I Really Don't Remember!

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Forgetting Important Information

Have you ever been in a situation where someone says, “we just talked about this a week ago”? And you really don’t remember the conversation or maybe you only remember bits of it? 

This is frustrating for both people, however it’s also a classic example of when ADHD gets in the way of how you process information and remember it later. 

There are a couple of factors to consider:

  • Distractibility - Depending on the circumstances the ADHD’er was distracted and only heard parts of the conversation, and didn’t really process everything that was being said. When this happens, it’s not uncommon to shake your head and say something in response like you are listening. You don’t want to be rude, right? 

  • Working Memory - This is a common issue for many ADDer’s. You may have listened to the conversation but when it was time to retrieve it, it wasn’t all there. 

It is not the intention of the ADHD’er to forget and this is not personal. It just happens, but there are a couple of things you can do. I picked out some of my favorite ideas from Melissa Orlov’s book; “The Couple’s Guide To Thriving With ADHD.” 

Write It Down - Whenever you are in an important conversation, have a journal or something you can write down the key bullet points, to refer back to later. 

Ask For A Reminder - The key to have any relationship work is communication. If you’re comfortable, ask for the person to recap the conversation. Melissa Orlov describes this as borrowing the memory of the non-ADHD person. 

Avoid Late Night Conversations - This is usually not the right time to start a deep conversation, when everyone is tired and stressed from the day. Wait until it’s the right time for both of you. 

Ask Questions - Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification or recap what is being said. Then later write a few bullet points in your journal, this is a great strategy for future reference. 

Practice Mindful Listening - This is not easy, especially if you have a lot to say about the topic of the conversation. For more information about Mindful Listening, please listen to our interview with Rebecca Shafir 

Click Here to Listen to our conversation with Melissa Orlov about Relationships! 

Thank you for your time and attention.

-Nikki