May 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm #89626
AnonymousInactiveMay 22, 2011 at 8:00 pmPost count: 14413
i am a fellow adder. got diagnosed about 5 months back. in addition to add it looks i have anxiety and depression (possibly caused by having to deal with add) from long time… i am on adrall and wellbuertin and it does help me a lot to get through daily tasks w/o much problems…and it also helps me to self-observe closely which i never was able to do before..
i have very horrible social skills… in fact i have zero friends that i maintain contact with.. now i dont have a problem talking to ppl when i see them and having a good conversation but i dont i mean never take it to next level.. with anyone.. looks like growing up i missed learning this and how to make friends..
my question to you guys is… is there any one that have same problems. can you guys suggest any methods you have used to improve social skills.. i also can see now that i am very bad with non-verbal communication and i mostly take words/conversations literally…are there any resources that help with that ? any inputs will be helpful…REPORT ABUSEMay 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm #104374
AnonymousInactiveMay 22, 2011 at 8:58 pmPost count: 14413
Same story with me, growing up. My mom was really good at small talk and I paid attention in later years to how she would do it. She was going for cancer treatments and she would always see a new person who was shy and withdrawn. She’d go right up to them and ask their name, etc. She told me that she knew what it felt like to be ignored and feel awkward in a new situation, so she tried to make them feel better.
In contrast, growing up, our family was pretty non-communicative.
For me, I started talking to anyone I met when doing errands, like taking parcels to the post office (I see one or two people there every day), or the grocery store, or someone I bump into by accident in a store (I remark on how I don’t have a driver’s license for my shopping cart, or how the stores always manage to make the aisles so narrow). People you engage with, not necessary going up to start a conversation but once you’re there, remarking on something that happens or asking them how they like working there, or something to get a brief conversation going. Then wish them a good day when you leave! It will leave both of you feeling good.
And it’s always good to ask people a question that is about them, not you and then shut up and listen. People love to talk about themselves. They’ll reveal something and then you can ask another question to keep the conversation going. If it’s relevant, you can relate something about yourself, but don’t make the interchange about you, make it about them.
Another technique with someone you might feel awkward about approaching for a conversation is to learn and practice lovingkindness meditation. Sharon Salzberg has a very good non-denominational book about this and you can also look this up on the internet. You don’t have to practice Buddhism or any other ism to do it! Although you send the lovingkindness out to others, you are really preparing your own heart to open to others at the same time.
Think of things you enjoy doing, join a club or a social outing. If you like photography, for example, there are meetup groups full of photo geeks (I’m one of them) who find social interaction awkward unless it’s behind a camera lens. We have some good times after our photo shoots, and it’s also a great way to meet new people and learn how to use a camera if you don’t know how (someone will help you).
None of this will make you any close friends in a hurry, but it will definitely help develop social skills.
Maybe type “the art of small talk” into google and see what comes up, maybe you can borrow a book or CD from your local library.
Those are some of the things that have worked for me. I’m a lot more comfortable in one-to-one situations now, and I’m always conscious of making an effort to be more sociable with people.REPORT ABUSEMay 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm #104375
AnonymousInactiveMay 22, 2011 at 10:27 pmPost count: 14413
damnyoud, I think I do all right with the small talk, but like you, I take things literally. If someone says something out of anger, they may foget it when they cool off, but I will remember it forever. I can’t tell when people are lying or exagerating. I am just puzzled and I try to make sense of things that just can’t be. I wish I had more ADD friends – I really think that ADDer’s are easier to deal with.REPORT ABUSEMay 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm #104376
AnonymousInactiveMay 22, 2011 at 11:19 pmPost count: 14413
“… ADDer’s are easier to deal with.” We’re more interesting, that’s for sure!REPORT ABUSEMay 23, 2011 at 4:39 am #104377
Shadow NexusMemberMay 23, 2011 at 4:39 amPost count: 181
I had almost no friends when I was young. I started online after High School and my social skills slowly improved over time. You can just hangout with a group of people in person, not say anything and you’ll pick up a lot. Only talk when you feel comfortable doing so. Also, I really can’t chat well with normals. An ADHD person is only person who can keep up with me.REPORT ABUSEMay 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm #104378
AnonymousInactiveMay 23, 2011 at 5:22 pmPost count: 14413
Hi there damnyoud………..many folks on this site have social issues, then there are others like myself who don’t. My two children are both ADD, one who is not socially gifted, the other is to the extreme, like me??? There is no rhyme or reason to it, it seems. My partner who is not an Adder is not a social person at all…..but is an “adult child” from an alcoholic home…..so, read into that what you will???
