I HAVE ADHD PODCAST - Episode #267

June 11, 2024

Why Are Relationships SO DANG HARD for Adults with ADHD?

Living with ADHD can often feel like navigating a minefield, especially when it comes to relationships. Impulsivity, distractibility, memory issues, and struggles with self-reflection can create a myriad of obstacles.

In this episode, I share personal anecdotes to illustrate how these ADHD symptoms impact our ability to build and maintain strong connections.

One key takeaway is the importance of understanding our unique brains. By doing so, we can improve our relationships by fostering deeper connections and reducing the tendency to blame ourselves for the difficulties we encounter. It’s not about fixing ourselves; it’s about embracing our neurodivergent traits and finding strategies that work for us.

Engaging in therapy, self-soothing techniques, identifying triggers, and participating in relationship courses are some of the strategies I recommend. These can significantly enhance our emotional regulation, productivity, and overall relationship dynamics. Remember, it’s about prioritizing our relationships and working towards improvement, not perfection.

Don’t forget to share this episode with anyone who might benefit from it, and as always, take care!

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Kristen Carder

Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain, unlock your potential and move from point A to point B. Hey, what’s up, this is Kristen Carter and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast, I am medicated, I am caffeinated. I am regulated and I am ready to roll.

Today we’re talking about relationships. We are talking about why we with ADHD suck at relationships. And I think that this episode is going to be extremely valuable. But I do want to let you know, it might be a little bit hard to handle as you’re listening to it, because we’re just gonna get into the thick of it. We’re going to talk about ADHD, we’re going to talk about the symptoms of ADHD and how they impact our relationships. And just like why in general, we can struggle. Relationships are a topic that come up all of the time when I’m coaching. So if you don’t know I am a coach, I coached 1000s of people with ADHD. And we go to relationships all the time, I have never met a person with ADHD who does not want to improve their relationships. And my hand is in the air saying same. I am also a person with ADHD, who is working toward improving my relationships, it has never come easy for me. It has with like a few unicorn type people in the world. But in general, relationships do not come easy for me at all. I struggle with rejection sensitivity, I struggle with just the impact that my ADHD symptoms have on my relationships.

And also I am someone who comes from quite a bit of developmental formative trauma. And so I know that all of that impacts my relationships as well. So over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to unpack this idea of relationships as it pertains to ADHD. Why is it hard for us? What are the key points? How can we improve? And how can we not always feel like the problem in our relationships, and that’s a big kind of concern that I have for today, as we are chit chatting about relationships is that I don’t want to make you feel like you are the only problem. It takes two to tango in a relationship. Okay, it is rarely just a one sided issue. Every once in a while it is sure every once in a while it is. But usually we have two or three or four people involved in a relationship.

And the difficulty does not just rests on the shoulders of one human. And I really do want that to kind of sit front and center. Even though this episode is going to be all about the aspects of our ADHD that do make relationships hard. This might be a really good podcasts to send to your partner, to send to your best friend, to send to somebody in your family that you’re close to that you just really want to understand you better. The point of relationships is connection. I used to think the point of relationships was love. I kind of said that with this day. And I didn’t mean to you love is great. Everybody loves love who doesn’t love love. But truly the point of a relationship, in my opinion now is to feel connected is to feel close is to be the opposite of lonely. Okay, I want to be the opposite of lonely, I want to feel connected, included, surrounded, held safe. I want to have people that I can laugh with and joke with and goof off with but also have serious conversations with and really know that who I am as a person is welcome. That’s what that’s what I’m so wanting in my relationships. I understand that that can’t happen in every relationship. And in the coming weeks we are going to talk about the different types of relationships and how we can expect the same relational dynamic in every single relationship.

