Learning to Work Around “Spacing Out”


Honey, you’re not listening
ADDvanced Listening & Languaging

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Memory & Coaching Skills Series

Spacing out – when attention wanders

We’ve all had times when our mind goes off on a short walk-about as someone seems to go on and on and on.

But that’s not the only arena where attention wanders off on its own.

Have you ever gone into another room only to wonder what you went there to do?

I’ll bet you have little to no awareness of where your attention went during your short trip to the other room, but if you’re like me (or most of my clients and students), you’ve sometimes wondered if doorways are embedded with some kind of Star Trekkian technology that wipes our minds clean on pass-through.

Awareness is a factor of ATTENTION

Has your mate ever said “Honey, I TOLD you I would be home late on Tuesday nights!” — when you honestly couldn’t remember ever hearing it before that very moment, or only dimly remember the conversation for the first time when it comes up again?

Most of the time, when that happens, we are so lost in our own thoughts, we have little to no awareness that we spaced out while someone was speaking to us.

What do you do DO on those occasions where you suddenly realize that you have been hearing but not really listening?

Don’t you tend to attempt to fill in the gaps, silently praying that anything important will be repeated? I know I do.

It is a rare individual who has the guts to say, “I’m so sorry, I got distracted.  Could you repeat every single word you just said?” 

And how likely are you to ask for clarification once you are listening once more?

  • If you’re like most people, you probably assume that the reason you are slow to understand is because you missed the explanatory words during your “brain blip.”
  • If the conversation concludes with, “Call me if you have any problems,” I’ll bet you don’t reply, “With what?!”

That’s what the person with attending deficits or an exceptionally busy brain goes through in almost every single interchange, unless they learn how to attend or the person speaking learns how to talk so people listen.

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Awareness is indeed a factor of attention

In order to act on something, one must remember that it occurred, recalling a great enough number of the event’s details that it is possible to follow up with action.

In order to remember something, it must have been registered
in a manner that is retrievable on demand, following specific prompts.

Comprehensively trained, brain-based ADD Coaches have learned that, to work with attention deficits and distracted minds, the speakers must be able to talk to their clients in a way that the clients can hear and link for retrieval.

They must learn to be able to listen for the often subtle clues that tell him or her where it is essential to employ specific language skills – a skill the coaching field often refers to as “languaging.”

Brain-based ADD Coach Training could also be called
ADDvanced Listening & Languaging.

This article, which will be broken into parts and posted as a Series, will share several things with anyone reading, most of which you will probably not come across outside a comprehensive coach training curriculum, including:

  • Some coaching concepts designed to increase your listening skills;
  • Some concepts that will increase your understanding of the memory and retrieval process; and
  • Some techniques to seed a shift in your languaging skills that will increase your likelihood of being heard  — by ALL of the people in your own busy lives.  Let’s start there.

What will NEVER work

Our brains have developed to protect us from danger. Words or tones of censure are interpreted as danger.

Nagging and complaining can only be perceived as signs of displeasure. Way back in our genetic history, the repeated displeasure of the tribe led to ostracism.

In those predatory cave days, being out on our own usually meant death. We begin almost immediately to mount a defense – NOT to apologize and listen-up.

Repeated after-the-fact bitchin’ and moaning is more likely to increase the very behavior you hope to see less of: tuning you out. 

The brain – unconsciously – reacts to further information from complainers more like, “Here it comes again – run and hide,” even in the face of conscious attempts to pay closer attention in order to change what seems to always come next.  Brain-based, by the way.

Addressing current events

Because I am aware of some brain-based realities that many misunderstand or don’t know about, I’m hoping to offer some information that will prove helpful as we speak to each other in the days, weeks and months to come.

It is also why I am greatly concerned about articles sprinkled around the ‘net ranting and raving at Americans who voted for our current president and continue to support him, despite his ongoing actions.

It won’t work.

As commenter Tommy put forward in response to the article from PsychCentral (linked below), politics are breeding grounds for cognitive dissonance. Once we develop strong beliefs in our candidates, even if they later exhibit signs that contradict why we supported them in the first place, we continue to support our original choices.

