Navigating Neurodivergent Relationships: Arguing With Someone Who Has ADHD

One of the main aspects of life is frequently relationships. Nevertheless, difficulties arise in all relationships. Relationship difficulties can be particularly challenging for neurodivergent persons, such as those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for a number of reasons, including impulsivity and trouble controlling emotions. It can be beneficial to employ techniques like setting boundaries, finding out each other’s values, and taking a step back when uncomfortable feelings surface. To receive more individualized advice, think about making an appointment for a virtual or in-person session with a certified therapist.

Analyzing the signs of ADHD

The neurological ailment known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects the brain and nervous system. ADHD symptoms typically last into adulthood, despite the fact that they are frequently identified in childhood.

Although the symptoms of adult ADHD can differ, an individual with ADHD is likely to encounter the following:

Impulsive actions

Disorganization Issues with setting priorities

Time management issues Difficulty keeping focused on tasks

Excessive activity or restlessness

Poor planning abilities

Restricted ability to tolerate annoyance

Mood swings that happen often Follow-through and work completion issues

Tendency to lose one’s temper easily

Having trouble managing stress

The effects of ADHD symptoms in relationships can extend beyond difficulties focusing and paying attention. One of the main symptoms of the illness is emotional dysregulation, which can have a negative impact on interpersonal relationships and cause conflict. People with ADHD frequently have trouble controlling their emotions and impulses, which can lead to fights. People who have ADHD may struggle to control their emotions, which makes them more likely to act impulsively and get into possibly needless arguments. Furthermore, rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD), a condition, has been linked to ADHD. RSD frequently causes severe emotional suffering by amplifying emotional reactions to perceived rejection or criticism.

Disputes with an ADHD sufferer

Due to their impulsive behavior, people with ADHD may find it difficult to negotiate issues and find a solution. Gina Pera also draws attention to the propensity of people with ADHD to “self-medicate” by getting into disputes. Pera explains that in this context, ADHD self-medication often refers to the excitement that people with ADHD seek—whether deliberately or unconsciously—by inciting disputes. Their relationships and lifestyles may suffer as a result of this self-stimulating activity.

Communication techniques for ADHD

Examining communication techniques tailored to the needs of people with ADHD can be helpful in addressing the possible drawbacks of self-medication for the condition. Examine one another’s morals. Together with your ADHD partner, decide what is most important to you. It would be beneficial to take into account the distinct viewpoint of an ADHD sufferer. Finding points of agreement and recognizing that others have different values might help you approach conflicts with compassion and consideration for one another’s mental health.

Set rules

Establish rules on the where, when, and how of arguments. This can be essential for sustaining mental health and engaging in fair combat. For example, you may schedule your most intensive conversations for when your symptoms of ADHD are under control. If having in-person conversations presents difficulties because of impulsivity, think about using email or other alternate forms of communication.

Step back a bit.

One important argumentation tip might be to end the conversation right away if you or your spouse loses your cool. Maybe take a thirty-minute break to enable the emotions to subside before picking up the talk again. This adult time-out can be beneficial for maintaining mental health and preventing nasty remarks to one another. It may involve activities like taking a walk or spending time with a pet. Put yourself in your own words. Fair fighting normally does not include leaping to instant rebuttals. To make sure you understand your partner before responding, it may be helpful to restate their statements in your own language. This tactic can encourage constructive dialogue and save needless confrontation.

Be mindful of your body language.

When your ADHD partner exhibits signs of fury, notice them and stop the dispute. It could be better to handle the disagreement later on in a cool-headed way. Making verbal settlement the priority over intensifying feelings frequently results in a more positive dynamic all around. Think about how significant the dispute is. Evaluate the importance of the disagreement and decide if it justifies the possible negative effects on your partner’s and your physical and mental health. Keeping perspective is important for mental health, particularly when one partner has ADHD in a relationship. For relationships to be helpful and to build understanding, it can be essential to recognize and address the particular communication needs associated with ADHD in individuals.

How counseling might be beneficial

Arguing oneself to deal with the difficulties caused by ADHD might unintentionally make matters worse and cause rifts in relationships. One transforming technique for overcoming these tendencies could be therapy. Individuals can learn more about the causes of their impulsive conduct and create healthy coping strategies through therapy therapies. ADHD-focused therapists can offer assistance in recognizing symptoms and managing them successfully. Studies indicate that virtual counseling is typically just as successful as in-person counseling. The majority of participants in a 2022 study on the effectiveness of online therapy for adult ADHD reported improvements in their social and attention deficit disorders.