Relationships— My ADHD Superpower.

I am lucky to have amazing friends and family in my life. The people I love, love me back.  From a shared book, to a shared tear, to a shared job, I’m in it to win it.  I go all in with relationships.  They heal me, motivate me, and fill me up.


Relationship Builder





I didn’t realize how much of a “skill” it was to maintain relationships, until I was managing people.  As a manager, I realized the effort it took to build relationships and also how that upfront investment paid superior dividends.  I did a lot of upfront “investing” while I managed new department members.  I leveraged those relationships to get help for myself and my students when needed at work.  I became the main communicator with a colleague and our vice principal when things got tough for her. 


Relationships are the New Currency





Ben Hardy (check out his article on medium) says “relationships are the new currency.”  He’s spot-on.  I’ve made many odd requests and molded my teacher union job into exactly what I need by investing in relationships.  I’ve gone above and beyond my part of the bargain because that’s how relationships grow.  You give.  With no expectations.  With no strings attached.  You’re unconditional.  


Growing relationships is my ADHD superpower.  I’m always thrilled to connect with others.  Even as a little girl, moving from state to state, starting life anew every year, I yearned for a forever friend (thank God for my sister).  As a “military brat” I hoped for a connection that lasted across the miles and through the years. 

Here’s My Number



As I settle into adulthood I realize how my past has enhanced my gift of connection.  I don’t spend a lot of time on pretense and formalities.  If I meet a person who has similar values and I believe we could support each other in some capacity, I’m sharing my phone number.  



Life is Fleeting




Life is right now.  If someone crosses my path at this very moment,  perhaps I’m supposed to meet them.  I’m quite outgoing and gregarious.  My personality can border on raunchy with my volume, spirited self-expression and potty mouth.  But, I truly want to laugh, listen and engage.  I have voice nodules because I talk too damn much.  I blame it on my career, but my husband will tell you the talking is incessant at home, too. 


Maybe it’s a flashback to my childhood.  I only had a few moments to make a go of friendship.  If you move every year, your timeline for building relationships moves FAST.  You’ve got to put yourself out there, make the connection and hold on tight.

How do you maintain relationships?  Does your ADHD help or hinder your friendships?  

Published by Family ADDventures

Nicole Santiago is a learning specialist, student advocate, and founder of Family ADDventures. As a specialist, she assesses and teaches clients (adults and adolescents) to manage and grow their executive functioning skills which include emotional regulation, task initiation, and time management. As an advocate (IEP coach), she is a member of COPAA and ensures inclusive (special) education students receive the most appropriate educational services possible. She often collaborates with OT's, SLP's and neuropsychologists all in the name of student improvement and success. Her practice is located in San Antonio, TX, and everywhere (virtually). The author grew up an army brat and spends time with her three ND children and husband in Puerto Rico whenever possible. She writes about mental health, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship on her blog:

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