View Full Version : Comparing yourself and hiding your symptoms


acdc01
03-08-16, 05:38 AM
I'm finding I compare myself to NTs a lot now. I didn't do it as much before but I do it more ever since I've been diagnosed.

I've been reading other people say it's a low self-esteem issue but I feel like I do it more because it's a necessity for me. It's the only way I can tell if I'm acting NT enough. I know some here hate the thought of not being able to just be yourself but if I don't act NT, it can really cause problems sometimes.

For example, I'm having difficulties at work at the moment. My boss and I have specifically discuss this (already disclosed at work) and we both agree, it doesn't stem from a performance issue. I do good work. But my reputation is much worse with many coworkers because they see me as lazy, not well put together, and just plain don't like me as much - even though I produce the same quality and sometimes even better work than my other coworkers who are thought highly of. And they have complained about me to my boss - and everything they complained about is clearly about my ADHD symptoms. They even grudging acknowledge my work has been good but they are afraid of me cause my symptoms make them nervous(coworkers don't know about ADHD, only boss). My boss even agrees with everything I've just said here.

It's a huge deal cause it affects the oppurtunities I get at work (boss doesn't decide my opportunities, others do), thereby affecting my potential for growth, thereby affecting my salary.. My boss and I are currently coming up with ways to hide my symptoms more. But I already do a million things to hide my symptoms as it is. It gets exhausting and it makes me sick that I have to put in all this extra effort not to improve performance but just cause people are treating me worse cause of a disability I have. My performance is actually at risk right now cause all this hiding of symptoms combined with how crazy our workload has been and how bad I've been feeling cause of what I think is pure discrimination (though I haven't said this d word with my boss yet).

So I'm wondering 2 things now. One is what to do about my work situation? Two is whether comparing is really always a self-esteem issue as others have suggested here? It still doesn't feel like it to me but I'm just wondering what others believe.

aeon
03-08-16, 06:16 AM
I donít think it is always a self-esteem issue.

Humans look at other humans and take note of things so they have a reference point by which to take note of their self and to orient their self, in the context of being a living creature, in a given situation, in a culture, and so on.

I think it is a demonstrable aspect of our being a social species.

As to your work situation, I am sorry to hear of it, and I am sorry to say I have nothing to offer in counsel. Just :grouphug: if you accept.


Blessťd Be,
Ian

stef
03-08-16, 06:54 AM
In some cases comparing could be a self esteem issue, but not here.
You should maybe see this more as "toning down" your symptoms because honestly you have nothing to hide from these apparently jealous colleagues.

what have people been complaining about??? Unless you've been incredibly rude or super loud or unpleasant, what do you do that actually affects their work?

I don't know what field you work in but dress appropriately and neatly (I know that sounds petty - but it can make a difference).
Tidy up your desk a couple of times during the day.
Just focus on your workload! don't worry about future promotions

really wish you the best :grouphug:

aeon
03-08-16, 09:48 AM
I don't know what field you work in but dress appropriately and neatly (I know that sounds petty - but it can make a difference).

Itís not petty, and it does make all the difference.

But something tells me that acdc01 has this sorted.


Cheers,
Ian

ginniebean
03-08-16, 01:38 PM
I haven't progressed as I would have liked due in large part to this issue as well. I do dress well, but my ability to manage all the social stuff sends me near to nervous breakdown. I work in a job where my interaction with co-workers is limited and I LOVE THAT. It allows me to keep my job basically.

I hate that it puts a ceiling on how much I can progress career wise. Sadly, the social aspects of work are often more important than productivity. I'm like you, often more productive and a better worker than others who progress in their careers.

It can be hard to accept but it's so far what I've had to do to get by.

acdc01
03-09-16, 06:45 PM
Thanks a lot guys for the support. It feels nice having it.

Sadly, the social aspects of work are often more important than productivity.

Yeah, I know. It still isn't right, especially when it's about something we should theoretically be legally protected from. I don't care much about climbing the corporate ladder but I do care about how poor the managers that have power over me are when it comes to scheduling and resource allocation. Job growth would mean being able to be more free of their clutches making my life a lot easier.

what have people been complaining about??? Unless you've been incredibly rude or super loud or unpleasant, what do you do that actually affects their work?

