I am a man. And I am a man with ADHD. I’m also a reasonably intelligent man, but I’m still just a man (I can hear all you women out there nodding your heads).
What this means is that I have a dog brain. And now I’ll apologize to the dogs out there. What I mean is I have a brain that works like the brain of an excited dog. Not very well.
Okay, true, I can do some fairly complicated math in my head. I can hold all manner of trivial info there. I can problem solve with the best of them but when it comes to emotion, I’m lost.
… by way of a story. I used to have a neighbor who wasn’t very bright, even for a man. I once observed him giving a lecture to his dog. The lecture was exquisitely loud and rife with vulgarity, the guy was pretty upset at the dog. I don’t know why, the poor thing was allowed to roam the subdivision and leave its calling cards everywhere and this never bothered the idiot neighbor, just the idiot’s neighbors.
The lecture was clearly having an effect on the dog. Several reactions were visible. Every time the fool said a word that the dog understood, it perked up, thinking that the scolding was over and they were just conversing. Then the voice would raise and the finger would be wagged again and the dog would slump down onto the ground.
It soon became apparent to all but the fool on the back end of the scolding finger, that the dog had no idea what had upset the human (and I use the term loosely). It may have known at the outset, but the excitement and trauma of the continuous verbal barrage had erased it from the poor dog’s mind.
Simple! A man knows what he is told this instant. If a woman says “I love you.” he assumes it’s true. If a woman says “There’s no chance that you and I will ever have a relationship.” he can understand that also.
“Hmmmmm, I wonder if she’d be interested in having a relationship?”
But if a woman says “You and I will never have a relationship, but what are you doing next Friday night? Would you like to see a movie with me?” the man, the one with the dog brain (and that’s pretty much every one of us), thinks: “Hmmmmm, I wonder if she’d be interested in having a relationship?”
If you have ADHD and the other affliction known as Dog Brain or Masculinititus (yes, I made that name up), you are doubly susceptible to this problem. For male ADHDers, there is now, and not now. But when it comes to matters of romance, there is now … and nothing else.
Okay, maybe that’s true of women with ADHD also, I don’t really know, I’m not one. But I do know a woman can be a friend after a relationship has ended and assume that that’s where it will stay, but a man who remains friends with a woman after a relationship is very likely thinking, or hoping, or even believing, there’s a chance the fires can be rekindled.
My favorite dog brain example is a story of a man scolding a dog on the front lawn. The man says “If you don’t stop leaving sticks all over the lawn, I’m gonna put you in the car, take you for a ride to the vet’s and that’s where you’ll stay!! Good heavens, don’t you listen?” … and the dog hears “ … blah blah blah STICKS blah blah blah LAWN blah blah blah CAR blah blah blah RIDE blah blah blah STAY!! GOOD blah blah blah … ”
… I’m sorry, were you saying something about a movie on Friday night?
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From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Best of Our Blogs: November 1, 2011 | World of Psychology (November 1, 2011)
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ADHD Brain, Dog Brain - Revisited | ADHD Man of Distraction (February 6, 2012)
Last reviewed: 28 Oct 2011