It’s Not Me, It’s You
One of the common problems that comes along with having ADHD is heightened emotional sensitivity. Whatever it is that we are feeling, be it happiness, anger, frustration, or any other emotion, we tend to have a more difficult time controlling, regulating and suppressing that feeling. It takes time and serious commitment to change reactive behaviours.
This week I found myself having to explain to someone that my constant frustration with a certain group of people was not some sort of psychological issue. I was able to reflect on why I had reacted towards a group of peers in such a negative and distancing manner. I won’t blame my ADHD for the way that I reacted because in doing so I would be saying that to react the way that I did was due to a disorder; what I truly believe is that my reaction was a result of being constantly targeted and harassed by a fellow classmate.
I thought about it for days and I reached the conclusion that anyone, ADHD or not, would eventually become upset with a person who was harassing them. This person was the official class gossiper and I made sure not to let her know anything about me other than my name. This lack of information bothered her and she spent 6 months of our time as classmates, gossiping about me and starting trouble on an almost daily basis.
I was ready to play the blame game and attribute my reactions to her as coming from my ADHD, but I realised that not everything we do stems from this disorder. If someone is doing certain things that bother you, it is normal to become frustrated. However, what is important is how you react towards the person frustrating you. Our reactions are where we have to pay close attention to ourselves so as not to overreact or say things that are intended to hurt others.
There’s no need to think your behaviour is always linked to ADD. Sometimes books and movies are boring, and we lose interest like any other person would. If there’s an occasion that calls for hootin’ and hollarin’ then go wild, it’s an appropriate time to do so; you aren’t being overactive. If your work schedule and duties involve a lot of multitasking then it would be expected that employees will eventually become overwhelmed; it’s not necessarily a result of your ADD.
I could give plenty of examples, but I think you get where I’m going with this. As a person with ADHD, it is totally o.k. if from time-to-time you have to say, “It’s not me, It’s you!” Of course I wouldn’t say it exactly like this to someone as this could make a bad situation worse. It’s important to be able to distinguish between ADHD being the cause of your problem or the environment being the issue.
Here is a great link to an article on how to deal with heightened emotions when you haveADHD.