The EFF YOU/EFF ME ADHD Theory

by Yafa Crane Luria

 

My new ADHD theory:

I’m always proud of my brilliant ideas, even when they’re lame. So now I have a new ADHD theory that explains all my other brilliant theories! Parents, pay extra close attention.

From what I’ve observed of adults with ADHD, there are two types and this information can help parents address challenging issues in a timely manner.

Is your child more VICTIM (Eff me) or BULLDOZER (Eff you)

What does this mean exactly?

The “Eff You” adult doesn’t care that much what others think. They believe in themselves enough to wag their middle finger at parents, teachers, and bosses, and then they go out and conquer the world. These are your corporate giants, entertainment moguls, and entrepreneurs.

Check this out“If you have ADHD, you’re 300 times as likely to start your own business as adults without the disorder, according to Fortune magazine.”

The “Eff You” ADHDers are the risk takers. They totally believe in themselves and they don’t even think of themselves as risk-takers. That’s just everyone else’s opinion. They just don’t think of failure. They go out and try something and see if it works. If it doesn’t, they move on to the next thing.

At the same time, unless they have had the firm but kind hand of a parent, they may become arrogant and rather aggressive with others.

How do you know if you have an EFF YOU child?

In kids, this often looks like early entrepreneurial drive – wanting to create a lemonade stand or a club or having idea after idea. I love the example of Ren, one of my young clients who took apart a small, personal-sized, fan and wanted to see if he could put that motor in a truck and make it run. Ummm, he meant a full-sized truck!

Now it would be easy to say, “That’s crazy!” to Ren. And, he would reply (in some variation), “Eff you!” How do you handle one of these “I’ve-got-a-better-idea-than-you” children? Let them play out their ideas, as long as the ideas aren’t dangerous or unhealthy. These are kids (and adults) that will fairly quickly push away anyone that doesn’t support their dreams.

“Eff You” ADHDers are bossy because they don’t know how to direct their leadership impulses. They want what they want when they want it because they want to see their plans brought to fruition. They don’t have time for nay-sayers, and they won’t have time for you if you’re not supportive yet firm as well. They need limits so that they can explore their freedom more powerfully.

The “Eff Me” ADHDer

The “Eff Me” ADHDer takes every mistake as an opportunity to belittle him/herself. They go through life feeling inadequate, put upon, and like they don’t belong in the “real world.” They may have close relationships with others, but they are often underachievers when it comes to work and school. They give up easily and can’t think of alternative solutions because they’re convinced there are no alternative solutions. They fixate on the negative and can’t explore other perspectives.

They probably also have a slew of co-occurring conditions, particularly depression and anxiety.

How to parent the “Eff Me” ADHD child

The “Eff Me” child needs tons of support and acceptance from you. Pushing them won’t work. They will shut down. Use a lot of positive messages. Spend time playing with things like affirmations. You can both look in the mirror and say, “I LOVE MYSELF!” and then both laugh at how weird that is!

These kids need other adults around them besides their parents; adults who will tell them that they’re awesome and they can do anything they set their mind to. Adults that will guide them and explore with them so that they become less afraid of the unknown, and less likely to fall back on the old messages of failure and inadequacy.

They also need to be guided more with school and executive functions; they need to be shown how to accomplish certain tasks. They need parents and teachers who will come alongside them and be willing to assist them  – actually accompany them – with things like goal-setting, organization, time management, and follow-through. The “Eff You” will often spend less time with you. They like direct answers and they want to do things themselves. The “Eff Me” needs more time and attention; they like to be accompanied.

Don’t worry

Worrying about them is the least helpful thing you can do. It’s like worrying that your child will never be potty trained. It WILL happen but some kids take longer than others. (I wore diapers till I was 5 years old – separation anxiety! – but I’ve been potty-trained ever since. Yay Me!)

Both types are capable of leadership but with different styles. They can both be happy and successful adults when parents know how to handle those behaviors that are “signifiers”: The pushiness of the EFF YOU and the reluctance of the EFF ME.

