To borrow from my favorite Thoreau quote, ADHD has us marching to a different drummer. And therein lies the problem.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” -Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
Why Do We Stifle Our ADHD Personality?
Starting in elementary school, we’re told we act weird, so we try too hard to fit in. As the years pass, instead of embracing our quirky ADHD-selves, we learn to hide our true natures. We stifle our ADHD personality. Suppressing our personalities to keep pace with the rest of the world’s expectations.
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Some people who have known me for years still think I’m serious and quiet. Hiding my ADHD personality to fit in is like a cloak I don each time I leave the house.
Why do we care so much what other people think? Why do we spend such energy trying to fit in? Apologizing for our unique nature; hiding our true selves. We’re not in high school anymore. Who cares if we’re a bit weird? That makes life more interesting.
I vote we stop hiding our distinct ADHD nature.
Okay. Some ADHD personality characteristics are truly inappropriate, annoying and deserve to be controlled. Let’s keep the lid on things like unconscious rudeness, arguing, talking too much, and being extremely late.
Start Embracing Your ADHD Personality…
- How do you act when you’re trying to fit in?
- How do you behave when you’re being yourself?
- What parts of your suppressed personality will you start sharing with the world?
- What annoying behaviors will you continue to keep under control?
I’m willing to give it a go. Will you join me?
The Last Word…
Many years before I knew about ADHD, this Thoreau quote spoke to the core of my soul.
I’d always known I was unique, that I marched to a different drummer. It wasn’t until my 30’s that I knew why. Not until, like so many people diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I read the opening of the book “Driven to Distraction“. I vividly remember sitting in my car in the bookstore parking lot crying from relief. Finally, the mystery of why my drummer played such a different beat was unveiled.
Rejoice in your drummer, embrace it. The world needs people like you. People who innovate. People with your creative, zany ADHD personality.