Silver And Gold: Revisiting The Making And Keeping Of Friends
I have a new friend, that’s something I say a lot, isn’t it.
And of course, it’s a lie. How could I have made friends, I have ADHD. That means I say inappropriate things, forget appointments, show up late for meetings and dates and often leave the interactive part of me elsewhere while the part that’s present stares off into space.
Other times my mind is racing at the speed of light and my mouth is right behind it, drafting in the turbulence, waiting its chance to jump out in front and say words my blurred, high speed grey matter has not yet been able to check for stupidity.
Good reasons why I shouldn’t be able to make friends, right? And yet …
It seems there are people out there who will take a chance. The risk of being slammed or slighted is great, but the return, apparently, is worth that risk. It’s been suggested to me lately that I might be a weensy bit funny during what I consider to be my dull and long winded soliloquies. I’d heard folks laughing, I thought it was at something behind me.
I’m a glass half full kinda guy, it was completely full but I spilled half of it on a big tattooed guy at the bar. I’m outgoing and extroverted, on the outside anyway. Inside, I’m a timid soul hiding in the corner wishing someone would just take my hand and lead me into the light. In short, I’m making all this noise to keep from being lonely. And it’s working.
And thank goodness it is!
And I love new friendships. They bring a unique joy. I always learn. Sometimes I teach, but even that’s learning. There is value in the interaction between two people who find common ground. Even two people who disagree and find they’re wanting the same thing but have different ideas of how to acquire it, find value.
So the fact that we have lightning minds and fun ideas is enough to win us some friends. If we get to them before they can form an opinion of us by observing our rendition of the “getting ready for work” dance or the “car key and wallet” scavenger hunt, we have a chance to win them with wit and the twinkle in our eye.
Online is out of sight
And that’s something we can take advantage of online. Like Brad Paisley says, “I’m so much cooler online …” – and maybe I am.
The question is, with both our online friends, and our IRL friends (‘in real life’ for those of you who haven’t embraced the online cultural trend toward TLA’s (three letter acronyms)), how do we keep them?
I’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t. We can’t, that is, unless we value them. If that’s the case, there’s this trick I’ve learned. You look them in the eye and you say in a sincere and honest voice, sincere and honest because you actually are sincere and honest, “I Am Sorry!”
That’s it! If you say anything that begins with “You know, my ADHD is …” then you might as well save your breath and the gas you burnt driving around looking for your now ex-friend. Your ADHD is part of you, but it’s the part that won’t apologize. Don’t cheapen your apology by apologizing just for it. Apologize for you, for all of you.
Yes, I know …
You’re right. I’m usually the first person to tell you to be proud of yourself. Well, I haven’t changed my tune, I still believe you should be proud. I’m still proud. But this, this is something I can be proud of. This is something you can be proud of too. Friends old and new are valuable, be proud of keeping them.
And maybe think it through before you comment on your friends fashion sense or slow uptake when it comes to humor. The less time your foot spends in your mouth, the less time you’ll spend trying to pry it out with another apology.
And hey, lets be friends, okay?
Babcock, K. (2013). Silver And Gold: Revisiting The Making And Keeping Of Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 3, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2013/01/silver-and-gold-revisiting-the-making-and-keeping-of-friends/