ADHD: Impulsiveness, Distractability, Poor Social Judgement, Blurting Out
Impulsivness is one of the defining criteria for ADHD. Products of ADHD impulsivity include both distractability – I get a distraction and I impulsively follow it, off task – and also blurting out. I get a thought and impulsively say it, sometimes even when I know better, but the impulse fires a microsecond before the alarm bell. OK, let’s be honest. Sometimes the alarm bell sounds soon enough and I go ahead and say it anyway.
When my wife kicks me under the table, that’s an external warning signal, but often I go ahead anyway, although sometimes I ask her to stop kicking me. She doesn’t like this. But sometimes I pause and decide she’s probably right and I change the subject. Sometimes.
I’m having trouble thinking of a good recent example, but here’s an old one:
We were dining with good friends, very nice people, although bigotted (an oxymoron? People can’t help where they were born?). They started in on some racist stuff and I interrupted them to deliver an educational lecture on the topic. My wife kept kicking me but I just kept going. They got very quiet and when I finished they started a different topic, and my wife stopped kicking me. (I am aware that people’s opinions are not affected by facts, but they had stated theirs, and I couldn’t just let it stand. Could I?)
You know, that’s not a good example of blurting out, although I didn’t stop to consider before I started the lecture. But I would do it again.
Anyway, I just asked my wife and although she agrees I blurt out all the time, she couldn’t think of an example either. Maybe it’s not a bad as I think? Maybe I can post an example next time. She does point out that sometimes I post things that she thinks would go better unposted. Did I impulsively push the publish button or is this an example of poor judgement, which I also have?
I don’t really have a strategy for this.
‘Stop and think before you speak?’ Seems like that’s like saying, “Just try harder.” Could I really make that a habit, or is it that if I could do that, I wouldn’t have ADHD?
‘Stop talking when I’m getting kicked?’ But sometimes in my opinion, it’s not inappropriate. Still, that might be a good strategy, percentage wise.
‘Keep your mouth shut?’ I do this a lot, and surely it keeps me out of a lot of trouble, but sometimes I need to speak. Can I speak without blurting out? Is it like all or nothing?
intelligent Oh, did I say something wrong?