Why do People with ADD and ADHD Have Trouble Taking Responsibility?

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having ADD and ADHD isn’t exactly a piece of cake. Those of us that deal with it have many daily struggles and challenges. So when we do something wrong or aren’t living up to our potential (a word I strongly dislike…much prefer ability), it slowly wears on the person with ADD/ADHD.

That being said, the unfortunate part of having ADD/ADHD is that we learn bad habits. One habit I see regularly are clients pawning his/her issues upon someone else. Why does this happen? Well, let’s go back to my first paragraph. We feel defeated on a regular basis. So when we can give our problem to someone else, it becomes one less worry for us.

We regularly find the family member, boss or teacher to blame for our failures. And why not? The less things we need to accept responsibility for the happier we become. When that particular person acts out, we feel even better. Seeing someone else take ownership of our problem and act out reinforces our detachment from it. It is amazing how many times I see clients and family members engaging in arguments over the smallest of things.

So as a loved one of a person with ADD/ADHD, what can you do? It starts with not engaging the person with ADD/ADHD in the argument. As I’ve discussed, a person with ADD/ADHD likes handing off his/her problems, so don’t accept it. When you’re blamed, just walk away. Once you engage in the argument, you lose. But if you hold the line, the ADD/ADHD will be more likely to take responsibility for his or her actions. Now I totally understand that this will not be easy, but it takes time and practice.

What if you have ADD/ADHD? I think there’s two things you should do. The first is write down the issue and journal about it. Be honest and see what your role is in the whole process. The other thing is to work with a qualified professional. You need someone fair and unbiased to help you see your role in things. A loved one is not the best source for this role. He or she is too involved in the game.

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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