Understanding the Impact of ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

People with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concern are manipulative. Some of this may not be in a direct way, but it is certainly a part of our make-up. This being said, does it mean that we should always get our way? Well, I think I should (who doesn’t right), but those around us will have a hard time agreeing. So for the individuals reading this piece that do not have ADD/ADHD or Executive Functioning concerns or even those of us that do, what is a good way of seeing how our behaviors impact ourselves and others?

As I’ve written about in the past, people with ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns tend to be narcissistic (The Narcissism of ADD & ADHD). This being the case, it becomes a regular occurrence that we see the world through our eyes only. In doing so, we have a tendency of forgetting about other people’s feelings and needs.

Here’s a great example…being on-time is one of the biggest challenges for individuals with ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns. One adult client of mine said that being on-time is something he will never improve. With that being the case, it just isn’t something he needs to address. Even though he realized that this punctuality cost him two jobs and a romantic relationship.  After we looked at this issue further, it became obvious that he never saw his lateness as an issue for others despite the consequences listed above. After discussing it further, we discovered that this was a deeper issue than just a time thing. It was more about avoidance. By using the late excuse, it covered for his perceived lack of preparation. By addressing his anxieties, we began to address his punctuality.

The key to helping individuals set limits is to point out how the specific behavior impacts that person as well as those around the individual. For example, the person being late impacts himself (rude), the other person (his or her schedule) and the end result. Two people are directly impacted by this behavior. Now there are the secondary people. If this person has a job that depends on his selling something, the sale may be lost. He also is hurting his family by not making a living. All of this happened because of issues dealing with planning and preparation.

When I work with younger clients, these behaviors have a different but certainly equal impact. When there’s a dispute in the house over a chore, the individual isn’t being a member of the household. He or she is also hurting the family by not pulling his or her own weight. This also adds a level of stress to the household that impacts everyone. So it isn’t about not taking out the garbage, it is about how not taking out the garbage impacts everyone else in the house. It causes stress and tension all because the individual couldn’t do a simple chore.

Helping the individual with ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns understand how behavior impacts the bigger picture is a key to growth. Just being angry with the individual or engaging him or her in a silly argument isn’t productive. Make it about the action and not the individual. Help that person see how the behavior impacts more than just the moment.

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 [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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