ADHD and People Pleasing: Three Ways to Stop Overcommitting

Another missed deadline. Another sleepless night worrying about the missed deadline. Your plate is beyond full, and your boss asks you if you are interested in taking on a new project. You feel bad and think, “I can just ‘squeeze it in,’ I gotta make up for the last missed deadline.” You promise to not only meet their next deadline, you promise to beat their next deadline. Crisis averted, right? Except for one thing…looks like you forgot about that graveyard of other unmet promises that have already been stacking up. Goodbye social life, hello stress. And the cycle continues. The reality is, many adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are prone to overcommitment. Why? Well, it often has something to do with the lifetime of guilt tied to missing deadlines or struggling to not follow through. These brain-based behaviors lead to excessive guilt and shame, making ADHD and people pleasing to be two sides of the same coin. However, with the right strategies, following through (as promised) may just be within reach.

Three Tips to Stop Overcommitting

Learn to say no.

How many times a day do you say yes? No, seriously. You don’t want to say…do you? Well, our guess is, it might be even more than you realize. However, a great way to increase productivity is to set boundaries on your time. And the best way to do that is to say no. Don’t sweat it too hard, saying no doesn’t mean being aggressive. Saying no means…saying no. I can’t. I’m sorry, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, and that’s not an option.

That being said, there might be times when no isn’t an option. Sometimes your boss absolutely needs something to be done. However, there are definitely opportunities when saying no is a safe option and finding those opportunities may end up increasing your reliability and trustworthiness to complete what you’ve already taken on.

Let yourself think about it.

When in doubt, buy yourself time before saying yes. Remember, ADHD is a self-regulation disorder, which means if there are big feelings, there are quick actions. For many adults with ADHD, saying yes is a reflex. They do it so often and so passionately, they don’t stop and think through the consequences. A simple, “let me get back to you on that” will usually buy you enough time to call your friend (or your therapist) and work through a game plan.

Refocus your energy.

Sometimes saying no to others is about saying yes to yourself. Many ADHD individuals feel their life lacks balance. They’re so busy staying late to catch up, they miss out on family time. Or they’re spending so much time feeling bad for something they missed, they don’t make time to pick up a hobby. The irony is that many ADHD individuals can be profoundly creative and engaging. In fact, they need fun in order to feel energized. Establishing a more full personal life outside of work can help you to genuinely be able to say no, because you just happen to have a life this evening.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio

Looking for more individualized support stopping endless cycles of people pleasing? You don’t have to live your life overcommitting. ADHD therapy can help you manage your time (and your life). Our counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD Treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out the contact form to reach out and schedule a consultation.
  • Meet with one of our caring therapists.
  • Stop feeling behind. Start feeling in charge of your time.

Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. As an adult with ADHD, we know you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!