How to Make Friends: Advice for Women with ADHD
“Many middle-aged women with ADHD report that they aren’t able to make friends after moving to a new community.” — Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.
Women with ADHD seldom make friends easily. We may come off as too loud and brash, too distracted and forgetful, or too inconsistent and overwhelmed. With each sting of rejection or exclusion, we become less and less likely to pursue new friendships, especially after moving to a new community.
Here’s the irony: In our individual loneliness, we are connected. Below, read about the silent struggles of other women with ADHD, and learn how members of ADDitude’s Facebook community learned how to make new friends after a big move — or no move at all.
“When you find another mom with ADHD, it’s like finding a unicorn. I have one ‘mom friend’ with ADHD and she’s awesome.” — Jessa
“I just moved to a 55+ community with so many activities. They say it’s harder as one gets older, and then add ADHD to the mix. I’m a hermit, and I shouldn’t be.” — Susan
“Three things helped me meet friends: volunteering as a room mother in preschool, library volunteering in elementary school, and joining Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Joining DAR was key to making long-lasting friendships outside my kids’ circles.” — Pam
“I have met lots of other moms since moving back to my hometown, but it seems I either overshare, overwhelm, or appear too needy.” — Amy
“It took me more than 10 years to make friends here. I got married, moved, had a baby, and was very isolated for the first few years. I was young and didn’t have any ‘mom friends’ or anything in common with most other moms I met. I’m also an introvert and neurodivergent. I suggest getting involved in your community in some way and in hobbies that interest you so you can find people with whom you have something in common.” — Sarah
“I moved back to the States after living abroad for 15 years. I have been here for almost seven years, and I still don’t feel I have found true close friends. At times, I have felt that someone could be a friend to me, but then I never heard from them again. I have learned so much about being ADHD and at times it just feels so lonely.” — Courtney
“It’s scary, but you have to join organizations. We moved four years ago, and I am just now finding a social outlet. Admittedly, it’s terrifying, but you have to take a risk.” — Helen
“Our family emigrated and I’ve struggled for three years to make friends.” — Lieselle
“If you don’t have an outside interest or job that puts you in a place where you’re exposed to people, it can be challenging to meet and make new friends.” — Jo Ann
“I haven’t had friends since high school. I’m 64… My husband and I regularly attend church and I used to get involved hoping to make friends by working together, but to no avail. Thankfully, my husband is my best friend and enjoys being with me. He understands my depression and ADD.” — Kathy
“It has as much to do with [other people] as it does with us. They have established relationships, families, and little time to extend themselves emotionally.” — Sharon
“I have struggled with this my entire life (60 years).” — Jamie
Read more comments in the ADDitude Facebook Group for Adults with ADHD.
How to Make Friends as a Women with ADHD: Next Steps
- Get: The ADDitude Newsletter for Women
- Read: ADHD and Social Isolation — Why Women with ADD Feel So Alone
- Read: The Art of Forming Adult Friendships — 8 Tips for the Lonely
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