The Connection Between ADHD & Forgiveness

If you want a master class in forgiveness, marry someone with ADHD. While I am the queen of holding a grudge, Penn couldn’t be more opposite. Don’t get me wrong, Penn gets upset. He isn’t a human golden retriever all the time. Penn doesn’t always get super deep but he does get angry, sad, and disappointed (like we all do.) The difference is, he is a much more generous forgiver. When Penn sees acts of selfishness or pettiness, he often translates that to fear, confusion, or inner sadness. That is how he can show grace to others more easily. 

On the podcast, we discuss that even though ADHD people tend to be more forgiving, there isn’t hard science as to why that is. So we do what we do best on the podcast, talk to someone smarter than us to find the answer about forgiveness… (cue The Heart of The Matter by Don Henley.) 

Life In A Fishbowl Brain

Dr. Marcy Caldwell is one of our favorite experts to discuss ADHD with. Her gift for metaphor is something that resonates with Penn understanding his own brain. When we asked this question to Dr. Caldwell, she explained:

“I like to think of ADHD brains as kind of walking around as if they’re like living inside a fishbowl. Whatever is in that fishbowl is very present for an ADHD brain. The minute it’s taken out of the fishbowl, it ceases to exist. Emotions are like if we dropped a dye pocket into the water and it colored the water. So when someone’s really angry, the color turns red and that’s all we can see. And then that color kind of fades away. So often when we think about forgiveness with ADHD brains, some of it’s forgiveness and some of it just disappears.”

I am a little jealous of Penn’s ability to not only forgive, but actually literally forget with his ADHD brain. Deeper in our discussion, Dr. Caldwell also mentioned that ADHD does not always serve someone who is in a toxic situation. (Perhaps Penn and I need to learn a bit from each other to not only be more forgiving, but also to be more protective of situations holding us back.)

Hear more about our chat and tell us about your experience with forgiveness and ADHD.

Acast: https://open.acast.com/public/streams/618c3caaa322d1001350082c/episodes/63f8d51dcef8ec001115245c.mp3

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-holderness-family-podcast/id1378725018?i=1000602016858

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