Do you have trouble making or keeping friends? If so, you're not alone. Many people with ADHD find it difficult to sustain good relationships because they require self-awareness and the ability to pay attention and react appropriately. Common ADHD symptoms such as forgetfulness, impulsivity, distraction, social miscues, and miscommunication can complicate one's social life.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your relationships with your non-ADHD friends. Here are five tips:
1. Listen beyond words. When your friend is speaking, try to pay attention not only to the words they're saying but also to their body language and tone of voice. This will help you understand what they're really trying to say.
Think ahead before speaking. It's easy to blurt out something without thinking first, but this can often lead to misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Before you speak, take a few seconds to think about what you're going to say and how your friend might react.
Get a trusted buddy for help interpreting conversations. If you're not sure how to interpret something your friend said, ask a trusted third party for their opinion. This can help prevent misunderstandings.
Role play for feedback on social skills. Practice makes perfect! If you're not sure how to act in a particular social situation, try role-playing with a friend or family member. They can give you feedback on your social skills and help you learn what works and what doesn't.
Repeat what was heard in the conversation to ensure understanding is achieved. When your friend is speaking, repeat back what you heard them say in your own words. This will let them know that you were listening and that you understand what they meant.
Making and sustaining good friendships takes effort, but it's worth it! By following these tips, you can be a better friend to your non-ADHD buddies and improve your relationships with them.
When you combine these strategies with the Agave Health App’s CBT programs and in-app coaching, you will be able to better your current friends with non-ADHD friends, or possibly rekindle some lost friendships without going it alone.
These strategies will go a long way toward fostering positive relationships with non-ADHD people. With practice and dedication, these techniques will become second nature over time. Good luck!