Do you have a hard time finding friends? - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support
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Do you have a hard time finding friends?


I have a hard time finding close friends. My last close friend died 3 years ago and since then I have no one to talk to or do anything with. I've never been one who meets and makes friends easily. I am really getting depressed not having anyone just to talk with. This site has been such a valuable resource for me. I just don't know where or how to find someone who can talk and do stuff with.. I tried to find an ADHD support group near me but I just have not found any.

18 Replies

Hello. I used to have the same problem. I spent years thinking that ADHD was a rare thing and that I may never meet someone like me. I never had many friends and often found myself feeling alone. It turns out I was very wrong. In high school, I learned that ADHD is actually very common and that people with ADHD actually have a harder time reading social cues, thus our difficulty making friends. I find it helpful to tell potential friends about my ADHD and the difficulties it creates. I was surprised many times when I told people I had ADHD and they responded with "Really? Me too!" or something along those lines.

Another related problem I still struggle with, one that I've noticed is common with ADHD, is a tendency to apologize a lot, even when I did nothing wrong. While apologizing for a mistake or wrong action is a good thing, over-apologizing can be a turn-off for potential friends. Someone once told me "Stop apologizing and start appreciating." In other words, thank someone for seeing you through instead of apologizing for things that are out of your control.

One thing to consider as that you have to be proactive to build friendships. This is hard for many of us because we are so often inattentive to anything outside the here and now. It takes work (planning and follow through), reading social cues (as happy_kitty mentioned) and, for the many of us that are shy, it may take leaving our comfort zones.

Once a friend is found, you must then maintain the relationship. One solution is to find an activity that you both enjoy and make a regular appointment (e.g. once a month). Ned Hallowell (of Driven to Distraction fame) talked about this in his podcast. He and his best friend have a monthly get together to play racket ball and have lunch. This reduces the executive function required greatly.

I think a lot of my problem is I am not around very many people. I have been out of work for about 3 years, I do work some merchandising jobs but nothing on a regular basis and the people I usually work with that I get along with don't live anywhere near me. I am shy, untill I get to know them. I am very ubeat and a positive person, I think a lot of my problem is just finding people. When my kids were young we were involved in sports, I had friends but not really close. My husband doesn't have any friends either he is a very private person and doesn't like anyone to know his business. And I think that plays a big art.

Another problem is that I don't want anyone to come over my house, bet you can't guess why. I have 3 parrots and some people from my community have mentioned they want to come see the birds but my house is a wreck.

I do have a few friends just no one very close that I can just call up and talk or go do things with. I think I need to find a way to meet people, but I have one big hurdle and that's money, I can't afford to go out to eat, bars or things like that. I looked for an ADHD support group and I can't find anything near me. I thought about starting a Meetup Group, but I don't know I want take on that, just another thing I need to keep up with. I'm trying really hard not to take on more responsibilities, Another project added to my other list of projects.

I have been looking at that book Driven to Distraction, I think there is an audio book, reading is not my strongest point#, unless I get hyperfocused. You all know how that is.

I appreciate all you comments and suggestions, you have all given me some ideas and tools to work with.

Don't give up looking for solutions. I've made friends, but I've also lost alot of them due to my emotional instability and tendency to take things on and then bail when I get overwhelmed. I've had alot of secret shame about not being able to keep a clean apt. I also get irritated easily thanks to the hyperactivity and hyperfocus. And years of rejection and silent (and not so silent) ridicule of raised eyebrows and exchanged looks between others and the blurting out of unfiltered comments due to being untreated make me more than little protective and hesitant. I go through the loneliness too. But we're made to be with people, not alone. Just realize it's going to be up to you to get out there and it's not going to be comfortable. Maybe find a group /meet-up that does activities you're interested in. I found new friends through networking for my business (now I'm back at a job) and it is their dedication to maintaining our friendship that keeps us in touch. I've done the "once a month" thing and it does really work, especially because people have families, etc. There's nothing wrong with visiting a church or other group simply to socialize - the key is to find one your beliefs can genuinely align with, even if it's not everything, and then VOLUNTEER. Get involved, take classes, etc. That will help others get to know you in a natural setting and vice versa. And there's nothing wrong with putting reminders in your phone to call your new friends just like you do for other things. Best wishes.

Azaleas6 in reply to lkrportland

WOW! I totally related to what you said and experience.

What a trip! I never thought someone else could feel like we do!

Thanks for sharing !

Have you looked for a chadd support group? What do you like to do for fun. Maybe you can sign up for a painting class or group tennis. Also online you may be able look for other group activities with local meet up. Let’s say you like to go to the bar for drinks and socializing, that groups eat up a time and place also hiking too. Or maybe you want to go on a trip like snowboarding they have that too. It’s a way for people with similar interests to meet doing the things they like to do

The few friends I do have all moved away years ago and I’m feeling lonely as well. It’s had for me to make real friends

My biggest obstacle is money. Employment has not been my friend so I don't have money do anything. I've looked in to chadd or other support groups for ADHD but the only thing I saw was got parents of children. I have tried Meetups in the past but I just couldn't find anyone to.. just hang out talk etc. I love the beach, it's my Happy Place! Seriously I take a picture every time I go and send it to my hubby. Off track but the beach is very good for people with ADHD. The white noise from the ocean, it really calm my mind down. Talk about hyperfocused I can walk the beach for hours and not realize it.

