7 Things Everyone Needs To Do To Be Socially Successful with Caroline Maguire

Caroline Maguire is back to talk about social skills in kids and adults with ADHD plus her new book and how you can get your hands on it!

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Caroline Maguire is back! Caroline is an ADHD coach, author, teacher, and speaker with a special focus in social skills supporting kids — and parents of kids — with ADHD. Her book is OUT NOW, Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive and we’re thrilled she’s back to talk to us about social success today… Caroline Maguire welcome back to The ADHD Podcast!!

And make sure to check out the new merch in our TeePublic store including the Squirrel-Squirrel-Squirrel-Squirrel Podcast gear!!

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Episode Transcript

Pete Wright: Hello everybody, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast on RashPixel FM. I’m Pete Wright and I’m right here with Nikki Kinzer. Hello Nikki Kinzer.

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

Pete Wright: How are you? You’re feeling good? You’re feeling strong?

Nikki Kinzer: I am.

Pete Wright: Kung fu strong?

Nikki Kinzer: Kung fu. That’s right. Yes, absolutely.

Pete Wright: With a fist.

Nikki Kinzer: With a fist. With another fist.

Pete Wright: With a dragon.

Nikki Kinzer: A front kick.

Pete Wright: There’s a lot of the way of the mongoose. Way of the squirrels.

Nikki Kinzer: Twists. Turn. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Way of the squirrels. Thinking of squirrels. We have merged. You got to check out the new Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel Podcast, sure, in our Tee Public Store, which is out and I haven’t even said anything about it and people have found it and are purchasing the Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel Podcast supporting this show, which I think is [inaudible 00:00:49].

Nikki Kinzer: That’s fantastic. They’re pretty cute.

Pete Wright: [inaudible 00:00:51] adorable.

Nikki Kinzer: Good job on that, Pete.

Pete Wright: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. It’s super fun. And I put up some other stuff in there. You can get stickers, you can get mugs, whatever you want. It’s over on Tee Public. We have a very special guest. Caroline Maguire is back today. Her book is really and truly out and we are very excited to talk to her about it and so much more. 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 of course, send you a note. Just a wee note, a missive every time a new episode is released.
You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @TakecontrolADHD. And if this show has ever touched you, we invite you to consider making smart financial decisions and then supporting us by joining the ADHD community over on Patreon, patreon.com/theADHDpodcast. For a few bucks, you could be watching us on YouTube on a very hidden member’s only link to watching the live recording of this podcast, which generally we do something [inaudible 00:01:56], okay, I do something stupid that lives on in history that is edited out of the other rest of the live podcast. You never hear that if you aren’t a part of the members of the community.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s not only you, Pete. [inaudible 00:02:08] a lot [crosstalk 00:02:10].

Pete Wright: So if you’re the kind of person who is interested in the BTS, the behind the scenes stuff, then you need to consider at least joining the ADHD Podcast community at patrion.com/theadhdpodcast. To all those who are currently members, we thank you for your support. To all those who are still considering it, what are you waiting for? Check it out, patrion.com/theadhdpodcast. We appreciate your support. ADHD coach Caroline Maguire is back, coach, author, teacher, and speaker with a special focus on social skills supporting kids and parents of kids with ADHD. Her book is out now. Huzzah! Why No One Will Play With Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive. And we’re thrilled that she’s back to talk to us today about social success. Caroline, where have you been all my life?

Caroline M.: I have been all over America. I have been everywhere.

Pete Wright: That’s so exciting. Look at you. You’re a globe trotter.

Caroline M.: I have seen airports that I never thought that I would see. I now am expert at packing only one bag. I do not check my bag now. My consultant has been so happy with me. I did see Nikki at the international conference. I looked at her from across the room while I heard the giggles and one of the speakers was telling me that I was too happy or something. [crosstalk 00:03:42] he was very funny-

Pete Wright: Wait a minute. No, that’s not a thing you do as a speaker.

Caroline M.: No, he was-

Pete Wright: Why did you-

Nikki Kinzer: [crosstalk 00:03:48] he was funny and I was laughing, he was funny. Yeah.

Caroline M.: [crosstalk 00:03:52] down over there. But he’s actually a friend of mine. But, no, I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been all over America.

Nikki Kinzer: [crosstalk 00:03:59].

