Navigating Anxiety, Rejection & Friendship with ADHD

Friendships are already hard with ADHD. What happens when you're also living with social anxiety and rejection sensitivity? That's this week on The ADHD Podcast.

Episode Hosts: ,

Subscribe to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you find your favorite podcasts!

Support The ADHD Podcast and get great perks by becoming a Patron • Learn More and Join Now!

Friendships are already a challenge with ADHD. What happens when you’re also living with social anxiety and rejection sensitivity? We pull apart a few important lessons on the show this week, not the least of which is the following: in all likelihood, people like you more than you think they do. Is that hard to hear? Then you need to listen to this week’s show.

Nikki brings an exercise and resource to help you breakdown the RSD we live with, and how to deal with the disappointment that comes when we make ourselves vulnerable to close friendships. Pete helps to catalog those friendships thanks to the work of a new book by Robin Dunbar. Check out the infographic here and listen in for more.

Links & Notes

Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright: Hello, everybody, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast on True Story FM. I’m Pete Wright, and right over there is Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright: Hello, Nikki Kinzer. How are you?

Nikki Kinzer: I’m doing great. How about you?

Pete Wright: I’m well, and refreshed. Took a weekend little vacation with my beautiful wife. I didn’t tell you this before the show, but it’s because we are celebrating, actually this coming weekend, 22 years.

Nikki Kinzer: Wow, congratulations.

Pete Wright: Thank you. Thank you.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s fantastic.

Pete Wright: 22 in a row.

Nikki Kinzer: In a row.

Pete Wright: Like all of them. Yeah. So, that’s got to be… Did you pass 22 already?

Nikki Kinzer: We’re at 20.

Pete Wright: Oh, you’re 20.

Nikki Kinzer: We’re at 20 years.

Pete Wright: Oh, congratulations [almost 00:00:50] to you but did we passed it? When was it?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, we passed it and it was pretty low key. In fact, I don’t even think… Maybe we had dinner get brought in.

Pete Wright: It’s like a big deal.

Nikki Kinzer: It is a big deal and we will be doing something. It’s just that neither one of us felt comfortable traveling yet and with my husband’s MS, we have to be really careful with that. So we’re going to do something at some point. It will definitely be in celebration of marriage.

Pete Wright: Well, the reason I bring it up is because it was an opportunity this weekend to reflect as we’re traveling, spending hours in the car together and eating every meal together and all this stuff and realizing like how, what an incredible position of privilege it is to have this person, to whom I am married and also is my best friend.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, and she’s a wonderful lady from my point of view.

Pete Wright: She’s delightful. She’s a real charmer. But the whole idea is that it is the friendship that I don’t have to work as hard for. Right. It’s because it is the easiest friendship I have in my life. And what is the deal? So after our conversation last week, talking to Melissa about friendships and ADHD, this is an anomalous relationship that I have with my wife and thank goodness I have it the way I do. I feel incredibly lucky that ADHD hasn’t gotten in the way, but it does make me a little bit more introspective about friendships and why those that aren’t easy, aren’t easy. And so we’re going to talk more about that today, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Well, and I also know from working with you and you talking about your friends and we’ve had some of your really good friends on the show before, you have some deeper relationships. You’ve got some really solid deep relationships, and they’ve really held up over a lot of time and space because you don’t all live in the same state.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: But still, they weirdly take more work and I’m less secure day over day and I’m curious as to why that is. And so we’re going to talk about anxiety and RSD and friendship, things that came up in our conversation and-

