Have you ever
listened to a friend and thought “Can she even hear herself?” We all have
patterns of communication, and behavior for that matter, we don’t
I remember one
day my daughter said to me, “Mom, you’ve said that before, several times.” Many
of you know when I was 14 years old I had an accident that resulted in a Near
Death Experience with head injuries. As a result of this I have experienced some
memory problems. Another result of this trauma was I lost my sense of smell,
which also influences memory. A positive from the accident is a definite
increase in my intuition. When my brain was injured, my intuitive self took over
and now much of how I access information is intuitively.
continually challenge our brain, we can develop memory lapses. Since my
daughter’s comment, I have been working on being aware and not repeating myself.
Repeating can happen for reasons other than memory problems and brain injury. When one has a
history of not being heard, not being listened to by others, they can develop a
pattern of repeating. Saying the same thing over and over again can also come
from a lack of self-awareness. It can also be an ineffective way of trying to
heal an emotional wound. You may say the same thing over and over but nothing
changes. It would be more effective to change your behavior by accepting a
situation or changing your relationship with the problem; forgiving, leaving,
setting boundaries and such. Saying the same thing over and over can also be a
sign of ADD.
Have you ever
had a conversation with a friend, loved one or a co-worker who often repeated
the same thing and didn’t focus. Someone with whom you tried to create a plan,
but politely getting them to pay attention, listen and commit to a time was near
impossible? Instead they just kept telling you all the situations that went on
in their day and you were not able to set a meeting.
So, how to do
you communicate with friends, loved ones and co-workers that are ADD or have
Listed here are
some of the Inattentive Symptoms of ADD; not the Hyperactive Symptoms. This may
help you to identify why you’ve had some difficulty communicating with someone.
It can clarify why you may have felt frustrated and hopefully will give you some
helpful communication solutions for yourself.
mistakes/lack of attention to details
- Lack of
- Failure to
follow through on tasks
- Forgetful in
- Avoiding tasks
requiring sustained mental effort
how close you are to this person, you may want to research more about ADD and
continue to learn.
Here are some simple ideas that may help.
- Use emails as
your primary form of communication to set up meetings. This way you can scan the
email quickly for the details about the meeting.
- Start your
conversation with, “I have one minute to plan this meeting.”
- When the
person becomes tangential, politely bring them back to topic. “Oh, I’m sorry, I
have to go, when did you say you could meet?”
- Give the
person 3 clear choices of times.
- Be willing to
set a boundary.
- If the person
won’t be decisive, realize the meeting may not happen and move on.
- Plan your
communication with the person when you have enough time to go through the
process to get the meeting planned.
- Have a plan B
for your time so if their disorganization creates a last minute cancelation, it
won’t disrupt your life.
These are some
ideas that may be helpful. Again, if this is someone you live with or a
supervisor, I encourage you to find more information on this topic. One book you
may be interested in
Everybody Else Know That I Don’t?: Social Skills Help for Adults with Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by Michele Novotni, PhD