Today I’m going to talk in terms of our very close relationships. So that would be maybe our partners, our family of origin, our best friends, the relationships that we want to be closest in. Those are the relationships that I’m going to be chatting about today. As we get started, you know, I have to remind you that in July I’m going to be teaching an entire four week course on relationships geared toward adults with ADHD. It’s going to include for live classes, for coaching, calls on relationships and a ton of support in our community. Regarding your relationships, of course, you’ll get a workbook Of course, we’re going to do a deep dive. So if you’re someone that’s like, yeah, my relationships need an extreme makeover. Do you remember that dream or that show? Extreme Makeover? It was like, body edition and then like Home Edition, I loved Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It was so fun. If your relationships need an extreme makeover. That is going to be the place to do it focused in July.

And don’t forget, we’re running a huge sale it’s going to be at the end of June. It is a summer blowout sale. Stay tuned for details if you are thinking of joining anyway. And now is the time to do it. Okay, you can go to I have adhd.com/focused. For all of the details about the program. It is a massively inclusive, wonderfully accepting, encouraging neuro divergent, affirming space, you are going to be encouraged and loved and held. It’s actually one place that you can begin to build safe relationships, and know what healthy dynamics and relationships look like. So if you don’t have a community, come join focused, I have adhd.com/focus to learn more.

If you’ve listened to this podcast for any length of time, you’ve definitely heard me talk about the fact that I don’t have a morning routine. I have what’s called a please don’t die list christen it could you please not die. And on that list are things like eating, taking my medication, making sure I’m clothed, you know, the very, very basics. morning routines are so hard for adults with ADHD and I have just thrown in the towel and dropped all of the drama around it. But I want to tell you something fascinating. I have been able to be so consistent with the routine of drinking ag one every day, I kid you not. I drink it every day, I wake up, I come down the stairs and the first thing I do is get my little shaker out, fill it with water, add a scoop of ag one and I’m telling you that it makes me feel so ready to take on the day like I’m doing something so good for my body and my body is like oh actual nutrition. I appreciate you. Thank you so much. Speaking of that nutrition ag one is a foundational nutrition supplement that delivers daily nutrients and gut health support. Now this is so important because we’ve talked about this before diet and nutrition are very difficult for those of us with ADHD we are prone to lean toward the sweets, we want the chips, we want the dopamine, but if we can make sure that we’re doing something good for our bodies every day, it will make a difference. What’s so cool about ag one is that it’s backed by multiple research studies. That is not nothing. You can really trust what you’re putting in your body when you take ag one because unlike so many other products, their entire formula is backed by research, not just the ingredients but the whole formula. over 14 years ag one has been focused on innovation with a trusted nutrient dense blend. That’s the perfect complement to any diet. Whether your diet is healthy, or you struggle with nutrition. Ag one is the perfect complement no matter what. Now you know, I’m a Research girlie. That is so much of what I do for this podcast. So I do care about the details. And with ag one I can trust their research and how they’re validating the product working in the body. If you’ve heard me talk about ag one before, you may have heard me say that I’ve actually noticed that I need less coffee in the morning, which is wild because coffee is literally the reason I get out of bed in the morning. What’s cool is that their research backs this after 60 days of taking ag 190 1% of people in a research study notice that they need less coffee as well. So I’m not the only one. Listen, if there’s one product I trust to support my whole body health. It’s a big one. And that’s why I partner with them and them alone for so long. It’s easy. If it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t do it. I promise you that and it’s satisfying to start your day with ag one knowing that at least you’ve got the foundation of a little bit of nutrition right there. So you can try ag One and get a free one year supply of vitamin d3 que two and five free ag one travel packs, which are going to be amazing for summer travel by the way, you can get all of that with your first purchase at drinkAG1.com/ihaveADHD, that’s drinkAG1.com/ihaveADHD, go check it out.