Pete Wright: Well, it is very exciting. The last time we had [inaudible 00:04:03], it’s several months ago and it was, the book was pending release and I don’t know that we had the final date and now it’s out and it’s very exciting. Congratulations.

Caroline M.: Thank you so much. It is great. Actually, it’s pretty wonderful to be able to share this with so many families. I give speeches and people sob in audience and the venue is like, what’s happening? And I said, “This is a big issue for people, for their kids, for their teens, for their 25 year old who’s still at home.” And so it’s really powerful and I’m enjoying sharing this with everyone.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, it’s such a different take on things too, because a lot of times when you get an ADHD book for parenting or for children with ADHD, it’s sort of like an accommodations or diagnosis or academic point of view, but you don’t always see the social piece of it. So it is definitely something that we’re not talking a lot about. So your book is bringing that into people’s attention, which I think is great and we know they’re struggling.

Caroline M.: Right. Well, Why Will No One Play With Me is unique because first it’s everybody. It’s not just ADHD folks, it’s diagnosed, undiagnosed, anyone. But it’s also unique because it is completely prescriptive. It’s a yellow brick road. It’s not me telling you what the problem is, which as a mom that drives me nuts. If I get a babysitter and I go hear a speaker, please don’t tell me that my child is a lefty and they need OT, like, okay, I knew that already. I’m living with a serial killer handwriting. Tell me what to do. So yeah, no, it is unique and it’s not something we talk about enough, I think. I think the outpouring is because, Why Will No One Play With Me satisfies a need because people do not talk about the social aspect, they talk about the academics.

Nikki Kinzer: So for the people that didn’t listen to the show before where you talked about the book, can you do just a quick review of what it is about. I mean, I know we’re saying social, but let’s just go into a little bit more detail.

Caroline M.: No, absolutely. So Why Will No One Play With Me is a guide and it helps parents learn to use the coaching technique of open-ended questions and reflective listening to have conversations with your child about social skills. It also is a prescriptive book. So it is a yellow brick road of how do you introduce this topic? How do you teach a child new social skills? How do you know what social skills to focus on? What to let go? What to talk about? And it’s full of scripts. I gave a speech Saturday and every time I give a speech, somebody raises their hand and says, “Well, what if I notice things my kid or teen is doing and I need to tell them like, ”Hey, you don’t have great self-awareness, but I notice that you nag people until they literally physically withdraw from you?"
And so I have scripts of how to bring that up in a coaching session, our conversation as a parent, but not crush their soul. Right? So how do you bring that up? What do you let go? How do you do it in a way that allows the child to talk about it and not causes World War three. That’s what Why Will No One Play With Me is. It’s really this roadmap, this play book for parents to let them teach the social skills because where they are day in, day out.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, and I just have to say I had some time to read it or read through it and look at some of the exercises and some of the coaching things that you do there with the questions, and you do, you give the language to the parents, which is just so good because we don’t know what the language is without hurting their soul. Sometimes we say things we regret. Right? So it really is, it’s a fantastic book and I’m thrilled that you’re here again. So we are going to talk about a very specific topic. We’re going to talk about the seven things that everyone needs to do to be socially successful. So tell us what these seven things are and then how they apply.

Caroline M.: Okay. So I did a bunch of research in my own anecdotal experience of like, what do you pay attention to? What are the things we all need? So let me just frame this up for two seconds, which is that 17% of people don’t succeed in the work place because they don’t fit into the culture. And we always hear, it’s the fit, right? And the fit is really social skills. It’s we don’t say. But if you look at what people define fit as, it’s your communication, it’s your ability to do these seven things. So I came up with these seven things also because parents and adults are always saying to me like, “Well, what do I have to have? What do I have to focus on? What matters?”
So I wanted people to have, at the end of the day, here’s the seven things you need to be able to do. So that’s just like my framing of the context. So it is manage your emotions rather than them manage you. It is to read the room. It is to meet people halfway. It is to read social cues and unspoken rules and be able to figure out people’s facial expressions, body language. It is to also learn to walk in someone else’s shoes, take perspective. It is to also be adaptive, which I resemble this remark, that’s not always easy for us. And it is also to know your audience. So who are you talking to? Why do you need to adapt to them? And I can go into more about this, but just you’re adapting your communication style to who you’re talking to.

