Is It Time for an Attitude Adjustment?

It’s not ADHD-fueled impulsive speech that hurts us (and the people we love), but the thoughts that lie beneath. Here, expert tips to stay positive and control symptoms.

Illustration of speech bubbles signifying an ADHD person's tendency to blurt things out
Illustration of speech bubbles signifying an ADHD person's tendency to blurt things out

When you start thinking about how terrible you have it with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), take a moment to remember that we are human. We do not have to rely on our instincts alone; we can change, modify, and improve. Sometimes it is not ADHD that holds us back, it is our attitude.

ADHD is not curable, but attitude is. Even so, adjusting an attitude is hard work. Let’s consider blurting things out. Is it the process of blurting that gets us in trouble? Or is it what we blurt?

Attitude Adjustments

Whether we realize it or not, what we blurt reveals our true, inner thoughts to the world, or at least to anyone nearby.

The basic issue is that blurting is normally just an awkward happenstance, which is sometimes embarrassing and usually uncomfortable.

But when we lose friends and jobs, and get ourselves in deep trouble because of it, then it’s not the blurting that is causing problems, it’s what’s being said. What we say is controlled by what we are thinking and our current attitude. Understanding and admitting this can change your life. I know from experience.

[Free Resource: 25 Things to Love About ADHD]

Can you imagine someone with a cheerful attitude getting in trouble by blurting, “Happy!” “Roses!” and “Great day!” Probably not, but why not? Because, even though it might be weird and peculiar, and may even raise an eyebrow, it’s not hurtful, mean, or degrading. Now, if someone blurts out obscenities, or that he or she hates someone, it’s the words that cause the problems. That part is curable, even if one never stops blurting.

Think about the last time you got in serious trouble for blurting. What was it you said? Once the cat is out of the bag, saying we have ADHD cannot save us and, quite frankly, it shouldn’t.

It’s not always the ADHD symptoms that get us in hot water. It’s what those symptoms sometimes reveal about our thoughts, beliefs, and personal points of view. We, as people with ADHD, have built-in truth detectors, and we can’t completely turn off blurting. But we do have the power to change what is being said when we blurt.

Sometimes we are so focused on our ADHD symptoms that we don’t realize what is within our personal control. When we change, improve, and modify our attitude, we also change, improve, and modify what we blurt. If we are not thinking it, then we won’t blurt it. Plain and simple! Easy? I didn’t say that.

[ADHD and the Power of Positive Thinking]

Of course, normal people don’t have this problem. Right? Perhaps not to the extent we do, but attitude always shines through from everyone in one way or another. It just so happens that ours can be more obvious when we blurt it out.

I have developed strategies to help me avoid the trouble that blurting can cause. Still, bad things happen and I find myself in situations that get me down. Sometimes I am around people whose negative attitude brings my mood down. That’s life, and I am not always able to follow through on my strategies. However, overall, I have cultivated a positive mental attitude, which has had a profound impact on my life

I have succeeded and found life easier and far more enjoyable with a positive mental attitude. I have also noticed that people like being around me more so than in the past, when my attitude wasn’t as constructive. I may not be able to completely control my ADHD symptoms, but by improving my attitude, my symptoms have a less destructive impact on my interactions with others.

This is not to say that ADHD doesn’t cause serious life challenges, because it clearly does. But sometimes — yes, sometimes — we get mixed up about what is an ADHD problem and what is not.

[Free Download: Your Guide to Setting the Record Straight About ADHD]

3 Tips to Help You Stay Positive (and Out of Social Trouble)

Here are strategies I use to change the words I blurt:

  • I improve my attitude by trying to find good, advantageous things to focus on in any situation.
  • I make it a rule to treat everyone with respect and courtesy.
  • I do my best to focus on the good qualities of others. Although it is not human nature to like everyone, it is possible to find something good about anyone. That way, if I blurt out what I’m thinking about, I reduce any chances of saying something that I will regret later.