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: So we’re going to explore some more of that today, before we do that head over to takecontroladhd.com. You can get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we will let you know each time a new episode is released. You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at Take Control ADHD and if this show has ever touched you or helped you make a change in your life for the better, we invite you to head over to patrion.com/theadhdpodcast. There, you can take part in investing in the growth of this show for a few bucks each month, you can join us. You can join us for live streams. You can join our super secret discord channels in our ADHD community, which is wonderful. You can invest in Pete’s future members only podcast, which is with every member, another member closer to releasing Pete’s technology and workflow podcast. Ooh, your guess is a good as mine, what that’s going to be all about. Very excited about it. I got to tell you as a little aside, I was riled up this weekend about consolidation in the podcasting industry and all of these companies that, like Spotify and Liberty FM and these are the biggest companies in podcasting throwing tons of money in ad technology to measure where your ears are and measure who you are. Just all the same privacy, invasive privacy stuff going on in advertising is going on in podcasting and so all these little podcast networks are being bought up and consolidated into a bigger network so they can track you and trace you and do all that. We don’t do any of that stuff. Honestly, I have no interest in it. I don’t want to know what time you’re listening to the show. I don’t want to know if you’re lying in bed or driving in your car. I don’t want to know any of that. I just want to know that we’re helping you make a change in your life for the better, with ADHD. That is our number one most important thing, but it really, honestly, it takes support of the community to help us continue to do this and the way we have been doing it and to make sure that we do it with attention to privacy and that we’re not tracking you and that we haven’t given up on protecting the data about our users, about our listeners and supporters. So, if that is any sway with you, it certainly does with me. I hope you consider patrion.com/theadhdpodcast. Thank you for your support. We’re going to talk about anxiety and RSD and friendships today and I ran across this article in the Atlantic that I wanted to share. And in fact, I’ll post and Showtalk the link and the image that goes along with it because it’s really important. Melissa, do you remember what Melissa said about the number of like super close friends that you maintain and have in your life? It was like a handful, like two or three-

Nikki Kinzer: It felt like it was under five, most of the time it’s under five.

Pete Wright: Well, Robin Dunbar wrote a book called Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships, and just to… Forgive me, I’m going to read a little bit, you might recall the author’s name from his concept of Dunbar’s number that on average people can maintain about 150 friendships with others, a limit that is determined by the human brain size and function. The chart is more detailed version of the concept, it shows roughly the number of people that we can have meaningful relationships with at various levels of intimacy, right? And so it’s like, imagine a target, like a bullseye, right? And at the middle, he calls that ego and that number is 1.5. He calls those intimates and we can have 1.5 intimates in our lives. Those are clearly your spouse, your partner, your romantic relationships, right? Close friends, five, that’s the next circle out. You get five of those. 15 best friends, 50 good friends, 150 friends, 500 acquaintances, 1500, no names and 5,000 known faces. That is a level of detail in our friendships that I had never really considered and Dunbar goes on and says the inner most layer of 1.5, the most intimate, clearly that’s your romantic relationships. The next layer of five is your shoulders to cry on friendships. They’re the ones who will drop everything to support us when our world falls apart. The 15 layer includes the previous five and your core social partners. They are our main social companion, so they provide the context for having fun times. They also provide the main circle of exchange for childcare. We trust them enough to leave our children with them. I think that’s kind of an interesting measure and the next layer up at 50, is your big weekend barbecue people. And the 150 layer is your weddings and funerals group, who would come to your once in a lifetime event. The layers come about primarily because of the time we have for social interaction, that it is not infinite. You have to decide how to invest that time, bearing in mind that the strength of relationships is directly correlated with how much time and effort we give them. That last line, to me, is very important because when you are living with ADHD and social anxiety and RSD, the time that you have becomes compressed by your anxiety. You don’t have the amount of time to invest in your friendships because some of that time is taken up by feeling crappy about not being a great friend or feeling rejected or whatever. That’s why I think this conversation is so important, as an extension of our conversation last week with Melissa [Orlov 00:08:50].

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. That’s a really interesting article, interesting way of thinking about it. I know with my son just going through graduation, I was thinking in my mind, I haven’t done this yet, but I was thinking in my mind, making a list of everybody that I need to send his announcement to.

Pete Wright: Sure.

