An additional challenge for developing relationships for many with ADHD is our poor memories. What are the names of your best friend's three children? What schools are they going to? Where was it they last went on their vacation? Who is due to have a baby? And when? Being told these kinds of personal details and then not referring to them in future conversations presents a huge stumbling block to creating long-term relationships.
People want to feel they are important, that their activities and successes and failures are shared and valued by their friends. Friends who consistently say, "I don't remember that" or "I forgot you told me that." give the impression that they didn't care enough to remember.
In addition, people who avoid certain topics because they don't remember key information find it hard to build a long-term relationship. When you are unable to share memories and details of your times together, you give the impression that you are not truly interested in them and don't value their friendship.
Strategies for Poor Memory and Social Relationships
Unfortunately, a poor memory is not likely to go away—in fact, it will probably worsen as you age! Learn strategies to minimize the impact. Make notes on your friends--their likes and dislikes, their interests, their important relationships and activities--and review them before your next get-together. Subscribe to a service that will send birthday cards, etc. for you. You can set it up for the whole year at one time. When you learn the names of new neighbors, write them down and review occasionally. Prepare before meeting with someone you haven't seen for awhile. Ask about what you know is important to them and what is going on in their lives. Demonstrate that you remember important details of things they have told you.
ADHD Coaching can help you learn and practice the skills to compensate for a poor memory. Contact Cynthia now to set up a trial coaching session by calling her at 253-238-0729.