Patterns in Communication & Behaviour
by Sherri Lojzer November 30, 2021, 12:00 PM
The ADHD brain lends itself to certain patterns in communication. But like all brains, they are wired for connection to those around us.
Through the developmental years and stages of youth, the attempt to learn the strategies and tactics that ensure our place in our tribe we tend to develop patterns to help us in this regard.
But these can also become a liability. Empathy is a strongly developed skill for most people with ADHD but when we experience a strong connection through that empathy, it can go wrong in two ways. The communications create a biochemical response and of course a dopamine release when it feels good.
That dopaminergic reaction is the pleasure and reward so highly sought in the ADHD brain. The result is a desire to continue engaging so we can experience it again and again.
If this becomes a source of hyperfocus, many with ADHD become overly enthusiastic, which can sometimes be perceived as intense or too much for those who don't experience the same elevated emotional responses.
This can also open up the ever empathetic ADHD person to the second way this can go wrong. It creates a vulnerability to those who we might call energy vampires. Narcissistic personalities and others who consciously or unconsciously tap into the empathic and dopaminergic responses to encourage deeply invested emotional connections.
And because there is a different perception of risk in the ADHD brain, red flags are sometimes missed or even entirely ignored. The willingness to persevere in the face of potentially negative consequences is also a wonderfully valuable quality that can be exploited.
Reflection back on previous relationships can often provide valuable insight as to whether these issues have created negative or painful situations for yourself. That self-awareness is the first place to start to find a way to create new patterns in your communication.
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