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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey friends!

I was wondering if any of my fellow ENFPs with a wicked case of ADD also had a challenging time learning to drive, and what you did to become good drivers.

Back story: I still do not have my driver’s license at age 24. There are some good reasons for this, namely that as a student my location and circumstances made driving unnecessary, and when I graduated a medical issue stalled the process for a while.

Now that the issue has been resolved, I am anxious to get my license and resume an independent life. However, I stink at driving, and my father gets frustrated taking me out to practice. Try as I might, the ADD makes focusing extra hard, even without distractions, and my dyscalculia makes any kind of spatial reasoning less than intuitive. Left and right get mixed up, I have no idea when to merge, what mirrors to look at when, and don’t get me started on reverse or parking.

I’ve taken lessons, but my first instructor kind of hit on me/made me uncomfortable (a shame, because he was good in other respects). That situation, and the fact that I physically freeze up when a man yells at me (perhaps due to childhood trauma, lol) made me resolved to only use a female instructor, but we have only one in the area and she was unhelpful in both lessons I took with her.

Have any of my fellow ENFPs/ADD sufferers managed to become good drivers? What advice do you have for improving the process? How did you adapt your learning style to driving? Any helpful hints to remember?

Thank you so much in advance for your help : )
 

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I don't know if I have ADD but I'm 23 and actually going for my driver's lesson in a few minutes. I've taken lessons off and on for a long time lol. I was hypervigilant, had problems with my spatial sensing, I was just so nervous. I eventually just had to free up enough mental space to make room for learning how to drive.

It really helped to have a driving instructor I felt comfortable with. It also really helps to believe that you actually can drive and get it. I'm doing great now and hope to have my license in a few months.

Of course, I can only help so much since I don't have ADD. But just I'd let ya know you're not the only 20-something trying to get her license. If I can think of any helpful hints to pass along while at my lesson, I certainly will.
 

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l don't think ADHD alone will cause it. l do have the diagnosis but l'd say my issue is really, really awful spatial relations combined with the hyperawarenes you see in ADHD.

lt was challenging lol. l still don't own a vehicle. Probably next year l will finally make it happen.

All l can say is take the lessons seriously. And pay for a school if you need to, l had people tell me l didn't need to but they don't understand that l am honestly lacking in some things they consider to be common sense in this area.

Don't be too nervous, it's really more about getting into the zone with driving. l catch myself thinking about all the different aspects of it at once, how everything is working together and feeling like l have to be aware of all of it. lt will make you dangerous on the road t be that way lol.

Also l liked practing late at night, l've driven around downtown here at 3 AM. No issues, 12 noon l am terrified lol.
 

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Yeah it's really about getting into the zone. IDK, like I started getting into the zone when I realized that I really want my license, I can do this and it's possible for me. And then it just started coming together. I stopped telling myself why I suck and why I can't do this, and told myself I can do this. Nearly everyone can drive--so can I. And then my intuition started kicking in -- my spatial problems got so much better, I calmed down, I start drivinggggg!! :laughing:

I have a technical hint that helped the heck outta me lol...when you're stopped at stop sign and about to make a right hand turn, turn your steering wheel to the right. When you take your foot off the brake and start giving it a little gas, try to aim close to the curb. Not at, but close.

Make sure you're physically comfortable. If you're not comfy, that can really throw you off. So make sure you're mirrors are good, you're seat is up enough, you're close enough to the wheel, etc.

Make sure you get some practice time w/ a relative or friend's car between lessons -- that helps a ton.

Focus on one or two challenges at a time...don't try to learn everything at once. Easy does it.

Take plenty of deep breaths, lol. As my driving instructor tells me, "Things happen when they're supposed to." You're gonna learn what you need to know. Just keep going at your own pace.
 

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I got my license 11 days after my 20th birthday after failing the test 5 times. It'd ridiculous how difficult it is in Maryland. They also lie about stuff in the test, like how far from the curb you have to be during parallel parking. They say 6 inches but I looked and it was more like 2 inches. Whoever designed this test is just cruel.

