5 ADHD Characteristics Often Misunderstood by Others

Despite worldwide knowledge and acceptance of ADHD, people diagnosed with the disorder often feel misunderstood. While those feelings are sometimes misplaced, they are spot on at other times. Unfortunately, many of the characteristics that define ADHD are misunderstood by people who have no experience with the disorder.


ADHD brains are wired differently. Moreover, the disorder doesn't manifest itself the same way in every person who has it. This only seems to confuse people who struggle to understand ADHD. For the record, misunderstandings about ADHD explain why so many daily planners don't work for ADHDers.


Our ADHD daily planner is designed specifically to give the ADHD brain access to the tools necessary to stay on task. You can look around our website to learn more. As for those often-misunderstood characteristics, here are just five of them:


1. Trouble Following the Rules


ADHDers often struggle to follow the rules. Unfortunately, this is often viewed as defiance or self-centeredness. That is not it at all. Rather, the ADHD brain views the world differently. In addition, ADHDers naturally gravitate to new experiences. They are ready and willing to try new things.


As such, the ADHD brain tends to be nonconforming. When an ADHDer is presented with rules that do not make sense, there is a natural inclination to resist those rules. Yet it's not defiance. It is simply a different view of the current circumstance.


2. A Lack of Flexibility


Planning is essential for most ADHDers. In some cases, planning can seem obsessive to the point of lacking any and all flexibility. This characteristic is often misunderstood as selfishness or an unwillingness to cooperate. But again, there is more to it than that.


The ADHD brain has trouble staying on task even under normal circumstances. A lot goes into filling out a daily planner and keeping things on track. When something interrupts an ADHDer's plans, an entire day can be thrown out the window. The result may be what appears to be a lack of flexibility.


3. Poor Communication Skills


Poor communication skills are a hallmark of ADHD. Why? Because the ADHD brain doesn't concentrate on any one thing for a long period of time. While others are capable of long, in-depth conversations lasting for hours at a time, an ADHDer's thoughts often seem much more random. Thus, ADHDers are often perceived as having poor communication skills. They don't. That is just the perception.


4. Poor Time Management Skills


The same characteristics that make an ADHDer's thoughts seem random also make it difficult for the ADHD brain to manage time. Thoughts are always changing. New ideas are being proposed even while old ones are still being dealt with. It all ends up as a mishmash in the ADHD brain, leading to a lack of priorities and the resulting inability to manage time.


5. An Inability to Make Decisions


Last but not least is an inability to make decisions. Where others can think things through and reach a decision based on a combination of knowledge and experience, ADHDers struggle with decisions just because their brains are not wired to think on things long enough to fully evaluate them. When the ADHD brain is faced with an important decision, reaching that decision tends to take longer.


If you know someone with ADHD, you probably recognize these characteristics. Just know that there is nothing wrong with the ADHD brain. It just sees the world differently. It processes thoughts differently. Cut them some slack. Consider recommending an ADHD daily planner capable of helping them stay on track based on their own goals and circumstances.