Q. Do you get accused of being selfish, even though you are not?

This question was asked in an online group. One thing that fascinates me about questions and answers in online forums is that there are so many unique perspectives.

I liked this question because I’d never heard it before, and it was an interesting correlation to think about. It was a refreshing change from “Do you think I have ADHD?” (I don’t know, Google the symptoms or make an appointment with an expert.) and “Should I take [insert medication here]?” (I don’t know. Ask your doctor. It’s dangerous for people on the internet to answer questions such as this. I talked about this in a video.)

This is the answer I gave to the question of selfishness:

No one accuses me of it but I think I’m self-absorbed. Part of that is hyperfocus, some of it is being so into my own world that I don’t notice the needs of others. But, I’m giving and selfless when I get out of my head. My goal in life is to be of service and to help people, so I can’t be selfish all the time. 🙂

I think that I suck as a friend. I forget to call or email, or I think of a person and immediately forget. Sometimes I’ll text someone late at night when I think of them because if I don’t, I will forget. I know that this in itself doesn’t make me a bad friend, but it could make me look aloof, cold or uncaring.

Additionally, I’m rarely on Facebook, so I miss people’s life news. I’ve missed countless birthdays. I’ve missed births, deaths and engagement. Mindless scrolling on Facebook is bad for me. I visit a couple of times a week to check on some groups.

Here are some more answers that were left in response to the question above. I chose those that I think are the most ADHD and impactful with my commentary beside each.

  • “I don/t notice when it happens, but it’s usually because I’ve forgotten something or talked over someone” –Impulsiveness.
  • “Selfish, narcissistic, vain” – Again, self-absorbed.
  • “Yes, or a snob because I keep to myself.” – That’s partly about introversion, but also living in our heads.
  • “No, never but I feel I come across that way. ” – See my answer above.
  • “I know I’m not selfish, but I know some will view me as selfish when I’m struggling to meet certain expectations, and they expect me to do it quickly and such when that’s not my reality.” – Emphasis mine because that woman’s experience is so characteristic of ADHD.
  • “I feel like I am. Then I overcompensate and worry. I’m not listening enough ’cause I zone out and I panic….and I can’t stop obsessing over whatever my focus is on mentally. Which tends to be my emotions cause I can’t control them very well. It’s not that I don’t care my brains just all over the fuckin place” [sic] – This says a lot.

So, that’s another Q&A.

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