Are You Ducking and Dodging the Connections You Need Most?
Feeling connected – to ourselves and to others – is key to living a life or purpose. Use these 13 tips to forge connections that will enrich your life.
Connecting with others is good for the ADHD brain.
All of us sink without enough human connection, no matter how unsinkable you may think you are. Still, many people don’t tap the power of connection as much as they should. They say they are too busy or uninterested. But the deeper, real reason some people avoid connection is that they fear it — and want to avoid getting hurt.
I say to them, take heart. Hearts heal.
13 Tips for Feeling Connected
#1. Make a point of having meals with your family.
Family dinners work wonders; they even improve SAT scores. After the pandemic, dine with other people you know as well. Introduce your children to people from out of town, or from another country. The more you do this, the more meals will turn into events that take on meaning beyond merely a chance to refuel.
#2. Keep up with at least two good friends regularly.
Make (and keep) a standing lunch date or a time reserved for a catch-up phone call every week. Soon you will look forward to this regular shot of love and familiarity.
#3. Reserve at least a half-hour of uninterrupted one-on-one time with your child every week.
Set no agenda. Do whatever your child wants as long as it’s safe, legal, and not too expensive. Child psychiatrist Peter Metz, M.D., says this “special time” works magic on a child’s sense of belonging and love.
#4. Clear yourself of pent-up resentment.
Practice forgiveness of others and of yourself. There is no one way to do this; you’ll find the way that works for you. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone the deed, just that you renounce the hold that anger has over you.
#5. Take a daily inventory of gratitude.
This sounds corny, but it feels good every time you do it. Whether you make a written or mental list, take inventory of what you’re grateful for and you’ll come away feeling lighter and more optimistic.
#6. Make a point of paying compliments.
This may feel awkward, but how much do you love it when someone notices and comments on something good about you? Give that kindness back and you will feel good, too!
#7. Engage in some kind of spiritual practice.
Whether as an individual or in a group, what you practice doesn’t have to be from an organized religion. Make sure to ask yourself the big questions that cover ideas, uncertainties, possibilities, and hopes.
#8. Go for a walk in nature, alone or with a friend.
#9. Never worry alone.
This one is key. Of course, choose with care the people with whom you worry. When you worry with the right person, it quickly turns into a chance to problem-solve and, sometimes, a chance to laugh — releasing your worries together.
#10. Minimize news consumption…
…if it tends to upset you or riles you up. If you feel more connected to the world through watching the news, however, don’t give it up!
#11. Give yourself credit.
Whatever you’re wrestling with, give yourself credit for working hard to be a better person. In other words, recognize your desire to improve.
#12. Connect with your personal vision of greatness.
Hold it in your consciousness every day as a guide and inspiration. One way to do this is to identify one living person you admire. Then allow that admiration to lift you up.
#13. Talk to non-related seniors about their lives.
When you meet the right senior, it will be like reading a great novel.
How to Connect with People: Next Steps
- Read: Feeling Antisocial? Alone? Both? 3 Common ADHD Friendship Challenges
- Download: Become a Small-Talk Superstar
- Read: 12 Ways to Build Strong ADHD Families
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