ADHD Friendship FAQ
Since I’m on an FAQ kick now, I thought I’d whip one up about ADHD friendship.
Q: What’s the big deal with friendship and ADHD?
It’s full of oxymorons and paradoxes. Many ADHD adults have a tough time maintaining friendships. Even though ADHDers tend to be friendly folk, some forget to maintain consistent contact with friends. Or they’ll forget anniversaries and birthday parties. Others of us may have a hard time reading social cues. Or you weird people out with your intensity and enthusiasm. ADHD adults may offend others with an impulsive comment, and at the same time are sensitive and easily hurt by others’ comments.
Q: Were you always so friendly?
When I was in college and running around undiagnosed with ADHD, I saw myself as an introvert. I didn’t have many friends and was about as socially suave as an isosceles triangle. All I did was go to class, hang out with my boyfriend, study, workout too much, and drink periodically. When I was little I was so shy that I would grab my mom’s legs and hide under the folds of her mu mu.
After a couple decades of personal development and an extreme spiritual makeover, I now know that I am definitely NOT AN INTROVERT! Friends are an integral part of my life. I enjoy spending time with friends I’ve known for years, as well as making new friends.
Q: I’m lonely and want to make friends this minute. Where can I start?
- First of all, don’t tell people you’re lonely, especially if you’re a woman. You’ll attract freaks and predators.
- I recommend reading How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. We ADHDers don’t think and act like other people. Carnegie’s book THE guide for learning how to deal with neurotypical Earthlings.
- Go to Meetup.com and find a group that has to do with your interests. Not all meetups are created equal. You may need to attend a few different ones before you find one that works well for you.
- Avoid bars and drowning your sorrows in beer, especially if you have a hard time controlling how much you drink. Bars are a great place to meet your future ex and fairweather friends who only hang out with you when you’re drunk.
- Remember–making good, true friends takes time. (I’ve got to admit…patience is a virtue, and it sure isn’t mine!)
Q: What qualities should I look for when making friends?
It’s super important to surround yourself with HIPsters.
1. Humor- They have a sense of humor. They’ll laugh with you, not at you. They won’t make fun of your foibles, but they’ll laugh when you have your ADHD moments.
2. Integrity- Friends with integrity aren’t just honest. When they say that they’ll be there, they’re there. They don’t flake on you, say yes when they mean no. They don’t take advantage of your spaciness.
3. Positive- Hang out with positive people, those who encourage you, lift you up, even help you with strategies to succeed. If you’re a person of faith, find friends who will pray with you and share a common spiritual bond.
The adage, “The best way to make friends is to be one” remains true. The best way to attract more HIPster friends is to be one! And don’t take your friends for granted.
I can trust my friends. These people force me to examine myself, encourage me to grow.-Cher