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Getting Along With the Group

by Michele Novotni, Ph.D.

At business meetings, Sarah feels like she doesn’t fit in. She struggles to keep track of the conversations, has difficulty blocking out unwanted sounds, participates rarely, and ends up feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what was said.

Sam, on the other hand, considers himself very social. He loves to talk to his group and always has a story to tell. Unfortunately, he often misses the cues that tell him not to dominate the discussion.

Whether you have inattentive AD/HD, like Sarah, or hyperactive AD/HD, like Sam, group interaction can be a challenge. There are different rules and expectations for different types of groups, so it is important to understand what the requirements are and to prepare accordingly. But by sticking to some simple strategies, you can stay on track throughout your meetings and conduct yourself with grace in social settings.

Work Groups
People with AD/HD thrive on brainstorming and collaboration in the workplace. But remember that the primary purpose of working as a group is to accomplish a task efficiently.

Support Groups
You’ll get the best support from your group if you can find the middle ground between talking and listening.

Social Groups
Many of the support-group tips apply here as well.

Remember, if you have prepared yourself to meet the expectations of the group, you’ll be more likely to enjoy yourself.

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and the author of several bestselling books on adult AD/HD.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine ©2005. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

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