Sorry, what was I saying,. Oh... I have tried to find people to go to the beach, obviously not successful, it's like we will talk and about going to the beach and then it never happens.

My husband doesn't have any friends but I think that's because he doesn't like anyone know our business. But the strange thing is everyone loves him, I'm told all the time he is so nice, drives me crazy because I know the real person and he suffers from depression and lies to his doctor because nothing ever changes..AAgh shut up. Anyway my timer went off 5 mins ago. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I just very limited time around other people, I don't work at the same place or with same people all the time.

lkrportland in reply to Ibshopin

You sound really overwhelmed. Not having alot of money can be stressful, and cloud your thinking, casting a shadow over everything. I know when I'm stressed and overwhelmed it seems like NOTHING is going to WORK!! But it can. Nothing stays the same forever.

This is going to take some time, but it can happen. Have you tried any of the suggestions? If you are on "the system" why not try to get into a group therapy situation? You are likely to meet others with similar feelings and develop some wonderful relationships.

Just take teeny steps, change ONE thing in your routine or just work on keeping ONE room clean. Don't try to change it all at once, even though you want it all to change RIGHT NOW. Hang in there.

Ever since i got sober 5.5 years ago i too have found it very difficult to make friends. It’s getting lonely and harder recently . I could use suggestions as well!

Making friends is perhaps the toughest experience aside from motor skills as someone with ADHD. I've never had consistent friends all my life and it's a constant wish everyday that I could have a friend that understands me, especially since with ADHD it's a lot harder reading social cues and depending on living condition be hard to actually have social skills. I've recently learned that someone with ADHD needs social interactions to be able to adapt to any environment really. As someone who grew up sheltered it's actually difficult for me to understand or pick up on anything or at the very least slower to understand compared to most.

I don't know what it is but I find this constant fear in telling people of my ADHD, because I feel some of the side effects that have come with it are embarrassing, that someone who doesn't really understand how it works will not understand it at all. Thus you get very uncomfortable miscommunication, and I experience that a lot. I'm better at connecting with people with similar mindsets, connections or just common interests, and strangely enough they're all long distance. But even though I have found people in which I can talk to I do have a sense of being left out. I feel with ADHD you always feel out of place or you can never really read your friends in ways that you should or you feel behind while they constantly move on. It's a constant battle to want to be acknowledged while keeping consistency. However this comes from not being around many people, as anybody who's around people socializing will try and keep their connection as consistent as possible.

Nothing hurts worse than the consistent feel of loneliness. As I feel lonely everyday as I feel not only the chance to be notice passing by, but the world too. I feel lonely everyday, but have to constantly put on a happy or oblivious facade simply so I don't effect those around me, but really it gets to me a lot. Especially since most of my friends I've had a disconnect with, not because we didn't get along or because we weren't friends, but because a lack of interest/connection, plus my disconnect and lack of understanding compared to them leaves me at a crossroad that I can't get out of, so it's hard for me to open up or make any sort of common ground beyond miscommunication.

I mention consistent a lot, because it's really the main component that makes it hard to actually make/have friends. As a sense of disconnect will always be there in a way and your inherit flaws will stick out comparatively. At least that's how I've come to realize, and I don't get chances to socialize much mostly because my living condition leaves me unable to. I still wish for that one day though I do have that consistent connection.

i guess

Me either! I find people do not understand what I am saying sometimes. And they take it the wrong way, leave and stay away. Tell their friends and so it goes. I have one good friend, but she lives in CA. I try to go to different groups that sound good. ,helps a little. And people wonder why I talk so much at first

Most definitely. I have always had problems finding friends. I try to keep busy with volunteering, taking care of my dogs and other people's pets, and going to the gym. I found that volunteering at a place that cares about people has helped me meet other people, & help others . It helps me fill that void sometimes. I even found a friend where I volunteer at who also has ADHD.

Leo1865 in reply to LoveDogs71

I was volunteering at bird rescue, but I got a job that requires me to travel. I enjoyed it so much. I'm a giver, I will help you with anything if I can, give my shirt off my back type of person. So working at the rescue very rewarding. The only thing is I worked there for a year and after leaving there is only one person I talk to occasionally and she is half my age, and moved away.

I need someone to talk with, Would you like to chat with me And we can see if are personalities are compatible

Sure that would be great. Where are you from? I'm in North Carolina

Making consistent friends is still the biggest upset and challenge for me as someone with ADHD. It constantly feels like you're alone, even when surrounded by lots of people, everyone never sees the issues you go through or your never considered, even if it feels like you are for a certain amount of time. There's always a sense of being alone, even if you get along with other people. It also doesn't help with the lack of communication and all.

I'm usually just dismissed or not as considered because I'm the "less interesting" choice to talk to because of my hard time communicating with my ADHD.

Thankfully I did meet one person back in October of 2019 at a party and became good friends with him. I'm thankful for this because I was at the period where I had given up on making or wanting friends in general, friends where either interchangeable (and not by choice) convenience or didn't share a close bond of connection with and the only one I thought I did have drifted apart and I felt like I was used.

But upon meeting a new friend that day it's been a great feeling to have someone who calls me frequently and such. Even if I'm not completely open to wanting friends, I am thankful for the one I'm interacting with right now. I'm still struggling overall in terms of friends and don't know if I want any, but having one friend I've been talking to is certainly a nice feeling. It helps that we can relate to things as well.

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