The Narcissism of ADD & ADHD

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/

Individuals with ADD and ADHD have a strong tendency towards narcissism. I speak from personal and professional experience. We will often-times look at the world through our eyes and fail 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/ADHD.

I am not suggesting that individuals with ADD/ADHD are intentionally narcissistic, but I am saying that it is common with us ADD/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 my actions aren’t intentional and I really want to hear what he/she is saying. However, I do not play this card very often. I feel that blaming ADD/ADHD shouldn’t be the automatic response for everything. We have to be accountable for our actions.

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/she control and how much of this is a product of ADD/ADHD? Once we figure out these factors, we work on ways of compensating for the ADD/ADHD issues as well as understanding how our minds work in certain situations. For example, I know when I’m at dinner 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 the other person/people. 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.

Please enjoy my video on ADD/ADHD and Narcissism. You can find other helpful videos on my YouTube Page (ADHD Guru).

For more helpful tips an suggestions, please check out my ADHD Guru podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio. You can also find me on Twitter (@adhdguru) and Instagram (@adhdguru). Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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