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On the last track, we discussed two common Slippery Social Situations an ADHD adult may encounter. The two common Slippery Social Situations an ADHD adult may encounter were Good Manners, and the Fear of the Phone.
On this track, we will discuss three difficulties ADHD adults face in group interfacing. These three difficulties are shifting gears rapidly, running out of gas, and setting the cruise control for mega-speed. We will also discuss five tips for group interfacing. These five tips are Being Prepared, Doing Your Homework, Practicing, Watching and Listening, and Watching Your Watch.
Charlie tried to pay attention to the conversation, but his mind was racing as he tried to think of something to say before anyone could ask him a question he couldn’t answer. Charlie said that when he heard someone say something about recent activity in the Oval Office, he eagerly jumped into the conversation.
Charlie stated, "I once had to build this circular room for a customer. I was so excited that I could finally contribute to the conversation through the lead-in about an oval office that I started rambling. I was about halfway through my story when I noticed everyone was looking at me funny. I finally realized they had been talking about the Oval Office, in the White House, and had to try to laugh off my mistake. It was embarrassing." Sound like a blunder an ADHD client of yours has made lately?
As you know, successful group interfacing depends on an ability to shift gears rapidly, something most ADHD adults have difficulty doing. The ADHD adult has to follow the flow of discussion as it bounces from one person to another. ADHD adults, like Charlie, have to concentrate enough to understand what each speaker is saying, but not so much that they get locked in. As you can see, Charlie was doing mental gymnastics just trying to keep up with the conversation.
Have you noticed other problems that ADHD adults face in group situations besides shifting gears rapidly? I have found that other common problems for ADHD adults in group encounters include running out of gas and cruise controls set on mega-speed. As you know, being bombarded with sights and sounds from many different directions can push an ADHD adult like Charlie into a mentally overloaded state.
Obviously, this overstimulation can cause mental fatigue, and the ADHD adult might then run out of gas. For ADHDers who set the cruise control for mega-speed, as you are aware, impulsivity and lack of inhibition are often attempts to fend off the mental fatigue of running out of gas. They often end up saying inappropriate, silly, or rude comments because they have a tendency to talk first and think later.
5 Tips for Success with Group Interfacing
Tip # 1 - Be Prepared
Tip # 2 - Do Your Homework
Tip # 3 - Practice
Tip # 4 - Watch & Listen
I also explained to Charlie that although he may not want to continue association with the group, he would probably still want to make an attempt to be respectful of the group’s rules for one evening.
Tip # 5 - Watch your Watch
Do you have an ADHD client like Charlie who gets anxious at the thought of participating in group events and group interfacing? Would your Charlie benefit from any of the five tips of Being Prepared, Doing Your Homework, Practicing, Watching and Listening, or Watching Your Watch discussed on this track?
On this track, we have discussed three difficulties ADHD adults face in group interfacing. These three difficulties are shifting gears rapidly, running out of gas, and setting the cruise control for mega-speed. We also discussed five tips for dealing with group interfacing. These five tips were Being Prepared, Doing Your Homework, Practicing, Watching and Listening, and Watching Your Watch.
On the next track, we will discuss two difficulties ADHD adults face in one-on-one interfacing. The two difficulties we will discuss are working too hard, and having too much intensity. We will also discuss five tips for dealing with one-on-one interfacing. These five tips are Relaxing and Listening, Clarifying the Message, Avoiding Fighting Words, Watching the Intensity Level, and Slowing Down.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article Reference:
Acuff, S. F., Soltis, K. E., Dennhardt, A. A., Borsari, B., Martens, M. P., Witkiewitz, K., & Murphy, J. G. (2019). Temporal precedence of self-regulation over depression and alcohol problems: Support for a model of self-regulatory failure. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 33(7), 603–615.
Atherton, O. E., Lawson, K. M., Ferrer, E., & Robins, R. W. (2020). The role of effortful control in the development of ADHD, ODD, and CD symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 118(6), 1226–1246.
Becker, S. P., Mossing, K. W., Zoromski, A. K., Vaughn, A. J., Epstein, J. N., Tamm, L., & Burns, G. L. (2020). Assessing sluggish cognitive tempo and ADHD inattention in elementary students: Empirical differentiation, invariance across sex and grade, and measurement precision. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication.
Ramsay, J. R. (2017). The relevance of cognitive distortions in the psychosocial treatment of adult ADHD. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 48(1), 62–69.
Ramsay, J. R., & Rostain, A. L. (2016). Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as an implementation problem: Clinical significance, underlying mechanisms, and psychosocial treatment. Practice Innovations, 1(1), 36–52.
Schultz, B. K., Evans, S. W., Langberg, J. M., & Schoemann, A. M. (2017). Outcomes for adolescents who comply with long-term psychosocial treatment for ADHD. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(3), 250–261.
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