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How to Tap the Brakes on Runaway Emotions

Runaway emotions cause more than drama. They undermine relationships, sap motivation, and lead to regretful actions. Here, learn everyday strategies for keeping ADHD emotions from boiling over by better managing your brain.

2 Comments: How to Tap the Brakes on Runaway Emotions

  1. This is a good one that I need to save. Amazingly, I’m good at attracting people who have issues. They are very nice people, but they have such screwed up relationships (they don’t have ADHD) and I seem to be the one who gets to hear all about it. I find myself getting more upset and emotional over their situations than they are! Then, I’m upset because they always end excusing things, while I’m thinking YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THERE!

    I get upset because I’ve really struggled. Of course I’m far from perfect, but I have never given up. I’ve gotten therapy, I take medication and I after two awful marriages, I have a really good one (over 30 years). THEN my friends contact me to complain and I don’t know who I’m more upset with: them or the person they’re involved with. I just got done listening to the latest and it was only a week ago that I heard from another friend.

    I’m mostly just venting because I know there is nothing I can do. But why am I the one who has the “mental” issues, and I’ve worked so hard to manage my life, but I still attract (or am attracted to) people with problems?

    1. As an adult dealing with similar issues, i think that adhd traits are having a strong impact on your experiences and reflections of the scenarios you describe. Therefore I also feel you can ‘do something about it’.

      It’s natural to want to problem solve, and I find adhd makes that urge impossible to resist. When your friends call and describe their troubles, it may feel like it drives you crazy wanting to be able to fix things that they themselves can’t or won’t do. (I always ask very detailed and specific questions about my friends problems. I want more and more details to build a picture. A very empassioned one).
      You are right that you can’t do anything about that. In fact I’m pretty sure your friends never wanted you to come up with a solution to their problems or to feel so strongly.

      . It’s normal for a friend to reach out and explain what’s on their minds. You may be absorbing their story and adding your extra emotions, as is the adhd way. They may have no where near the amount of thoughts and emotion about what’s going on in their life as you imagine (or feel) yourself on hearing it.

      This is why it’s possible to address the situation. Re evaluate. Are you over reacting emotionally to your friends situations? They may see their issues as benign or annoying? I they are over invested in their own problem and being over emotional, could your adhd be making you hyperfocus on their stories and make you listen for much longer and ‘harder’ (feeling emotions yourself) than other folks normally would?

      Neurotypicals rarely listen long before getting bored and not understanding the level or complexity of issues I’m having, as I have my adhd complicating thoughts and feelings. This can feel like rejection to me as it isn’t how I would reciprocate… as mentioned I spend a long time listening, absorbing and asking details of others when they’re talking. But I feel they may be in trouble and need action/ideas/help… IMMEDIATELY!!!

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