Nikki Kinzer: And that it is interesting when you talk about the kind of the groups of people, where that would fall. So, that’s a really interesting way of looking at it. I think one of the things that really resonated and kind of stuck with me with our conversation with Melissa last week, is just how tied RSD and anxiety are to friendships.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Because the anxiety of course is the social anxiety, but the RSD that rejection sensitivity, it just screams, I think friendships, right? Especially even to get back into friendships or you haven’t talked to somebody in a while, there’s just so much… What if they don’t like me anymore? And what if I did something and I didn’t know that I did something? So one of the things I thought that would be really interesting for us today, is to confront these things. I don’t know if we really have answers to them, right? We’re not here to solve the world, but I do think it’s an interesting conversation. I know it’s something that so many of us struggle with and also one of the things that you pointed out in that article without you really knowing that you pointed this out, and also something that I think Melissa said is, I don’t think more friends are… I don’t think that’s better.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: I think that we’re looking for those two groups, we’re looking for the five people, that are going to stand by us and understand us and it’s not that the acquaintances or the people that you run into at school or work aren’t important, but they’re not… They also don’t need to hold that space in your mind that contains so much anxiety about them. They’re not worth that.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: Let that go.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Right? And then I wonder if would that then, ease yourself a little bit into opening the space of really building those relationships that matter?

Pete Wright: Well, that’s a really good question and I think an interesting place to start. Mostly because one of the effects of social anxiety disorder is that it almost doesn’t matter what the real effects are of a relationship with that person. Your reality of it is, it makes you feel bad about yourself.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright: So just letting go of a particular relationship might not actually fix anything because you feel so bad about yourself and it might get in the way of going out and making new friends. I know that can be… That is certainly a pandemic, like a knock on pandemic effect. You haven’t seen somebody in a long time, you feel bad about not having seen anybody in a long time. You don’t know how to get out. There’s this sort of cave syndrome that we’ve talked about and you don’t know how to do it anymore, so you don’t do it and then you feel you have this negative self-worth and limited self-talk, negative self-talk and it’s a cycle that is very difficult to shake.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Well, and you brought up something that I’m curious about. Again, I don’t know the answers to this, but where’s the connection, where’s the line between, and is there one, between RSD and social anxiety? I don’t know enough about social anxiety to tell you that I’m an expert on it, or even to really talk about it in the way that you just talked about it.

Pete Wright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer: I can talk about my own personal anxiety, but that’s not necessarily social anxiety.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: And so, it’s interesting to me of where does the therapy then come in?

Pete Wright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer: Right, to confront those thoughts and what’s stopping you from living your life? Because one thing we know is we need to have connection.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: And if we don’t have any connection, we’re going to live very miserable lives and so it’s sort of like with anxiety, I know before I was getting diagnosed with it or was getting diagnosed with it, it’s the impact, like how much does this impact your daily life? And it obviously impacted me daily. Same thing with ADHD. If you look at the ADHD symptoms and you’re being evaluated, they want to know what is the impact? Are you procrastinating every day? Or is this once a week? What is the impact of it? So I just think it’s an interesting topic of figuring out where is it a real therapeutic problem, where you need professional help and where is it with you just getting the permission to say, it’s okay, that I don’t have to justify who I am to these people that I don’t really care about.

Pete Wright: Well, let me just say, anytime you feel like you need professional help, you should get professional help.

Nikki Kinzer: Exactly.

Pete Wright: So there’s one.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s true.

Pete Wright: I think this is helpful. There was some research done that was published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in June 2014, that we’ve talked a little bit about it on the What’s that Smell anxiety show and so I happened to have some crossover research that I think it interesting.

Nikki Kinzer: You do, you have some information about this.

Pete Wright: I do and this is the flag that I raise for people who live with social anxiety disorder. It is because of social anxiety disorder, you have an out of proportion perception of how people feel about you, in the negative direction. You think people don’t like you very much because of how you feel about yourself in social contexts. The reality is, and it has been studied and reported and researched is, people like you more than you think they do, right? That has to be a mantra, if you’re living with social anxiety. People like you more than you think they do. That’s great. Say it over and over and over again. I wonder if you go back to that chart that we just had, if you were to sit down and actually put names to those first four groups, like who are your intimates, who are your close friends? Who are your friends? Can you put names to those people? And are they in the right place? If you ask them to do the same, of where they would put their name on your list, where would it be? That’s an interesting exercise that I’ve been kind of noodling over the last couple of days since I read this original Dunbar article. The perception of our relationships, which our reaction is defined as anxious or our rejection focused, is probably not in reality.