I'm very mild mannered. I'm not rude, super loud, or unpleasant. I dress about the same as everyone else.

One person commented that I asked the exact same question more than once on more than one occasion. I can count 8 coping techniques I already apply to this weakness to hide it - I've already minimized it to the extent that I can. I actually hide it pretty well now - have only had 1 person at my company complain about this. But unfortunately, the person in power os a detailed, oriented perfectionists that still notice quirks like this.

Others have noticed my procrastination - which scares them and makes me look not put together. I've actually worked for my company for ages and I've already proven that I meet deadlines so it makes me mad that this affects their trust level, but still it does.

There's other things too - clearly symptoms of my ADHD like the above that just makes people think less of me even though my results are the same and even better. I've applied tons of coping skills to each weakness I have - I don't think I can minimize them any more than I already have.

You know, I wrote this after waking up in the middle of the night. I think I just needed to vent so thanks for listening to my writing. Was a tough day the day before so the thoughts were fresh on my mind.

Greyhound1
03-09-16, 07:25 PM
Hey acdc

Sorry to hear about the trouble at work. I don't understand what you mean when you said your symptoms make your co-workers nervous. Perhaps telling them as a group that you have a ADHD could help.

I am not sure, if I am suggesting you do this, but they are already gossiping and appear nervous around you. Maybe, their imagination has run wild noticing some symptoms and will be relieved when they hear it's ADHD. Perhaps the boss could assist.

I have no idea. Just a thought. I hope things work out.

acdc01
03-09-16, 10:34 PM
I don't understand what you mean when you said your symptoms make your co-workers nervous. Perhaps telling them as a group that you have a ADHD could help.

Thanks Greyhound.

I mean like procrastination. When people see me cramming all the time to finish stuff it makes them nervous I'll sooner or later miss the deadline (which are very important). I can understand the fear to an extent but it's not like I've waited on everything till the absolute last minute - I do have intermediate steps with deadlines so I do do some things in advance. And I've never missed a deadline for them in all the years so you think that should have developed some trust. They still feel the possibility though. It's part about their personalities too. The ones that have the issue are the micromanagers that need to see "progress" all the time.

I think your idea about disclosing to everyone is a good one and I had already been considering it. Unfortunately, it's a mixed bag. Some people when told about a health condition will understand, have sympathy, and try to accommodate. My supervisor is that type of a person. The ones that have the power over me, are absolutely not that type of a person. They are the can do, no excuses type. Still, if they are told what they are doing is discrimination, then they'd probably again grudgingly acquiesce. Going to those lengths is risky though and may cause more trouble for me than it's worth so I'm still thinking about it.

Daisy13
03-09-16, 11:13 PM
This sounds like a very odd place. As long as the people are not waiting on you to finish something before they can do their own work, I don't understand why they care how you work as long as the work is done.

Are you able to speak to the people who have an issue with you and explain to them that they might not understand your work style and therefore be stressed by it, but that logically if for many years you have not missed a deadline, then you are no more likely to do so than anyone else?

Maybe they are not taking that into consideration when making their comments.

Would it be possible for your boss to perhaps arrange for someone who talks about different work styles to attend a staff meeting? I recently saw a presentation online called Myers Briggs in the Workplace and it focused on how people with different personality traits and differences work differently, but often not less effectively.

I know it might not be possible to hire someone to come and speak, but maybe there are other ways to educate your co-workers that not just one work style is required to get the job done.

acdc01
03-10-16, 12:41 AM
This sounds like a very odd place. As long as the people are not waiting on you to finish something before they can do their own work, I don't understand why they care how you work as long as the work is done.

If you worked in the type of high stress, extreme deadline environment I'm working in you would understand why there is fear. Even without procrastination, there is fear cause some of the deadlines are so tight it feels like there isn't time to do things even without procrastination. Add to that, I think at least one of the micromanagers I'm talking about has clinical anxiety. A lot of the time, the people that pick on us the most have issues of their own I think. And our high stress environment is bringing out the worst in all of us.

I like your ideas of talking to the people about personality differences. The class idea couldn't work as my company would never throw a class just for me. And if they did, the people who truly listen to those classes were never the ones that needed them the most to begin with. I'm considering asking my boss to talk to one of the managers similarly to what you're suggesting. I'm not sure it will work though cause he's a stubborn mule. Also, the managers have a lot of power and they pick who they want no matter the reason - they consider it their right. My supervisor isn't loved either (not hated, but not loved) by the one manager that makes the most difference in my case so it makes it even harder.

