What ADHDers Can Learn from Everybody Loves Raymond
Today’s blog post examines what we ADHDers can learn from one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Everybody Loves Raymond. This show has a special place in my heart because it is hysterical and has gotten me through some rough times in my life. TV Land first started airing episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond around the same time my first girlfriend broke up with me. Every night, they showed 2-3 hours of Everybody Loves Raymond, and that is how I stayed sane during that heartbreak. Since then, I have turned to this show when I have needed a laugh to get me through a rough stretch. Recently, this fantastic sitcom came up in a conversation with my coach, and he noted that this show might make a good subject for a blog post.
Don’t Be So Serious All the Time
According to my coach, the comedy in Everybody Loves Raymond comes from how serious everyone takes every situation. This sitcom features a lot of arguments and tension. If the characters on that show could lighten up a bit, there would be less arguing. Their lives would be more peaceful, and if there is one thing you can say about the Barones is that they lack of peace.
We ADHDers have great senses of humor. Yet, with the struggles they face, those senses of humor get dashed and hidden. If we allow our senses of humor to flourish, we can achieve the lightness we need to make life fun.
The Need for Boundaries
Ray’s parents, Frank and Marie, live across the street. They come over all of the time without knocking or warning Ray and his wife, Debra. This causes a great amount of stress for Debra. If they had set proper boundaries with Frank and Marie, life would be more peaceful.
ADHDers tend to be people pleasers. We let people walk all over us. The needs of others trump our own. Setting proper boundaries is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. We need to protect our needs and not sacrifice those things that are most important to a happy and healthy life.
The Importance of Family
The characters on Everybody Loves Raymond drive each other nuts. Yet, they don’t leave and never speak to each other again. Why? They know it is important to have a relationship with your family. Despite their differences and disagreements, they stick with it.
ADHDers need a strong support system. One place where a strong support system can be found is the family. Staying connected with your family can go a long ways to creating an effective ADHD management plan.
Many of the hilarious plot point on Everybody Loves Raymond revolve around one or many of the main characters lying. Watching them scramble to not get caught is funny, but reminds us that trying to cover up the truth is a lot harder than admitting when we have screwed up. Through watching one of my favorite TV families, it is clear that lying only causes more trouble than facing your problems directly.
When ADHD causes problems in your life, face it. Do not try to hide it or cover it up. Be honest. In fact, it is an opportunity to laugh.
Have a Sense of Humor about Yourself
In the Season 6 episode “The Skit,” Ray and Debra write a humorous skit that compares Frank and Marie to another couple, Lee and Stan. The skit is a hit. Even Frank and Marie like it. After the skit is done, Lee and Stan talk Frank and Marie into imitating Ray and Debra. This does not go over well. In the argument that ensues, Frank and Marie along with Ray’s brother Robert try to get Ray and Debra and lighten up.
A sense of humor can help us ADHDers laugh instead of get frustrated when ADHD causes issues in our lives. You can go insane, or you can laugh about it. Laughing will make life easier and less frustrating. “Oh, there goes my ADHD again, haha!” is a great line to use.
Don’t Make Mountains out of Molehills
In the Season 4 episode “The Can Opener,” Ray and Debra get in a fight over the new can opener.
Reach out to Those Who Feel Left Out
Robert Barone is constantly over shadowed by his younger brother, Ray. This is not some sort of delusion. Marie clearly favors Ray, and Frank dislikes most people. If you watch this show as much as I do, you begin to feel sorry for him. Any time something goes well for him, Ray does something to show him up. Yes, some of his problems are self-inflicted, but he is clearly not respected within his family.
It is not uncommon for those of us with ADHD to feel rejected and isolated. Seeing how Robert is treated should remind us of what it is like to be left out or otherwise mistreated. This should serve as a reminder to reach out to those who are feeling left out.
Marry the Right Person
Everybody Loves Raymond features two couples who frequently bicker. Frank and Marie are constantly insulting each other. Ray and Debra constantly fight as well but without the funny insults. Yet, these marriages work. Are they perfect? No, but they make it work. Frank and Marie may say horrible things to each other, but they do not bottle up their feelings. They get it out in the open. Additionally, if you have seen most or all of the episodes you can find moments where it is clear they care about each other. Plus, who else would marry those two if not for each other? Ray and Debra argue, but they don’t give up. They compliment each other. Ray’s goofiness can help Debra be less uptight. Debra helps Ray be more mature and less dependent on his mother. They help each other grow. These two couples are meant for each other.
One of the pieces of advice Dr. Edward Hallowell gives out for properly managing ADHD is to marry the right spouse. It can be tempting to focus on superficial characteristics when trying to find a date, but it would be prudent to examine more than just surface level characteristics. You don’t want someone who is just a trophy wife (seriously, click the link. DO IT!); you need to find someone who understands your ADHD quirks. Your future spouse should be someone that makes you a better person and is a good fit for you.