ADHD Friendship

Maintaining Friendship and Managing ADHD Symptoms

Several symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can affect how we interact with other people. Ultimately, this can affect how we begin and maintain social relationships, including friendships. Here’s what you need to know about ADHD and its impact on friendship. 

Published on
Updated on
estimated reading time

Reviewed by


The mini Adhd coach
In this Article
Could it be ADHD? The Self-Assessment Workbook by The Mini ADHD Coach.
Start your ADHD diagnosis journey!

Visualize and assess 25 ADHD traits and understand how they affect your life.

Learn more

How ADHD Can Impact Friendship, An Overview

Humans are social beings - we tend to connect with others whenever a chance presents itself 🧑‍🤝‍🧑. Having peer relationships with others can make our lives easier, as we have someone to share our triumphs and struggles with. They can also inspire us to do more and propel us to do great in our lives. Making friends is something that every one of us will most likely do at different points in our lives. However, making friends can be a lot more complicated for many people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 😅.

As ADHD adults, there are lots of things that we might struggle with. Our lives may sometimes be messy, and everything may seem disorganized. Since we are prone to make mistakes and tend to be hyperactive and clumsy, building close relationships with us might be challenging. After all, who wants to befriend someone other people may see as a burden or who is always making things complicated😭?

In other words, friendship might not come easy when you have ADHD. The person's mental health may take quite a hit, but when someone truly values their friendship with you and understands all your hardships, you’ll be thankful to have a reliable, good friend by your side🥰.

The ADHD Symptoms That May Affect Friendships

When you have ADHD, friendship difficulties can come from all sides. New friends who aren't familiar with what Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is all about, might get shocked by our behavior and even think that we're just making excuses or acting to get out of the situation🥺.

Hence, someone with ADHD might have difficulties keeping friends to the point where they establish a deep connection to understand each other. You see, sometimes, ADHD symptoms can be an obstacle they both need to overcome. 

To understand more about these struggles, here are some of the ADHD traits that may affect how we maintain friendships.

Oversharing Personal Stuff

Because of our tendency to be impulsive and hyperactive, social interactions may sometimes be complicated. Some adults with ADHD may miss subtle social cues and overshare details and information from time to time. Hence, we might not be aware that we're already crossing the line ❌ and might continue talking without noticing that other people's interests have waned already. This may make the other person feel uncomfortable. 

ADHD Friendship: Oversharing Personal Stuff

Likewise, we are sometimes known for talking fast. This means the words that come out of our mouths may not be fully processed yet, which can lead us to say things that we might later regret. Oversharing information about ourselves can also be a way of seeking validation and attention from other people. However, not all people with ADHD can experience this ADHD symptom as it is a complex condition that differs from person to person👌.

Trouble Listening to Your Friends

Effective communication is one of the foundations of good social skills as they harmonize two parties. However, as those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder tend to talk a lot and overshare information, they sometimes miss the chance to let their close friends speak😅. Especially when in a big group, we can get too excited and might blurt out whatever comes to our minds without thinking about whether we should or not. We tend to interrupt someone else from talking and have the tendency to take the spotlight 💡.

ADHD Friendship: Having Trouble Listening to Your Friends.

I admit that there are moments when I am not a good listener to other people, which may make them feel unimportant and disregarded. They may also think I have conduct problems because of this. But I still try my best to control this situation by staying calm and letting them finish the essential parts of their story and listen to what they are saying 😀.

Social Anxiety

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a situation wherein all people are looking at you, and you feel like you are being judged 😱? That is how social anxiety sometimes feels. It may come from a place of insecurity. Many people with ADHD can be more prone to developing this type of anxiety as we tend to overthink things 😵‍. We might think that other people judge us because of our big careless mistakes. Social anxieties may make us drive away potential friends seeking to build connections with us.

ADHD Friendship: Dealing with Social Anxiety

Sometimes, we tend to drive people away from our lives because we think we aren't worthy of their love or affection, or there's a great chance that we can cause friendship problems along the way. But as I matured, I realized that it is essential to accept that we are not perfect and that everyone makes mistakes.

Canceling Plans at the Last Minute

When our social skills don't match our time management abilities, we might have trouble managing appointments and plans already set weeks ago 📅. We might overlook schedules and events that overlap, making us choose which is more important. Other people might get annoyed when we often cancel our plans at the last minute, which may inconvenience them.

ADHD Friendship: Cancelling Plans Last MInute

Our impulsivity may also cause us to accept challenges or plans that we aren't sure we are interested in. We don't want to reject our friends immediately so they won't feel bad. We often bite more than we can chew and end up canceling plans at the last minute, which can make us appear unreliable 😢.

Forgetting Important Dates

Other people like to feel special when they are celebrating their special day. But when you have a friend with ADHD, special occasions can be a source of misunderstanding or upset. You see, we most likely have already forgotten the important dates 😨! 

ADHD Friendship: Forgetting Things like Birthdays

We often make careless mistakes of missing out on birthdays and anniversaries 🎂 since we can't seem to remember everything going on in our lives. Lacking friendship skills such as these can be annoying and hurtful to our closest friends as it makes them feel unimportant.

Details, such as important events and birthdays, can sometimes be missed easily by our ADHD brain🧠. Having a system that can help us remember these things, such as setting alarms or writing them down on our calendars, is crucial. This way, we can avoid forgetting important events and unintentionally hurting our loved one's feelings.

Get your ADHD Pre-diagnosis Workbook

Start your ADHD diagnosis journey! Evaluate your symptoms, organize your thoughts, and prepare for your official assessment.

Buy Now

Maintaining Friendships with People with ADHD

People with ADHD can still be good friends that others can rely on, even though they might not have the best social skills. We are straightforward and can talk face-to-face about our problems instead of beating around the bush. And we are spontaneous and outgoing, and love adventures a lot 💪.

So if you are friends with someone with ADHD, it would be best to go with the flow and not take things too seriously. They might yell out hurtful comments sometimes, but they don't mean any harm. Just let them know how their words might affect you so they will be more mindful next time. They are doing their best to build social skills tailored to you ❤️ so that they can maintain friendships and relationships with the people they care about.

ADHD Friendship: Talking A Lot

Maintaining close friendships is hard for those diagnosed with ADHD. But when you get through the hardships and difficulties of understanding a person with ADHD, you'll discover that we are the same as you, only our ADHD brains are wired differently. So don't be afraid to make friends with someone with this neurodivergent condition. Accept them for who they are and love them for their flaws. Because, at the end of the day, everyone wants to be loved and accepted for who they are 😘.

ADHD Friendship: ADHD is Complex

How ADHD can Impact Friendship?

ADHD and Friendship: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do people with ADHD struggle with friendships? Why?

Yes, they might have some struggles when it comes to starting and maintaining friendships. This is because many ADHD symptoms can affect our social interactions.

What symptoms of ADHD can affect how we maintain friendly relationships?

One example is how we might be socially awkward. This might prevent us from opening up to newly-introduced people. Another is our tendency to interrupt conversations, which can be annoying and offending to some.

Is it worth it to befriend someone with ADHD?

Absolutely! At the end of the day, a person with ADHD is just like you - only, their brains are wired differently. They, too, have so many great qualities that can match yours. ‍

Share this article on Social Media

Help us raise awareness around ADHD, let's spread ADHD love and support to all that need it.

If you liked this article you are going to like these ones:

Check out more content about similar topics: