Your ADHD and other people was last week’s ADHD Success Club topic for the morning group. Specifically, becoming aware of your ADHD and the other people in your life. How you communicate about your ADHD struggles. How your ADHD struggles impact other people. Here’s Maya’s take on the topic. Pay special attention to what she says about shining a different light on her ADHD challenges. – dr
Yes, I have ADHD. I blog about it. I talk about it. Obviously, I live it. For the most part, I’m an open book. You could Google “ADHD” and “Maya,” and you would be directed here to Dana’s ADHD Success Club blog. Yes, here I am the poster child with no pseudonym out of the proverbial ADHD closet. I’m not sure there is anyone who is a regular part of my life who doesn’t know. Other people are aware of my ADHD. As I listened to this module, I thought about how my coming clean has impacted my life, and I began to think of how I have shared in the past, and how I can reframe the way I share in the future to improve communication and build relationships.
Making excuses based on my ADHD was typical of me in the past. As Dana explained how long-winded excuses could potentially have negative impact on relationships and careers, I thought back to the many ADHD excuses that were typical of me up to a few years ago. Not only did making excuses impact relationships, making excuses also put a roadblock in front of me that made forward movement more difficult.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in this year’s ADHD Success Club is that moving forward with ADHD requires me to be honest and to build on the positive.
To build on the positive, I need to set myself up for success by speaking honestly with others to frame my ADHD challenges as a point of strength. This summer while planning curriculum, I was easily able to see the obstacles impairing my success; however, I didn’t consider how I framed my words as I explained to my curriculum lead what was getting in my way. Blatantly honest, I told her that I couldn’t get anything done with so many teachers in a room talking all the time as well as with the constant interruptions of teachers wanting me to provide tech support. I went on to explain the situation was putting me in a state of ADHD overwhelm. Yes, there I was playing the victim – begging for a lifeline.
In retrospect, framing my words more positively would have been more effective, “With the task I’ve been given, I could work more productively on a computer in a room alone. Is there an extra classroom where I could work alone for awhile to complete this unit?” Instead of coming across as critical, distractible, and selfish, I would be seen as proactive, focused, and driven.
So much of living happily and successfully with ADHD rests in how I frame things to build success in life and relationships. Whether I’m discussing a challenge, planning my day, or interacting with my family, the words I choose have the power to improve relationships and build success. After all, I know with this ADHD brain of mine, effectively communicating and collaborating will help build relationships and success. I can improve the relationship between my ADHD and other people.