Blurting Out — ADD Tip o the Day 511

We with ADD or ADHD have problems with blurting out; for example, saying the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.

Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

Here’s some guidance on how to reduce that.  It’s comfort in, dump out.  We can make this a rule. It means that you give comfort to the person in need, and your own reactions you share with someone not involved.

For example, when listening to the wounded or struggling person, you avoid, “Oh, when that happened to me,—“, or “That really upsets me, I think I’m getting a headache, –”  and so on.

comfort in, dump out.


add, adhd,adult add, adult adhd, attention, deficit,blurting out,inappropriate

It will get better, but saying that doesn’t help.

a corollary :

A lot of people talk about avoiding the recently bereaved or upset, because                          “I don’t know what to say.”

We’re uncomfortable.  But nothing you can say is going to help; it’s simply being there that helps, and listening, not talking.

“I’m sorry.” is plenty good enough, and it helps avoid blurting out something hurtful.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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8 Responses to Blurting Out — ADD Tip o the Day 511

  1. MindBody says:

    The example of one of the great Tibetan Buddhist masters, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, comes to mind. I was intrigued when listening to his biography (The Movie Brilliant Moon) to hear that he would never offer any personal defence when somebody had a go at him– simply say things like “I see, I see”.
    The danger in ADHD is that in groping for a response we actually lose touch with what is being said to us. So often it is better to slow up, to reserve our response, and to come out with a response when we have processed the situation properly.
    That is a skill that takes time to learn- and it means learning to live with the discomfort of leaving a situation unresolved for some time. Mindfulness training is the best assistance you can get here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mind – I love that response “I see,I see.”
      sometimes questions are good-“would you explain that a little more?”
      you are right on – we need to prepare and train ouwrselves so we can have a response ready automatically and not blurt out or defend and make it worse
      thank you for commenting


      • MindBody says:

        Doug, you may be interested in another piece I have been reading:

        This “blurting out” is a problem that, of course goes well beyond the boundaries of ADHD, but it is deeply tied into a discomfort with tolerating ambiguity.

        The following two quotes make a great deal of sense to me- especially as I can see that one of my ADHD defences in the past has been exactly this process of wishing to “collapse the wave function” and to have everything all square and resolved– even if that means losing out on human connection in the process.

        The most potently ambiguous of all ambiguities we must learn to live with are human relationships. The ego always wants to collapse the wave function of ambiguity and know exactly where it stands with others.

        The immature ego will try to prematurely collapse the wave function to decide if someone is with us or against us, or whether we are with or against them. But many relationships, including some of the deepest and most soulful (parent/child, romantic soul mates) are intrinsically ambivalent, and may always have for and against aspects. In order to have deep relationships, we need to be able to tolerate both our ambivalence toward the other and the other’s ambivalence toward us. If you can’t deal with ambivalence in relationships, get a dog or a stuffed animal. If you’re not ready for ambiguity and ambivalence, you’re not ready for authentic relationship. An unambiguous human relationship is a shallow or misunderstood relationship.


  2. homey – and i have seen the apology actually make it worse! rock and hard place. best to not blurt in the first place – but hard to master.
    as always, thanks for commenting


  3. Ron Mitchell says:

    It’s helpful to remember how important a person is to you before saying something which may hurt the person. You may be regretting what you say for many weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. homemakersdaily says:

    I have blurted. I have avoided. And now that’s pretty much what I do – is say I’m so sorry! You’re right – it’s your presence they want. And nothing you can say will really help anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

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