Reply To: ADHD and Higher Education: The Struggles of Living with ADHD

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Wow, you have given me a great gift with your post. I wasn’t entirely sure what Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria was so I looked it up. Interestingly enough it brought me back to this website and an article written by Dr. Dodson.

I fit so closely with this diagnosis that I literally had chills reading the article. The part where Dr. Dodson discusses being a people pleaser was revealing to me. I’ll post it here for other readers – Dr. Dodson writes: “They become people pleasers. They scan every person they meet to figure out what that person admires and praises. Then, that’s the false self they present. Often this becomes such a dominating goal that they forget what they actually wanted from their own lives. They are too busy making sure other people aren’t displeased with them.” I’ve had that internal discussion with myself my entire life. Decision making is not a strong area for people pleasers. People pleasing becomes so ingrained that making solid informed decisions (for oneself) is difficult. And since people pleasers rarely make decisions for themselves, they are at the mercy of the other person or persons. What’s more, the “muscle” people need to argue/discuss issues of everyday life is weak because we so rarely exercise it. People pleaser’s, almost by definition, are not good decision maker’s – which is frustrating in and of itself. Although I don’t want my way all the time (far from it), it would be nice to be on an even playing field in terms of decision making. I think this may be why I don’t associate with very many people – because inevitably I am odd man out – doing what everybody else wants to do. I’m reasonably social, but not a social animal by any stretch. When I engage in social activities (going out to eat, going to a movie, playing games, etc. etc.) the decision on what is done is rarely something I’ve suggested. It feels like the group is conspiring against me. It literally does. I’ve been in a piss-poor mood on a number of occasions in social settings and nobody can quite figure it out. I’m not sure I exactly realized it at the time. I can go along for days, weeks and even months on some things, but eventually I’ll crack and get my point across (sadly) in the only manner I really know how which is to blow a gasket. Which is extremely counterproductive in any sense of the word. People are aghast as they say, “I just said one little thing and you blew up at me”. Well, it’s not just one little thing, it’s the culmination of lots of little things and the frustration that lies therein – brewing.

I’ve always been a fighter and have always loved to learn (though difficult by traditional standards), and I will continue the pursuit of finding a better solution for myself and through posts like this, hopefully, help others too. If it were blood pressure, it would be easy, but since this condition is one size fits one, the process is a bit more difficult.