Strategies for Social Situations


"I've struggled in social settings my whole life. I inevitably get fidgety and nervous, which makes those around me feel anxious. What can I do to get better at this?"


Learn to understand your tolerance level. If you can listen to a boring story for only five minutes, have an excuse ready (i.e., bathroom, need to eat) to end the conversation. Gradually, increase your time limit. You may be able to comfortably attend a get-together for only an hour or two. Plan accordingly. If you pre-plan your escapes, you'll feel less tense and anxious to begin with, and your behavior will reflect this.

Many people use their medication only for workdays, leaving the social areas of their lives unsupported. But social relationships are as important to your quality of life as your career, and require as much focus. If you take medication during the week to reduce your distractibility and fidgeting, try continuing with it over the weekend.

Dr. Michele Novotni is an internationally recognized expert in the field of ADHD. She is the former president and CEO of the national Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), an inspiring speaker, best selling author, psychologist, coach and parent of a young adult with AD/HD. She is the author of Adult AD/HD and What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don't?.

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