One of the best ways to find happiness in life is through close friendships. Most people crave human interaction. But with ADHD, sometimes finding and maintaining friendships can be a lot harder than it sounds. Here are some reasons why this may be the case…
Overwhelm: When we're overwhelmed, even thinking about doing just one more thing is one thing too many. If this "one thing" is for someone else, it can easily be too much.
Importance: It seems that the opportunity to show a friend that we care about them and that they are important to us comes and goes so often that it doesn't matter if you miss some of the opportunities and then we miss too many chances. Friends that don't feel acknowledged and appreciated on a regular basis can often fall to the wayside.
Boredom: Sometimes people with ADHD enjoy having friends but often get bored with them, feeling the need for a break. They find it hard to be consistent in regularly enjoying their company as the relationship becomes less novel.
Interests Over People: Allowing something else to take precedence over how we allocate our time -especially when it is media related or we hyperfocus on an activity or interest can make it easy to avoid or miss opportunities for social interaction.
Memory: With a poor memory for the personal details of another’s life it is hard to give the impression that you care. People want to know that they are important and that their personal details, successes and failures are valued by their friends.
Sharing: Too little or too much. The balance between sharing enough when asked questions and dominating the conversation when given the chance to share is a learned skill.
REMINDERS and TIPS:
Good friendships don't just happen. They take nurturing and care. Are you willing to do what is necessary? Will you make good friendships and relationships a priority? When you have the choice between learning about your new computer and going to a movie with a friend, will you put a higher value on going to the movie because of the long-term payoff?
Actively listen and if you have a tendency to change the subject and go off on an unrelated tangent, become aware. If you're interrupting, take steps to stop it. When you feel the urge coming on, take a sip of water, make a note, take a deep breath, and hold it for a second, or think, "relax." Don't interrupt, and if you do, immediately recognize it, apologize for interrupting, and encourage the speaker to go on.
When you're talking with a friend, make your plans for the next time you'll get together, commit to it, and put it on your calendar. Use your phone or an app that will remind you of important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Purposely tell people if you appreciate their friendship and how much you look forward to getting together in the future.