How can I get my partner who has ADD to listen to me?

I think it's important for your attention deficit disorder (ADD) partner to learn to pay closer attention to you. In my book The Gift of Adult ADD, I offer many tips and tools for the ADD adult to begin to pay attention and listen to their romantic partners. For example I suggest "The five minute rule." ADD adults should begin to "build their listening muscles" by practicing listening without interruption to their romantic partner for 5 minutes each day. When they get good at that they can increase their "reps" or increase the amount of time they listen without interruption.

So that's one tool you can use to fix your ADD partner. But you also have to work on fixing yourself. For example, you can practice building your own capacity to tolerate disappointments without having to share each and every one with your romantic partner. Imagine yourself as a fierce ninja warrior who sees challenges as obstacles to be overcome with ferocious effort. If someone is threatening you in a work situation, or a friend is annoying you, or a tangential talker is ruining your book group, set yourself the challenge of facing the challenge yourself, toughening up and working toward problem solution or just tolerating the predictable ups and downs of life. Of course you want your ADD partner to practice listening, and if you practice facing down some of your own problems with daring and guts without sharing each and every turn with your partner you will find relief from your chronic sense of disappointment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.