August 8, 2019 at 11:28 pm #124734MJ1981Participant
So I’m a 37 year old adult male who has been living with ADHD since I was in elementary school. I’ve always sort of struggled socially; I only have two people I’d considered close friends. They are both girls close to my age. But neither have ADHD so it can create conflict at times. I never had friends in grade school and only a few in college, but those friendships were rife with conflict as I struggled with social cues and appropriate behavior. I sought out attention through negative behaviors and routinely tried to impress and befriend people who had no interest in my friendship. I often mistreated the people who were being nice to me in favor of trying to “fit in.”
My social life improved somewhat with the invention of social media, especially facebook as it allowed me to reach out w/out having to put myself out there in person. I maintain contact with more people now than I ever did before. But here’s the problem, I sent a lot of friend requests and anytime it gets rejected it sends me into a spiral of self-hatred and anger, and it reminds me of all those horrible times in high school when I was lonely and being bullied. This has become a more frequent issue lately as I have constantly been rejected socially by my co-workers. It seems to just destroy me and it makes it difficult to go into work with these people I thought were my friends when they won’t accept my friend request. I know part of the problem is that I’m 37 and most of my co-workers are either in their early 20’s or in their mid-60’s so I have very little in common with them. I always feel isolated at work and excluded socially. I always eat lunch alone and despite attempts to become friends I’ve had no luck.
Any tips on how to fix this and make friends at work and stop the cycle of pain I get from reaching out and being rejected?
August 9, 2019 at 11:35 am #124758Penny WilliamsKeymaster
There are many people who want to keep their work life and personal life separate. For that reason, they’ll often reject the social media requests of co-workers. In that case, it’s not personal.
I think it’s harder to become friends with people you work with. You have the extra dynamic of the hierarchy at work that can make social interaction outside of work very awkward. I would strive for friendly interactions at work, but not necessarily look to make those people friends outside of work. And don’t take a rejection of something more personally (I know that’s easier said than done).
Rejection sensitive dysphoria could be magnifying this for you as well:
This article may help too:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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