Reply To: I feel like I am being excluded at work

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I know from first-hand experience that sometimes co-workers can be extremely toxic and play games. Avoid these people. Avoid gossiping people and never get sucked into that mindset. As people with ADHD we know what it is like to be misunderstood. A true friend would tell you if you did/do something that is rude.

My last work environment wasn’t good. It was very toxic and I had no idea who I could trust because the other teachers would not hesitate to stab you in the back or report you to administration for stupid things, and the bad part was that the administrators actually perpetuated this behavior themselves. In that environment, I got to where I hid out and didn’t socialize because I couldn’t trust anyone. I’ve worked at my current district for going on three years, and it has mostly been the opposite from what I endured before. Most everyone has been friendly toward me, even the colleagues in question here, which is why I am confused as to why they acted like I was the “third wheel,” so to speak. I try so hard to get along with everyone and fit in (without falling victim to the gossipy mindset because I absolutely HATE that crap).

I’m working on improving social interactions, and it’s so hard. I constantly am on high alert to make sure to filter what I say and to behave appropriately. I am generally friendly to others, but on the inside, I’m an anxious mess because I’m constantly monitoring myself and monitoring others. There is a person in the group who I do get along with pretty well and I believe she would be honest with me if I ask her if I did something wrong.

Embrace yourself for who you are. I promise there are things that make you a great friend even if others can’t see them.

Thank you for the reassurance. Sometimes when things like this happen, it is so hard not to let myself fall down the rabbit hole of thinking that I’m not worth being friends with. Socially, I’ve always had a hard time fitting in. I’ve always been the circle peg trying to fit into a square hole, and the friends I have right now are aware of my diagnosis and how difficult social interaction is for me because of it. I think that for them, having an actual reason for why I am the way that I am and the fact that I honestly can’t help it helps them see past my flaws. Right now, I have been trying to focus my attention on the friends that I DO have at work and outside of work to keep me positive.