One of the most needed commodities in the life of a person with ADHD, is acceptance. Many of us seem to crave positive social interaction.
Yet, when our social interactions take on a negative caste, many of us are understanding of that. It’s as if we just believe that we don’t deserve to have positive experiences. Or as if we were trying to hide our flaws, but had to admit that, of course they would be discovered.
But I’ve become aware of an interesting thing with regards to acceptance. It seems to be contagious.
I think I may have a bad case of acceptance …
When I’ve made some social mistake, and I make it a big deal in my thoughts, my lack of acceptance of my ways is apparently telegraphed to those around me. And they behave in a manner that reinforces the idea that my behavior was unacceptable.
But if I shrug it off, I find that others seem less likely to take notice of it, more likely to accept it as normal.
We’re not talking about criminal behavior here …
I’m not talking about impulsively stealing cars or kicking dogs or throwing my recycling in the ditch (I don’t do any of those things), I’m talking about saying things that could have been left unsaid, doing things that might not have been the smartest, that sort of thing.
Basically, as far as saying unacceptable things goes, we’re talking about topics and points that might not be appreciated by the others sharing in my conversations.
And as for inappropriate actions, if the statement “Hey, watch this …” could precede the activity, it probably wasn’t a good idea.
Is that it? The big secret?
Yes. Well, not all of it. There is another aspect to self acceptance that needs to be addressed.
You see, the way you treat yourself in public tells others how you expect to be treated. And the way you treat yourself in public will always be the result of how accepting you are of yourself in public AND in private.
So the need to be accepting of your life, your symptoms, your quirks and oddities, your nature, the whole package, is of the utmost importance. Don’t ignore the things that upset you. Don’t stop trying to improve. Don’t give up on being a better you. But don’t think of the current you as anything less than acceptable.
Start from here, but accept here
You’re quirky? Odd? That’s interesting. You say things that are borderline inappropriate? You’re a risk taker. You try to do things that have no chance of success? You’re adventurous. Your symptoms rule your life? You’re dealing admirably. Your life seems to be made up of an endless string of distractions? Wow! Never a dull moment.
Yes, these things have negative impacts. But you don’t need to make those impacts worse by allowing them to define your acceptability. There isn’t a soul out there who could be dropped in to your life and meet the challenges of it quite like you do.
You’re it. The only one who is capable of being you. Living your life is your job. Accept it or don’t. But trust me, if you don’t, the struggle will be much worse.