Nikki Kinzer: And what’s so interesting about that chart that you’re looking at too, is that as you were talking about that, like should they be moved? And I’m thinking there are people that I don’t necessarily speak to even on a monthly basis, but I would say, I probably keep in touch with them maybe three or four times a year, who would still be in that five.

Pete Wright: 100 percent. Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: So it may not be in my daily life, but they’re still in that five, that if something happened or I need to talk about something, I know they’ll be there for me to listen and to not judge and help me get through it and so it’s not this black and white linear, this is what a friend should look like and this is how long you should have been friends with this person to trust them. There just isn’t any rules around this at all.

Pete Wright: Right. Right. And change is not something to be feared, even though we often fear it, often fear it.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, of course. Yeah. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Friends coming out, friends come and go, relationships change over time. As you said, our closest friends, those are the relationships you can count on. They’re your help me hide a body friends.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: You probably don’t talk about your friendships like that. But I got friends-

Nikki Kinzer: No, no. I have a couple-

Pete Wright: Do you? You got a couple of-

Nikki Kinzer: I have one in particular who would not only help me with it, she would have all the ideas and they would be good ones.

Pete Wright: Yeah. You count on that. You count on that.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: So I think that’s really important is to remember, and this is the one time where I think recognizing that we’re suffering alone, isn’t a bad thing. Right? When I remember that my perception is blown out of proportion because of social anxiety and what it does to my brain that it’s likely not reflected in reality, that makes it feel less powerful.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. It’s so interesting to me, because do you think that you would fit into having social anxiety?

Pete Wright: I think I have really good close friends. I think I’m good at that. There is this… But I’m honestly, I’m terrible at the regular, day to day… Like chatting. I end my days generally with that sense of shame that I haven’t responded to this such and such email, or I haven’t sent a text in a while. I haven’t just reached out and told people, Hey, I’m thinking about you kind of comments.

Nikki Kinzer: Do people do that?

Pete Wright: Well, see. Thank you. That actually helps me.

Nikki Kinzer: Do people really just send a text and say, Hey, I’m thinking about you, just randomly? I don’t know.

Pete Wright: Yes. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: I guess they do.

Pete Wright: I do.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Sometimes I do. It just doesn’t… But it’s not the thing that I say, oh, I need to do this every day, or I need to do… It’s not a goal.

Pete Wright: I’m going to kick this back onto your court. Your husband just did that to me like three days ago.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, he did?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: What he do?

Pete Wright: He is a role model of a gentleman right there.

Nikki Kinzer: Aw, he is.

Pete Wright: Yeah. He’s fantastic.

Nikki Kinzer: He’s a sweetheart.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: What did he do?

Pete Wright: Well, it was several years ago that I was down there and we did a photo walk and the picture had come up-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh. He showed me the photo. Yes.

Pete Wright: Yeah and he sent me a message and he made a joke and he blamed me for something that was not my fault. But-

Nikki Kinzer: It was his foot, the way that his foot looked.

Pete Wright: His hips. His hips looked funny and he was like, now I know why everything’s gone all cattywampus. And I told him, I should’ve been carrying him the whole time and so, we had this little exchange, but you know what? That is a voice from… Because I consider him one of my close friends that I’m sure he would help me hide a body.

Nikki Kinzer: Of course, he would.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: He wouldn’t be able to carry it.

Pete Wright: No, no, no.

Nikki Kinzer: But we would be able to help you.

Pete Wright: And, I think adding to that, when you are feeling that sort of rejection inside, doing something like your husband did for me, I think can be healing in its own right.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Being able to write a message and say, Hey, I’m thinking about you when I am in a place of darkness, makes me feel better because it starts a chain of interaction that opens the door for reciprocation and that’s healing.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright: I don’t think a lot of people do that. I think also, and I think specifically around men and we’re seeing that change, but men have a hard time doing that too.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, for sure.