So as I said, some of this might be a little hard to hear. And I do want to acknowledge that right off the bat, I want to take a deep breath with you, I kind of want to hold your hand and just look you in the eyes and say like, it is gonna be okay, you’re gonna be okay. But we are going to spend a little bit of time discussing why ADHD ears can be really bad at relationships. And this is intended to help you to deepen your understanding about yourself, and your neurodiversity, your ADHD and how it impacts your relationships. Because I promise you, if you only take one thing away from this podcast, this is the thing to retain, are you ready, turn up the volume, get your cross stitching out. So you can stitch this on a pillow because it’s going to be important. Your ADHD, your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder impacts every aspect of your relationships. That’s it, you can’t separate your ADHD from your relationships, because your ADHD is fundamental to who you are, and how you function in the world. So if you are the kind of person right now who’s like, yeah, I was diagnosed with ADHD, but was like, no big deal.

It’s not really bugging me or bothering me. I do encourage you to check in with yourself, with your spouse, with your kids with your friends. And ask them ask yourself is ADHD impacting this relationship is ADHD making this relationship a little bit rocky, volatile, unpredictable, difficult, inconsistent, is ADHD is impact on this relationship, making it so that the other person is struggling? Maybe you’re not struggling because you don’t notice because you have ADHD and your self reflection muscle is really, really weak. self reflection is an executive function that we’re not so good at. And so you might not even notice the impact that ADHD has on your relationships. But I do encourage you to ask the people around you, Hey, is it possible that ADHD is impacting this relationship?

I think you might get a really interesting, honest answer. Here are a few ways that I’ve kind of put together that I think ADHD does impact our relationships. First of all, this is a tough one because we literally can forget that people exist. And it’s not because we don’t care. And it’s not because we don’t love them. But we struggle with object permanence. And that applies to people, we struggle with people permanent. You can go days or weeks without remembering that certain people exist in your life, people that you enjoy, that you want to be connected to. It’s a little out of sight, out of mind situation. And if you’re not careful, if you’re not treating your ADHD, if you’re not conscious of it, if you have way too many relationships in your life to kind of keep track of them all. You’re gonna forget people. And one thing I’ve learned is that people don’t love to be forgotten. It’s not their favorite. They don’t enjoy it. So we definitely forget people exist, be on the lookout for that. Because we struggled to prioritize, which is a deficient executive function, we often have a way more relationships than we can manage.

It’s also it goes hand in hand with impulsivity and distractibility. Right? So it’s like, all of those kinds of work against us. And we ended up making and creating relationships are far more than we can manage. And so it gets real dicey when you’re over scheduling yourself over booking yourself over committing yourself over extending your emotional, mental physical capacity for all of these different relationships. And this is something that we’re going to be talking about in the coming weeks because I think this is one of the most vital things that we can do as people with ADHD is really be clear on our priorities in relationships. Okay, another way that ADHD impacts our relationships is that we want to be all things to all people in an attempt to avoid rejection. So this hits specifically on To our rejection sensitivity, which is connected to ADHD, because those of us with ADHD have experienced far more rejection than our neurotypical peers. And that means that we have a natural response to lots and lots of rejection, which is now we’re super sensitive to it. We’re hyper aware of it, the experience of it is heightened. And it’s real hard. And so in order to mitigate that, in order to try to avoid that, we often can become massive people pleasers massive people pleasers. If you feel like you are a great person, but also you’re a people pleaser, I promise you that your relationships need an extreme makeover, I promise you. And I know that this is somehow connected, maybe not solely connected, but definitely connected to your rejection sensitivity to the extreme experience of shame that we feel as ADHD or is when we are rejected.

And so so many of us become massive people pleasers in order to try to stave off rejection of any kind. But being a people pleaser is really hard. And it’s coming usually from a place of in authenticity and at tears are allergic to being inauthentic. So then this takes like there’s a massive toll, this massive energy and like spiritual emotional toll on us, and we get burned out. Anyone. Okay, let’s move on. Because we struggle with working memory, we often don’t remember conversations that we’ve had with people, we also struggled to remember commitments that we’ve made. And so we can seem pretty flaky. I just want to hold some space for how difficult this is to be misunderstood. Because we are not flaky. We are not flaky. We struggle with working memory, we struggle with the type of memory that allows something to just stay in our brain long enough for us to use the information. And since recognizing someone’s face is not crucial to our survival. A lot of ADHD brains are going to forget, like mine.