That's off topic anyway. Long as you don't live in or near a big city, your test shouldn't be too difficult. I'd say you just need to practice more. Try playing Mario Kart and saying what direction you're turning out loud so you can remember them? I have ADD too but I like Mario Kart so it helped. :proud:
 

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It took me a long time to become an okay driver. I got my permit at 15 and my license at 17, but I probably wasn't a decent driver until I was 20 or so. I'm a really good driver now, but I've had a lot of practice due to living a couple hours from my family, and working at a job that requires a fair amount of driving. :)

I am absolutely sure I would have failed a driving test, had I been required to take one. In Illinois, the rule was something like if you have a B or higher in Drivers' Ed (through school), you don't have to take the practical driving test to get your license unless your birthdate corresponds with whatever the 'spot check' number was for that day...like the DMV picks a number every day/week, and so if you go in to get your license and the number of that day/week is 14 and your date of birth is March 14, you'd have to take the test regardless, even if you had an A++ in Drivers' Ed. ANYWAY - I barely had a B, based mainly on the written components of the class, so I squeaked by without taking the actual test. I was a nightmarish driver. Couldn't parallel park (still can't), couldn't merge, couldn't drive on the highway whatsoever, could only park if the spot was on the left side...The day I got my license, my best friend and I were driving around, and I literally turned into oncoming traffic and had no idea what I had done or how to fix it.

Driving was very difficult for me, and I hated it for a long long time because it was so stressful. I'm convinced that the only reason I got better is lots of practice and time. Eventually even though I wasn't good by any means, I was more comfortable/less anxiety-ridden about driving. Being more relaxed helped me, in turn, to become a better driver.

Good luck! You'll get there - it's not an easy thing, so don't fret if it takes time. :)
 

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At first, it's really hard because you're trying to track twelve billion things at once. I empathize; I was there. It does get to be second-nature, though. You just have to do it a lot. (It's like learning to read in that way.)

I still suck at parallel parking though. I doubt that's going to change. ;)

Do you have a friends who can teach you?
 

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Hey friends!

I was wondering if any of my fellow ENFPs with a wicked case of ADD also had a challenging time learning to drive, and what you did to become good drivers.

Back story: I still do not have my driver’s license at age 24. There are some good reasons for this, namely that as a student my location and circumstances made driving unnecessary, and when I graduated a medical issue stalled the process for a while.

Now that the issue has been resolved, I am anxious to get my license and resume an independent life. However, I stink at driving, and my father gets frustrated taking me out to practice. Try as I might, the ADD makes focusing extra hard, even without distractions, and my dyscalculia makes any kind of spatial reasoning less than intuitive. Left and right get mixed up, I have no idea when to merge, what mirrors to look at when, and don’t get me started on reverse or parking.

I’ve taken lessons, but my first instructor kind of hit on me/made me uncomfortable (a shame, because he was good in other respects). That situation, and the fact that I physically freeze up when a man yells at me (perhaps due to childhood trauma, lol) made me resolved to only use a female instructor, but we have only one in the area and she was unhelpful in both lessons I took with her.

Have any of my fellow ENFPs/ADD sufferers managed to become good drivers? What advice do you have for improving the process? How did you adapt your learning style to driving? Any helpful hints to remember?

Thank you so much in advance for your help : )
I have ADD and I do a fair amount of drifting. You know, too fast, too furious style drifting.

But you have to develop the external spatial characteristics needed to functionally drive a car. If you don't, you die. Simple :p

Instead of looking at yourself being inside of the car, think of you becoming one with the car (corny I know). You are the brain inside of a giant organism that moves forward.

Developing this is easy, you have to have a large open field and drive around turning the wheel to understand how much of a turning radius your car has.

What? All cars have different turning radiui? Yes they do, my old Mercedes could do a full turn on a two lane road without a three point turn. My Saab can't even get close to that.

Go straight and turn the wheel a bunch of turns and slowly understand how much turning you need to do to get in. Do not over steer and then compensate, this is how you lose control. Learn the radius just perfectly and you will be fine.

The more you drive around in an open lot, the more you will develop this spatial reasoning. You will have perfect spatial understanding of your vehicle when you can parallel park the vehicle. I do this almost every day and people are completely blown away by my ability to parallel park a car.

Same deal as when you first started driving, have a friend come with you and take two cones, trash canes, whatever, and place them about a car length or so apart. Then practice parallel parking. You will need to do this like 25 times before you get it. You must learn how to do this to pass the road test.

Next, to help figure out which way is left or right, make two Ls with your hands. Notice which L looks correct? That is your left hand. Beat this into you.

left-right.jpg

Take masking tape and tape it to your dash and write down LEFT , RIGHT. Learn this difference. I don't want excuses, you better memorize it and have someone randomly go "LEFT/ RIGHT".

