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Thread: Attention Deficit Disorder and Dealing with relationships.

  1. #1

    Default Attention Deficit Disorder and Dealing with relationships.

    I understand this might not be a forum that speaks on subjects of mental disorders, but I trust members on this board enough to have some enlightenment on the issues I am presenting.

    In the case of people who have ADD, ADHD, or some form of mental deficit, these people all can note that when it comes to friends or flat out girlfriends/boyfriends, there is issues on keeping a conversation going to picking up social cues. It is so easy to get lost on where to go. If there's one thing i've noticed talking to friends or family, it's that they are the ones who will be talking and I won't know what to say.

    I know that i'm not the most normal person to begin with, from where I live, liking anime along with reading what goes in current events. It doesn't mean however that i don't also like what other people like. I just don't know what to say without getting simple responses or getting laughed at when I speak.

    So to one who has ADD/ADHD. How does one combat social awkwardness.

    Note: Apologies if this is poorly written. My skill to write something well developed is horrendous so bear with me

  2. #2

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    It's not just ADHD...most mental disorders have social defics. ADHD is probably the easiest to combat, but no one wants to put in the effort to practice and train. They just want to use their disorder as an excuse to get away with any unpleasant behaviors they may have instead of dealing with it head on.

    And, no, I'm not being mean. I speak from experience. I have Asperger's Snydrome and spent years having to LEARN how to be social. Starting at around 16. There are so many people with the same thing who don't want to put in the effort, and I've observed people with ADHD are the worst at this. I have great respect for people who DO put in effort though. The skills I had to learn were things most 7 year olds just can do naturally. But I was willing to work to be able to communicate. Because communications take work. A LOT of work. Even "normal" people have trouble putting in the amount of work needed to keep a relationship. (To most people, dating for over 3 weeks is apparently a huge deal.)

    Find people who are like you. This is easier in college or online or conventions. In high school it's near impossible. You'll most likely never get along with a "normal" person, but why would you want to? Find someone who is understanding and kind and accepting of your differences and flaws. It's recommended to be friends first. A lot of people make the big mistake of just jumping right into dating and then act all confused as to why it didn't work out.

    Communication is key. That's why you need to work at it. The person should be honest and tell you when you're doing something weird/awkward. If they aren't honest with you, it's harder to learn. If you're friends before lovers, it would be easier to be honest with them. You'll need practice to learn what to do and what not to do.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAura View Post
    It's not just ADHD...most mental disorders have social defics. ADHD is probably the easiest to combat, but no one wants to put in the effort to practice and train. They just want to use their disorder as an excuse to get away with any unpleasant behaviors they may have instead of dealing with it head on.

    And, no, I'm not being mean. I speak from experience. I have Asperger's Snydrome and spent years having to LEARN how to be social. Starting at around 16. There are so many people with the same thing who don't want to put in the effort, and I've observed people with ADHD are the worst at this. I have great respect for people who DO put in effort though. The skills I had to learn were things most 7 year olds just can do naturally. But I was willing to work to be able to communicate. Because communications take work. A LOT of work. Even "normal" people have trouble putting in the amount of work needed to keep a relationship. (To most people, dating for over 3 weeks is apparently a huge deal.)

    Find people who are like you. This is easier in college or online or conventions. In high school it's near impossible. You'll most likely never get along with a "normal" person, but why would you want to? Find someone who is understanding and kind and accepting of your differences and flaws. It's recommended to be friends first. A lot of people make the big mistake of just jumping right into dating and then act all confused as to why it didn't work out.

    Communication is key. That's why you need to work at it. The person should be honest and tell you when you're doing something weird/awkward. If they aren't honest with you, it's harder to learn. If you're friends before lovers, it would be easier to be honest with them. You'll need practice to learn what to do and what not to do.
    Yea I get that.. Mainly the trick lately has been accepting there's going to be more failures than successes. I just wish there was a way to make it easier because the person that i've become close to deals with a level of social awkardness as well.

    I am trying to get through it in some ways. There will be days where everyone in a class will just move away from me and not say a word to me. At that point I would give up that one time but I keep trying to get better.. It makes it hard when the person you want to care about most is also the person who has some different interests, therefore; I'll forcefully try and make conversation. This makes the conversation very uncomfortable and uneasy sometimes as one could guess.

    It's something I will work with but its hard finding common ground to speak on with some people.

  4. #4

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    I understand that. Actually, when I was in high school, literally no one in class spoke to me. Actually, it was like that from 6th grade onwards. Most days went by without me saying a single word to anyone. So I can understand how you feel.

    So you're saying that the person you like has different interests? That might be difficult as interests are the main common ground between people. It would make it extremely hard to pursue a relationship that way. But luckily, relationships aren't built soley on interests, and everyone will have interests that are different from yours. But you said 'some' so that means you share similarities somewhere right?

    It's good to accept that failures do happen sometimes. When I was younger I was so afraid of failure that I never even bothered to try and make friends. It's a very hard thing to do. Sometimes your efforts may make you come off as 'creepy' to others, and that is a sad fact. Honestly, like I said before, it's a lot easier in college (I assume you're in high school?) because the entire school won't be on your back if you make a single mistake, and it's easier to find like-minded people. You're not trapped with the same small group of people with no means of escape. And once you graduate you're all going to be going your own seperate ways anyway.

