Interrupting, Getting Bored and Talking too Much!
Do any of the above challenges sound familiar? You are not alone. Having a conversation with someone when your mind is racing 100+MPH is not an easy thing to do. Even harder, when you are not very interested in the conversation anyway!
It happens and it’s uncomfortable, but there are a few strategies you can put in place to lessen the challenges.
First thing is first, let’s talk about why this happens. Executive functions coordinate your thoughts, actions, ability to plan, and your working memory. These are challenges for many ADHDer’s.
It’s hard to retrieve, organize, and process information, which can make having a conversation difficult. This is especially true if the topic is emotional or you are environment with a lot of noise and distractions.
What can you do?
Practice being aware of when you interrupt. What kind of conversations does this usually happen? Are there certain people it happens with more often?
When you notice you are interrupting (and you will notice more, because you are practicing to be more aware), apologize and let the person continue with what they were saying.
Practice the power of the pause - wait before speaking and be sure the other person is done talking.
Practice mindfulness listening. Really focus on what the person is saying rather than you what you want to say next.
Make as much eye contact as you can to stay focus on the other person.
If you are in a meeting or conference setting, sit as close to the front as you can. This minimizes outside distractions.
Have a fidget toy in your pocket or fidget with a piece of jewelry you have on. Something to keep you moving to help stay focused on the conversation.
If you can, excuse yourself from the conversation.
Talking too Much
Again, mindfulness comes into play here, paying attention to how much you are talking.
Look for cues from the other person, do they look bored?
Practice asking questions or pausing after a couple of sentences to let the other person speak.
Practice being more concise in your explanations, what does the person really need to know?
Over-explaining often happens if we are not sure if the other person is understanding us, if they have questions, trust they will ask instead of going over the same point several times.
Here’s a challenge for the week, take one or two of these strategies and practice them with someone you trust and see how it can make a difference!
Thank you for your time and attention.