How Can I Communicate Succinctly?

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    • #64637

      This message is probably gonna take a long time to write, and then I’ll have to edit down. Because that’s what always happens.

      I was reading the other day about ADHD and found something that says that people with ADHD often have trouble speaking and writing succinctly. And that it has to do with the fact that our brains notice more and let in more information, so we have more to process.

      That is definitely me. I spend a lot of time trying to get my thoughts out of my brain in a way that is comprehensible to others, and then I spend more time paring it down so that it’s not too long. I avoid having important conversations with people because the amount of knowledge and research I have is really hard to funnel down into the main points that they actually need to know.

      This is off-putting to people, and has been throughout my life. I think it’s why at work, I’m not often volunteered to speak with clients, and why sometimes I don’t get invited to do things with people. I feel a lot of shame around this. When I was growing up, and I’d have an argument with my mom, she’d accuse me of having “diarrhea of the mouth.” That image is disgusting, of course, and made me feel so ashamed of myself. (Thanks, Mom!) I know she didn’t mean to hurt me, but she felt really frustrated and called a name. But it hurt me deeply. I still feel guilty every time I speak up in a meeting, because I know that, even though I have a good point, I didn’t get it out in an impactful way. I see people disengage. I know I need to change, but it’s hard and I don’t know how.

      As a result of the negative impact my communication style has had with people throughout my life, I often withdraw from conversations and don’t speak when I need to.

      But I don’t want it to be that way anymore. I want to be appreciated and heard, valued and cared about.

      I want to learn a way to work around this so that I can funnel my ideas and thoughts quickly, communicate them succinctly. My hope is that people will start to recognize my hard work and intelligence, and that I will be better understood and feel less isolated.

      Any ideas on what I can do? Are there any techniques for ADHD people to handle this? (I’ve seen plenty of techniques for “normies” but they don’t account for the extra hurdles my brain has to jump over!)

    • #76800

      WOW… Your speaking my language. This has been an ongoing problem for me too. I worked for a boss who said I was verbose and acted irritated whenever I tried to share. That led me down a slippy slope of self actualization and making it worse. I still struggle, but I do what you outlined above. I spend more time editing my message and spend more time using PowerPoint and other Office products to create my outline and speaking points. I then stick to it as much as possible.

      I also type my thoughts on a Word Document and then start edit it down. I find that the new Word helps you by identifying sentences that are using too many words and offers you a suggested alternative with less words.

      When speaking, I try to speak less and share only about 3 points at a time. I then stop, ask questions and get the other person talking. That allows me to be more responsive and only share what is needed.

      Hope this helps.

    • #77520

      Hi! I think that for many of us with ADHD we have grown accustomed to constantly explaining EVERYTHING to everyone all the time because we see the world so differently and the ‘norms’ just don’t get. Couple that with how we are able to see through bs and get to the solution of a problem much quicker than most… people get a little put off by it. Or worse when people get that ‘blank’ expression when you’re talking. Social interactions are difficult for us and we tend to talk too much or too little in all areas from work to friends to family. I myself always assume that no matter what I’m going to say the intended recipient isn’t going to get it or understand so in my head I always have full explanations at the ready to help. Of course most of the time those explanations are not required but my brain doesn’t know that so I spit them out anyways. Good luck to you and remember that even though we have to conform a bit to survive in this world we do not have to feel ashamed or change who we are.

    • #77526

      I wish I could help you but I have the same issues. Text messaging is always a process of trying to minimize what I am thinking, as is speaking. I am all too familiar with the blank stares, loss of interest, and feeling like I need to just stop talking because I’m going on and on about one thing or another. I sometimes don’t speak in groups because I am afraid that I’ll do my “ADD thing” and it’s embarrassing and a confidence killer. If anyone has any suggestions, please post, because I too would like to learn about how to communicate better.

    • #78044

      i just wanted to send hugs to all of you who posted here.

      i was shamed and ridiculed and made to feel like the most annoying person in the history of the world because i made the mistake of marrying a man who literally cannot tolerate this. His impatience and critical nature just got worse and worse over the years. It still stuns me that I lived like that for so many painful years 🙁

      Anyway I know it hurts a lot and i just want to say… Remember to love yourselves like you would your own child!!! We deserve that. I am still embarrassed and worried about the same things you all described, but I do try to laugh to myself and be more like a kid inside, someone who has a best friend who is exactly like me, and thinks I am just perfect. In our own weirdo uniquely awesome way.

    • #79425

      I notice this in myself all the time! Textual communications, I compose and then simplify to make my messages concise, like you, so can’t offer suggestions there.

      In Spoken communication however, I notice my flow of words sits at more of a constant rate than that of others. The speed at which others talk and the pauses they take between sentences, are drawn out in comparison if I were stating the same point.

      I’ve attributed this to their simultaneously thinking and consideration of phrasing, I’m more of an automatic communicator and I assess phrasing etc. after the fact. Often wishing I’d been more concise.

      It’s not easy to make a habit of, but I’m practicing slowing down, and giving consideration to each word as I go. It’s been helpful in improving my condensing of information before delivery, but also massively increased my consideration of other and feelings, and I find myself dropping sentences that might hurt feelings, when prior, I would have spoken and then reevaluated that decision.

      It seems obvious, but the difference in speech is something I only recently noticed.. If you happen to be in my boat, try practicing extending your pause before replying, and extending your pause between sentences, allowing for consideration. It doesn’t come out sounding as dopey as I had thought it would, it’s actually really normal and slowing speech will also help the listener follow along.

    • #79477

      When it comes to writing, I write it out, and then I tear it down to size. My writing is better than most people’s but it takes time. Any good writing from anyone does.

      As for speaking that was always hard. What helps is not worrying so much. If I’m speaking in front of a crowd I have a list of points that will connect my thoughts. I try and make it through the points. If I miss some I don’t worry about it. Not sure I’m a good speaker but a lot of people appreciate the fact that I don’t give the usual boilerplate talks.

      In either case, give yourself a time limit and stick with it.

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