ADHD and Friendships: How to Play the Social Game!


The way ADHD brains develop can put us out of step with our childhood peers, leaving us feeling awkward, left out and with social anxiety that can follow us into adulthood. Here, I talk about my own experiences with that, and offer simple solutions.

**note — I want to add that one of the Brains pointed out that peers and the internet aren’t always the best source of information, which is true. Cultures vary, biases like racism and sexism exist, and also, well-meaning advice that might work for one person won’t necessarily be appropriate for another.

My hope is that we can sift through all the information available to us and check in with ourselves as to whether or not it feels right.

In any case, personally, if I’d known what to expect on a sleepover, how to be a good “host,” or what appropriate etiquette is for a first date, I think I would have felt a lot more prepared to deal with the social situations I found myself in.

Podcast mentioned in the video —great info about playdates and more!
Help Your Child with ADHD Make Friends
Helping girls with ADHD make friends
Friendship challenges for adults
ADHD brains mature a few years late 

And this is just for fun — one of the brains pointed out that reddit has an “outside” forum that treats the outside world like it’s actually a game. It’s AMAZING:

Help me make more videos!

“The Show Must Be Go,” “Professor Umlaut”
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

“Game Over” sound effect by spazzo_1493, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

“Game coin” by Adam Weeden, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.


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32 thoughts on “ADHD and Friendships: How to Play the Social Game!

  1. I’m not that good at making friends first of all cuz i think i am boring therefore i am shy. Or cuz i’m often daydreaming and not really listen what people talk. Instead of listening i usually think of the next thing i will Say and my mind is usually racing. Or i intrerrupt people and go on 7 different topics.I am pretty “unreliable”. And i Daydream a lot and i tend to be “awkward at times”. Plus i am pretty immature for my age.In fact making friends isn’t hard for me but Keeping them is cuz i constantly have the feeling i’m annoying

  2. Gaming analogy just doesn't work for me… I'm 41 and I feel like the very few handful of good friends that I've had (never all at the same time) have just basically "put" up with me.

  3. Told my mother about this channel so she could understand a bit more about how I feel and what I'm going through. And she just replied about how she knows a bit about ADHD already, and how she was part of the first group in hastings about it around thirty years. And just shot me down. Feels great.

  4. So I was 4 minutes into the video and then I flitted between 3 other videos and then came back to this one to finish it off lol

  5. if you are into skateboarding or wanna try it, i can only recommend going to the skatepark and trying it out.
    skaters are super open and helpful, you usually get to talk to people naturally (people walk up to you and give you tips if they see you struggle) and the best of all is: nobody cares how you skate, how good you are or who or how old you are.
    it's a great blend of 'sport' and being around/getting to know people of all walks of life.

  6. I wish I’d been shown this sooner. Social anxiety sets in quickly after noticing social awkwardness.

  7. Is it just me my siblings at the play ground they would just go up to people and I would just me swinging on the swing myself

  8. Zacc zero zydeco zucchini zinc zoo zombies zombie apocalypse zip zap zydeco Zhou zydeco
    Bobo is innocent why is he serving life in prison
    Bhelp hope how hopeless go do this game and I just don’t like to let go to do that her help her
    Every thing is good in heaven
    Temple os will live on

  9. Being social is a game, fake, shallow, fake nice and polite and reframimg from showing too much emotion guys… Save your true self and heart for people that are genuine and deserve it!

  10. me watching others play the social game: hmmm so thats the human in his natural social habitat…. nope i dont get it, what im seeing makes no sense at all…

  11. I never had trouble with being social or finding friends but I think a lot of people are so threatened by my energy. Around other people I get super energetic and too hyper sometimes and lots of people judge that especially as you get older and it really sucks. Thing is, I dont control it, its like I go somewhere telling myself I wont be hyper but I forget and I just start becoming extremely hyper and energetic. Am I the only one?

  12. My current ADD level is trying to make new friends because all my old ones moved to different states. : / it’s hard but I’m trying

  13. This extended analogy was fun, but ironically, I think my adhd caused me to get lost and confused😂

  14. I’m 15 with ADHD going into my sophomore year of highschool. Let me just say for those of you who have yet to get into highschool, or graduated so long ago times have changed, it’s hard. I love in such a small area friends don’t come in a variety and when you have social problems with school on top, my brain has an anxiety attack. All. The. Time.
    This video will hopefully help me and many other people!

  15. I have known I have dyslexia since I was 6 however, I just was diagnosed with ADHD last year. But I look back I see that my ADHD impacted my friendships. I could make friends but in the end they go away and just stop being my friends.

  16. My childhood bestfriend from age 6-16 was really introverted and quiet around people which was perfect because I was the super crazy adhd kid who would always get him to do things. We hungout every single day for over 10 years straight. His dad was our baseball coach for 6 years, we shared every common interest movies, old 60s television, video games, shooting eachother with bb guns and godzilla, model airplines and mixing cyanide with science kits at his grandpas house. we went to the same summer camps every year until we were too old so we lied about our age to go back again. I called him every saturday morning religously for all these years to ask if he would come to my house or his house and everytime hed say his house. One saturday when we were all grown up and slowly grown apart I decided to not call him and we never saw eachother again. It really made me sad that he become isolated and didnt want to come outside anymore. Blast forward years later he never made it into the army, they were going to put him in the kitchen despite his high IQ and passion for the military. (we also did cadets together). As for me i'm living and traveling around the world taking each day as something new. I have forgotten about connor for quite some time but every now and again he shows up in my dreams just to remind me that he gave me the best childhood I ever could have had

  17. Its so hard for me to keep friends, it seems my overly passionate nature rules how it all goes so bad…
    all the time…. The reason Im bothering here is… Its true….A few good friends is all you will ever need.
    You can be like me and have zero friends or you can try to control what you feel so strong, and keep the good ones.

  18. Friends have always been super easy for me. Getting past the social anxiety to ask someone out is a barrier that I cant seem to climb over. I'm 26 and have only had 1 fairly short relationship

  19. A lot of people with ADHD have trouble making friends because they tend to be underly social

    I have a problem with being overly social to the point I’ll basically talk at people for ages and it can be the wrong person. I’ll be more likely to be lured into things online, or be friends with horrible people without realising until it’s too late. It’s frustrating but it’s true :/

  20. How do I get to level 1? When I go to a friend's house and they have kids of 3-4 years old, I even struggle talking to them because I don't know what to talk to them in front of other people (parents) ?

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