Probably this has been written over a thousand times: ADHD makes it difficult to socialise because of lack of focus, inattention, overreacting (due to hyperactivity) and forgetfulness. What does it tell you though? It strikes a thought that it is all about fitting in, making sure you remember, making sure you focus on what is being said. What about how it affects your social interactions, not other people involved?


A friend who gets angry with you because you forgot at what station you were supposed to meet. Or, did you go to the wrong restaurant? Science says, forgetfulness puts a strain on relationships (all of them, friendships, partnerships, whatever ships you want) because a person on the non-ADHD side gets angry, frustrated, betrayed. But how do you feel? Probably embarrassed but you are not going to admit why this has happened for the 10th time, you will try and find so many excused because you are embarrassed, because you know it will happen again.


Trying to watch TV and someone is talking to you. Wait, what? Someone is talking? Sorry did not hear a thing, can they repeat themselves? Familiar? I bet. You probably hear that you do not care, you care only about the TV. Embarrassment again, you disappointed someone and in reality, you really did not want to! However, it is hard for you to admit why this happens, or you become defensive as this is what you hear every day, you need to ask people to repeat themselves all the time. They get frustrated, you get disheartened.


Someone told you it would be better if you tried adding some more salt to that dish of yours. What happens next? Unaware ADHD wires go a little overboard and either tell you that you are the worst cook on Earth or that the person who mentioned salt is from another planet and they are picking on you. So it happens, you lose it, you call them names, you cut them out of your life one second and the other you love them again. And that was all about salt...

Lack of focus

This one is huge. You do not focus when your friend is crying because you have no idea how to put yourself into their shoes, you lose focus at work and miss a deadline. You lose focus during an exam and that is it, lost marks. The list goes on, when you are unaware you think you are just stupid and life is always going to be a struggle, a friend tells you you are selfish, a teacher tells you are lazy. Another list goes on, and you do not pay attention to any lists in your life. So there is no point in making any lists.  

Awareness goes both ways.

Probably the majority of the ADHD community is very much sorry for causing feelings of being ignored, not listened to and forgotten. But, the unaware non-ADHD crowd has added to already existing anxiety, embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy and being out of place. Awareness is needed in both parties, unaware ADHD is as dangerous as unaware anything/anyone. Learning about symptoms, seeking help, trying to understand their brain is as crucial as a non-ADHD unaware person learning about it and trying to understand their friends, coworkers, acquaintances.

What also lies on the ADHD side is communication. But with successful communication comes acceptance of oneself. Accept it, the brain is wired the way is wired, nobody can change that at the moment, accept and apologise for zoning out. Be open about how your brain is wired, tell the world, own it. This is normal. You will never stop zoning out if you focus on one thing, you can accept it and communicate that, that way overreaction might be avoided. One issue already off the list that you did not even remember existed! Because lists are pointless, am I right?

If you want your friends/partner/colleagues to understand you, be the advocate, give them articles, books, show them YouTube videos. Teach them and teach yourself at the same time.


For ourselves and others.