Pete Wright: It’s fine. You know that, I mean, yeah, you’ve nailed it in, well, I guess seven. I’m so much of the tone of all of these, at least as I apply it to myself, nails this natural social belligerence that I have to constantly be on guard for, especially this sort of meet me halfway or meet people halfway bit where it’s, if I’m left at my natural instincts, I know that I am going to come off as naturally socially selfish and that’s a thing that I’m constantly having to say in my head is, when you say read the room, I mean, that’s language that’s in my internal script constantly. How would you like to approach these, if you want to go through them point by point or maybe give some examples of how to reprogram that script so that you can actually accomplish these things.

Caroline M.: Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of these things go back to self-regulation and emotional regulation and so there’s a lot of these things just to validate [inaudible 00:11:29] that we all struggle with. And we all struggle with two depending on our level of fatigue, our level of excitement, our level of anger, like all of the emotional piece I think. One of the things I do want to say and then I’ll definitely go into them piece by piece or whatever you guys want is per [inaudible 00:11:50] there’re some people who know what to do and then there’re some people who just can’t do what they know.
And so there’s also this sort of, I always feel like there’s this self-regulation hangover where sometimes we just don’t have the ability to present as we want to and although we might nail all seven of these on another day, on that particular day, these seven things don’t happen and it all goes back to emotional and self-regulation. So part of this is to know those underlying issues are driving it for you or not. But I mean, that’s partly, Pete, what I hear you saying about the script.

Pete Wright: Yeah. You just said something that I want to highlight. And in fact, I literally highlighted it in my notes here that with ADHD, there’s this difference between how sometimes we don’t know what to do versus we can’t do what we do know how to do, right? That we don’t know what to do in a social situation versus not being able to rightfully equip the tools that we know are there, we just can’t actually access them. How do you approach the nuance between those two things in your coaching?

Caroline M.: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s a really important distinction and I don’t think we as a community talk about it enough. I think that there’s a lot of literature and articles out there where people just assume it’s the, I can’t do what I know. And I don’t think that’s true. First off, we know there’s a huge overlap with ADHD and autism. More and more research is emerging. All executive function makes complete sense. The second thing is a lot of people come up to me, write me emails, write me letters, and they’re like, I don’t know how to read the room. It is not like I don’t want to, I just don’t know. So it all goes back to the management system, the brain executive function. And I think my distinction is first of all, I have questionnaires in the book to help you make this distinction. You don’t need me.
But I think what’s really important is when you’re talking to a child or a teen, how good is their self-awareness? How able are they at any given point to read the room and access that? If it’s self-regulation, it tends to be that they can and afterwards they even know what they did. But if it’s a lack of self-awareness, everything for them feels like it’s out of the blue. This person’s mad at me. I don’t have any idea why.

Nikki Kinzer: I just want to clarify because if I was to ask my daughter if she could read the room, I don’t know if she would know what I meant by that.

Caroline M.: Right. That’s a really good example. So to read the room is to scan a situation and figure out who is there, what are the expectations of that environment, what body language, social cues, mood, context is telling you what’s going on, and then adapting your behavior to mirror the people around you. And so when I talk about adapting and realizing how people are feeling, even little, little kids can know that. They know that if somebody is really sad, you adapt. But yeah, I mean, little kids, a lot of times they don’t know all this language. And so you use visuals or you teach them. I mean, one of the things I do is I take them to a box store, to a food court and I show them what it looks like to read the room and then they have an image and then they can say, “Oh, okay, yeah, I don’t do that.”

Nikki Kinzer: Well, my first thought comes to going into a library, right? Like you’re going into a library and you need to read the room that people are quiet, they’re studying, they’re on computers, they’re looking at books. So you’re not going to come into that room talking loudly with your friend or… I mean, I can see giving those kinds of examples too to just, where are you? What’s the environment? What’s the classroom environment? What’s the assembly environment when you go into an assembly? Yeah. Interesting. Okay.

Caroline M.: And most kids who can read the room, even if self-regulation gets in their way some of the time, they can tell you things about teachers, they can tell you things about people, they can say to you, “My teacher last year was really casual. This year’s teacher is not, she is really anal or whatever.” But when a kid can’t read the room, it’s like they don’t have that self-awareness and they don’t have the awareness of what’s going on. And a lot of times they’ll tell you that nothing happened. Nothing happened that they should have been paying attention to. And so yeah, I think it is important. The language is important and I give sometimes in different situations where I’m explaining something in Why Will No One Play With Me, I’ll give different ways you could explain it.
But it is something where there is that distinction. Some people can read the room and then other people can but they don’t have the self-regulation to do it.