Have someone play drill Sargent with LEFT AND RIGHT until you get this correct.

Next on your crash course for driving, always use ONE FOOT preferably your right foot to hit the go and brake peddle. The go peddle is on the RIGHT (the long skinny flat peddle) and the brake peddle is on the LEFT. Never mix these two up. Go into the car with it off and practice with someone saying "Red light, green light" "Go , stop" and have him watch your feet. Again have him shout at you until you don't break under pressure.

As for knowing how to merge into traffic, understand that traffic flows in a pattern very similarly to water. Think of cars as a river (albeit not perfect). When merging onto a freeway it is important to find a space and put your TURN SIGNAL on. This will let other drivers know your anticipation on merging.

Remember to speed up to the speed of traffic and quickly get in. Understand that your intuition is very very useful here. You just need a few constants to understand:

1. People don't want to hit you.
2. The speed of other vehicles tends to remain constant on a freeway. Use this to your advantage. There is nothing wrong with speeding up faster than traffic to merge or to over take slower vehicles. This is a more advanced move. You will get there.

Look into your mirror and also LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER! There are blind spots in mirrors, so always get in the habit of looking over your shoulder. This was an instant fail if you didn't do this when changing lanes on the road test.

A good rule of thumb for the turn signals is to always use them when you are changing direction no matter how dumb it seems.

You need a driving instructor. If he makes you uncomfortable, tell him that to his face. Man up and say keep it professional sweetheart. His job is to teach you, not try and get in your pants.

Do not let your anxiety and other worries get in the way of your performance. Practice, practice, and more practice will only overcome your anxiety.

Anxiety on the road gets you and others killed.

PM me with more any more questions.

Experience:
Cross country road trip (LA - NYC)
Got my license in 2006, drove the DC beltway in a minivan during rush hour with a permit (baller).
I survive Masshole drivers everyday.
Drifting is fracking awesome.
 

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I'm not an ENFP, but I just wanted to throw it out there that my husband is an ENFP, has ADHD and drives fine. (Okay, a lot of times his driving makes me insane and scares me, but he's not dead and drives well enough. :p)

One thing that he says he likes is having people drive with him. He likes having the company and the extra mental stimuli that the company provides. To top it off, they could probably help you to learn how to drive.

But I agree with the rest, driving becomes MUCH easier the more you do it. Driving in cities I wasn't familiar with used to send me into hysterics, but I've gotten a lot better. (That and I have a GPS now.) As for the left/right thing...which hand do you write with? How I used to always remember it (I used to get it mixed up too) was that I write with my right hand, so I always had an instant frame of reference as to what was right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all so much for your generous and helpful responses. Today has been rough and reading these perked me up and inspired me not to give up on this driving thing.

@stormy, thank you for the practical hints and the pep talk. You helped me feel that this is actually possible.

@KateMarie999 My lack of aptitude at MarioKart has been a great source of amusement for several of my friends. Yet it definitely seems like a fun way to improve driving skills, and would help with spatial reasoning for sure! I’ll have to try it : )

@nádej Yes, practice should reduce the overabundant anxiety I feel just now. Thank you for the good wishes.

@chimeric I have a couple of girlfriends that have offered to help! Hopefully I can take them up on their offers soon.

@frenchie Thank you so much for the incredibly thorough post. This is *just* what I was hoping to be taught, and I am excited to follow this plan of action. My immediate future will be full of right-left drills and empty parking lots with which to practice spatial awareness. It is so encouraging to hear that a fellow ADD ENFP can become such an accomplished driver. You are absolutely a baller for managing the DC beltway at Rush Hour; I bow to your experience and skill. Again, thank you.

@Noelle I'm glad that you have faith in your husband's driving skills! I am a rightie but for some reason once in awhile I get confused :) Embarrassing but true. Thank you for your input, it is always nice to hear from an ENFP observer/supporter.
 

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What advice do you have for improving the process? How did you adapt your learning style to driving? Any helpful hints to remember?

Thank you so much in advance for your help : )
Yes, watch the road.

You're quite welcome.
Have a great day!
 

