I never could understand why people would be angry and irritated with me sometimes. Why they never felt that I was listening to them, why they felt I didn’t care about them. But since talking to someone else, it dawned on me how a neurotypical/non-adhd person thinks and behaves in conversation.
When I was in school, I could listen better when I wasn’t “behaving” like the other kids. I picked things up easier by doodling or appearing to daydream when I was really taking in all the things the teacher was saying.
Even now as a young adult, I can’t focus when i’m trying to perform as a neurotypical person. (Sitting down, head forward, not moving, and looking direct at the subject) I stim by fiddling with pens, bag tassels, my hands, flipping through pages. I look all around the room, I get up and move. I doodle in my notes because the drawings help me to associate me memory to them.
To me, i’m taking in all the information around me and can really grasp the points for what a person is telling me! I’m remembering the things I’m hearing by occupying the “non-focus” part of my brain! But when i really thought about it, to someone who doesn’t have ADHD…. It looks as if I couldn’t care less about what they’re talking about. It might even look as if i am doing everything possible to not listen. When someone is venting to me about they issues, I look all around in thought, not saying a word or changing my face. As i do these things, I’m thinking very deeply about what I might say but I can’t do it if I’m looking directly at them. They might feel I couldn’t even care about facing them to help.
I used to get sad and upset as to why people never felt that I cared or took anything seriously. But thinking as a NT person, I now know how they might see things just a little better now. I don’t know what I can do with this information but hopefully I can bridge the gap between relationships with what I found. It’s hard to understand how “normal” people’s brains work but I want to. (also, I’m on mobile so sorry for any wacky formatting!)