Health Guides: Help for Adult ADHD

Relationship Strategies

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Adult ADHD can strain your relationships. Symptoms such as inattention, impulsivity and inner restlessness can affect your interactions with others, making it seem like you're not listening or like you're not giving your full attention to the person you're with. These symptoms can also disrupt the running of your household, increasing stress and tension between you and your loved one.

Here are some tips on minimizing the way ADHD affects your relationships and building better connections:

Share those feelings. Unexpressed emotions can lead to frustration, acting out and misunderstandings. Check in with yourself throughout the day to acknowledge and feel your emotions. Owning up to negative emotions like anger and frustration helps defuse them. Reflect on your emotions and practice expressing them in a calm, healthy way.

Beef up your communication. ADHD symptoms can make it hard for you to communicate. Focus on active listening skills when someone else is speaking. Make eye contact to increase your focus. If your mind wanders, ask the other person to repeat what he or she said. Taking these steps will help the other person feel valued and help you absorb information.

Trade places. When you recognize the effect that what you say or do has on others, it helps foster a stronger bond. When communicating, put yourself in the other person's shoes and pay attention to his or her reactions. Increasing your awareness of how others feel can go a long way toward feeling connected.

Show your gratitude. You'll get along better with others when they feel appreciated. Look for opportunities to say "Thank you" or "I love you." And dole out extra hugs and pats on the back to show your appreciation.

Next: Tame stress to cope better . . .