How ADHD Might Affect Your Adult Relationships

man and woman talking with the woman upset

Many adults with ADHD don’t realize how this condition can affect their relationships. After all, ADHD is often thought of as a condition that can affect one’s performance in school or at work.

But the same symptoms that can make it so tough for someone with ADHD to keep up in an academic or professional environment can also make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships in adulthood.

If you’re an adult with ADHD, you may struggle in your friendships. And you might have trouble when it comes to your relationships with your family members, too.

Here’s how ADHD symptoms can influence your adult relationships.

Trouble Listening

People with ADHD often have trouble paying attention. This is one of the hallmark symptoms of this particular condition. And this doesn’t just apply to classroom lectures or tedious tasks in the workplace.

Someone with ADHD might have trouble listening when their friend is opening up to them, or they may get distracted easily during a serious conversation. This can lead to hurt feelings and disappointment.

Difficulty Navigating Conversations

Someone with ADHD might find themselves tuning in and out of conversations. Furthermore, they might feel like they suddenly have an important comment to make and interject without thinking.

While everyone interrupts during conversations once in a while, people with ADHD are often more prone to this mishap. This can cause frustration, especially if their comments seem inappropriate for the conversation at hand.

You may feel embarrassed about putting your foot in your mouth, or for interrupting your friend’s train of thought.


People with ADHD often find it challenging to stick to a schedule and be on time for events. You might frequently misjudge the amount of time it will take for you to get ready for an event or drive to a particular location.

man and woman sitting on a bed away from each other

Therefore, you’re late more often than you would like. Your friends might feel you’re standing them up, or that you don’t care about the plans you’ve made together. And on your end, you might get frustrated with yourself because you often miss out on important events and celebrations.

This could lead to your friends choosing not to invite you to some gatherings, simply because they assume you won’t show up.


Sometimes, it can be hard for you to make and keep friends because your interests tend to change quickly. You might develop a deep interest in a particular subject, get involved with a group of people, and then find your interest waning.

Rather than continue spending time with the same group, you might drop the interest rather quickly and lose touch with them. Maintaining friendships in adulthood requires consistency, especially in the midst of your busy lives.

But if your symptoms seem to hold you back in this regard, you may end up feeling like you lack a true sense of community in your life.

Lack of Trust

Unfortunately, these behaviors rooted in your ADHD symptoms can drive a wedge between you and your loved ones. You may apologize to your friends for your mistakes and promise that it won’t happen again. And when you tell them this, you genuinely mean it.

But without treatment and guidance from a professional, changing your behavior on your own can be difficult. Through therapy, you can begin to adjust your habits, find routines that work for you, and build stronger relationships with your loved ones on a foundation of trust.

Are you an adult with ADHD who wants to improve your relationships? Working with an ADHD therapist can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

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