Making and Keeping Professional Relationships?

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    • #193758

      I am moderately successful, 48, and feel like I have peaked in my career. I have shown ADHD symptoms, particularly those prevalent in females, since I was a child, but was not diagnosed. I used Strattera for several years, then was put on Adderall. I have since learned that both meds make my heart race, so I am off all ADHD meds.

      That being said, medication or no medication, I struggle building and maintaining relationships. I can relate to just about every article regarding ADHD and friendship- I need personal space, I forget staying in touch or special occasions, which leads to guilt and more guilt. I am trying to try to improve this in my personal life… find a hobby I would enjoy with others, for example.

      Another problem I have is building and maintaining professional relationships. I have worked in the the nonprofit sector my whole career, from working with kids and families to being executive director. I am now consulting with nonprofits and working on some creative projects. But, I have never been able to connect with other (non-coworker) professionals. And once I leave a job, I lose every connection. I have joined the Chamber of Commerce and gone to committee meetings and feel totally out of place. Bible study, professional networking events… I try to go and have fun and speak with people but none of those relationships last. It’s not that I don’t WANT these relationships. I do! I realize at 48 that having friendships and relationships are part of a happy, healthy life.

      I am working on improving things at the personal level, but I have no idea how to overcome my ADHD obstacles when it comes to the professional things. In the nonprofit sector you HAVE to build relationships to make a difference. As a consultant you HAVE to build relationships to stay in business. Working in my new venture, I HAVE to have connections. I have many more goals and ideas and talents to help people and communities, but without a network, I can’t do it. Have any of you overcome something like this?

    • #193782
      Penny Williams

      I’m sorry you’re struggling with this. Take a look at these articles and see if they have some nuggets of wisdom you can implement for better connections.

      The Art of Forming Adult Friendships: 8 Tips for the Lonely

      How to Make Friends as an Adult: A Guide for Women with ADHD

      We Need to Talk About How ADHD Affects Interpersonal Relationships

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #193808
      Dr. Eric

      This is probably my biggest disability at work caused by my ADHD. More so than my organizational challenges…

      I can do things correctly most of the time, but it only takes one social F-up (impulsive comment, condescending tone, not making someone feel listened to…), to burn a bridge or knock down a sandcastle that took forever to build.

      I have great relationships with former coworkers… mainly because they remember the good things that I brought to the table better when they are not constantly annoyed by my day-to-day negatives.

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