I got to tell you a story. This, oh my gosh, this fits right in here. Because a couple weeks ago, I had to drop off water polo fundraiser money, happy to do it. My son went around the neighborhood like the adorable, adorable person that he is. And he knocked on doors. And he said, Hi, I’m your neighbor. I play for the water polo team. We’re doing a fundraiser, would you like to support us adorable and he got people to participate? It was lovely. I had to drop off this waterpolo fundraiser money to someone named Megan. I know I have spoken to her before, but her son is a year older than my kiddos. So my kiddo is currently in the middle school program. Her son is currently in the high school program. I can kind of see her face in my head, but not really. And I was supposed to go to the school during a water polo game and hand her the money. Do you think that I trust my ADHD brain? To recognize her in a crowd of people? No, I have no idea what this woman looks like. She’s blonde, but like so are a lot of people. Like, I am not going to walk into a high school water polo game and scan the crowd trying to find this person and make an idiot out of myself. I just knew it would be horrible. And so I texted her, I texted her and I was like, Hey, I’ve got the money, but I’m not able to make it to the game. Can I drop it off at your house.

And I drove far? far for me, I drove 15 minutes. But the school is like five minutes away. I drove much farther than the school away in order to deliver it to her house so that I did not have to pick her out of a crowd. This is what I’m talking about when I say that the ADHD brain sometimes does not remember this information that is important for relationships. Like if I want to build a relationship with this person, I need to remember what she looks like, but I don’t. And so this is probably why I have three friends. You know, I’m saying this is probably one of the main reason why I have three friends total because that’s the amount of face recognition that I’ve got in me. Moving on. Another thing that makes ADHD relationships really hard is something that I mentioned before we struggle to self reflect, which means that we often make the same mistakes over and over and this can up here to the person that we are in a relationship with as if we don’t care. And this is so hard and I know you feel so misunderstood by this. I know that this is an aspect at least for me. I mean, I guess I should just speak for myself but I feel like I can speak On behalf of my people, saying like, we feel mis understood, we do care about what the person has to say we do care about, like their hopes, their dreams, the things that they’re telling us even the things that they like, assigned to us or whatever, but but we just, we struggle to remember we struggled to self reflect, and we make the same mistakes over and over.

This is so difficult. And if you have been accused of just like, not caring about someone because you’ve forgotten, or because you’ve struggled to self reflect and change your behavior, I want to say, same, I have been accused of the same. But I don’t believe that about myself. And I also don’t believe that about you. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that my brain is wired in a way to not self reflect, to not remember to not prioritize, and therefore being in relationship with Me can be difficult. And I own that. And we’re going to talk about taking responsibility for it. But first, we just got to own it. I own that it can be really hard. And I apologize to my people a lot. Oh my gosh, you did tell me that I am so sorry. Yes, I remember now thanks for repeating yourself. But something that I’ve gotten really used to saying very much accustomed to saying it’s just owning Yup, I forgot you did tell me I appreciate you repeating yourself. Another aspect of ADHD that impacts relationships is that we are quite impulsive. In fact, this is one of the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is impulsivity. And let’s just couple that impulsivity with our deficiency and self reflection.

So if we have we are deficient at self reflecting, and we are impulsive, guess what’s going to happen a lot. We’re going to over talk, we’re going to overshare, we’re going to interrupt we’re going to share stuff about ourselves and try to relate to other people by sharing things about us and maybe not in a way that makes them feel seen and heard. And interrupting is something that I have been working on for 20 years, since the day that I got married. I’m not joking. And we are at 20 years almost, which I am so proud of. For 20 years, I have been working on my impulsivity as it pertains to interrupting my husband, my husband, bless him is a wonderful man. But sometimes it takes him a little bit of time to get his words out. He’s a systematic processor. He thinks about things for a while. He wants to be able to articulate things clearly and slowly. And guess who doesn’t have time for that? Oh, my goodness, guess whose brain struggles with that? Mine.

