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Proverbs That People With ADHD Love and Hate

We all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, ADHD falls into the category of things that can be neither prevented nor cured.

ProverbOf course, what this proverb is really saying is that planning ahead well is less work than trying to clean up a mess after the fact. Which is a truth that hits a little close to home for those of us with ADHD since we spend a disproportionate amount of our lives cleaning up messes that could’ve been easily avoided with a little foresight!

Still, it’s good to look at the glass half full, so I should start with the proverbs that make those of us with ADHD smile, not the ones that make us recoil in horror. Except, in this case, we’re going to have to look at the glass 22.2 percent full because I was able to think of seven proverbs people with ADHD hate, and only two that people with ADHD like! If you can come up with more, please add them below.

Proverbs people with ADHD love

  • Better late than never: Isn’t that the truth though? Yes, maybe we do show up late all the time, but would you prefer that we never show up to anything at all?
  • Time flies when you’re having fun: I like this one because it pretty much sums up the experience of hyperfocus. If you have ADHD, you probably take this proverb further than it was ever intended to go.

Proverbs people with ADHD hate

  • Haste makes waste: This might be true, but never underestimate an ADHDer’s ability to make waste in both a hasty and a leisurely manner.
  • Well begun is half done: This proverb is supposed to mean that getting off to a good start is an important milestone. Unfortunately, it has an alternative meaning for ADHDers, who tend to start projects strong, and then do exactly what the proverb says: leave things half done.
  • The early bird catches the worm: Good thing I’m not that into worms anyway.
  • Time is money: Yes, and people with ADHD are good at wasting both.
  • Good things come to those who wait: In other words, not people with ADHD. But the good news, as I see it, is that this proverb isn’t even true: very often what comes to those who wait is nothing at all.
  • Patience is a virtue: Two words that were never used to describe anyone with ADHD ever: patient and virtuous.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: I explained this one already, but I figure I’d better put it in here too – given that this is an ADHD blog, approximately 65 percent of readers will skip the opening paragraph I wrote and go straight to the list of proverbs.

Image: Flickr/Marcia Cirillo

Proverbs That People With ADHD Love and Hate

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on education, learning disabilities and technology. He received his B.A. in 2014 and was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of his college studies. Neil also works for a music education non-profit and hopes to help create an education system that can better serve students with ADHD.

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2017). Proverbs That People With ADHD Love and Hate. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 May 2017
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