Pete Wright: And this is different than just that casual teen-ness. Right? I’m in this process of having teens and having teens with ADHD. And I noticed with my daughter who has been living with it longer and has a greater set of accommodations that when I say what happened today, I’ll be able to probe further after the nothing and I’ll get something.

Caroline M.: Right.

Pete Wright: Right? I’ll get something that she’s aware of and she has some skills to do that. And with my son who is not quite there yet, I can’t get past the nothing. It’s like actually he didn’t store anything in there because he’s not calling on any sort of accommodations that he’s getting through or the meds didn’t work or he forgot to take it in the morning or something like that. And I imagine that is also, for me, living with kids with ADHD is different from kids without ADHD who are also just teenagers.

Caroline M.: Right. Yeah. And I think there’s another thing that comes into play. When people don’t read the room, my experience is that they’re not great noticers. So they don’t pick up on not only the social cues but the context, the environment, the mood. And so one of the things that comes up could be it’s memory. It could be it’s attention. It could be all those things. But it also could be that a lot of times when people don’t read the room well, teenagers, little kids doesn’t matter. Adults, they don’t notice stuff. So a lot of the exercises in Why Will No One Play With Me are geared to turn you into a better noticer. To have you aware that there’s context, there’s mood, there’s stuff going on in every social situation, every box store you enter, every library you enter and that you need to pay attention to that.
And it’s almost like one of those billboards you pass on the highway and you’ve never really read it. And then all of a sudden one day when you’re in traffic and you actually are paused in front of it and you’re like, “Oh, that’s what this says.” I think when people don’t notice, they have never noticed that billboard even though it’s right there.

Pete Wright: How do you start with that? Can you give us an example? What are some of the probes that you use to help people become better noticers?

Caroline M.: Well, one of the biggest things I do is that I have them become social spies. So little kids, big kids, adults, I have them learn this thing I called social spy where they go out into the world with a specific mission of things to notice. And you can use social spy. We practice and we rehearse so you notice without people noticing that you’re noticing so that we practice and we rehearse so that you can knock a cord and nobody knows as a teenager you’re watching. But you can use it from everything from what are other kids talking about that you maybe want to tune into, or even I have them go to a box store and I want you to notice all the exits.
I want you to notice who’s in charge but they’re not wearing a uniform or a manager badge. They’re in charge, but you can tell they’re in charge based on their bossy behavior. I have them go out and actually collect data and I ask them to make observations and it’s all scripted out so that they can start to watch and notice all this information. I have them go spy on two members of the family. What does mom and dad do with their body and their voice and what do they say when they’re getting frustrated? And then it’s hysterical because they come back with stuff that their parents are like, oh God, but it’s [crosstalk 00:20:58].

Nikki Kinzer: Oh my Gosh.

Pete Wright: Yeah right. I was just going to say like-

Caroline M.: I was spied on.

Pete Wright: Yeah, did they ever come back and were like, “Well coach Carolina, I learned that uncle Bob is embezzling money from work and it’s all in Switzerland.”

Caroline M.: Oh my God. [crosstalk 00:21:09] half of the country. I know it [inaudible 00:21:11]. No, they come back with hysterical stuff. They come back with stories, especially the ADHD kids, that you could not make up and all kinds of information.

Pete Wright: I imagine that’s a great gift. Like the idea of what a neuro-typical would notice after having just that unconscious subconscious practice at this giving an ADHDier the assignment of this social scavenger hunt, the social spy, you’re going to get some very unique feedback. Like the things that they notice, I imagine are very different.

Caroline M.: You are. And sometimes I’ve had to say, “I know that you found your brother’s piggy bank or whatever, but I need you to promise today you’re going to put it back.”

Nikki Kinzer: You’re right. Right.

Pete Wright: That’s right. Don’t take the stuff, just notice this stuff. Right? This isn’t a collection.

Caroline M.: Exactly.

Nikki Kinzer: I have a question about the emotional regulation because I know we talk about manage, so manage the emotions rather than let them manage you. So we know that that’s a very difficult thing. We just had Dr. [Dotson 00:22:21] on our show a few weeks ago talking about rejection sensitivity. So what would be your process in working with a child around that, around managing their emotions? Is it noticing again? I mean, I’m thinking out loud.

