Adult ADHD: How To Improve Your Communication Skills (Therapy Necessary Too!)


It is a challenge to have ADHD especially when you’re an adult. You are considered lucky if the issue – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – was diagnosed early on and you’ve had therapy sessions. The problem will affect your life, that is, if you have been suffering from it without treatment.

ADHD in adults is quite common. About 4% of adults in the US have this condition, but only one-fifth of them are seeking the help they need. If you have ADHD, communicating with others is a difficulty. In therapy, you can learn how to cope with the symptoms and how to be socially healthy. “The very nature of ADHD implies that the child will have difficulty with self-control, paying attention, listening to instructions at home and school, and following directions.” Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC explains.


We all crave company and for others to understand us. With ADHD or none, we all want a special someone to make life more meaningful, but your condition can be a hindrance to that. So, if you’re going to learn how it is to be a “regular” adult, then follow these tips to prevent ADHD symptoms from ruining your chances of having a great romantic relationship.


Communicate face to face whenever possible. “Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes difficulties in many areas, with varying degrees of severity, most notably with social interaction and communication.” Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT said. Try to make eye contact or other nonverbal cues so that you can understand each other’s motives better. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. You have to say what you mean in a calm manner to avoid further communication issues.


Listen actively and don’t interrupt. This is for both the person with ADHD and his or her special someone. Repeat what your partner is saying internally or in your mind so that you’ll be able to follow what he or she is saying. The person with ADHD can sometimes speak so fast that the partner without ADHD won’t be able to grasp. You, with the ADHD, slow down. And you, without the ADHD, you have to tell your partner nicely if he or she is running with the words.


Ask questions. Asking questions will make your partner know that you’re listening to him or her. Again, you have to ask very politely. Smile, if you must. Communication is an effort. You have to make that effort if you want to stay in a relationship.


Request a repeat. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to repeat his or her words if you zoned out. This tip is for the ADHD adult.


Manage your emotions. Meditating can help you control your feelings and impulsiveness better (You! With the ADHD! Remember this.) It can help prevent outbursts and arguments.


Work Together As A Team


Having ADHD doesn’t mean your relationship is already unbalanced. Your relationship can still be healthy and secure even if one of you has ADHD as long as you work together. Help your ADHD partner in areas that are challenging for him or her. You have to assist each other instead of one person shouldering everything.


Divide the work and stick to them. Delegate the tasks according to your strengths.


Schedule weekly sit-downs. Have weekly talks to see how much you’ve improved.


Evaluate the division of labor. Make sure that your tasks are balanced and that no one is carrying all the load.


Delegate, outsource and automate. If there are tasks that you and your partner cannot do, try hiring someone, tasking it to your children, or using a machine.


Split up individual tasks, if necessary. If your ADHD partner finds difficulty in doing their duties, try to help them but don’t ultimately do it for them.


Create A Practical Plan


ADHD people aren’t good at planning, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help. The non-ADHD partner can create a schedule or routine for them to follow.


Analyze what the two of you fight about and solve them. If it’s about chores, a schedule and list can help. If it’s lateness, always have timers.


Helping Your ADHD Partner


Develop a routine. ADHD people do better with a method in place so this can help them do their tasks.

Set up visible reminders. Try leaving notes in the fridge or a reminder in your phone.

Control clutter. Cleaning up the clutter can help your ADHD partner be and feel more organized.

Ask the ADHD partner to repeat requests. Repeat what you two agreed to do to remind yourselves.


“When people think about attention deficit disorder (ADHD), they usually consider it a childhood problem. However, a large proportion — between 30 and 70 percent — of children with the condition remain affected throughout adulthood.” Ben Martin, Psy.D said. Fortunately, these tips are straightforward and practical. It can make your relationship loving and fruitful even with the occasional ADHD trigger episodes. This should be fun, though.

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