9 Tips for ADHD and Listening | Kristen McClure, Therapist

Do you have a hard time listening to others? Do they seem to finish their sentences before you’ve even had a chance to process what they’re saying? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can make it difficult to focus on anything for an extended period of time, including conversations. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in personal and professional relationships. In this blog post, I will discuss some strategies that can help improve your ability to listen effectively!


Because the ADHD brain does not have good working memory, listening and Adhd is often a problem. Individuals with Adhd may have difficulty hearing and comprehending other people. This can result in anxiety around conversations and the feeling that you’re not understanding or being understood. If this is an issue that you’ve dealt with for a long time, you may be unaware of it. But there are ways to determine if this is something you need to work on. For example, ask yourself if you often find yourself struggling to keep up with conversations, or if you frequently forget what was said in a conversation soon after it ends. If so, improving your listening skills may be a goal worth pursuing. Below are 9 tips to help you with this.

Adhd and Listening 9 Tips

Adhd  and Listening Tip 1. Ask for feedback.

Open communication is essential in any relationship, whether it be personal or professional. In order to have a healthy relationship with others, it is important to be open and receptive to feedback. This can be difficult to do, especially if we feel that we are being judged. However, it is important to remember that feedback is meant to help us improve our relationships, not tear them down. If we trust the people close to us, then we should be open to hearing their feedback and taking it to heart. By being receptive to feedback, we can learn about our own communication style and start to make changes that will improve our relationships. 

Adhd  and Listening Tip 2. Practice reflecting content.

In order to ensure understanding in conversations, it is important to reflect back the content of what people say. This can be done by summarizing what they have said in your own words. By reflecting the content of what someone has said, you can be sure that you have understood them correctly. This is especially important in work conversations, as misunderstandings can lead to errors being made. However, reflecting back the content of what people say can also help to build rapport and show that you are listening to them. The next time you are in a conversation, try reflecting back the content of what the other person has said. You may be surprised at how much better you understand them.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 3. Ask people to slow down.

We all know how frustrating it can be when we’re trying to have a conversation with someone and they just don’t seem to be listening. It’s even more frustrating when we’re the ones who are having trouble keeping up with the conversation. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to try asking the people closest to you to slow down during conversations. This can help you with your working memory so you can process the information better and respond. Some vulnerability is required, but it will be worth it if it helps you to connect with the people who matter most to you.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 4. Write down notes.

In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it can be easy to rely on digital tools for everything from communication to memory. However, there are still many advantages to putting pen to paper, especially when it comes to important conversations. Writing things down helps to ensure that important details are not forgotten or lost in the shuffle. It also provides a physical record that can be looked back on later. In contrast, relying on memory alone is often less reliable, particularly when emotions are running high. Taking notes also allows both parties to focus on the conversation itself, without worrying about trying to remember everything that is being said. As a result, carrying a pen and paper (or taking notes on your phone) can be a helpful way to ensure that important conversations are remembered and fully understood.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 5. Replay the conversation after the fact with visual aids.

We have all had the experience of replay important conversations in our head. Usually, it is after the conversation has ended, and we are trying to remember what was said. We replay the conversation in our mind, trying to remember the exact words that were spoken. However, research has shown that we are more likely to remember a conversation if we replay it visually. That is, we should try to replay the conversation in our mind as if we are watching a movie. Studies have shown that this method of recall is more effective than simply trying to replay the conversation in our mind without any visual aids. So, the next time you need to remember an important conversation, try replay it visually. You may be surprised at how well you remember it. This is a great tip for people who struggle with Adhd and listening. 

Adhd  and Listening Tip 6. Reduce Stress.

We’ve all experienced stress at one point or another. Whether it’s a looming deadline at work, a fight with a friend, or a global pandemic, stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. Research has shown that stress can negatively impact our memory and attention span. When we’re stressed, we’re less likely to remember conversations or be able to pay attention to them. This is because stress decreases our executive functioning skills. So if you have an important conversation that you need to have, or you’re expecting yourself to be able to attend to a conversation, it’s best to do so when you’re not feeling stressed.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 7. Reduce Distractions.

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to be able to have focused conversations. With the constant barrage of notifications and social media, it’s easy to get distracted. For people with ADHD, this can be especially difficult. When trying to have an important conversation, it’s important to reduce extraneous distractions as much as possible. This means turning off all electronic devices, putting away any potential distractions, and focusing on the conversation at hand. It can be difficult to do, but the rewards of a successful conversation are worth it.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 8. Set up meetings with the specific goal of listening for important updates, rather than communicating on the fly. For both family and work.

Meetings are essential for good communication, especially when there are important details to discuss. However, many people with ADHD find meetings to be difficult. They may have trouble following the discussion, or they may become easily distracted. As a result, it is important to set up regular meetings with important members of your family or team. This will allow you to listen closely and make sure that everyone is on the same page. In addition, you can use meetings to brainstorm ideas, solve problems, and plan for the future. By setting up regular meetings, you can ensure that everyone is able to communicate effectively and that important details are not forgotten.

Adhd  and Listening Tip 9. Use Self Compassion

It is easy to be self-critical, especially when it comes to learning new skills. We often compare ourselves to others who seem to make the task look effortless and feel discouraged when we don’t reach the same level of proficiency quickly. However, self-criticism is not an effective way to motivate ourselves. Instead, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, making learning the new skill even harder. A better approach is self-compassion. When we are kind and understanding towards ourselves, we create a space for learning and growth. We become more motivated to practice and less discouraged by setbacks. Self-compassion also helps us to listen to our own needs and intuitions, which is essential for people with ADHD who often have trouble following through on good intentions. By cultivating self-compassion, we can create the conditions necessary for learning new skills.

Check out this post on communication hacks when you have adhd from Webmd


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