5 Common Mistakes to Avoid Around Someone with ADHD

Have you ever considered that the person sitting next to you, the one who might seem a bit disorganized or overly energetic, could be fighting a silent battle?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is more than just a label; it’s a daily reality for many, often misunderstood and overlooked even by those closest to them.

The ADHD Experience: More than Meets the Eye

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Having ADHD is a constant game of proving yourself, and begins a common narrative of someone living with ADHD. It’s not always visible, sometimes not even to the person who has it.

This disorder can be deceptive, making individuals believe they should be able to handle things that are innately challenging for them.

It’s not just about forgetting things or being hyperactive; ADHD shapes personalities, habits, and interactions with the world.

Impact of Others’ Perceptions & Expectations

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The real challenge often lies in how others perceive and react to those with ADHD.

Misunderstandings and misplaced expectations can lead to hurtful interactions and a feeling of alienation. The worst thing about it is that those around you can also forget you have ADHD, highlighting the importance of open conversations and understanding.

Common Mistakes: 1.) Not Offering Help When Needed

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People with ADHD might experience bursts of frantic productivity, dubbed “zoomies.” Instead of leaving them to manage alone, offering help, known as “body doubling,” can significantly boost their productivity and clarity of thought.

2. Avoid Calling Them Annoying

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This only reinforces negative self-perceptions. Instead, gently point out when they’re being distracting and offer support.

3. Don’t Just Tell Them to Be More Careful

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They’re likely already trying their hardest. Offer reassurance and assistance instead.

4. Avoid Making Them Feel Like a Burden

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This can be done through subtle actions and words. Encourage independence and participation in challenging activities, offering help when necessary.

5. Don’t Dismiss Their Thoughts as Nonsensical

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Their thought process might be different, but it’s coherent to them. Show curiosity and patience in understanding their perspective.

The Role of Empathy & Support

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Empathy and support from loved ones is very important. Understanding the unique challenges faced by those with ADHD and adapting our reactions and support accordingly can make a significant difference.

Engaging with the ADHD Community

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Sharing personal experiences invites readers to reflect on their interactions with people with ADHD. This isn’t about casting blame but about providing context and perspective to foster better understanding and support.

Embracing Empathy & Awareness

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In reflecting upon the experiences and challenges faced by individuals with ADHD, it becomes clear that empathy, patience, and a deeper understanding are key to fostering healthier and more supportive relationships.

Whether you recognize yourself in some of these common missteps or are navigating life with ADHD, this journey is about mutual growth and learning.

It’s an invitation for each of us to engage more thoughtfully, to communicate openly, and to embrace the diversity of our cognitive worlds. By doing so, we not only support those with ADHD but enrich our own perspectives, creating a more inclusive and empathetic community.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.