Not because I don’t love him not because they don’t care about him not because I’m not interested in what he has to say. But because I think I already know what he has to say. And I know I can say it faster. So let me just finish your sentence for you. I promise you this is something that I have been actively working on for 20 years and I am getting much better. I have made a lot, a lot a lot of progress. But it’s still something that comes up it is still something I am interrupting people is still something that comes up in my life as a 43 year old woman, okay. We can be seen as flaky or unreliable. And that is not because we are bad people. That is because of ADHD impact on the way that we show up with people. We can forget to show up forget to follow through forget to do the things we said we were going to do. And that is hard. It is hard for the people that we’re in relationship with. And again, this is not to make you feel badly. What I want to do is say hey, you know all of those ways that you’re frustrated about yourself and the way that you show up in relationships, it’s not because you’re a bad person. It’s because you are symptomatic it is because of ADHD is impact on the way that your brain functions and thus the way that you show up in relationships.

This is why when when people say to me like yeah, I was diagnosed with ADHD but like I’m successful at work and I’m able to manage it and it’s no big deal. I’m not treating it. What I want to ask them is how Your relationship with your partner? How do your kids view you? How is your best friend perceiving you? Are your closest relationships connected and healthy? Do your people feel supported by you? Or are they spending a lot of time accommodating your symptoms with you just kind of like lalalalalala dancing through life not realizing the impact that it has on them. Okay, so as I mentioned earlier, impulsivity is one of the main aspects of ADHD as is distractibility. So let’s talk about those two main aspects of ADHD impulsivity and distractibility. Whether you are inattentive, or hyperactive, these may present in different ways. But these are two Hallmark major, major symptoms of ADHD, impulsivity and distractibility. And you better believe they impact every aspect of your relationships. So distractibility in your relationships looks like struggling to listen to what someone is saying to you, because you’re hearing the lawnmower outside, or you’re thinking about a project at work, missing important details of the conversation because your mind is wandering to something more interesting. It’s totally guilty of this. Having every intention of doing that thing that your friend or your partner asked you to do. But getting sidetracked with something else and not following through losing track of time and not making it to that important event you promise to attend for your child. Oh, that one makes my heart hurt. Impulsivity in your relationships can look like I’ve already mentioned interrupting, but let’s just say it again. Apparently people hate it when we do that. And I think that it’s fun to actually be in relationship with other ADHD or so that you can just interrupt each other without repercussion. So make sure that you make some ADHD friends, but neurotypicals hate it when you interrupt them. Okay, so soon we got, we’ve got to stop.

Okay, also impulsivity in your relationships can look like reacting too harshly, without pausing to consider the impact that it may have on someone else. Your impulsive brain will react really, really, really fast faster than any other brain that you are in relationship with. And if you are not able to curb that impulse to react, you will likely react too harshly, really, really fast. And the impact might be pretty intense. Often when Greg and I fight, something will happen, there will be some sort of offense, let’s say by him. He offends me in some way. But I react so impulsively and harshly to that events, that we end up talking about my reaction. Before we get to talking about the events. I don’t know if anybody can relate to that. Again, I’m getting very warm during this conversation, I’m starting to sweat. But I think that is something that most of us can relate to, is that an offense will take place. But our reaction to it is way over the top. And then we have to have this conversation about our reaction because we’ve offended the person that we love by reacting too harshly.

Whereas we could have just said hey, that really hurt my feelings. I didn’t like it that you said that. And and and we could just address it in that way. But why don’t I address it in that way? Same reason you don’t. Same reason. Same reason. Okay, let’s move on. Impulsivity can look like double booking yourself for events and then having to disappoint someone. That’s not fun. disappointing people. Major trigger for me not fun. It can look like starting projects without completing the last one leaving a big mess behind being really really flighty and kind of like this unorganized hop from one thing to the next and your partner is maybe frustrated by the clutter or your roommate or your kids are just like why are there piles everywhere? piles, ADHD or is in piles? Am I right?

