Why some kids with ADHD are very popular

By The Understood Team

Why some kids with ADHD are “the life of the party”, kids hanging out

At a glance

  • Some kids with ADHD have very strong social skills.

  • They can also be spontaneous and open to sharing interesting ideas.

  • These kids are often more willing to take positive risks and can be very fun to be around.

Many kids with ADHD have trouble with social skills and self-control, which can cause problems in their social life. That’s not always the case, however.

Some kids with ADHD have strong social skills and winning personalities. While they may struggle with impulsivity, they can also be spontaneous and a lot of fun to be around. These kids can be “the life of the party” — leaders in their friend group and very popular with their peers.

Learn about traits that make some kids with ADHD popular.

Less self-conscious and more open

Kids with ADHD often lack inhibition — a symptom of ADHD that often causes problems. But it can sometimes be a benefit for kids who also have strong social skills.

These kids may be more willing to share their ideas and their true personalities. They’re often less self-conscious than other kids. That willingness to reveal themselves allows them to be more open and genuine with other people.

Lack of inhibition can make them feel freer to express themselves. If they have a unique way of looking at the world, they might reveal that instead of holding back. Their perspective might be funny, quirky, or provocative. And if they’re good with social interaction, that can make them especially interesting to be around.

Willing to take positive risks

Impulsivity and lack of self-control can lead many kids with ADHD to engage in risky behavior. But for some, it may also lead them to take positive risks and be adventurous.

They may be less likely to second-guess themselves and more willing to try new things, even if it means failing. This type of child with ADHD might sign up for a junior decathlon and start training without having done any long-distance running. Or write a play and recruit other kids to perform it.

This willingness to put themselves out there can make these kids extra fun to be around. They often push the envelope — in a good way — and energize the group with their enthusiasm.

What to watch out for: Taking it too far

While these traits can have an upside for some kids with ADHD, it doesn’t take much for them to turn into negatives. If kids aren’t able to keep tabs on the social cues around them or maintain self-control, they risk overdoing it and becoming annoying to other kids.

They may say something inappropriate, tell a stupid joke, or do something show-offy. Unchecked, their impulsive behavior can turn off other kids.

If your child tends to overdo it, get tips for helping kids manage overexcitement. Help your child learn to read other people’s body language. And if you want more information about ADHD, check out this printable ADHD fact sheet.

Key takeaways

  • Kids with ADHD may be more open to sharing a unique way of thinking.

  • Lack of inhibition can make them feel freer to push the envelope — in a good way.

  • Kids who overdo it may need help with building self-control and understanding social cues.

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    About the author

    About the author

    The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, PhD is an ADHD/ASD expert and a best-selling author.