We are unconsciously attempting to eliminating the dissonance created by the conflict between what we once believed to be true and the behaviors and actions that follow.

What’s more, we reinforce our decisions by reading or listening only to informational sources that won’t compete with our positive views of our candidates, reinforcing and increasing our confidence in those views. (For example, he writes, democrats are likely to watch MSNBC but avoid watching FOX, while the opposite is probably true for republicans).

HOWEVER, if you, too, are desperate to turn things around, not merely to rant about events as they have turned out (which I certainly cannot accept either) –  we all simply must simmer down and stop making each other wrong. We have to find a way to work together on those things about which we CAN agree.

Related Post: Why we hate to change our minds

Standing United

America needs to come together and fight for our collective values while it is still possible to stop at least some of the actions that are out of integrity with what we say we believe as a nation.

And we hope and pray that those of you who live outside our borders will stand WITH us, not against us.

For that reason I feel strongly that I must always object to anything divisive when I come across it, even though I realize I am but one small voice in a wilderness of shame.

So, as I work my way through further explanations and offer some suggestions designed primarily toward more effective communication in our personal relationships, please keep it in mind that censure and shame is NOT a technique that will change much of anything anywhere else either.

Not even a little bit.

YOU may feel better for ranting, but if you join me in my desire is to see things change for the better, make-wrong is NOT the way to go about it. It will almost always backfire — evidence based, backed-up through many experiments over many years, and explained briefly in a prior post.

I don’t personalize contentious comments, but many will, and that’s the problem.

If we are to put a halt to what’s happening and really “make America great again,” we need increasingly more Americans to stand up and fight with us, NOT to be put on the defensive about what they can no longer change, reacting out of brain-based feelings that they must continue to defend their actions and agendas because they’re under attack.

You can’t make me believe I am WRONG!!

Most of us hate it when our beliefs are challenged. Once we are invested in a decision or opinion, we tend to resist changing our minds – no matter who we are or how open-minded we like to believe we are being.

When someone presents evidence that does not support or agree with something that we believe, we will feel an uncomfortable – and unconscious – state of dissonance.  Immediately, we will be strongly motivated to reduce it.

The easiest, quickest way that most of us attempt to handle that hateful conflict between old information and new is to dig in and defend our current beliefs.

Looking at the Science

Dr. Carol Tavris is a social psychologist – a research branch of psychology. She is the co-author of a book that explains what science has discovered about why this is so.

In Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, she covers two essential concepts: confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance.

We now have over 3,000 studies on aspects of dissonance — cognitive, social, emotional and neurological  — that show us just how uncomfortable it is for the brain to be confronted with dissonant information, and what we are likely to DO about it.

Tavris explains that our unconscious drive to reduce cognitive dissonance between conflicting thoughts is so strong that we are most likely to close our minds to updated information that could help us make significantly better choices in the future.

For example, the conflict between “I am an educated, compassionate person of expertise” and “I hold a belief (or committed an action) that might make it seem as if I am not” is a sure bet to result in cognitive dissonance.

Apparently, according to Tavris, in our evolutionary history it has proven more adaptive, more beneficial, to come up with a set of beliefs that guide our behavior and bind us to a community in advance, so we don’t have to stop and question our decisions each moment of our days.

So, once we have a belief system in place it, essentially, does our thinking for us.

Tavris goes on to remind us that there are brain-based benefits to justifying our actions after the fact: it reduces the anxiety of second-guessing as it allows us to continue thinking of ourselves as good, competent, intelligent people who know what we’re doing and are safe in our environments.

Don’t Make People Wrong

Understanding the concept of cognitive dissonance helps us understand why, when we are speaking with somebody who holds different views, it is important NOT to put them into a state of dissonance.

If we make somebody feel stupid for a belief they hold or for an action they took, it is practically guaranteed they’re not going to listen to our wonderful words of wisdom. They’re going to cling all the more tightly to their justifications for whatever they said or did.

Because what’s the alternative: admitting that they did something stupid or foolish?  No one wants to believe that they’ve been stupid!