    Is this person in your class? Perhaps you could talk about class stuff. Sometimes once you start a conversation, they go off on their own way from there, if you let it. That takes practice though I think, so it would be a good way to start.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAura View Post
    I understand that. Actually, when I was in high school, literally no one in class spoke to me. Actually, it was like that from 6th grade onwards. Most days went by without me saying a single word to anyone. So I can understand how you feel.

    So you're saying that the person you like has different interests? That might be difficult as interests are the main common ground between people. It would make it extremely hard to pursue a relationship that way. But luckily, relationships aren't built soley on interests, and everyone will have interests that are different from yours. But you said 'some' so that means you share similarities somewhere right?

    It's good to accept that failures do happen sometimes. When I was younger I was so afraid of failure that I never even bothered to try and make friends. It's a very hard thing to do. Sometimes your efforts may make you come off as 'creepy' to others, and that is a sad fact. Honestly, like I said before, it's a lot easier in college (I assume you're in high school?) because the entire school won't be on your back if you make a single mistake, and it's easier to find like-minded people. You're not trapped with the same small group of people with no means of escape. And once you graduate you're all going to be going your own seperate ways anyway.

    Is this person in your class? Perhaps you could talk about class stuff. Sometimes once you start a conversation, they go off on their own way from there, if you let it. That takes practice though I think, so it would be a good way to start.
    Well truthfully this is my last year in highschool which is a nice thought knowing I will find more people much like myself in college. The girl that I am pursuing a relationship with is in fact a grade lower than myself, which makes it harder to talk about classes. The situation in where we can't find a way to talk sometimes happens when were alone and that is the time where bonding happens most. It is something I will try and keep up with, but worst comes to worst, we might just not have enough interests to keep in common and the relationship will end itself.

    In the end though it's a way of saying that life will go on and there's something to learn from every situation. I will become better from this some how.

    Thank you again for your kind words.

  6. #6

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    Ah, I see. It's almost impossible to talk to people who aren't in your classes because you only have a few minutes to get from one place to another, barely enough time to even go from each class directly. Or at least that's how it was when I was in High school.

    Perhaps you could get her contact information on chat programs like AIM or MSN? It would be a lot easier for you to communicate through those instead of in school, and because of the lack of body language and other social cues make it easier and less scary to talk to people.

  7. #7

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    "So to one who has ADD/ADHD. How does one combat social awkwardness."

    Meet other socially awkward people and laugh about the awkwardness that ensues.. is really the best one. But it's not a lot of help if you're in some place where there aren't a lot of them around, like a small rural village or, worse, highschool.
    And just be honest about yourself, that way you don't raise false expectations with people. You don't have to tell everybody about your disorder, in fact that usually hurts more than it helps, but don't lie either.
    And be glad that you have unique interests and personality traits, so many people don't. If you pursue them you'll find other people along the way that share them. And a few of them are worth more than a town full of people where you have to hide yourself to be accepted. It gets better as you get older, too. You'll start to make more sense of this whole invisible social world going on around you, it just takes a little longer. And once you get to college you'll see that there's a lot of people like you/me/us. The point here is: don't get bullied into thinking that you have to fit into some kind of picture that isn't you to get along in life.

  8. #8

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    Well I'd have to say that having ADHD is definitely a challenge in itself but when you add socializing and relationships to the picture, well you've got one bumpy ride my friend. But that's not to say that it can't be done. If you really want it then you're going to have to work tens times more harder at it.

    ADHD is a life impacting disorder on not just yourself but those around you. The hardest part about it, I would have to say, is learning social cues and developing strong communication skills. It's not that you have different interests than other people, that makes you unique and intriguing. Which is our biggest creative asset; that draws people in to our unique personality. If you really are looking for ways to improve your social and communication skills, look for a local support group, do research at the library (there are really good books written by Dr. Hollowell such as Driven to Distraction that explains many different aspects of ADHD, there's even a book for relationships called Married to Distraction), talk with a professional if you can, and check out online communities too.

    CHADD Live | Finding Support - Where to find local support groups
    Attention Deficit Disorder | ADHD Symptoms, Medication, Treatment, Diagnosis, Parenting ADD Children and More: Information from ADDitude - A great online resource for articles by professionals and community members

    I hope that helps you out some. As a person living with ADHD, the one thing I've learned is no one is going to do it for you, you have to do it for yourself. And though that's especially hard when it comes to sticking with tasks, if you want it strong enough, you'll find the will power to trudge through it and make whatever you want happen despite the odds.

  9. #9

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    "It's not that you have different interests than other people, that makes you unique and intriguing."
    I wasn't implying that it's just a collection of interesting and different character traits, don't know if you were reacting to that. There's real problems there, no denying that. Just trying to say that one of the keys to living a worthwhile life is not letting your problems or deficiencies define you completely.

  10. #10

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    I wasn't LofiCopter. I was picking up from the original poster's comment. I agree with you about not letting ADHD define you, but at the same time, it's a major component of a person who has it. For me it affects everything I do. No, it doesn't define me, but it certainly is a part of me for the rest of my life. And recognizing that is the first step to understanding how much of an impact it has with my day to day living.

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