Caroline M.: Yes it is. So part of it is that they… And we’re not talking about not having emotion, right? We’re talking about a few things. We’re talking about having an awareness of how big does this feel for me versus how big it really is. Right? So how worried should I really be is one of the exercises in Why Will No One Play With Me and it works for everybody of all ages. But if you can imagine with us, one of the things is that that worry feels gigantic. It is a huge distraction. It is all consuming to me, but perspective-wise it is not a big deal. Right? And so part of it is them learning to process that emotion, to name it. So noticing is part of it.
To name it. Be aware that it’s affecting your behavior and then to process and manage it and calm yourself down or realize the rumination is consuming you and manage it. But also some of it is that perspective, because a lot kids with ADHD and teens, they feel like the worry feels huge and then they want all of us to react in concern. And I know my own daughter does this where she has a missing shirt right now, which I really wish I could find because I’m so done with looking for this shirt. And when she talks about it, she talks about it like it is famine. It’s Syria. And I’m like, hmm, it’s a missing tee shirt. But to her it must feel huge and it affects her behavior because every morning when she goes to get dressed, it’s like this hideous experience for all of us.
So that’s part of it. Right? Because then if they can name it and they can tame it and they can process it and they can also know when they’re going into fight, flight and freeze or when they’re losing self-regulation, it’s so much easier to help them because they’re aware versus when they think you should be just as worried about this as I am because this is huge.

Nikki Kinzer: It makes me think of all the times that I hear from my children, “You just don’t understand, mom. You just don’t understand.” But I see now that maybe I didn’t understand, but I certainly understand more now because that’s what’s happening is they’re having a hard time managing their emotions and it feels big to them.

Caroline M.: Yeah. And I think anxiety is not something we talk about as much as we could in our space because a lot of the kids that I work with, they actually can read social cues, but their anxiety and their worries are so all consuming that it’s like they’re in a frantic state at all times. They’re in fight, flight or freeze at all times and they cannot even hear people. And any of us with self-regulation issues listening who have experienced that, it is like you’re inside this maelstrom and you know people are going on with their lives and you know you’re supposed to behave in a certain way but it’s like you can’t, you’re just frantic.

Nikki Kinzer: In your book, you actually have a definition of what it means to have a social problem. Can you talk to us about how you define that so that parents out there that are listening, because I know as a parent I don’t always know, well, I hardly ever know what’s really going on with my teenagers. I only know what they tell me. So how do you define that to somebody so they really understand?

Caroline M.: If something is persistently coming up, to me it’s a problem. I have parents write me and who I’ve worked with who spent almost every night dealing with all of the social issues, dealing with who they sat with at lunch, who they didn’t sit with, who looked at them cross-eyed. They may have good social skills, but that’s an issue, right? Because think ahead to the workplace in the future. You as a parent are calming them down and you’re helping them manage, what’s going to happen when you’re not there? Is their college roommate going to do that? I very much doubt that. Right? That’s one.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Right.

Caroline M.: Two is, are they persistently left out? So in 1975, people had five to six friends. Nowadays people have five to six friends. So if your child is persistently left out or they only have virtual friends, that is definitely an issue. And definitely don’t wait because the brain is most plastic when they’re young. So we can help anyone, but it’s easier when they’re young. And then the last thing is are they able to do those seven things in an age appropriate way? And if they’re not, it’s not the end of the world, but you need those seven things to be successful in the work place.
And no matter what you do… Someone said to me the other day, “Well, my kid’s not going to go to college.” And I said, “Okay.” But if you’re an Uber driver, you have to get along with people. If you’re working in a pizza shop, if you’re work… wherever you work, you have to get along with people and you have to be able to not alienate them and not say wildly inappropriate things. So those seven things, it doesn’t matter what your child does, as long as they are going to be in the workplace of some kind, they’re going to need those seven things.

Pete Wright: I want to anchor on something you just said there about five to six friends. First of all, can you elaborate on why it’s important for kids to develop those friendships when they do, and I’m assuming that that’s important. And by extension, does that carry through to adults? Because we hear this all the time, adults have trouble making friends, keeping friends for whatever reason, they’re just not able to maintain that social consciousness around their friendships. Can you talk about those few things?

