I can’t tell you how many times I do this – say yes when I mean no. And it has caused so many problems in my life, and while I am getting better I need a constant reminder of how and why it is important to give the right answer the first time. That right answer never fails to be “let me think about it and get back to you.”
If you have ADHD you know that your mind often is way ahead of your reality. You want to say yes to those you care about, please others, do it all, see a smile on someone’s face; often at the expense of yourself or your actual abilities. It is so difficult to think things through before you react in your ‘aiming to please’ way.I had an experience of this recently with my new roommate, in which I agreed to do something in a dash of excitement and desire to solve a problem and please her. As the days grew closer to the event, I grew anxious as my health was not great, I had deadlines looming with work, and then I came to learn I was more of a want than a need. I ended up proposing another solution that backfired and caused all kinds of chaos, and was reminded once again of my need to instill my ‘let me think about it and get back to you’ response no matter how hard it might be.
People that are very close to me know that I say yes whenever possible, so it hasn’t been a problem in a long time because they help me navigate through this and recognize when I am saying yes when I should say maybe. They are aware of my health and my stress levels and my capacities, and are intimately aware of what happens when I over extend myself.
This conflict with my new roommate was a gentle reminder to review some key things I needed to put in place to avoid this type of thing in the future among new friends.
These tips include:
My brother has become so skilled at this, as he understands when I get excited I often over commit at my own expense. He could easily take advantage of this, as I would do and do and do until I fell over exhausted and spent as I have in the past – which ultimately helps no one. Instead he forces me to take time to think about each and everything tiny little thing I offer, so that I am not just acting on my brain and heart for them, but on my brain and heart for myself as well.
It is easy to take advantage of those with ADHD as they will generally say yes and yes and yes. But it always backfires, because eventually they explode, and it hurts everyone involved. Learning how their mind works and how to make it work for everyone is the only thing that helps all in the long term. I’ve found keeping the above tips top of mind critical for both myself and those that I am close to in keeping a truly loving relationship beneficial for all.
Have you had problems saying yes? Please share any tips you find useful as well. Thanks for reading!
Last reviewed: 12 Apr 2011