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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

Alienation from having high executive functioning

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Honestly, the biggest reason why I feel so unrelatable/why I can’t relate to other people’s experiences is because my executive functioning is very high.

I can do/take on/deal with many different things at the same time without feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, burned out etc. I never had problems with organization, memory, priority management, procrastination, deadlines, etc.

So much of what I’ve talked about and perspectives/experiences I’ve shared probably isn’t actually all that helpful because people literally aren’t wired in a way where they can actually apply it.

And really, the biggest problem in the world might actually be that the level of executive functioning that is required for the average person to "be well" is quite a bit higher than their actual level of executive functioning. This means that a lot of people are just overwhelmed and stressed all the time, or they don’t do that much to avoid feeling that way but end up not as successful in accomplishing things.

And a lot of people with solid or even high executive functioning take on even more because they’ve gotten more successful in various areas of their lives, and generally more responsibilities come with the success. Or that they take on something else and straight up add another aspect to their lives, so they eventually get to a point where their level of executive functioning isn’t enough to take on everything they’re taking on without feeling overwhelmed and struggling in some obvious/tangible way.

And the only people who find success consistently across disciplines and settings they’re in, does a lot of different things constantly, and also don’t really have any struggles (thus unrelatable) are people like me who has very high executive functioning but doesn’t push to the extreme. (I don't push it to the extreme because my executive functioning is high enough to get me what I want, even though I want quite a bit in the sense that I demand a lot out of my everyday life.)

Because I have such high level of executive functioning, and that has always been my cognitive and emotional experience, I have a hard time relating to common struggles that a lot of people deal with, including people who are neurotypical and people who have found a lot of success in one or even multiple areas of life.

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