Caroline M.: Yeah. I mean, there’s a few things here. One that you’re touching on is sometimes people have friendly behaviors, but they don’t follow up with people and they don’t keep in touch. And a lot of the 12, 13, 14 year olds that I work with, the issue isn’t it that they are not able to be friendly and make friends. The issue is that when parents are no longer facilitating the friendship, they don’t follow through, they don’t reach out and that’s a big issue. But yeah, five to six friends, why it’s important is just actually to me is like a baseline. So a lot of times when I give a talk, somebody raises their hand and says, “My child is an introvert or my child seems pretty happy, I worry that they only have one to two friends.”
And the big other thing is virtual friends. Kids are telling us, “Oh, you don’t understand. I have virtual friends.” So I wanted to figure out, do kids really do have more virtual friends and we’re just putting a standard on it from our past? And it’s like, no, even kids who have virtual friends have live friends. The other thing is that when a child has one to two friends, they may be really thinking of close friends. But the thing is, can they make more? Right? So I’m not here to tell you who you should be friends with, but what you have to be able to do if one of those two friends moves away is make more friends. So I mean, that’s why it’s important.

Nikki Kinzer: Or you move away. Right. Oh wow. That’s a really interesting connection.

Caroline M.: Yeah. I have a ton of kids who I see or who I have heard from who had one or two friends and the parents were like, “Wow, they’re very close to these two people. Who am I to say?” Except there’s a problem with that, which is that if one person moves away or if your kid only has one or two friends and they don’t get placed with them in a high school or something and they can’t make new friends, that’s a problem. And also I like to project to the work place. You’re going to have a million bosses. We know people are going to have seven or more careers nowadays, we’re in the world of mergers, you’re not going to have one boss.
You might even have dotted line too many bosses. So if you want to have one or two close friends, that’s fine as long as you can make other friends. And in most cases people aren’t able to, it’s what ends up happening. So that’s my big thing.

Pete Wright: Well, and that’s, yeah, that’s really the question, right? As an adult, what is it that is trapping you in this space of not being able to make new friends? I would extend that by saying, it just feels like there is a sense of or a lack of momentum, lack of… You get this established kind of inertia toward not going out and socializing or going out and socializing because you’re dragged there with your spouse or whatever. And it’s so much easier to not make an effort to make new friends as an adult. And you just have less opportunity to do it given the daily buckle shuffle of life. And it seems like that, we say, well, it’s healthy for kids to have great friends. Well, it just feels like, doesn’t the same thing hold it for adults? Not just being able to make new friends, but [inaudible 00:32:29].

Caroline M.: Absolutely. It’s funny because I know this intellectually, I don’t know if this happens to you guys, you know something, but then you hear it again and you’re like, “Oh, that’s so true.”

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Caroline M.: Ned Hallowell’s book that’s coming out next year, I’m in that book as a social solution. And the reason I’m in that book is that one of the big things he’s going to talk about is connection again. And there’s more and more evidence that you as a human being must connect or you end up with depression and other things that actually affect your lifespan and affect your physical wellbeing. The thing is that I think for a lot of adults with ADHD, there is that inertia. I think there’s also a, I don’t know how, so I just don’t do it. And I think it requires executive function, right? Because you have to plan.
So there’s all these factors but at the end of the day, it is important to connect with other people and to reach out.

Pete Wright: It’s terrifying. And it’s a muscle. Like anything else, you have to practice. And I think we forget that. I know I do. I forget that. And I’m in this space speaking just for myself where I work out of my house. I see the social relationships that I have are predominantly like us doing this right now. We’re on the microphone, we’re talking [inaudible 00:33:55], we have the luxury of being able to look at each other, but there is something very different about that. If you get out of the habit of leaving your office and going out to lunch with somebody that you don’t have something to take notes. At the same time, it’s not a working lunch. That’s something that takes practice and it’s hard to do and it’s okay for it to be hard to do.

Caroline M.: Yeah, it is okay for it to be hard to do. Everything we’re talking about means exiting your comfort zone. It really does. And one of the things I would say too is, an introverted person taught me this years ago and I’ve been using it ever since, where one of the ways that this person was able to overcome a lot of social anxiety was to have a job to do. And so what he did was he volunteered for things. So just having a role. If you’re a waiter, part of your role is to talk to people. And so when you have a job and that’s part of your role, then it gives you an excuse and a way to do this as an adult.
And one of the things that I’ve found over the years is that volunteering is actually an incredibly good way to expand your social network as an adult and it doesn’t feel as daunting and scary as why don’t you go out and find a new group of friends when you work from home or you work at a small company or you work with people who are completely not your age, right? Instead, we’re saying like, go out and find an organization, find some different groups and join as a volunteer and you’re going to meet tons of people. Plus you have a job and a role. It’s not like, well, why are you talking to me? It’s like, oh, we’re all doing [crosstalk 00:35:42].