I will share my social persona with you…it’s not difficult but like any skill (and it is) it takes commitment and practice before it becomes natural and flows easily. This works in any environment from the Board Room to the bar. It is based on the concept of “Active Listening”…. I have personally used it when speaking to both the Corporate Executive and the waitress in the restaurants I frequent…it works!!!!
When joining a group already in discussion STOP. Listen, to catch what the group is discussing, get a feel for the gist of where the conversation is going…what position people are taking…but Wait……..wait……and smile (a little) it’s an “approachable” signal……90% of communication is non-verbal!!!!
Relax……tension is visible and a turn off….try remember none of these people actually is focused on YOU at all….they are are just hangin’….that is a fact!!! While you are ‘Waiting”…… there are other tools you can use BEFORE you speak. A Nod from time to time is an acknowledgement, it is a form of conversational engagement, without speaking (non-verbal). A chuckle at a bit of humor, or a simple “Sure”, acknowledges the speaker or the conversational concept. There, your in a conversation and active too!!!. A real good thought is not to linger too too long in a group (it can get uncomfortable) move on to another group or drift off by your self for a bit…you can re-engage later. Sounds dumb???? It works. Remaining slightly aloof is intriguing to others.
I generally tend to LISTEN a lot, and ask people about themselves, or what they do…. especially in smaller groups, or one on one conversations. People are most comfortable talking about themselves, it shows interest on my part, it is conversationally endearing to others. Simple statements like…. “wow that’s interesting”, or “how long have you been doing that”….simple simple questions that encourage others to speak. Folks will be drawn to speak to/with you. If they ask about you….keep it short, down play it, and turn it back to them. I never, never argue or contradict…….I have no need to do that, it is not a great conversational quality. Now…if you get the impression I’m superficial or a wimpy dork……forget it!!!! I am the most controversial bastard on the planet…you wanna fight I’m your boy…. but……I pick my places and battles, a social setting for me is not appropriate. I keep my lofty ideas to myself, keep them for a safe setting where it’s more appropriate.
These concepts may sound simple or shallow but I ask, how is what your doing working so far??? These conversational tools are actually set out in many managerial courses and some are part of negotiating skills, but, they work in many situations. It does take time to build them into your persona, to where they are not mechanical. At first they may seem forced but practice and diligence will turn them softer and more natural.
I talk to everybody too, EVERYBODY……. the clerk in the store, the waiter, the teller at the bank. Short stuff ‘Hey how are Ya’….how’s it going and a smile. simple chatter, one two words, short……..people like it, it makes their job and their day go better. If I was a clerk in a store I would sooner assist somebody who was openly friendly than somebody who was the opposite!!! People you see frequently will remember you and even start to chat you up, once they get comfy with you??? Worst case you will end up with great service in places you frequent!!!! Service and relationships other don’t get!!!! Cool eh???
That’s the sort version….it does work, it does take time to cultivate. The human interaction is worth it!
toofatREPORT ABUSEMay 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm #104379
sdwaParticipantMay 23, 2011 at 8:17 pmPost count: 363
Thanks for those tips, Toofat.
I’m pretty bad at social interactions because I tend to become extremely tense – not because I’m shy, but because I get overwhelmed by all the information flying around the room – everything from clothing and the values and lifestyle choices they reflect, to facial expressions, social status, body language – the visuals are too loud, and the noise is even louder.
My biggest problem is those “lofty opinions” of which you speak. Gads, I have them. It’s hard to keep my mouth shut, particularly if I’m having a spasm of self-righteousness. So kudos to you if you can keep that stuff under wraps. In my book, that’s an achievement.
I can do the give-and-take, but I never know how to leave or end a conversation without being rude. How do you get away gracefully?
The other thing that throws me are chit-chat type interactions that are not meant to communicate anything meaningful but are just to “make nice” with others. The kind of exchange where no one says anything substantive, ever. Where it’s okay to talk about the weather, non-controversial events like parades and concerts, bargain-hunting at yard sales, sports, kids’ activities, recipes, and maybe movies or TV – the safe and superficial. How do you feign interest and follow the discussion while bored out of your mind?REPORT ABUSEMay 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm #104380
shutterbug55ParticipantMay 23, 2011 at 9:10 pmPost count: 430
I don’t have any real friends either. I am pretty much of a loner. Growing up, it was by choice, because I got picked on at school. Mostly, the kids picked on me because I was so stupid, and I was always daydreaming. I used to get beat up a lot, and bullied because I was an easy target. By the time I was in high school, the beatings stopped because I got bigger, but the harassment never slowed down. I raised not being seen to an art form.