I hate office politics.

The best answer is actually to quit. Unfortunately for me, I have tremendous difficulties getting myself to apply for jobs. It's my most severe weakness in terms of my career. One I don't think I can overcome anymore.

Socaljaxs
03-10-16, 03:25 AM
Two things, this isn't the comparing that people have addressed in other posts that would be self-esteem related. When you are comparing as using the comparisons to make you feel better or sound better, that is the self-esteem issue that is spoken about in previous threads... What you do it almost like a jump of point to what you see as how you should be expected to behave and strive for. It's two very different things.

As for the work issues.. To be quite Honest, just based on what you wrote, I think there is way more going on as to the "reasons" of them not trusting or liking you. Or why you have a poor reputation. These might be what have been told to you or what you assume to be the reason for this. But I think there are other issues going on, that may not be able to be told to you or hadn't been properly shared with you as to reason why your reputation is poor. Or maybe these as your assumed reason as to why. But they wouldn't be reasons as to why your reputation is poor, because asking questions is not a bad thing. Clarification is preferred in most workplace settings than not having proper understanding. Also, if a supervisor is bent out of shape over repeating questions, that is about there lack of patience and as a supervisor they should figure out for themselves how to manage thier patience level. While yes repeats tie questions can be annoying. Most would prefer that in deadline situations verses multiple mistakes due to failure to ask.

Trust- The best of the best in terms of organization skills and previously proven results, in every single deadline situation can and possibly still have the potential to miss a deadline. Life happens emergency happen and people make mistakes. But if your have Been at it for years with out incident and they haven't sat you down to discuss what you are doing wrong in terms of deadline expectations, I truly think that something else is going on.... If it was a trust issue yet you've always met deadlines every single other person would be treated with fear of missing a deadline so if that was truly a not confident in your time management ability to complete deadlines. Everyone would fall into this as well. Outside and personal experiences happen and can cause delays.

Long post I know but it seems like you may be missing a huge chunk of information. They are fearful of you? But acknowledge you do good work? They perceive you as lazy but you have a proven track record and it isn't the work that's the issue? Also, you dress the same as other's yet you are considered put together.. It's conflicting and clashing information as to what's going on

stef
03-10-16, 07:57 AM
Also, if a supervisor is bent out of shape over repeating questions, that is about there lack of patience and as a supervisor they should figure out for themselves how to manage thier patience level. While yes repeats tie questions can be annoying. Most would prefer that in deadline situations verses multiple mistakes due to failure to ask.

Trust- The best of the best in terms of organization skills and previously proven results, in every single deadline situation can and possibly still have the potential to miss a deadline. Life happens emergency happen and people make mistakes. But if your have Been at it for years with out incident and they haven't sat you down to discuss what you are doing wrong in terms of deadline expectations, I truly think that something else is going on.... If it was a trust issue yet you've always met deadlines every single other person would be treated with fear of missing a deadline so if that was truly a not confident in your time management ability to complete deadlines. Everyone would fall into this as well. Outside and personal experiences happen and can cause delays.



wow I totally agree!
Yes most people would prefer asking questions rather than not being sure and doing something wrong.
And if you are meeting deadlines, well your work methods are proven even if people don't "like" them.

Maybe as you describe, just a very unfortunate combination of anxious, "careful" types, in a super tight deadline situation.

acdc01
03-10-16, 08:37 AM
Maybe as you describe, just a very unfortunate combination of anxious, "careful" types, in a super tight deadline situation.

I think it has to do with them having issues of their own. It is completely agreed upon with my supervisor that my symptoms are the reasons and it has nothing to do with my performance. We could both be wrong but that's the conclusion based on complaints and conversations (had by both me and my supervisor separately) with the people I'm talking about. It's not everyone by the way. Just some and unfortunately including the ones that make the most difference to me.

I think it's hard for you guys to picture cause I haven't listed every single symptom I have or told you the entire story. Although the procrastination one would be enough if you could picture my workplace environment (which of course you cannot). Sorry, I'd explain more but I don't want to give myself away on a public forum. I don't really expect you guys to be able to help me figure out anything - I wrote this in the middle of the night not thinking about how I really couldn't give you guys enough info to help me. So it was just more a vent.

