Individuals with ADD and ADHD have a strong tendency towards narcissism. I speak from personal and professional experience. We have a tendency of looking at the world through our eyes and failing to see it from other people’s point of view. This is one of the major reasons why there’s a strong misunderstanding of ADD and ADHD.
I am not suggesting that individuals with ADD and ADHD are intentionally narcissistic, but I am saying that it is common amongst us ADD and ADHD folk. Here’s a perfect example…I am not a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. It has impacted my relationships over the years. It is not that I am not open to new things; I just live in a certain comfort zone. While some of this may be narcissistic, it has other factors involved as well. The best way for me to manage my ADHD is to regiment myself. I do things a certain way because it helps me function both personally and professionally. Other people don’t always see this, so they assume I am acting selfish.
So how do you tell people that this isn’t being selfish? How do we try to come across as less narcissistic? There’s no real easy answer to this question. I try to tell people about my ADHD and how it impacts my life. If I do something directly related to my ADHD like cutting off someone during a conversation, I try to tell the person that it relates to my ADHD and I really want to hear what he or she is saying. However, I do not play this card very often. I feel that blaming ADHD for things is wrong when it has nothing to do with ADHD.
With my clients, I always ask them to look at the bigger picture. How does his or her behavior directly impact other people? How much of this can he or she control and how much of this is a product of ADD and ADHD? Once we figure out these factors, we work on ways of compensating for the ADD and ADHD issues as well as understanding how our minds work in certain situations. For example, I know when I’m at dinner with my wife I have to have my back to the door of a restaurant. It is too distracting for me and comes across like I do not care about my wife. So I can avoid this type of misunderstanding by one simple maneuver. See how that works? This is an easy fix to a potentially upsetting situation.
For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.