To this day, I feel very uncomfortable around people, and a lot of that has transferred to my agoraphobia. I am OK in my house, I am less so in my yard, and if anyone visits me, I go do a very thorough cleaning almost purging of this person’s presence from my house.
I am trying to get some of my stories published (I would welcome any ideas on how to do this). These stories are mostly a product of my daydreaming and “what if” ideas.
My work is the same way. I am the odd man out, and I am always the first one to be let go. Being a contractor keeps me moving, so I don’t really make friends.REPORT ABUSEMay 24, 2011 at 1:43 am #104381
AnonymousInactiveMay 24, 2011 at 1:43 amPost count: 14413
Well Sdwa……intense, bombarded by information….”the world is too much with us” (Wordsworth right)??? Anyway..here is where I’m at with that…..remember, this is just me, I can’t speak for anybody else or pretend to know what is “right” or right for anybody else….I don’t assume to have the power to judge. It’s not my place to do so.
What I can share is……clothing, values, lifestyle choices…..hmmmm….. they don’t hold any real significance for me. I can’t tell you or anybody else whether that’s right or wrong….again not my place. I would have to make some sort judgement based maybe on some sort of invented criteria…I guess?? What I have found is those things you mentioned are simply trappings, and that the people behind them can be as varied as one can imagine. It’s because of that, that for me, people are endlessly fascinating, all sorts of people with all sorts of views both complimentary and conflicting…..same goes with lifestyle. I actually worked at a degree in Psych most of my adult life both before and during my career, so maybe that explains that maybe??
Uncomfortableness…interesting. I have found that …hmmmmm….uncomfortableness (let’s say in social situations) for instance, is internal. If I am uncomfortable, there are actually feelings or emotions driving that uncomfortableness…. they are an emotion set I have chosen in that instant, for that situation. Quite often those feelings may be initiated by my fight or flight reactions set. I know I’m going to get my ass kicked for that but, for me……it is true. Those feelings are not my fault but…… are my responsibility, there is a huge difference. If I hold myself accountable for my feelings or emotions, I find I can start to work within that framework. If I deny accountability, then I must accept the idea that my feelings and my emotions are the responsibility, or property of others???? Here is what I know…..I know full well that my feelings and responses are mine and mine alone….I chose them, always, for better or worse.
If I chose a feeling or emotion set, they are based on my perceptions, I know that too. If indeed my perception is my reality, and it does not serve me well, then I can work at understanding my perception fault or distortion that is serving me distress, over and over again. I can work to understand why I have such as stranglehold on that faulty perception, and once understood, I can indeed work to change it. After all… I created it in the first place, therefore, I can change it!!! I may need help with that process. It may take a great deal of time (years) and effort, because I have used (relied on) it for years, but, as I indicated earlier, to spend the rest of my life giving up to the distorted perception, and giving in to the discomfort, or that which does not serve me well….. may actually be more difficult??? No????
Blah blah blah…I know…I get talky, but, that’s just me!!!
toofatREPORT ABUSEMay 24, 2011 at 4:57 am #104382
sdwaParticipantMay 24, 2011 at 4:57 amPost count: 363
shutterbug55: This link may interest you: http://LineZero.org – they are accepting fiction submissions with deadline June 15
Have you ever tried National Novel Writing Month?
I feel the same way about other people’s energy getting on me. It’s like my clothing absorbs it, and it gets into my hair. I always want to shower after I’ve been out around people. I prefer being home, also. Not afraid to go out, but just prefer to stay where it’s quiet and there is privacy.
toofat – I think I understand what you’re saying, and was thinking earlier about how I used to be more angry and misanthropic, probably because I didn’t fit in – but now that I know I have ADD, that has given me a different perspective on the struggles I experience daily, and I don’t bear other people ill will because of those struggles. I probably do judge people by the way they look, because possessions represent values due to their associations – which don’t come from me but come from the culture. And people know this – that is why there is such a thing as “dress for success,” and lawyers tell their clients what to wear in court. That’s why there is image consulting. But that’s not really what I’m talking about with the overload stuff. I’m talking about a physical reaction against too much activity & commotion. I get overstimulated and exhausted when I’m in group situations, and that tends to overshadow my sense of who I am in those environments. There’s just too much going on. I don’t think that’s a psychology thing, I think it’s a brain thing. Other people might treat it like an emotional issue, but I think I’m just hard-wired that way.REPORT ABUSEMay 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm #104383
AnonymousInactiveMay 24, 2011 at 11:51 pmPost count: 14413
Hi again Swda………always an interesting concept…the “nature…vs…nurture thing”? I’m not sure exactly how to determine that…. without significant investigation??? Investigation under professional tutelage maybe??? It might bear investigation? What could the risk be….what could the the benefit look like??