We can also learn to remind ourselves to think in different manner about our own oopses and missteps: When I, a well-intended, competent person, do something that wasn’t representative, I remain a good person, but the thing I did needs to be rethought.

So hold this in mind as you are debating what’s right for this country – or any other.  It’s also STEP ONE when trying to get your Beloveds to pay attention to what you say.

I hope you’ll STAY TUNED  for the remainder of the articles in this Series.

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

105 Responses to Learning to Work Around “Spacing Out”

  1. Pingback: Recent study shows ADD *IS* brain-based | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Wendy says:

    One thing about having hearing loss, I can always ask someone to repeat themselves and act like I just couldn’t hear them well enough. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cute – but I’ll bet you’d trade places in a heartbeat.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wendy says:

        Yep

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of food for thought here. I am one who forgets why I came into a room to get something on a daily basis… I deliberately stay away from political debate but I believe that there are always lessons to be learned from our actions. There is great deal of good happening and new awareness in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, obviously. I’ve had to teach myself work-arounds, and a lot of what I share on ADDandSoMuchMORE.com comes from techniques I developed years ago, tried and true.

      We must all pick our battles. Mine center around Mental Health, so I DO get political there. Although it’s difficult for me not to ring in on a lot I see happening currently, I do my best to focus VERY few articles there.

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to let me know you did. And NOW, my puppy TinkerToy and I are off to bed!! (almost 6AM here)
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz says:

    I actually discussed this with my aunt last week, who is convinced she has dementia. I sent her the link.. Excellent research.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Liz – for the acknowledgment and for sharing. Seniors, especially, can really benefit from techniques developed for ADD/EFDers. I wish more of them were reading and reaching out for help.

      It is scary for most of us, as we age, when our short term memory buffers are not as effective. Losing our sense of SELF along with our autonomy is probably the biggest fear among Seniors. There are lists of other symptoms online that might make her feel calmer.

      I also did a couple of article on the Nun Study that might give her a bit of comfort. Here’s a link to one: You don’t HAVE to lose it as you age

      btw – early intervention is key, so I hope she has had a doctor take a look and ring in. Even if it turns out she’s right, she can add MANY YEARS of good functioning by getting ahead of it early.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liz says:

        You are so welcome. Thanks for advice and info, will continue to pass it on.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re a doll!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice post! I really enjoyed the points on cognitive dissonance and politics. I think your points make so much sense – how could you reasonably expect anyone to admit they are wrong after being ridiculed by someone else? Yet ridiculing and shaming seems to be a “natural” reaction in a lot of us that we need to “un-learn.” Thanks for linking to my blog – really interesting to read your and others’ thoughts on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome. Thanks for writing content that inspires a link! The more we hang together, the greater the likelihood that we can effect much-needed change. Fingers crossed!
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  6. Wow! So many comments! Sometimes I confess I tune out from whatever my mum is trying to tell. E. I think it’s her tone. Or it’s her wanting or needing to browbeat me into submission. It’s awful……just awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tone carries intent – and those of us who have been made wrong for much or our lives can taste judgment one part to a million: instant tune-out.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • We hear each other. No pun intended!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sadly, all too true.
          xx, mgh

          Like

  7. tmezpoetry says:

    “honey, I told you I was going to the store and to text me if you wanted something”. “The laundry is still in the washer?” “You didn’t hear what I just said did you?” Geesh, I live with a saint. Prior to that life actually felt like purgatory lol.

    And as far as cognitive dissonance, man I see it in the forums. But they do have a forum now that is a safe place for people who voted for Trump and now has major regrets. But still oh so depressing that it got this far when we all warned about him. Keep up the good fight Madelyn, we need each other through this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOVE the fact that there is a safe space forum for those with regrets. I’m sure they must be suffering in ways those of us who did not cannot really understand. How courageous of them – and intellectually honest.

      They are certainly entitled to be protected from the scorn of those whose thinking is still in the grip of cognitive dissonance – AND from those who can’t put down their shame or “I told you so” megaphones.

