1. The ADHD partner responds differently to YELLING.
2. The ADHD brain classifies all incoming communications as either SAFE or UNSAFE.
3. The BRAIN’S FUNCTION is to keep you safe.
4. YELLING is automatically labeled as UNSAFE.
5. The response is either FIGHT (defensive, yelling back), FLIGHT (running away from the situation), or FREEZE (zoning you out, as if you don’t exist)
6. In Fight Mode, regrettable things may be said, causing further harm in the relationship.
7. In Flight Mode, the ADHD brain may know what to say, but hold back, believing it is unimportant.
8. In Freeze Mode, the ADHD brain feels safer when it blocks the source of negativity out of the picture.
9. Yell once, and the ADHD partner may come to anticipate that all communication from the partner is UNSAFE.
10. Thereafter, even without you yelling yet, the ADHD partner already fights, flights, or freezes.
11. Even worse, the ADHD brain may make even more danger associations with the partner’s communication style.
12. The result is a breakdown in communications.
13. But there is a solution, and it involves BOTH individuals.
14. The non-ADHD partner can practice YELLING LESS. This will RE-TRAIN the ADHD partner’s brain to react with less fear.
15. The ADHD partner, meanwhile, must practice to RESTRAIN his first impulse when spoken to. Repeating a mantra such as “I am safe, this is good.” will help.
16. This will help strengthen communications and help convey to each other their respective needs.
17. In a relationship, it’s not all HEART.
18. Knowing how the brain works, and knowing when your BRAIN in charge, Really Helps.