I just can’t seem to get along …

When I was about to leave home for graduate school, my dad and I talked about living arrangements. I told him about the dorm apartments for graduate students and that I had requested a two-bedroom to share with a roommate. My dad suggested that I change that request to a one-bedroom for myself alone because I don’t get along with other people very well. Thanks a lot, Dad!! I went off to school, met a lot of cool people, then ended up alienating myself from all of them, including my roommate. The next year I had a studio apartment to myself.

I still run into problems with “getting along” with people. I know that it is me, because I am the only common denominator, but I don’t know what it is that I do exactly. I am hot-headed and passionate. I don’t think before I speak a lot of the time. But when I don’t speak, then I am perceived as stubborn, or angry, or snobbish. It makes people nervous if I don’t say anything. I know that I do not have a “poker face” and my feelings always come through with my facial expression. But even in online conference rooms, where nobody sees me since I abhor web cams, I have been told that people get nervous when I stay silent. But I open my mouth and I get reactions that I don’t expect.

I think that is par for the course for people with ADHD. I bought a book supposedly about the social cues that people with ADHD miss. I say supposedly because I have yet to make it past the first chapter. Short attention span. Bad thing. [sigh]


  1. I suffer from the same thing too. I don’t seem to get along with people and when i do it doesn’t last long. As a result I alienate myself and i am quite sensitive too. I really do not know what it is about me and often upset myself trying to work out an answer.My ex-boyfriend said to socialize more that way i would get used to being around people and hence not be so unlikable. socializing does not come naturally to me. I need help

  2. summer_85,

    I wish I had a magic formula for you, but I don’t. Learning about yourself is not an easy process; it is upsetting, frustrating, and painful. You must face things about yourself that you do not want to admit.

    The book that I was talking about is titled “What does everybody else know that I don’t?” and it is written by Michelle Novotni, Ph.D. It might be a good place for you to start.

    What you really need, though, is feedback from people who know you well and who you trust to have your best interests at heart. And give yourself plenty of time to digest it. Making changes is a process. Don’t get discouraged.

    One more thing: make changes because YOU want to, not because of what anybody else says.

    Take care. And keep me posted.

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