How Does ADHD Impact Social Skills?

How Does ADHD Impact Social Skills

Making and maintaining friendships, conversing with coworkers, or even just finding the proper words to say in a social situation may be challenging or unpleasant if you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is because symptoms of your ADHD may be getting in the way, such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. While ADHD symptoms can be reduced with stimulant drugs, your social skills won’t improve. How can you help? In any case, practice makes perfect. Here are some pointers that will help you improve your social abilities in both personal and professional contexts.

How to Improve Social Skills While Having ADHD?

Preparing in advance might be helpful when you’re about to socialise with friends, family, coworkers, or go on a date. For instance, you may read books or articles or research what to anticipate at such events. Develop social skills such as making eye contact, listening intently, and letting others speak before you.

You can focus on the following areas:

  • Be open-minded: If someone criticises your social behaviour, accept the criticism with gratitude and use the experience to advance your knowledge.
  • Set objectives: Choose one or two projects you want to work on at once. For instance, it could be challenging to have natural, flowing conversations if you’re not paying attention. Practise talking to people without interrupting them if you want to get better at it. Don’t worry about eye contact or your words until you have mastered this one skill. You can then gradually go on to other social skills after that.
  • Work on your echo: Inattention can prevent you from properly hearing or comprehending what someone is saying. Practise repeating what someone says as a question to be sure you understood everything. You can use this to check in with others or with yourself.

You may remark, “I heard you say that, for instance. Did I overlook anything? You may avoid overlooking important details in any conversation by using this feedback loophole. It can raise self-awareness as well.

  • Watch other people: Observing how those around you behave in various contexts is one of the finest methods to pick up social clues. This may occur at work, at home, or in a restaurant. This can assist you in using techniques they utilise or in copying some of their skills. You can either watch in person or search online for videos to watch.
  • Play-acting: Try to simulate a potential scenario beforehand to put what you’ve learned into practice. You may, for instance, practise speaking in front of a mirror before a date. You might even ask a friend to play the part of you having dinner at a restaurant.
  • Visualize:  This could cause a lot of uncertainty if you’re about to mingle with a lot of people or meet up at a new location. Try to picture the location and the kinds of conversations or discussions you may have there to move past this obstacle.
  • Apply prompts: To manage your ADHD symptoms at work or in social situations, you might need reminders to help you stay on task. Visual prompts like index cards or sticky notes are an option. Another option is a verbal reminder to keep quiet from a friend or coworker. It may also involve a hand motion, such as pointing at a watch.


With practice and repetition, social skills are something you can acquire and develop over time. Try to solicit helpful comments from people who are willing to assist you as you grow your social network on a personal and professional level. If you encounter a barrier, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified mentor or life coach.