      Laundry – lol. “But you said it would be okay for me to put your wet clothes in the basket so I could ‘play through’ ” – as the one who answers without awareness stares at the mildew, dumping the mess back to wash a second time!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • tmezpoetry says:

        Yeah, I think the forum is great also, a healing process for those deceived. Girl, wash he second time? Try third and fourth haha

        Liked by 1 person

        • I once lived with a man who seemed constitutionally incapable of getting his wash out of the dryer before it mildewed. One time I actually decided that I had to run the washer through a cycle BEFORE I could put my own clothes in. (I suppose if that was the worst thing he ever did we’d still be together, however.) 🙂

          How did you run across that forum?
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • tmezpoetry says:

            Why thats why I’m longer in charge of the laundry, it’s one of my worst domestic plights. The forum was mentioned on Twitter through a tag. I can’t remember the tag name now but it can be googled.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t tweet, so I don’t even know how it works. How do they mark things private there? I thought anyone could use a hashtag.

              SMART to divide chores by cognitive as well as functional abilities. I am always stunned when my female clients complain about overdue bills and late fees, yet don’t take over the task, stuck in the idea that because their father paid the bills, it is their husband’s responsibility.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • tmezpoetry says:

              For adhd’ers Twitter is a magnet. I didn’t know how to tweet until last year really. For me, that is where I keep up on online media in list. TV news stations are horrible with broader, worldwide news. It gets to be like a hole one fell into with only seeing Trump haha. Eeeek

              Liked by 1 person

            • That magnet idea is only one reason I have been avoiding Twitter. I thought I’d never escape the Pinterest tractor beam! And let’s not even talk about Facebook. lol

              Still, anything I have to do on a smartphone, working with a tiny screen and hunting and pecking on an even tinier keyboard, is *never* going to be attractive in my reality.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • tmezpoetry says:

              Hahaha true. I actually need to step away from all the political stuff for a bit as the vast loading of news/political information that is repetitive and framed is creating connotational clashes with words in poems – such as fact/lie/etc. Read a poem this morning and it hit me that the attribution of those words in poems were becoming polarized. Here is the poem I am talking about:
              A More Immediate Sieve

              My mind went to political. It was then I realized how fused my associations were getting just on buzz words.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I share your reaction to “buzz words” – I outlined my thinking about them some time ago on my “ADD or ADHD – What’s in a NAME??” page. I’m not always successful, but I try to keep my thinking a bit more on the conscious side.

              It works differently in poetry, I believe – where I would imagine you’d WANT to tap into the unconscious. I’ll go take a look at your link as soon as I work my way down the comments blogroll.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Alex Sarll says:

    Hmm I know what you’re talking about when you talk about a wandering mind.. I sometimes really struggle to remember things which people say to me, however much I really want to remember! I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 12 years ago, and whilst have made a pretty awesome recovery I still suffer mind blips, when nothing in my head seems to work as it should. YOu site seems really interesting, and I’m looking forward to checking out more from it at some point. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations on your continued recovery. It’s one of the toughest disorders to manage – but I’m sure I’m not telling YOU anything new, Alex.

      There is a great deal of overlap between other ADD/EFD challenges and the ones you face – same neurotransmitter systems involved – so I hope you will take the time to come back and nose around. I’m sure you will find a few things that will be enlightening and helpful.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Sarll says:

        Thanks very much- and no, you are not telling me anything new! I’m lucky enough to have a close friend who I actually met in a hospital.. and we were talking today about how bloomin mind f*** baffling the disease can be at times.. it really can be a struggle to live with I’ll tell you! I have to confess, I don’t know very much about the brain chemisty, and would like to know more, so yes I will definitely check out more of your site. I hope to keep in touch!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The adult son of a close friend struggled as well, so I have had a much closer look at many of the challenges than many. His were exacerbated by an extreme and ineffectively medicated anxiety disorder, and complicated by many years of misdiagnosis — which makes me want to shoot his doctor, supposedly an “expert.”

          Simply put, more than an over or under-supply of the neurotransmitters themselves (which is problematic enough), it’s the impact on neuron connectivity that seems to cause many of the symptoms. Certain pathways don’t work as designed.

