Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

Making friends and building relationships – Part 2

Why can’t you just act normal? Why can’t you get your responsibilities in order? Why do you act out? Nobody likes you because you don’t care about anyone else! Nobody wants to be your friend because you are so selfish and standoffish! If you would just be a little more normal people would like you! If you would just show a little more initiative then you would be appreciated! Quit feeling sorry for yourself, everything is your own fault anyway! Take some responsibility for your actions! 

Any of those statements and questions sounds familiar?

“What is a friend? I will tell you: it is someone with whom
you dare to be yourself.”
– Frank Crane

Normal is not a word which can be associated with ADD or ADHD or anyone who has any kind of ‘learning disorder’ and yet the percentage of people with LD or ADD or any other disorder is growing and research is showing that past estimates are actually much lower than previously thought. So really, to be normal, well, just isn’t normal anymore. Frank Crane’s famous quote is about people being themselves. Is that true? Can we just be ourselves and we will gain friends? Actually, his quote still stands today as true. The thing about it is, though, you must accept yourself for who you are in order for this quote to have meaning. Just reading it doesn’t really explain the intricacies of accepting oneself or how a person can just be him or herself. Does it? On the surface, does the quote change your situation with regards to gaining friends? When someone tells you to accept yourself, does that suddenly make things better for you? I think I know the answer and I don’t think when anyone, with meaningful intentions speaks of accepting one’s self that they imply it is a snap of the fingers and it’s done. However, with that said, the intentions and the fact of the matter is, we must be accepting of ourselves in order for others to be accepting of us and vice versa, for us to be accepting of others too.

With Learning Disorders, Mental Disorders and especially ADD ADHD, we tend to miss many subtle meanings in what people say and what people really ‘mean’ to say. An incomplete sentence to us is almost the same as falling into an abyss and yet we believe we are just plain old stupid for not ‘getting it’. Ah, so not true is that. Stupidity has nothing to do with LD, MD, or ADD ADHD. It’s a way the mind works and we must adjust to that way and come to understand our way better. With understanding there is liberation and without understanding we cannot understand ourselves, much less anyone else. It is better to ask for clarification than walk away confused. There are no stupid questions and the smartest people have become the smartest because they ask the most questions. Clarification can save so many relationships and help them build into lifelong relationships. As an Adder, it is not your fault that you miss certain cues, but whenever we feel ourselves going “huh?” then it is up to us to ask for clarification.

When we accept ourselves and our behaviors for what they are, we can free any limitations set upon ourselves and not be ashamed of asking questions or seeking clarification. Most people are confused by Adder’s because we do seem to ignore or blow people off and that is the furthest thing from what we want to do.


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