The older we get, the harder it is to make and maintain new friendships. Gone are the simple days of bonding over Barbies at recess. With so many adult responsibilities and distractions, it’s much harder to forge new friendships than it was when we were kids. Making and maintaining friendships can be particularly challenging for those with ADD or ADHD.
Managing the daily stresses of adulthood can already be difficult and throwing new relationships into the mix doesn’t make it any easier. However, there is no reason to give up on new friendships if you’re living with adult ADD/ADHD. Follow these simple tips and you’ll see your circle of friends expanding in no time.
Join A Club
Many adults, whether they have ADD/ADHD or not, struggle to find places to make new friends. Now that we’re out of school, we no longer have a built-in friendship-infrastructure and many people wonder where to begin expanding their social networks. Joining a club like a book club at the local library, or signing up for a sport like doubles tennis at the local community center is an easy way to meet new people who share your interests. Plus, you’ll be combining your socializing with some important self-care time exploring your own interests.
Keep A Friend Journal
Many people with ADD/ADHD find it helpful to keep a friend journal where they document how long it has been since they last connected with a particular person. Remembering to keep in touch with friends regularly can be particularly difficult for folks with ADD, so a friend journal serves as a reminder to main those relationships.
Schedule Friendship Time
It’s easy for anyone with a busy adult life to let friendship time slide away in favor of more nagging priorities. This is especially problematic for those with ADD because they already struggle with managing distractions and priorities. Try setting aside an hour each week to catch up on emails and phone calls with friends and keep that time protected from encroaching distractions.
Being able to do two things at once is a strength of people with ADD. Take advantage of that strength and phone a friend while you’re folding laundry or commuting to work. Once you get in the habit, you’ll find it easy to incorporate friendship time into your everyday routine.
Take The Pressure Off
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that time with friends requires a lot of effort, planning, or organization. Think of ways incorporate friendships into your regular schedule. For example, ask a neighbor to join you on your weekly grocery shop, or invite a friend to come along on your regular trips to the gym. Even grabbing a quick half-hour coffee with a friend after work can help strengthen those bonds.
There is absolutely no reason why living with adult ADD/ADHD should negatively impact your social life. Making and maintaining new friends requires effort and commitment from everyone. With these simple tips, you’ll soon find yourself blossoming into a social butterfly.
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