Hurting Over Blurting

“I’m so impulsive that I speak without thinking, offending my family and co-workers. How can I make it up to them?” Expert advice on better communication for adults with attention deficit.

Impulsivity is one of the hardest ADHD challenges to overcome. Adults with the condition aren’t aware that we’re being impulsive when we’re being impulsive. What we think, we say. There’s no filter between thought and action.

People who are offended by your insensitive remarks probably don’t understand that it’s a brain chemistry issue. They probably make false assumptions about you, thinking that you’re brash and disrespectful when it’s part and parcel of your ADHD.

Here’s a three-part solution to healing the hurt of friends and family.

[Watch: Impulsivity, Explained]

>First, be open about the problem. Tell them about your struggles with blurting, and acknowledge their bruised feelings. Let them know that saying something that offends them is as painful to you as it is to them.

>Second, apologize — sincerely — for any harsh words or for something you didn’t mean.

>Third, let them know that you are developing strategies for limiting blurting, but that it will take a while to overcome.

In the meantime, work on accepting yourself. Remind yourself that you’re not being willfully discourteous. At this point, you have little control over your impulsivity. Continue to work on being aware, in the moment, of how you’re coming across to people. It gets easier over time.

[Read This Next: Real-World Strategies: “How I Stop Being So Impulsive”]

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