If you have ADHD, chances are, at least some of the time, you’re the life of the party.
People with ADHD have a creative and spontaneous side that makes them fun to be around.
But they also often suffer from a blind spot.
You see, people with ADHD have a tendency to hyper-focus.
That’s their super-power.
But it’s also their kryptonite.
In social situations, they they often find themselves hyper-focusing on one aspect of a social situation.
Like what to say, or worrying too much about how they look.
At the same time, they are ignoring the signals they are getting from the people around them.
This can lead to people with ADHD missing a lot of social cues.
And that leads to making a lot of mistakes in their dating lives.
You know, stuff like:
- Talking too much
- Sticking on a conversational topic way too long
- Talking too close (ignoring personal space)
- Ignoring flirty signals
- Ignoring blow-off signals
- Ditching conversations mid-way through, even when they are going well
- Getting frustrated or discouraged by minor conversational obstacles or negative feedback
- Treating teasing and regular banter as rejection
- Not asking someone out, or getting their number even if things are going good
- Missing conversational cues that people drop into conversation
- Missing contextual social cues that can change social meanings.
All these mistakes can lead to people with ADHD to get negative reactions from people – and most of the time they won’t know why.
And when you get negative reactions from people and you don’t know why, that can often lead to social anxiety.
After Tuesday’s post on dating with attention deficit disorder, people wrote me to share their stories of dating with ADHD, and you could clearly see that pattern.
Matt wrote to say:
I’ll ask too many questions, or talk at length, about things that seem insignificant. This is good at work, but will destroy me (if I let it get away from me) when dealing with people I just met.
I’m also an anxious person. Combined with the ADHD, if I’m not careful, I’ll talk too much and interrupt. These are, of course, terrible things to do if one is trying to meet a woman.
Matt’s situation is pretty typical, in fact 30 to 40% of people with ADHD suffer from some sort of anxiety.
The conditions also reinforce one another… ADHD leads to anxiety which then makes the symptoms of ADHD worse.
It’s a vicious cycle.
In my work as a social coach, a lot of guys I work with have symptoms of ADHD.
What works for them is re-training the attention towards social cues, so they start doing a better job of picking them up.
With a bit of conscious effort and some practice, they can learn to shift their attention.
Also, it really helps to address the anxiety that comes with ADHD – and which can have a massive impact on your social life. Most guys massively underestimate how much of a role anxiety plays in the symptoms of ADHD.
Check out my other articles on ADHD and Dating.
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