Pete Wright: Speaking in, hopefully broad stereotypes, that’s a thing that isn’t.

Nikki Kinzer: So you have teenagers. I have teenagers.

Pete Wright: Allegedly.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. My older teenager, I don’t know. He never really had much of an issue with this, but every once in a while he would come up and talk about being disappointed by a friend or something like that. But I have a lot of conversations with my daughter about friendships and what makes good ones and when does it cross the line like that? And even though they’re in this sort of dramatized area of their life, there’s a way you treat people and there’s a way you don’t treat people and so it’s having these conversations with her of, you may think this person is your best friend, but if they’re going around and doing this and talking to you about this way or about you in this way, is that the kind of friend you can really trust? No, it’s not. So then, how do you navigate through that? So I’m just curious if you’ve had conversations like that with your kids about friendships and just the relationship of how to be a good friend to someone.

Pete Wright: Yeah. We have a lot and we were told… We actually got some help from a therapist at one point, who just gave us a little bit of guidance, that it’s important to remember when you’re that age, that your friends are doing things possibly not out of malice, but pushing boundaries because they have to learn. And there is a part of it that is sort of social development. It’s rooted in social development.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, okay. Good point.

Pete Wright: That they need to get burned. Both the one that is doing the thing that feels malicious, at the time, and the person who is infringed upon in that way. Those actions, in isolation, are pushing social boundaries to see what happens. What happens when I do this thing? Right? Superficially, can I get away with this thing? Is this the thing that’s going to pay off in good ways? Bad ways? What’s it going to look like to me in the future? The challenge that we have is that the context really matters, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: When you do something where social groups are so entwined online and every infraction, every mistake, every social faux pas, is magnified by social media and by TikTok and all these things, the level of embarrassment and-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, it’s so high.

Pete Wright: It’s so high, and that’s something that even you and I didn’t have to deal with quite as severely as kids today do.

Nikki Kinzer: No, mm-mm (negative).

Pete Wright: So, we try to have that conversation that I know you feel like this was a thing that was malicious and targeted, and maybe it was. Maybe it’s bullying, right. Maybe it’s just straight up bullying. Maybe it’s just their frontal lobe is really mushy right now and we’re trying to get to the point where they understand and they make some experiences that are going to remind them, what I did is not okay and the cost now might be the end of this relationship.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright: It might be.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, and that’s the thing is that, in just some of the conversations that I’ve had with her on this one particular friend, it really has come down to that. I said, okay, you can go ahead and forgive them for what they’ve done here and what they’ve said, but you also might want to make it very clear that if they go down that road again, that the friendship is over. You can offer your forgiveness but then what if it happens again?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: So it’s also kind of teaching those boundaries because especially for her being new, to not only friendships, but potentially romantic relationships down the road, I don’t want her to be in a position where she can get manipulated easily and have a gaslight or come in and just roll all over her because she has a kind heart.

Pete Wright: mm-hmm.

Nikki Kinzer: So it is. It’s these tricky conversations and we have to have them with ourselves too, not just with our children, but we have to… I know in my life, and I’m sure Pete, you have too, have had toxic relationships with people and maybe the best thing, you don’t necessarily see it at the time when they’re starting to kind of divide or you go separate ways, but then looking back, I can see, well, there’s probably a reason why that friendship didn’t really continue, or I don’t really miss it as much as I did in those first few months or whatever.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: But it is interesting. Yeah. It’s an interesting conversation, I think, more than anything. It’s just-

Pete Wright: Right. To reinforce, I think having those with our kids, reinforces it for us. Like, oh yeah, there are lines which shall not be crossed. Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: There are lines that just decrease the value in the relationship and what are those lines? What do they look like?