KarmanMonkey
03-10-16, 05:00 PM
I'd much rather ask for clarification on a point or repeat a question three times than proceed without the information.

As for the procrastination, is there any way you can "look" productive? I could see the person not concerned with your performance, but how your procrastination might impact other people's work ethic or productivity.

For example, if I spent 3 hours a day (total) on my phone, and 5 hours putting in 8hrs work, that's fine from the standpoint of my productivity. If, however, my 3 hours gave someone else the impression that it was okay for THEM to procrastinate when they really need that full 8 hours, then that can become an issue.

I'm not suggesting that you are responsible for the actions of the other employees, but rather that as a manager they might be looking at the effect your procrastination has on the workplace culture.

I find a bit of diplomacy goes a long way. With the repeated questions, apologize when you can, invite suggestions about how to remedy the situation (despite the fact that they'll all be things you've tried or implemented already) or head the situation off at the pass by stating that you realize it can be distracting to be asked the same question more than once, but that you know from experience not to trust your memory, and would rather take the chance of annoying them by asking again than take the chance of proceeding with the wrong information.

Also try to find opportunities to have conversations that aren't work related (painful as those often are). The more they see you like a person rather than a colleague, the more likely they are to understand and forgive the quirks. You'll also likely learn effective strategies to improve your working relationship.

acdc01
03-10-16, 08:42 PM
So good news. One of the pain in the ***** just quit, the one who complained about asking questions more than once.

Karmanmonkey, although it's not exactly how you see it, "looking" like I'm being productive is definitely one of the issues. I'm trying a couple things right now to see if it helps.

I've already tried chit chatting. It's just impossible for them to see me as a buddy. I'm just too different from them.

sarahsweets
03-11-16, 02:26 AM
My opinion on what coworkers think of you or the kind of work you do- f**k them. They have no business complaining about you unless you do your job so poorly, it affects their work. And shame on your boss for even letting you know they complain to him/her. How would that ever help the situation.
Its amazing that people like us have to pretend, or strive to be like other people. Can you imagine if someone with diabetes trying to act like their non-insulin dependent peers, or someone who needs crutches faking they can walk ok just to fit in? Its like mental illness is the illness thats still 'ok' to make light of. Dont say anything about any other type of disabilities or any other type of condition because that would be unkind and no PC so sure, dump on those with a disorder or mental illness because thats their fault.
Ok done ranting. Can your boss give input to whomever makes decisions regarding salary and promotions that would be in your favor. Does whoever this is value your boss's input?

acdc01
03-12-16, 07:10 AM
My opinion on what coworkers think of you or the kind of work you do- f**k them. They have no business complaining about you unless you do your job so poorly, it affects their work. And shame on your boss for even letting you know they complain to him/her. How would that ever help the situation.
Its amazing that people like us have to pretend, or strive to be like other people. Can you imagine if someone with diabetes trying to act like their non-insulin dependent peers, or someone who needs crutches faking they can walk ok just to fit in? Its like mental illness is the illness thats still 'ok' to make light of. Dont say anything about any other type of disabilities or any other type of condition because that would be unkind and no PC so sure, dump on those with a disorder or mental illness because thats their fault.
Ok done ranting. Can your boss give input to whomever makes decisions regarding salary and promotions that would be in your favor. Does whoever this is value your boss's input?


I feel the same about disabilities and us having to pretend. It's why it's so frustrating to me. It does help me though to hear what other people say from my supervisor who's intentions are only good. I can't know how to tackle the problem unless I know details on it. It shouldn't be a problem I have to tackle but it is unfortunately.

No, I don't get the impression my supervisor is well liked by the one remaining who has the most influence by far on me. Salaries are based on job responsibilities where I work and what job responsibilities I can get are very much dependent on this person (though there's other ways, it's a much longer and more difficult). I'm trying the other routes too but it'll take a lot longer.

I'm feeling better now that I've vented and read your responses - thanks for listening.

WildCard7
04-21-16, 04:14 PM
I feel the same about disabilities and us having to pretend. It's why it's so frustrating to me. It does help me though to hear what other people say from my supervisor who's intentions are only good. I can't know how to tackle the problem unless I know details on it. It shouldn't be a problem I have to tackle but it is unfortunately.

