Lately I have been talking to a lot of parents, adults with ADHD and many without ADHD. I am receiving emails from people who do not have any kind of learning disorder, but they have still felt misunderstood and confused about who they are. We are all human and we have all felt misunderstood at one time or another, all of us and some greater than others. Most of the recent emails ask about peer relationships and how to get along with others better. I am sure this has a lot to do with Keath Low’s interview and with the Peer Relationship Videos I have made.
In this article I am going to address the most frequent and common question I get – how to create the start of a relationship? Well, I was reminded yesterday of how positive begets positive. And that is so true, lately I have enjoyed an activity where I really shine and while I didn’t have a lot of time to stick with that activity, when I was involved in it a feeling of euphoria entered me and the people I approached during that activity felt it. Why? The answer is very simple and at the same time it is very complex.
Perceptions and expectations.
Anyone who has been misunderstood , confused or suffered from chastisement and punishment tends to forecast negative thoughts and behavior. In other words they see barriers first and those barriers can be insurmountable in their mind and inhibit positive outcomes. I have been lucky enough to have some great mentors through my adult life at work and in hobbies I have enjoyed. I have learned that no matter how you feel inside and no matter what you think others are thinking (read my center of the universe article), that doesn’t make those thoughts reality – HOWEVER, just by thinking those thoughts of defeat and negativity we emanate negativity and that turns others off – plain and simple. Hey, don’t worry, I am not perfect either, I have done this plenty of times, I have been hurt, turned down and I have even felt cheated and with that I have emanated negative feelings and received negative feelings from others who had no involvement what’s so ever in what may have happened.
Bad things happen and bad things happen to good people, but that’s life and we either choose to learn from those things or we allow ourselves to be defeated and stunt our own potential for future accomplishments. Either way the world still goes around and we either ride it or we allow it to ride us.
The first thing to know about peer relationships is that although not everyone is going to like you or understand you, that’s not the case for everyone, and just because one person acts a certain way we cannot determine that their actions and reactions will be the same as others. Everyone deserves a chance and the best way to give others a chance is to realize that each and every person has a fresh slate and deserves a smile and positive reactions from us. If you approach someone with a frown and the belief they don’t like you already, well, that’s going to be kind of harsh for the other person and they are probably going to be repelled.
I now have the ability to nearly always get a smile from anyone and at any time and in any situation. You want to know how I do this? I smile first and I make sure it’s genuine because I smile the way I would like others to smile for me. It’s not about keeping score or feeling inferior, we all feel that enough and if we want to change it, we have to start with the person in the mirror. Take a moment and visit a mirror and just smile at yourself silly for about ten minutes. Enjoy it, because you are awesome!