Is your child an EFF ME or an EFF YOU ADHDer? What about you?

xo, Yafa

Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved

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What troubles you about parenting an ADHD child or teen?

Let’s talk! No cost, no judgment, no salesy come-on. However you WILL receive a good deal of TLC and expertise. You can say anything. You can cry. You can swear. Your confidentiality is guaranteed, and I promise to listen and give you hope and relief.

Thank you for ‘being there’ to share your wealth of knowledge and personal experience with us who are ‘floundering’ and ‘lost in the forest’ when it comes to ‘dealing with special and difficult circumstances’. Gratefully yours, Rochelle H, Alberta, Canada xox ((((BIG HUGS)))

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Nardone October 13, 2015 at

I am the eff me adhd person. I am incurable. Brilliant analogy

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Margit Crane Luria October 13, 2015 at

Hi Tom, that’s a tough path. I was that person too but I’ve gotten so much out of coaching. Virtual hugs and sparkly distractions to you. Thanks for your comment.

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Marci August 22, 2016 at

Great analogy! I have a child in each category. Lately I’m an Eff me ADHDer. I used to be the opposite though. I can tell you which I prefer. We’ve compared it to being a Tigger or an Eyore. Didn’t realize it was a universal difference.

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Margit Crane Luria August 22, 2016 at

Hi Marci, Eeyore is a good match. Tigger is too nice for the bulldozer effect that some parents experience. Of course, some people with ADHD have the Tigger thing going in as well!

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Ana February 4, 2017 at

Hi, Margit! I love this article because it doesn’t question whether an ADHD kid will be successful – it acknowledges how they’ll be successful – kudos!

I’m wondering if it’s possible to be a little of both. I feel that as a child I was the Eff-you type, but as time wore on I became the Eff-me due to the messages I received at home. Is that possible?

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Yafa Luria/Margit Crane February 5, 2017 at

I definitely think that the messages we receive can change us, Ana. I’ve gone from an EFF ME to an EFF YOU – in the sense that I’m not letting people stand in the way of my dreams. xoxoxo, Yafa

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Heather February 23, 2017 at

I think I’m very much both, depending on the situation. I’m a pretty bold person and often question authority (I’m also an INTJ) and will not let anyone take advantage or me or my friends. However, the EFF me part.. is that I don’t/can’t do anything to help myself. I was just diagnosed at 34 (I’m 36 now) and I’ve been a chronic underachiever forever. I have no support system, have failed so many times I lost count and can’t find a way to get past it.

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Yafa Luria/Margit Crane February 25, 2017 at

Yes, that “TJ” part must be a great advantage, Heather. As to the other part, I highly recommend coaching. You will get support and skills to support your strengths. I don’t coach adults but if you go to http://adhdcoaches.org you can find some good help! Best of luck to you. Please don’t give up. Coaching is amazing.

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Natasha June 28, 2017 at

I am currently in the process of trying to have my almost 7 year old son evaluated. I believe he has ADHD. He is very emotional and when he feels he has been wronged will cry and wail…with me and his peers. For example, he says another child forced him off of his friend’s trampoline and he was crying and yelling at the children asking me to kick them out of our yard (they were in our adjoining neighbors yard) and asking his friend to kick them off of his trampoline. He has a lot of difficulty with focusing in school and has even tried to do a magic show during class for his friends. He wouldn’t participate in gym when they played tag because he doesn’t like that particular game. He is not easily swayed when he takes this route. He has been known to say he hates himself because he keeps doing bad things, will say he wishes he was never born or that he was in heaven or even saying he wants to kill himself. When he comes out of his mood/funk he seems fine again. This type of reaction is very difficult to handle. I find I’m at a loss as to what to say and I feel like the other kids may distance themselves from him, or possibly use this against him – upset him on purpose because they know they can get this reaction. DO you have any suggestions on how to help him?

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Yafa Crane Luria June 29, 2017 at

Hi Natasha, my July class (also taught in January) will be dealing with this very topic. http://blockedtobrilliant.com/adhd-classes/description-emotional-regulation/

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