Okay, impulsivity is also reflected in our spending. And I think that is a massive part of relationship struggles is the ADHD, adults, spouse, whatever partner will have some impulsive spending issues. And there’ll be major fights over the spending the debt, maybe hidden debt hidden spending a lot of arguments over this impulsivity around spending. So if you’re thinking, yeah, it didn’t, it doesn’t really impact my relationships. I’m managing it. I’m handling it. I’m successful at work. I’m a doctor, I’m a lawyer, I’m a teacher, I’m able to get it done. It’s no big deal. Again, I want you to look at your relationships and ask yourself, Is it possible that ADHD is making my relationships harder than they need to be. Not because you are bad, you are lazy, you are not a good person. No, not because of any of that. But because ADHD impacts our ability to focus, our ability to curb our impulses, our ability to self regulate and show up like a calm, compassionate, caring human that we truly are on the inside ADHD really, really impairs our ability to show up in that way. And so what we sometimes present with is an interrupting impulsive, people pleaser, who says yes to a lot of things and over books and over schedules, and then is looking like they’re unreliable and flaky. And that is just so hard because that is not who you are at your core. It is not who I am at my core. I know that for sure. I know that for sure.

Okay, so yes, ADHD impacts our relationships, it totally sucks. If you’re feeling a type of way, I want to say same. I’m feeling a type of way as well. It doesn’t feel good to know that you may be negatively impacting the people that you love the most. Okay. But I do want to circle back to it takes two to tango, okay. And a dynamic that I see over and over and over again. And let me remind you, I’ve coached 1000s of people with ADHD. I am currently coaching hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of adults with ADHD. And one theme that I hear over and over and over and not in these specific words. But this is the theme boiled down to a nutshell. Are you ready? My partner wants me to be neurotypical. My parent wishes I was neurotypical. My friend expects me to be neurotypical. This is a theme that I see throughout coaching. So many adults with ADHD. Almost every post that I see in our relationships channel, almost every time I have the privilege of coaching and ADHD or face to face on relationships. This is the theme. The theme is my neurotypical person, whether it be partner or friend or family member, they want me to be neurotypical. So can you help me with that? Kristen? Can you help me be neurotypical? Can you know, I cannot? I cannot.

Our partners, friends, family members often feel inconvenienced, put out annoyed, personally offended or attacked when we show up as the neurodivergent humans that we are. And that’s a problem. Okay, so I want you to know that, yeah, ADHD is an issue. And it shows up in your relationships, and it has a negative impact. And it is a problem. When your partner, your family member, your friend, your spouse expects you to show up in a neurotypical way. That’s a problem. That’s a big, big problem. Are they getting mad at you, when you are presenting with your symptoms? Do they have reasonable expectations of what you can and cannot do? Do they have reasonable expectations of what you will and will not do? Or should or should not do? Are they willing to help you and support you? Do they see the good in you? Do they or are they just always pointing out the flaws? Because if it is that they’re always pointing out the flaws? That’s a problem. Okay, again, it takes two to tango. I don’t know where that came from. It’s such an old phrase, I’m sorry, sorry. But it does it takes it takes to to be in a relationship. And it is very rare, although there are times, but it is very rare that the burden of the relationship struggle is going to fall on solely one person.