No, I don't get the impression my supervisor is well liked by the one remaining who has the most influence by far on me. Salaries are based on job responsibilities where I work and what job responsibilities I can get are very much dependent on this person (though there's other ways, it's a much longer and more difficult). I'm trying the other routes too but it'll take a lot longer.

I'm feeling better now that I've vented and read your responses - thanks for listening.

Ok I was where you are not too long ago. Yes this is a self esteem issue. You sound like are wearing a target on your back, like you have something to hide. Just stop it. I don't use ADHD as a crutch but at the same time I don't mind casually mentioning it at work, but I have some awesome coworkers too and (like you) can get my job done.

Also, get on indeed or the job search site of your choice and start looking for a new job. These people don't deserve you. Time is as necessary as the computer you work on or the pens in your desk. If this company isn't giving you the necessary tools to do your job then then maybe that is a THEM problem and not a YOU problem. Quit carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. It's probably time to find an employer who can appreciate your talents.

Finally, what are you doing outside of work to help with coping mechanisms? (I'm not talking about hiding who you are. ADHD is part of who you are, get real comfy with that because it's not going anywhere.) What I'm saying though is what are you doing to get better at socializing with people? What are you doing to take care of you other less desirable traits?

acdc01
04-22-16, 06:44 AM
Some very good advice Wildcard7 though a lot of it wouldn't work for me unfortunately just because of my specific situation.

I've thought about it and it really isn't a self-esteem issue for me. I'm secure in myself when it comes to my work abilities and I'm not at all embarrassed about having ADHD. I don't tell everyone in my company about my ADHD because I know it would do more harm than good. You're really lucky you have such great coworkers cause the vast majority of people if you tell them you have ADHD, it won't make any difference or worse, they'll start to notice every little ADHD quirk you have and get even more annoyed by them. I have no doubt I'm right about this for my work place.

As far as what I'm doing outside of work to improve myself, if you're thinking I can improve my social skills at work by doing something outside of work, it's just won't make a difference at work even if I became a completely different person who still had ADHD. If I could become the funniest person in the world then yes, it might make them overlook my ADHD quirks more but that extreme a change isn't going to happen.

I know you are right that finding another job is the best answer. The problem is, that is my greatest weakness when it comes to my career - I cannot motivate myself to look for jobs anymore. I've found an alternate solution though so am currently working towards that.

Thanks to everyone for your input. I had just needed to vent at that moment I wrote the post and now I'm feeling well enough again that I'm already working on fixing my situation. I'd like to close this thread as I think it's given me everything I need now. Thanks again.

sarahsweets
04-22-16, 09:21 AM
Ok I was where you are not too long ago. Yes this is a self esteem issue. You sound like are wearing a target on your back, like you have something to hide. Just stop it. I don't use ADHD as a crutch but at the same time I don't mind casually mentioning it at work, but I have some awesome coworkers too and (like you) can get my job done.
I disagree that his is a self esteem issue. What made you think that?
Not telling people of one's adhd is not using as a crutch, its being realistic. Dont you think you would have people: giving advice about how to treat it, comparing themselves to you and that 'everyone' has adhd, upon learning about adhd then evaluating your work based on that instead of basing it on doing a good job? Thinking things like "poor acdc, he's doing so well for having adhd"
Telling your employer or coworkers is almost always a bad idea.


Also, get on indeed or the job search site of your choice and start looking for a new job. These people don't deserve you. Time is as necessary as the computer you work on or the pens in your desk. If this company isn't giving you the necessary tools to do your job then then maybe that is a THEM problem and not a YOU problem. Quit carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. It's probably time to find an employer who can appreciate your talents.
I think looking for a job IS a full time job, not many people can work as well and job search.


Finally, what are you doing outside of work to help with coping mechanisms? (I'm not talking about hiding who you are. ADHD is part of who you are, get real comfy with that because it's not going anywhere.) What I'm saying though is what are you doing to get better at socializing with people? What are you doing to take care of you other less desirable traits?

I may have missed this but where did acdc say there was a problem with socializing?

KarmanMonkey
04-22-16, 09:59 AM
I personally find that a lot depends on how you do something, not what it is you're doing.

