Most conversations are hard. I’m not talking about the problematic talks (about money, jobs, or where you want to live). I’m talking about the little conversations you have throughout the day. The talks you have when you get home from work. The discussions about what you want or where you want to eat. The talks when you’re in one room and the person you’re talking to is in another. And, even worse, you talk about not talking; the things you didn’t say that you should have said, or the words you didn’t speak during the “silent treatment.”
And most uncomfortable of all, are the talks you have about the way you talk to each other. The hardest part of a conversation is in saying the right thing that will give the results you are hoping for. Do you ever stop and ask yourself- What do I want from this conversation? Everyone wants to be heard, feel validated, and respected.
If you’re not careful with your words, those little talks can trigger the other person, and quickly it becomes a sleep-in-the-other-room kind of fight.
When you are the one with ADHD, you are often misunderstood. Maybe your words are jumbled, or you say too much. Let’s face it. Controlling your racing thoughts in a hyperactive mind isn’t easy to do. When your emotions are intensified, and your feelings are hurt, it’s hard to think clearly. Speaking concisely about what you’re feeling is almost impossible.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION?
Yes! Whether you are the talker or the listener, follow these 5 steps:
You don’t have to jump into every argument immediately. You don’t have to express every emotion you feel. You can take time to think about what’s happening. You can give the feelings time to calm down. Taking a timeout is okay. Your mind becomes clear when your emotions are calm.
It’s ok to think about what you want to say before you say it. You will receive a much happier outcome when you think before you speak. People often say what they don’t mean to say. And people are sensitive. Impulsive words cause damage that’s hard to repair. Think about what you want to say, how you want to say it and when would be the best time to have a talk.
Become a good listener. Not only is it essential to learn how to speak, but listening isn’t easy. While someone is talking, you’re probably planning your answer. Try to be present in the conversation. When you feel your mind slipping away, bring it back to what the other person is saying. Hyper-focus, stay silent and wait until they’re finished speaking.
When emotions are intensified, your brain turns to mush, or it becomes overactive. Feelings replace logical and reasonable thinking. Intense emotions often turn us into award-winning actors. Everything is dramatic. Emotionally fired up, you use the words- always, never, and why don’t you ever. You lose sight of the big picture. The situation becomes one big blurry mess. Pausing, preparing, and patience will give you clarity. You will feel more in control of your thoughts and feelings. Instead of letting them take control of you.
People are different. Their family histories aren’t the same. Each one of us has our own stories, dramas, and traumas that we carry around with us. If your spouse is an only child and you come from a family of four siblings, you can’t even imagine what the other person feels. If you grew up in the US and your partner is from Spain, you most likely had very different childhoods. In conversations, you expect other people to feel, think, and see what you do. That probably won’t happen. Understand your differences. Respect the opinions of others, even when they differ from yours.
If you’re really brave, start tracking your conversations throughout the day. You’ll notice sometimes they’re uncomfortable, and at other times (hopefully often), you feel connected with a loved one, co-worker or a friend. There’s a flowing dance between you.That’s the best feeling!
Tell me about your conversations. I’d love to know how this relates to you.