I am talking maybe 5% of the time I just made up that number. But I think it’s I think it’s a good one. I think maybe 5% of the time, we can point to relationships and we can say wow, that one person is solely responsible for screwing this whole thing. But usually it’s a dual effort. Usually it’s both people contributing to the issue and part of the ways that Our neurotypical counterparts or friends, or family members, whatever are contributing to the issue is that they are expecting us to show up as a neurotypical human as just a very functional quote unquote, normal, typically brained person. And you’re not. i Sorry, not sorry, I don’t know, like, you’re you’re not you have ADHD, you have a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs your ability to focus to curb your impulses and to regulate your attention, your behavior and your emotion. You’re not quote unquote, typical. Okay? You’re not broken, but you’re not typical. And so for the people that you are closest to, to continually expect you to show up in a neurotypical way. That’s unfair, and it’s ableist. And it’s got to go, but we got to trash it, it’s a no, is a no, it’s a no, if you have someone that you are, especially if you’re living with them, that all they can see are your flaws. And all they are pointing out are your deficiencies, and they don’t see the best in you they see the worst in you. That’s a problem. You are, you are not, you are not, you are not solely responsible for that relationship, fracture, I promise you. So I want to ask you this, I want to ask you two questions. The first question is, are you taking responsibility for your ADHD? Are you treating it? Are you managing it? Are you getting medical support for your ADHD? Are you making sure that you are doing everything that you can, and using the evidence based methods to support your ADHD because if you are not, I promise you that your relationships will be negatively impacted by it.

And this is gonna be brutal. But I’m gonna say this, that part is on you. That part is on you. Nobody can treat your ADHD for you. Nobody can make you go to the doctor, make you take medication, make you work out, or go for a stupid mental health walk for your stupid mental health, like nobody can make you go to therapy, nobody can make you support your ADHD, that part is on you. Okay, and I really want to be clear. And I’m holding you with so much compassion. And I know not everyone has the same amount of access and privilege. I know that but to the best of your ability. Are you taking it seriously? Do you truly understand the impact that it has on your relationships? Because if not, I hope this podcast was a wake up call for you that even if you might be functioning at work, even if you might be functioning in a way that makes you feel good. What I want you to do is look around and even better ask your closest people. Is my ADHD impacting our relationship? And if so, I just really encourage you to take that seriously and to treat it and to support it. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the people that you love. I mean, I suggest doing it for yourself because it feels great. It feels it feels great. But if you if that’s not enough motivation for you do it for the people that you love. Okay, and then here is the second question.

Are you surrounded by people who accept you and support you? Or are you surrounded by people who shame you and judge you for your nerve divergence? Are your closest people shaming you, nagging you, holding you to a standard that you will never be able to meet? Are your closest people wanting you to be neurotypical and beating you up when you’re not able to meet that standard? Are your closest people making space for you to be neurodivergent? Or are they judging you for it and expecting you to quote unquote, be better? Because if that’s the case, that needs to be tweaked, as well. Okay, that’s a that’s a problem. So there’s the self responsibility part which is so important and that is your job and that is on you. And dare I say that comes first. Right? And my opinion that comes first you take responsibility you treat your ADHD, you do whatever you can within your means to be able to support it. And then the people around you,

we got to teach them to accept you as you are. So that looks like saying things like, hey, it’s really unfair for you to expect me to meet these standards. When I have a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes it really hard for me. I’m working on it, I’m doing my part. But I need a little grace and space. In the meantime, I really need you to not expect me to be neurotypical because I’m not. I know, that’s disappointing. And I know that has an impact on you. But I actually have a neurodevelopmental disorder that is classified in the ADEA as a disability, and I need you to start looking at my neuro divergence through the lens of disability during this time, while I’m learning to treat it, and care for myself and support myself, and maybe someday, we don’t need to look at it as a disability, because maybe I’ll be to the point where I can just manage all of this stuff, and I’m so supported that I’m able to function really well. But right now, I’m in the disability category. And I really am asking for your support, and not your judgment. If your partner, friend, parent, child, whoever it is, would be open to go into therapy with you be open to couples counseling, friends, counseling, any kind of work with a trauma informed therapist who has at least a basic understanding of ADHD, that could be really, really beneficial.

My goodness, that could be so wonderfully beneficial. So as we wrap up a couple things first, don’t worry, more relationship episodes will be coming at you in the next couple of weeks. Number two, if you’re feeling down, after this episode, I just encourage you to put your hand over your heart and take a couple really deep breaths and do some self soothing. It is hard to have ADHD and it is a lot. It’s a lot to bear. And there’s so much misunderstanding and misinformation my gosh, especially on the socials right now. It’s driving me crazy, but you are safe here, you are able to be seen here. And I just want you to know that my podcast will always be free. And it will always be here for you to take advantage of and to kind of pop into your ears and have some self soothing.