Pete Wright: Totally.

Nikki Kinzer: Right and you’re already, you have a mission to get… I mean, you already have something in common is what I’m trying to say. Right? So whether you’re volunteering at your child’s school, you are looking for the wellbeing of your children, their classmates and the school and you’re helping out the school. But I can also see if you’re helping out at the pets-

Caroline M.: Like adoption agency.

Nikki Kinzer: You mean society? Yeah. Right. So now you’re connecting with people who love animals just as much as you love animals. And so you could already start that conversation really. Right? Yeah. Okay.

Caroline M.: Yeah. I just was finding, my husband does the finances and all this stuff for our church. There’s people of all different ages involved in this church. And my husband is pretty social, but I was in town with him the other day and he knows everybody. Everyone’s talking to him and I’m like, “How do you know a nine year old man?” Right? And he’s like, “Well, he does acts.” Right? And so it gives you access also to all different age groups, which I didn’t know about any of the other ADHDiers listening. But I am an old soul.
So when I was in my 20s, I wasn’t necessarily going to go out and party a ton and I didn’t necessarily relate to other 20 year olds. That’s what I like about it too is that you become more about friendship and less about your particular age group or your particular town or whatever. You get to meet a wide variety of people. And again, it’s less daunting because honestly what if I say to someone, “Hey Pete, go out and meet new people.”

Pete Wright: Oh, yeah, forget that. Also, I can go out and meet my ex boss.

Caroline M.: Right, exactly.

Pete Wright: So there are other things I could.

Nikki Kinzer: Or you can call me, Pete.

Pete Wright: Yeah. That’s right. I can just call Nikki every time.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:37:45].

Pete Wright: That social, making socialization a part of your obligation, whether it’s your obligation to your church community or obligation to the food bank or whatever it is, that volunteerism I think is really, it’s really great. I have to talk right now and that lets me pull back the veil on my insecurities and it makes it easier to do. I love that. All of this stuff is great, Caroline. It’s always fantastic.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s great.

Pete Wright: As we wrap up, you want to tell people now officially where they need to go find this book of yours and all of the great tools in it?

Caroline M.: Sure. Why Will No One Play With Me, if you want to Google just, Why Will No One Play With Me if you’re a person who’s going to forget what I’m about to say, you can do that. But also if you go to carolinemaguireauthor.com, that will lead you to literally a page where you can buy it from anyone. Why Will No One Play With Me is on Amazon. I have a ton of new stuff coming up including Black Friday and other offerings of videos on how to coach your kid, webinars, all kinds of educational information. So carolinemaguireauthor.com is one of the best ways to do all this because it’s like a portal. I really hope people will try and, I know it’s a lot of of work, but here’s my sales pitch. The holidays are incredibly social.
So if you want to work on social skills for yourself or your kid, you have a million built-in opportunities and you can either slog through them filled with dread watching your kid do stuff and dying a thousand deaths, and we’ve all been there. Or you can pick up Why Will No One Play With Me, and this could be like an opportunity because there’s tons… I don’t know about your calendars, but my calendars come Thanksgiving on are just filled with even just the kids choral stuff and all this stuff where you are being social and therefore you can practice.

Nikki Kinzer: [inaudible 00:39:54]. And I just have to say again, as a recommendation going through this book, you do, you give the language to the parents, you give them the exercises, you give them the questions and it’s just fantastic. So I highly recommend it to everybody.

Caroline M.: Thank you, Nikki.

Nikki Kinzer: Everyone.

Caroline M.: Thank you.

Nikki Kinzer: You bet.

Pete Wright: We will of course, have links in the show notes to all of those fantastic places if you haven’t gone out there and Googled them already. And thank you as always, Caroline Maguire, for joining us today. It’s so great to have you back on the show.

Caroline M.: Thank you.

Pete Wright: And thank you everybody for downloading and listening to this show. As always, on behalf of Caroline Maguire and Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright and we’ll see you next time right here 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.