Nikki Kinzer: And it does go both ways. That was something that Melissa definitely said last week is that it’s a two way relationship. And I think that with folks who have ADHD, it does probably seem really, not a burden, but it seems really hard to know that I’m going to have to somehow keep up with this.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But if you’re realistic with what we’re saying is, you don’t have to have 100 close friends. If you can have two to five, it may not be as hard as it feels or as big as you think it is right now. And I think what you were saying, and when we were looking at this chart thing, is you do have to have time. Where is the time? And where do you decide to spend your time? And so it can be very complicated and I’ve lost a couple of friends in my adulthood and I don’t really know why. I have a good idea, but I don’t really know why.

Pete Wright: I lit your car on fire but that’s fine.

Nikki Kinzer: But that’s okay. But having a really good friend and then all of a sudden, they become an acquaintance and I’m not really sure why, but you have to deal and that’s one of the things I want to talk about a little bit too, is dealing with that rejection, is how do you deal with that disappointment? Because what if that person isn’t necessarily blowing you off because they have ADHD and they don’t have the time for it. It’s because they really don’t… They’re not jelling with you or you’re not jelling with them. That’s really disappointing. It’s like a breakup.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And when those friends broke up with me, it hurt.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And it sucked and I was really disappointed and I didn’t understand why. And I was like, what did I do? And so one of the things I think, I went on to this thing called Google.

Pete Wright: Oh, you said, where can I find new friends?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. No. I said, how can I deal with disappointment? And I found an article that I really liked and we’ll put it in the show notes. It’s from Dr. [Rada 00:27:15], and it’s five ways to deal with disappointment. So I just want to go through quickly the five key points.

Pete Wright: Okay.

Nikki Kinzer: Number one, we can be sad and I just think that’s good. It gives you permission to be sad. This isn’t fair, this is sad and do a little bit self-loathing right.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: God, I must be really bad.

Pete Wright: Or it gives you an opportunity to learn, like I’m feeling grief because of something and I should probably know what that is.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right. So we can be sad. We may not ever know why something worked or didn’t work, which is why letting go is part of the healing process and I can tell you from personal experience, this is where I talk about with those two friendships, is that I’m not exactly sure, but I don’t think it matters. What I have to do, at some point, is let it go. Now I’m still sad about it, but I don’t think about it as much as I used to and I don’t think about trying to repair it like I used to.

Pete Wright: Right. Right.

Nikki Kinzer: So I’ve been able to kind of just let that go. That’s part of my story. It’s part of, when we’re talking about friendships, that’s part of my story.

Pete Wright: Well, and I think that’s a really important observation because one of the things that comes with social anxiety and RSD is perseveration. Right, and it’s so easy to make up a negative story and not to let it go, especially living with ADHD. It’s really hard to let it go. We’ve had whole shows dedicated to letting it go and this is where that comes into play.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Absolutely. Number three, something wasn’t right. Now you know more about yourself and what you need in friendships from other people. And so, yeah. Something wasn’t quite right. Me. It’s that whole line. It’s not you, baby. It’s me. And you know what? That could be true. It probably is your fault. But yeah, something’s not quite right.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And then number four, it may really not be you.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: You can’t control what others think and there’s that whole saying of it’s not your business on what somebody thinks of you. You can’t change it.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: You can try but what they think is their business. It’s not ours necessarily.

Pete Wright: Sure.

Nikki Kinzer: So coming to terms with that, when you have anxiety, is hard. I want to control everything and now I’m being told that I can’t.

Pete Wright: And it’s probably why the friendship wasn’t going very well, either.

Nikki Kinzer: Maybe. Something is better. Now, I think that this is true in a lot of things, not just relationships, but believing in yourself, believing that things will work out, believing that this too shall pass. I just think there’s something about having faith about, you’re going to get through this. This disappointment isn’t going to hurt as much as it is right now and it’s going to look different and hopefully we can learn something from it and maybe we won’t, other than being able to let go of something that you didn’t have control over.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Right.

Nikki Kinzer: And that, I think, is really important and one thing I want to say that has hit me about anxiety, I was watching a TV show and it had the author of Glennon Doyle. She’s very popular right now.

Pete Wright: Yes. She’s very popular. I just listened to one of her podcast episodes.