          There are quite a few studies in the last few years that look promising for schizophrenia, however. They are getting closer to understanding what’s up – and chasing down how to work around it.

          You probably know, too, that accepting the diagnosis in the first place is the first step that many cannot get outside their delusions to do. So you and your friend are WAY ahead of the game already. Glad to read that you are open to more info.

          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  9. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Again, MANY thanks for helping to spread the word. I SO appreciate it.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grandtrines says:

        You are welcome!

        Like

        • And YOU are a doll!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Grandtrines says:

            Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Wendy says:

    Wonderful post, as usual.
    The items listed for missing things because of tuning out, and how you reacted, is much like having hearing loss. I think I hear things, but I’m wrong. I don’t hear things, but pretend I do, because I’m tired of saying “What?”
    Great points about shaming, and contradicting people. We need to find common ground.
    Read a report yesterday that said Trump doesn’t like his new job.
    Maybe he’ll quit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Wendy, I hope whatever it was you read turns out to be true – and that he DOES step down (tho’ I doubt we’ll like The Pencil any better, at least he seems to be hateful and SANE!)

      I can’t even imagine staying tracked without being able to HEAR what is being said. Truly, I don’t know how you do it.

      Glad you’re feeling well enough to visit. You are in my prayers, I hope you know.
      xx
      mgh

      Like

  11. dgkaye says:

    United we stand my friend, divided we fall. And I loved this line in particular “In order to remember something, it must have been registered —” Hearing is not listening. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – listening can be a bear when the person speaking drones on, or otherwise doesn’t know how to capture wandering attention, however.

      With a couple of e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y slow speaking coaching colleagues, it takes practically ALL I’ve got to pay attention when they speak. Otherwise, I’m not bad at it. Training and coaching sharpened the skill, of course, but I think I’ve always been fascinated by other people’s ideas and lives, so pretty much hung on to every word.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        I should think you are an amazing listener. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that some people don’t listen by choice, it’s called ‘selective hearing’, LOL 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes – but I think that more people are accused of same than is actually the case. Thanks, btw. I do my dardest.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            You do just fine my friend. And you are probably right! 🙂 ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Certainly stand with US citizens although I also despair at Australian politics as well. Thank you for this post. Unity in the face of tyrant so important xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your support – it really means a lot to read this comment.

      I am concerned about politics (and politicians) all over the world these days. They ALL need swift kicks in the butt – but repeated, polite but insistent emails will have to do.

      I end all of mine with “I vote, get involved, and will be watching.” 🙂

      I doubt they read them, but I’m sure they count them — so I respond even to the automated emails.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I share your perspective xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yay! Surely those of us who are concerned with *everybody’s* welfare can, together, change things at least a BIT for the better! Even if we keep them from getting worse, that will be something.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • Yes, agreed!

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are my new best friend – lol. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hehe! Likewise! Bestie forever. Xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • I absolutely adore the connection that blogging affords.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s very true meeting like minds. Similar experiences. Truly wonderful

              Liked by 1 person

            • And all over the world – people we would never have even been aware existed, but for our connection through blogging. Truly cool.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • So true. I must say it’s heartening to see the extent to the opposition to Trump in the us. And I’ve really picked up on that thru social media. Best of luck!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks – it sure looks like we’ll need it. Reaching his original supporters to enlist their help now that we see what he plans for us will be key.

              Although he did NOT win the popular vote, there were still many millions of voters who voted “against Hillary” — as long as they don’t dig in and defend, surely some, at least, will NOT *continue* to support him, seeing much of what he is doing now that he is in office. HOPEFULLY.

              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  13. omtatjuan3 says:

    Great post… I have a few of these qualities, notice I say qualities

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! We’re all human beings who share a similar genetic code. The difference between “qualities,” challenges, and disabilities will always be one of degree. We do tend to extrapolate as humans – not a problem for ME, so not a problem if others would do what I do.

      Good to read that yours remain in the “qualities” arena. As you read anything on this site, use the techniques that make sense and help – note the other explanations and suggestions in case somebody you know seems to be struggling – and I promise everybody that many ARE. I’ve worked with quite a few in my 25+ years in the field.

