie. Shrug. In my personal life? It’s all about honesty/loyalty/integrity. Trust. It’s what friends do.

Does this mean that people like me & people like @Sideways could never be friends IRL? A lot of the time, certainly. Because we’re coming from opposite ends of the spectrum in how one defines care/import/friendship/interest/manners. But a lot also depends on personality. I have a veeeeeeeery good friend who neatly end-runs this particular hurdle with roughly half her friends by getting all sparkly eyed and informing us that we need to ask her about XYZ. “Ask me where I was last night!” (The other half of her friends are babbling brooks, catching each other up on all the goss, all whilst peppering people with a thousand questions. I sorta just sit back and watch the show). Because the way SHE is wired/trained is never ever ever to talk about herself, without first being asked. That’s a cultural thing in some parts of the world. So she tells people to ask her about what she wants to tell you all about. I have a few other friends who fall on the flip side of the coin that our differences in communication/expectations are met in other ways. But for the most part? Yeah. People like Sideways & I will read each other “wrongly”. My show of respect (not prying) will be taken as disinterest, and her not telling me things (without being asked) will be taken as disinterest. Not that either of us are actually disinterested. Simply different communication styles.

Ditto everyone else, I’d read this as a personality thing rather than a PTSD thing.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
@Sweetpea76 Good question… I’ve not thought about it like this. I wouldn’t say he shifts it back to himself, not exactly… If I’m talking he’ll listen, but I rarely talk about my life unless someone asks me a direct question. He is a high IQ guy, we share a lot of interests and most of our conversations are about neutral topics. We learn a lot from each other, it’s always quite intense and exciting. In a way once we start talking… it’s really hard to break away from a conversation and we end up chatting for many hours on end until we are both exhausted. Coming back to what your question though… I suppose I encourage him to talk more about himself and he gives me full answers. Almost in report form. He won’t bring it up himself mind, but if I ask him how his day’s been for example, he’ll list everything he did and probably even include the entire menu of what he had for dinner.

Also for context. According to him people cause him stress, so he generally avoids them. Prefers to be on his own and only has a few close friends. I know this to be PTSD related as it’s something that came up in a conversation. He also has trust issues. So he’s not the easiest guy to get to know well, and social awkwardness may be a part of it too.
 
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