Adults with ADHD: Do You Need an Attitude Adjustment?

By: Jennifer Koretsky

Copyright (c) 2008 Jennifer Koretsky

I hate to say it, but a lot of adults with AD/HD have an attitude problem. Many of us are negative thinkers with low self-esteem.

It's understandable; life with AD/HD can have us feeling bad for being so "different" from everyone else. And we feel worse when we try to improve our lives using the wrong systems.

Mainstream advice doesn't account for the unique wiring of AD/HD brains, and when this advice fails, we feel like we've failed. It chips away at our self-esteem.

As a result, many people with AD/HD grow up to be BMWspeople who constantly B*tch, Moan, and Whine! This is one of the reasons that adults with AD/HD often have trouble making new friends and maintaining relationships. It's also why so many of us struggle to get along with our family members, coworkers, and neighbors.

No one likes to hang out with a BMW. Their constant brooding, complaining, and finding fault can quickly bring a happy person down or zap that person's energy. Simply put, BMWs are a drag!

If you are a BMW, then don't fret. With a little work, you can adjust your attitude and improve your social skills.

Here are three practical things you can do right away to overcome being a BMW.

1. Accept compliments with grace and gratitudeeven if you don't agree with them.

If you're a BMW, then chances are that your self-esteem can use a pick-me-up. Accepting the compliments that are paid to you will go a long way in helping you feel better about yourself.

You'll find that most people genuinely mean what they say. If your friend says she likes your haircut, believe it! If you argue with her compliment by disagreeing and saying something like "This is the worst haircut I've ever had!", then you're essentially telling your friend that her opinion is wrong.

2. Avoid putting yourself down in front of others.

People often view self-deprecation as "fishing for compliments" and feel a responsibility to lift you up and make you feel better. After a while, this becomes annoying, and you can easily lose friends who might view you as high maintenance.

There's a big difference between expressing your challenges, and putting yourself down for them. It's perfectly okay to say "I would have liked to have the house cleaned up by the time you got here, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time." In contrast, a BMW might say something like "I'm such a slob! My house is always a mess and no matter what I do I can never get it together!"

3. Surround yourself with positive, happy people.

One of the easiest ways to adjust your attitude is to surround yourself with people worth emulating. When you choose to spend time with other BMWs, you're choosing to be a BMW.

Make a concerted effort to ditch the BMW within, and then invite a pleasant coworker to join you for coffee, take a walk with a friendly neighbor, or reconnect with a supportive friend. You'll absorb the positive energy of these good influences. And positive, happy people will be much more understanding when you do find yourself running late for lunch or forgetting a birthday!

When you adjust your attitude by increasing your self-esteem and adopting a more positive perspective, you'll find that you have an easier time creating and maintaining social connections. People will enjoy spending time with the real you, and you'll feel better about yourselfFeature Articles, too!

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