I hear you though Sdwa….. ……I do!!
toofatREPORT ABUSEMay 26, 2011 at 5:34 am #104384
AnonymousInactiveMay 26, 2011 at 5:34 amPost count: 14413
Ask people about themselves and listen to them, lovingkindness meditation, art of small talk, look out for social interactions..
I wonder why no_dopamine? you dont like or stop talking after you got better?
yea, not able to tell ppl are lying or exaggerating..thats exactly what i meant when i said non-verbal communication.. thats a big one and affects my social interactions because i never know where they are coming from..ppl make fun often of this for me.. i am starting to think we need to learn by example on these..
hangout with group of ppl is good idea but those situations make me anxious and i say stupid and blurt out things if i sit calm for long time..now its better with medicaton so i am trying to get back to my friends group i had before
i am at a point where i recently knew add and acknowledging these problems and now looking out solutions or ways to cope with them…
Active Listening, STOP, LISTEN.. good points..
I never, never argue or contradict..thats me too!!!
i think thats because we are too focused on ourself in conversations and other thing is being perfect..thats a biggie…i think we dont say anything unless we know it’s perfect and we know that others would not reject it or laugh about it…i say to myself that i dont need to be perfect always and get over it now.. that helps me…
yea, if i go to a shopping store w/o knowing what i want to buy i get tired in 10 mins and need to get out…
How do you get away gracefully?
i think one point i learned is if others are starting to look away and not directly at you then that means its time to leave.. and i usually try to leave a conversation early if its trivial and i dont have much to say but if the other person continues to talk then i will stay until hes done…
How do you feign interest and follow the discussion while bored out of your mind?
hahahha..so true..i cannot keep that emotion hidden…
easy target..hmm.. maybe some add support groups help for you..you sound like u gave up..pls look at other posts and they gave lot of support and positive points that i can work on and see if they work or not…
your school days over so forget those and being odd man out at work is a bit like me but i am starting to accept that.. one thing i do is get the task done correctly and not worry much about the noise around..
overstimulated and exhausted when I’m in group situations, and that tends to overshadow my sense of who I am in those environments.
this is the problem that lead me to avoid friends altogether…. i think one solution is get away from that briefly and then come back to join group.. say go out to smoke or restroom.. or see a tv/movie thats going on…something like that
Thanks for great inputs… this is my first post and i already benefiting here and you guys are talking my langauge… happy for that!!REPORT ABUSEMay 27, 2011 at 3:49 am #104385
AnonymousInactiveMay 27, 2011 at 3:49 amPost count: 14413
Hey good to hear from you again Damyoud!! Agreed….this is a great group, a soft place to fall, or come for assistance, or just chat. Glad your on-board…….!!!!
toofatREPORT ABUSEMay 27, 2011 at 9:54 am #104386
AnonymousInactiveMay 27, 2011 at 9:54 amPost count: 14413
Examples of my poor social skills. Interrupting. A lot. Because I won’t remember what I want to say if I wait. I get loud. I don’t seem to have volume control when I get excited. Other times I don’t talk much because I am too distracted. I hate chit chat because it seems to have no purpose. Why would I want to discuss the obvious, like the weather outside?! I bump into someone at the shops, they ask me how I am, I respond, they ask me something else, I respond, we say goodbye and as I walk away I realise I didn’t ask them anything about themself. Ooops. And I don’t remember enough about a person to chat either. I hear others ask “so how’s the new job going?” (they have a new job?!! I think), or “is your son feeling better” (I didn’t even know he was sick, I think). And so it goes. I lose contact with friends easily because I forget to keep in contact.REPORT ABUSEMay 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm #104387
AnonymousInactiveMay 27, 2011 at 2:51 pmPost count: 14413
Hi KK……your post appears rhetorical….yes??? Just clarifying…..”curiosity and the cat”, right?
add and social skills2011-05-22T20:00:19+00:00
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