We are most certainly living in uncertain times while dealing with this chaotic and unpredictable world. Which makes having friends to provide security and stability all the more important. We all need human connection now more than ever.
But even in the best of times, whether we are wired as extroverts or introverts, we need friendships. The research tells us that social relationships are more predictive of warding off mortality than quitting smoking or exercising. So good relationships are not optional, they are critical to our well-being.
Yet folks who have ADHD can often have problems making and keeping friends. And is there any wonder when you’re afraid of saying or doing something annoying? Struggling to follow conversations can drive us to feel anxious and that can create an appearance of being stiff or offbeat. No question as to why social interactions can be emotionally draining to manage for those who struggle with ADHD.
The struggle is real but here are a few tips for making it easier.
Keeping it simple will work. You don’t have to make an elaborate affair to have social time. Maybe just meet at a coffee shop or talk while walking in a park. And inviting a friend along while you run some errands is a great way to handle tasks and enjoy companionship.
Engage in the social activities that you find the most enjoyable (or tolerable). Think about the outings that require little conversation such as going to the movies or concerts rather than those that are conversation intense like a dinner. Sports that are vigorous such as Zumba or racquetball are also good opportunities since they allow little talk.
Take a risk and step outside of your comfort zone periodically. Maybe you meet someone and feel a connection. Let your spontaneous self loose and make plans on the spot for a meeting. That way you will not have to worry about forgetting to make contact later.
Keep a friends list and remind yourself to stay in touch. Dig through your contacts lists and compile a list of your current friends and acquaintances. Then schedule a weekly time to choose one from your list and reach out to schedule a meeting. Putting it down on your calendar will also help you to keep up with the last time you were in touch so you can stay in regular contact. But an email or phone call will also work when time doesn’t permit an actual meeting. Just remember to also periodically schedule some actual in-person time too.
Finding a human connection with friends and acquaintances can be an oasis especially in uncertain times such as these. But just like a garden, we have to pay attention to nurturing these relationships so they don’t wilt or die. Use some of these ideas to keep it simple and it can be easier than you imagined.
ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach, Owner/Founder