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I was terrified of learning to drive...especially when I ran into a friend's garbage can leaving their house with my Dad in the car! I have diagnosed spatial issues. Before we got married, my husband took me out early each morning to a parking lot to drive his stick-shift car. Thankfully he was quite patient and understanding and I did learn how to drive after all. Out of habit and practice, I eventually figured out where my car was in relation to other cars on the road. If you'd like to work on your spatial abilities, there are free brain games on the internet that I find helpful (I do these daily.)

As for the right/left issue, that seems to be improving with the brain games for me as well. For years I had east and west reversed in my head; where I live, directions are given as "turn east on Alice Rd." To compensate, I always leave early, go over directions multiple times before I go anywhere, and make sure to have the phone number of the people I'm visiting in case I get lost. I have a strategy I use for finding my parked-car: If my car is behind my right shoulder, then my car is on the left side of the row when I go to find my car later. If the building I'm headed is marked with a street number or a store name across from the row I'm parked in, I will take note of that (you can write this down, too), and I will look for that marker when it's time to find my car again.

I hope that wasn't too confusing? I know it's difficult and it can feel scary to drive when you have spatial issues. Be gentle with yourself and proud for having the courage to do something so contrary to your nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Undoubtedly Noted!

@snowwhisper How wonderful that you had such a patient, loving teacher in your husband. It really does make all the difference when the person in the car with you is both capable and gentle with you. Thank you for the tips re: improving spacial abilities; I will definitely make use of them. It is very encouraging to hear your story and how you overcame the challenges with time. Thank you for the kind words as well!

@frenchie haha, well, I am in the market for a good teacher. Just PM'd you.
 

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I have ADHD (combined type). I waited to ger my license until I was 20. Driving is like any other skill or habit. Give yourself lots of time and practice. The worst thing to do is allow panic to cause you to become erratic. The whole thing has you freaked out because it is new and overwhelming.

My wife has trouble with "left" and "right," so I taught her to use different words for them. It took some of the pressure off her. You might do the same. You may also want to come up with a ritual that helps you focus on the moment-to-moment actions you will need to perform...something along the lines of: "One two, buckle my shoes..."
Meditation is also a good idea. Rhythmic breathing exercises will help you focus.
You are going to make mistakes. You will learn from them. That is how it works.
 

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I have ADHD (combined type). I waited to ger my license until I was 20. Driving is like any other skill or habit. Give yourself lots of time and practice. The worst thing to do is allow panic to cause you to become erratic. The whole thing has you freaked out because it is new and overwhelming.

My wife has trouble with "left" and "right," so I taught her to use different words for them. It took some of the pressure off her. You might do the same. You may also want to come up with a ritual that helps you focus on the moment-to-moment actions you will need to perform...something along the lines of: "One two, buckle my shoes..."
Meditation is also a good idea. Rhythmic breathing exercises will help you focus.
You are going to make mistakes. You will learn from them. That is how it works.
tanstaafl 28, I was wondering if you could further explain how/why it helps your wife to use different words for left and right? Is the problem for her simply the words left/right or the visual/perceptual concept of left and right? Thanks.
 

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remove the distractions! ie phone with text message and facebook notices. I tell persisent friends to STOP texting me when I drive. I am ADHD and feel compelled to look at my phone.

The story behind this, I have a friend that when I am suppossed to meet him somewhere, he will begin to bombard me with texts and when I don't answer his texts, he calls. Then he tries to give me driving directions to avoid consruction....ARGGGGGHHH
I was so frustrated and MAD at him by the time I got there!

Also, I tend to think of driving like geometry. I use my turn signal changing lanes because I am breaking the plane of motion in the direction that I am driving. Same thing with turning left from 2 lanes. Which lane do I go into? Follow the river or plane of motion that you are already in. :happy:
Good luck You can do this!
 
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i've had some trouble with my attention span learning how to drive..

i've kinda learned that even though practical stuff doesn't come naturally to me, there's no point getting disheartened or put-off- it just means you need to take extra practice and things will click into gear.. even with stuff like attention span- while you're learning to drive you're unfamiliar with the controls which is why it's difficult to concentrate on multiple things, once practice makes the controls feel like second nature you will find your focus flows more naturally.

i also found the biggest thing that helped me was to take my mom's car and experiment in an isolated area.. i've never been good at taking instructions and i like to figure things out for myself.. i took a couple of hours just to experiment and practice with the things that were making me a little insecure when on lessons (finding the limits, playing with the balance, etc. things that you can't do on a public road) and getting a handle on them so that i felt confident about them while on lessons and i could worry about other things.
 
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