Take a deep breath, you are worthy of treatment and support for this neurodevelopmental disorder. And your relationships will improve as you continue to treat and support it. So how do we get better? How do we improve our relationships, I’m today just very generally going to share a couple ideas. Again, we have more relationship episodes coming. I’ve already said 100 times treat your ADHD I won’t say anything more about it, I promise. Treat your ADHD and take it seriously. Stop pretending that it doesn’t affect the people around you. Okay? Know your strengths in your relationships know, the good things that you bring to the table and really try to capitalize on that. Like, I know that even though I’m impulsive and distractible, I’m actually a really, really good empathetic listener. I’m really good at that. And so I always want to be available to my people, my closest people, obviously not like the whole world, but my closest people to listen and empathize, because that is one of my strengths. And I want to lavish that on the people that I love. I’m not good at everything. I’m not going to show up perfectly all the time. But I know I’m good at that. And I’m going to give it freely, I’m going to give it freely, freely freely to the people that I love. So make sure that you know at least one thing within relationships that you’re good at that you can pinpoint and say, Okay, I kind of suck at some of this stuff.

But I’m really good at this one thing and I’m kind of going to hyper focus on this one piece and really go kind of all in and giving it freely to my people. So think about the things that you’re good at and how you can contribute and add to the relationships. Maybe your contribution doesn’t look like cleaning and organizing and scheduling. Okay, that’s administrative stuff that we will struggle with. But what what does it look like for you to show up for your people? And how can you do that? Happily, how can you give and serve and love your people in a way where they can truly feel Connect? acted and cared for. I already mentioned therapy. But I do want to say that so many of us grew up in trauma, especially being ADHD, being neurodivergent. In a neurotypical world, there’s so much trauma involved with that, if this could just be your nudge, like, hey, therapy, to improve your relationships, even if you are going by yourself, it will make a massive difference when you have the right therapist, which is a whole other conversation, but like finding a good therapist who can walk you through your own childhood experience and the way that you interacted with your parents, and how that’s directly impacting the way that you’re showing up with your kids, your spouse, your partner, your friends, all of that, learning about your own triggers. And like what makes you really, really angry, I remember when my when my son was little, getting so mad at him and being like, why am I so mad at this tiny, adorable little human. And what I didn’t know at the time that I do know now is that I was having a trigger, I was having an emotional flashback I was having, I was really activated by past experiences showing up in the present, I heard this amazing quote, which is, I’m not living in the past, the past lives in me.

And that is true in your relationships, the past lives in you until you process it, and understand it and deal with it. So if you are able to go to therapy, do it. And then of course, of course, of course, of course, join focused, join us for the relationships course, we are going to dive deep into how to understand yourself, how to build a great relationship with yourself so that you’re not such a jerk to yourself, how to see your needs and meet them, and then how to show up for other people and meet their needs as well. We’re going to talk about safe people versus Unsafe people and how to set boundaries and how to just have connected fulfilled relationships with the people that you want to like this. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m teaching it the entire month of July. It’s a great month for an extreme makeover. It’s going to be the summertime, you’re going to be just like reveling in summer bliss. And this is the time to work on your relationships. So come join me and focused. I have adhd.com/focus to learn more.

Don’t forget about our sale I’ll tell you about in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait. All right, a new relationships podcast episode coming at you in one week. Can’t wait for it to talk to you then. A few years ago I went looking for help. I wanted to find someone to teach me how to feel better about myself and to help me improve my organization productivity time management, emotional regulation. You know all the things that we adults with ADHD struggle with. It couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. Then I created focused for you. Focus is my monthly coaching membership where I teach educated professional adults how to accept their ADHD brain and hijack their ability to get stuff done. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already benefiting from this program and I’m confident that you will to go to Ihaveadhd.com/focus for all details.

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