Nikki Kinzer: Did you like it?

Pete Wright: Yes. With caveat.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay, what’s the caveat?

Pete Wright: Well, it’s a separate thing. You finish your conversation, then I’ll tell you.

Nikki Kinzer: Author of Untamed.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, and I have the book on Untamed and I’ve read most of it. It’s one of those books that I don’t read all the way through.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But there is something that she said in this interview that it really, really hit me and I keep thinking about it. She said with living with anxiety, there’s a lot of what-ifs. Right? What if I had done this? What if I had taken this turn or this choice or whatever. And then when we’re thinking about the future, what if this happens? What if the worst does happen? And then she says, but what I think about when I’m starting to spiral is I think what is? What is right now? And she said 100 percent of the time, I’m okay right now.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And that really hit me because I thought… And what she said about it too, is she goes, if you can 100% say what is? I’m okay. I’m not saying you’re great, or that you’re not sad. Right.

Pete Wright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer: But I’m okay, then have faith that the next time you’re in this, what if spiral, if you go back to being what is, that you’re going to be okay.

Pete Wright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer: And I just thought that was really great.

Pete Wright: It gets back to that lesson that we learned from Michelle Chalfont. Right. Living in fact and truth.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: What do you know, as you say, right now, what do you know about this moment? And everything else is fiction. Everything else is made up and I think that’s really, really important and super useful. I think once you build a practice of it, all of these things, it involves a practice. It involves consciously being aware of your state right now and doing that every single day.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright: Good stuff. You got anything else? We’ll wrap it up.

Nikki Kinzer: I’m curious about what you thought of the podcast.

Pete Wright: It’s just totally unrelated to friendship, but it was an episode on fun-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh.

Pete Wright: And yeah. I don’t know. Maybe we need to do our own episode on fun, as a bonus episode during the hiatus. I don’t know, but it’s provocative. It’s got me thinking and talking and me and [Kira 00:33:28] have been talking about it constantly about-

Nikki Kinzer: So that’s a good thing.

Pete Wright: Yeah. It is a good thing. It is a good thing and it was a conversation with her and her, her wife, Abby Wambach, who I adore. I think she’s awesome and her sister, Amanda and the three of them talked about… It was actually Abby, who brought this topic to Glennon and Amanda and said, you don’t know how to have fun and I have a whole career out of having fun and we need to talk about that, in terms of an intervention, because you’re going to burn out and it was really great when you think about, what is it that I do that really is fun, unpredicted outcome, don’t know how it’s going to end. I’m not doing something painful now, so that I’ll get a joy out of it later. Cleaning the garage is not fun, even if you think having a clean garage might be fun later, right? How do you reinterpret what you do for fun? And that hit me so hard because I don’t know.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. So you’re thinking about that. That’s interesting. So she obviously has these little tidbits that gets people thinking, because I was thinking about the what is, and you’re thinking about the fun and I know one of the things she said too about Abby, because she had come on, she had interrupted the interview and then when she left, Glennon was saying, yes, Abby has a lot of feelings and then she was talking about how we need to feel and she’s like, yes, she has a lot of feelings. And it was cute. It was just a cute way of talking about that. But what was still kind of lighthearted and-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: So I’m going to check it out. I’m going to check her podcast out. I do like the book and it’s great to have people out there that make us think.

Pete Wright: Yep. That’s right. That’s right. So anyhow, we’ll put a link. It’ll be fine. It’ll be great.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: So, that’s it. I hope this is continued inspiration on thoughts about friendships and anxiety and RSD and just remember, you’re probably overthinking somebody else’s opinion of you.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s true.

Pete Wright: They like you more than you think they do.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm (affirmative) mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright: Yeah, thanks everybody. We appreciate you downloading, listening to the show. Thank you for your time and your attention. Don’t forget if you have something to contribute about this conversation, head over to the Showtalk channel in our discord server, and you can join us right there by becoming a supporting member at the deluxe level. I’m going there right now to post my friendship chart. It’s going to be great. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll see you right back here next week on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.