I’ve learned not to take too many things my clients say or do during our work too personally. Many times, my clients are dealing with issues that go deeper than questioning my credentials or asking to leave my office. It just is a roadblock to treatment. The big question becomes…why do clients do this?
The obvious answer is that clients do not see the impact of his or her problems. But it goes much deeper than this…part of having ADD, ADHD or Executive Functioning concerns is being narcissistic (this was discussed in an earlier piece here). Sometimes we do not see the problem or understand how it impacts our behavior. Instead of admitting that things need to improve, we view this as insulting that someone would dare question us. We know what we need to do to become better, just leave us alone. This is the I’ll work harder mentality that just doesn’t get the job done.
I will call clients out on this all the time. Since I love analogies, I use this one…If you bang your head into a wall harder, does it mean you’re doing it better. What does working harder mean? Why do we use this term? The concept of working harder is a good one, but in principle, bad habits are bad habits. Unless you address the bad habit, you’ll have the same negative result and put more effort into it. Then the frustration cycle will kick into full-gear and you’ll give up quickly and end up in the same place one started.
I used to deny how much my ADHD really impacted my life. The world around me could be crumbling down, and I was so caught up in being perfect that I didn’t notice that I was actually being counterproductive. During one of my reviews while teaching, a principal shared some observations and made suggestions on ways I could improve. Instead of taking this advice and implementing it, I was offended that he didn’t see me as the most-perfect teacher. I call this…not seeing the forest through the trees. Instead of trying to get better, I thought I knew all the answers and refused to see anyone else’s point of view. How dare this principal tell me I wasn’t perfect? Doesn’t he know that is the message that I insisted upon hearing?
OK, so you might be asking…So Jonathan, if I am not supposed to work harder and see the forest through the trees, how does one do this??? I tell clients that he or she needs to work better and not take every comment or observation as insulting. It’s OK not to be perfect, and it’s even more OK to admit we need help and become our best.
For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com & www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDGuru. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.