Putting An End to Angry ADHD Outbursts

Filed Under: ADHD Social Skills, ADHD and Marriage

Q:

"During arguments, I often get mad and say things I don’t mean. Last night I said something very hurtful to my husband about his mother. How can I repair the damage and learn to control my mouth?"

A:

The best way to make amends is to apologize. Just remember that a good apology has no “but” at the end.

As for avoiding similar incidents in the future, it’s often helpful to “prepare” for arguments that are likely to arise. Make a list of the ongoing issues that tend to trigger disagreements between you and your husband, and consider how you would like to resolve these matters. On which points are you willing to compromise? On which points are you unwilling to do so?

Learn to cut your anger short before you slip into a blind rage — and risk saying something you’ll regret. The tip-off might be a tightening in your stomach or a clenching in your jaw. If you notice that your anger is escalating, ask if you can finish talking later, and go for a walk, take a bath, or do something else to cool off. Whatever you do, try not to dredge up past hurts or stoop to name-calling—especially about a family member of the person with whom you’re arguing.

Kerch McConlogue is a Baltimore-based ADD coach.

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