Do you ever wonder, “Why do I have no friends?” Do you have trouble making and keeping friends? Do you have only acquaintances It could just be because you have ADHD. People with ADHD have many traits that can keep them from:
- seeking out new friends
- finding people who would want to be their friend
- having close friends
- keeping the ones they have.
Why Do We Not Even Want to Seek Out Friends?
I would have to say that the number one cause of this is RSD. RSD (Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria) is a condition that almost every ADHDer has. It is the irrational fear of being rejected to the point where the person feels severe emotional pain. This can make a person reticent to even think about reaching to any possible friend prospects. Read more about RSD in my article: How Does ADHD Affect Relationships? – RSD
How Do We Push Away People From Wanting to Be a Friend? There are 2 sides to this coin:
- Whether consciously or subconsciously we do the pushing away, or
- Our ADHD traits do the pushing away for us
How We Do the Pushing
This is mostly from RSD, but RSD can be amplified from being burned by others many times. We stop calling or make excuses as to why don’t want to do things with people. I, myself, have a hard time accepting invitations to do things with others. I usually say, “no thanks,” or make up excuses as to why I cannot. Or we just avoid people all together. I have been hurt many times by people, and it’s amplified thanks to that oh so wonderful RSD.
One of those times was when my best friend in 3rd grade was, to me, being mean to me on the playground, when he had only considered it to be part of the game. Being passive aggressive like I am, I stopped talking to him in fear of confronting him on it. This went on until, after a few of weeks, he finally approached me. I explained to him why, and he had told me different. My dismissal of him had actually really hurt him. It took a lot for me to make that friend, and I had almost lost his friendship over my overemotional response
Or we do things consciously or subconsciously that make people not want to be our friends. I have said things to people that I know will make others think that I’m just some kind of freak or weirdo, so they would leave me alone. I have done many things unintentional that had the same effect. It sucks to be socially awkward.
How Our ADHD Does the Pushing
Many of our ADHD traits make us seem as bad friend candidates to others. We tend to be:
- loud and obnoxious
- blurt out things that offend others or that make us sound like weirdos
- seemingly uncaring
- a misfit
- constantly late
- unable to read social cues
- talk too much
- unable to make small talk
With a list that long, it’s a wonder we’re not complete social pariahs. That is probably a great definition of being rude. I can remember how tough it was for being picked on or ignored for being this way. I lost one friend because I greeted too enthusiastically multiple times and caused him embarrassment. And most people do not understand how it’s the ADHD that drives us to do these things.
These traits can cause us to seem not invested in a relationship, and make the person feel that they are just not important to you. When lateness, impatience, seeming to be apathetic, forgetfulness, and unintentional rudeness seem to others that you are a bad friend. It just might be that you are just to distracted by the ten other things in you head at the time. Or you don’t intentionally cut off what they are saying. I think that I do that sometimes, because I don’t want to forget to say the thing I that just popped in my head. You really need to try to put in the extra effort that makes that person feel important to you.
What Can Be Done About It?
For the reason of when we do the pushing, I would have to say that try to recognize when you are. If you get asked to do something, fight that instinct to say no. You just might end up having a great time and making that new friend. That goes even more so if you know this is fueled by RSD. Maybe in recognizing that it is RSD, you can lessen the effects of it. Breathe deeply for a 4 count in and out to calm and focus yourself. Try focusing on the positives that could happen. That new friend could lead to a rewarding relationship that you would have missed out on. Or it could just be the business relationship that brings you business to new heights.
I would have to think that awareness is quite important in combating the ADHD pushing away. This could be awareness of both the ADHD and others of this and why it happens. Awareness could lead to learning to practice avoiding these traits. Once you know that you are doing it, you can begin to work on changing how you conduct yourself in those situations. For example: if when you see someone you know you loudly greet them, and they wince, try toning it down the next time. And maybe apologize for the action in the first place. If they understand that your ADHD might have gotten the best of you, and that you will try to do better in the future, they might just understand. Or they could just understand anyway and deem your loudness as to who you are. Paying attention to how others react to you is a being mindful of the other person’s reaction – their social cues. And this is something we as ADHDers tend not to pick up on. It’s a method of practicing. If you are lucky, you have someone to practice with. They can be there to tell you how others are reacting, how they know that they are reacting that way, and how you can adjust to fix it.
Remembering who you are talking to at the time and how they rank on closeness to you, will cut back on telling them more than they want to hear. For example, if you female boss enters the room, and you tell her she looks like a girl you had sex with, you are most definitely oversharing. And if you see someone showing boredom cues, such as checking their watch or yawning, maybe you are rambling on to no end. You could, also, try to tell the person that you have these tendencies, and that you would appreciate them cuing you when you are rambling or sharing TMI.
All of these things, if not overcome, would hamper you in creating good business relationships that could make your business flourish.
Once people understand that us ADHDers have some of the most endearing traits of passion, loyalty, intelligence, humorousness, perseverance, and impulsiveness to spontaneity, hopefully most of them will grow to love us for them. You just have to be open to finding them. I have noticed that it is easier to meet someone online. It’s easier to approach someone when it’s not face to face. It could be an great icebreaker to some seriously thick and solid ADHD?RSD ice. It’s, also, a good way to find others that share your interests. And show those people just how much they mean to you using the best of these traits. And, I’m sure you could see just how much all of these traits can make you a great entrepreneur.
Since people that understand us and our condition best are perfect candidates, other ADHDers usually make the best candidates for our closest friends. And most importantly, through all of this, it is important for you to stay you! You will only find the truest and best of friends if you are. I have said in the past,”Screw’em! They really weren’t worth it in the first place!”