Comparing ourselves to others: If we're fair in our comparisons, it doesn't have to be a self esteem issue. If we only compare our shortcomings to other people's strengths, though, it quickly becomes a self-esteem issue. If you're able to say "Hey, I'm not as organized as them, but I know I'm a more creative problem solver" that's much better for your self esteem than "I suck"

Attributing a behaviour or trait to ADD. For me, it's a way of forgiving myself for some of my challenges, and to draw attention to areas where I have to be more creative in my approach, or need extra support. My brother always thought that when I was first diagnosed, I was using my ADD as an excuse. It's an excuse if I say "Oh, there goes my ADD again" as a way of avoiding responsibility. If instead it's an attempt to better understand my ADD and that "Oh, there goes my ADD again" is followed by a "Next time I'll have to _____ so it's not a problem again", then it's not a crutch or an excuse; it's a process.

Goofycook
04-26-16, 07:57 PM
acdc01

I know exactly where you are coming from. the problem is once people have formed an opinion It is hard to change it. I was in the same type of situation during my last 2 jobs. Once people starting harping on my ADD symptoms the symptoms got worse. It is a viscous cycle. my co-workers hated my messiness and my stand offishness. It was hell.

I'm like you; I hate looking for jobs. It finally took a demotion on my last job for me to wake up and smell the coffee. even after that it took me 9 months to find a different job. Now I am so glad I did.

The job I have now is so made for me that I wonder how I survived those last 2 jobs so long. you may say it doesn't effect your self esteem but being in a situation where people are constantly picking you apart slowly eats away your confidence. It is eaten in such small chunks you don't even know till its too late.

My advice is slowly start making inquiries anding sending out resumes on a small scale. Eventually the right job for you will open up. if you it will slowly eat you up.

Lloyd_
05-09-16, 04:16 PM
I'm finding I compare myself to NTs a lot now. I didn't do it as much before but I do it more ever since I've been diagnosed.

I've been reading other people say it's a low self-esteem issue but I feel like I do it more because it's a necessity for me. It's the only way I can tell if I'm acting NT enough. I know some here hate the thought of not being able to just be yourself but if I don't act NT, it can really cause problems sometimes.

For example, I'm having difficulties at work at the moment. My boss and I have specifically discuss this (already disclosed at work) and we both agree, it doesn't stem from a performance issue. I do good work. But my reputation is much worse with many coworkers because they see me as lazy, not well put together, and just plain don't like me as much - even though I produce the same quality and sometimes even better work than my other coworkers who are thought highly of. And they have complained about me to my boss - and everything they complained about is clearly about my ADHD symptoms. They even grudging acknowledge my work has been good but they are afraid of me cause my symptoms make them nervous(coworkers don't know about ADHD, only boss). My boss even agrees with everything I've just said here.

It's a huge deal cause it affects the oppurtunities I get at work (boss doesn't decide my opportunities, others do), thereby affecting my potential for growth, thereby affecting my salary.. My boss and I are currently coming up with ways to hide my symptoms more. But I already do a million things to hide my symptoms as it is. It gets exhausting and it makes me sick that I have to put in all this extra effort not to improve performance but just cause people are treating me worse cause of a disability I have. My performance is actually at risk right now cause all this hiding of symptoms combined with how crazy our workload has been and how bad I've been feeling cause of what I think is pure discrimination (though I haven't said this d word with my boss yet).

So I'm wondering 2 things now. One is what to do about my work situation? Two is whether comparing is really always a self-esteem issue as others have suggested here? It still doesn't feel like it to me but I'm just wondering what others believe.

I'm going through the same things right now, I believe it's cyclical in my case where I'll kick *** at work and get compliments from other co workers but what happens is then I'll be assigned to another job working with somebody else and make one careless mistake then another which erodes my superior's confidence in me and in myself. So it certainly is a self confidence issue. I also believe it's on the subconscious level where we subconsciously sabotage ourselves when we're doing good and it feels too good to be true.

Coinciding with that is when I get my "brain fog" attacks plus physically I feel worn down (swollen joints, fatigue which I believe is related to a thyroid issue I'm working on getting looked into.).

Just remember it's cyclical and you will have good days and bad as does everyone. It just seems for ADDers tend to have REALLY bad days when they are not good.

Just my observation.