Building Better Friendships
Making and keeping friends can be very difficult for adults with ADHD. Because of their long history of misunderstanding others, confusing communication cues, and being unable to read and translate nonverbal cues, they are likely to withdraw from social interaction and feel more comfortable alone than with others.
In fact, many adults with ADHD never get the chance to establish meaningful relationships because their behavior often drives potential friends and lovers away.
Research shows that ADHD adults get along best with friends who are low-maintenance, don't expect or need regular contact, and who are nonjudgmental. If you have an ADHD friend who feels like she's “drifted” away, make sure you're not overestimating her ability to maintain regular contact.
Because of their forgetfulness, ADHD adults may also forget about friends' needs, and fail to do the many little things required to keep a friendship going and growing. Adults with ADHD might not call their friends on the phone, send a friendly e-mail to check on them, remember their birthdays, congratulate them on promotions, or console them in the face of job loss or the death of a loved one.
Sorry, No Time for You
Some ADHD adults, especially hyperactive adults, manifest their symptoms by jumping into conversations and situations where they're not invited, constantly interrupting others, or behaving in a hostile, arrogant or aggressive fashion — all behaviors that tend to alienate people.
Your therapist and you can work together on strategies that will help you check your impulses before making grandiose promises you can't keep. She can encourage you to learn how to say “no” when someone's expectations are impossible for you to meet, and to compensate for your inherent tendency toward aloofness and solitude by making a conscious attempt to be more interested and engaged in the lives of others.