Relationships with ADHD can be hard at the best of times… relationships with ADHD in lockdown takes the challenge to the next level. Now more than ever you have to put the oxygen mask on to ensure that your tank is full, particularly if you are the one in the relationship with ADHD.
And no, you are not being selfish by carving out and protecting time for yourself, you are promoting harmony in your home by creating space where it is lacking - space to pause before you react and space to employ what one of my doctor clients coins as the "Triple A" approach to relationships when things get “fired up”:
During an argument step into the other person's shoes and try to understand their point of view and why they are feeling aggrieved, acknowledge their needs and emotions and come from a place of understanding. This will go a long way towards putting out the fire...
Make the other person feel appreciated - express and feel gratitude for them and what they bring to you and the relationship (you may need to dig deep on this one in the moment - best to be pro-active and incorporate a daily gratitude practice in the mornings to help mitigate any future conflict!)
Recognise the good in them and in their actions to make them feel you aren’t on the attack (this helps defeat Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria which is the cause of so many of our conflicts - Dr Hallowell even has a phrase for this: "Recognition Responsive Euphoria" - use it often!)
If you feel affection you will most likely treat others with affection. More often than not, particularly in a conflict, we are feeling angry and ill-disposed towards the person we are arguing with and can't help but see them in a negative light.
No one wants to be seen this way, particularly rejection sensitive ADHDers. This will only prompt the fight/flight response. This will not resolve the conflict, if anything it will only escalate it. "Kill them with kindness" instead! Like putting a fire blanket over the fire, lay on the affection and soon the fire will be out...
Buddha couldn’t have put it any better:
This is why its so important to understand ADHD if you or your partner, spouse, child or really anyone you care about has ADHD.
I can help.
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