      Thanks so much for ringing in. Onward and upward!
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • omtatjuan3 says:

        Exactly, onward and upward!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Zara says:

    A friend of mine used to space out and we got really worried about him. Turns out he needed hearing aids and couldn’t engage with us because he had no idea what we were saying! Hearing aids changed his life! He doesn’t space out so much any more (unless he wants to NOT listen to us 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really appreciate the time you took to leave this comment, Zara. You underscore the importance of not taking anything you read as gospel. Whenever problems remain despite attempts to overcome them, it is always wise to look at what ELSE might be involved.

      Your friend’s continued “spacing out” might not be intentional, however. The concept of “learned helplessness” applies – which means that, after years where paying close attention didn’t really help, his brain developed the habit of drifting off – just what brains do. So it might not always be because “he wants to NOT listen to you” every single time.

      You may find it takes a bit of attention-getting technique until he puts the listening habit back in place.

      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zara says:

        So true! Will mention this blog to him 👍

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. My brother lost his sight before he died (years ago now), and he rather quickly lost the habit of keeping his eyes open — even though he refused dark glasses and took the time to learn to navigate cane-free, hoping to look the same as always.

          The studies on “learned helplessness” are fairly consistent, and it is a concept worth knowing about. It’s a brain-thing – but not the conscious portion, so tough to overcome.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Zara says:

            We touched on this during psychology lectures but not in much detail. Definitely worth a revisit.
            Thank you! X
            And sorry to hear about your brothers passing and sight. Blessings and peace x

            Liked by 1 person

            • I appreciate the kindness of your concern. It was tough at the time (MANY diabetes complications – loss of sight – and life – were two), but I have processed most of my grief over it now.

              lol – those psychology lectures “touched” on so much it’s no wonder our lecturers had little time for much beyond an intro. I have spent a lifetime following up, hoping to understand how to help myself and my clients with ongoing challenges.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Zara says:

              Learning lots from you! Keep these posts coming! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            • So nice to hear. That’s what keeps me at it!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

    • tmezpoetry says:

      Thats a double whammy Zara and a good point to bring up. I have both hearing loss and inattentive add so sometimes there is just much energy spent just trying to focus.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s a tough challenge, Tammy – for anyone – and you are right that the cognitive bandwidth required wears out after a bit. “Willpower” is not an unlimited resource.

        Sometimes I wonder if those who know their beloveds space out don’t sometimes take advantage – like kids. “But you said it would be okay for me to stay home from school today.”

        My mother used to do it to my Dad, after a fashion. “What? WHO did you kill?” was my father’s startled response to one of her funny stories when she knew he was making listening noises but not listening.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

        • tmezpoetry says:

          I don’t know about taking advantage, perhaps sometimes people do but it’s a lousy feeling to begin with so I cant see the positive with that, its already embaressing. With add it is both attention and forgetfulness.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah – and being terminally distracted.

            My Dad used to look up when Mom fell silent and say, “Did you kill her again?” 🙂
            xx, mgh

            Liked by 1 person

            • tmezpoetry says:

              Yikes!

              Liked by 1 person

            • It was one of their “things” – all good humored. My mother was a saint – with a GREAT sense of humor.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • tmezpoetry says:

              Sainthood is genetic I see

              Liked by 1 person

            • It certainly seems so — though I have had more than a few female ADD clients whose husbands seem to be candidates.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  15. My step mom (the 60’s model on my blog) and I were just discussing the issue you brought up in the beginning of this article. The “i don’t remember this & that” and she worries about Alzheimer’s. But I was rationalizing, that if we aren’t concentrating on the issue at hand, it’s almost impossible to remember those things. Right?

    I used to lock my keys in the car, more than once when I was a young pup. But do you know what I do now? Pretty much every time, I get out of the car, I ask myself, do I have my keys? I haven’t locked them in there in ages!!!

    The don’t make people wrong part is quite interesting, Madelyn! I’m going to have to work on that because it’s a smart approach to absolutely everything!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    talk tomorrow!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely comment, Jodi. My advice – in addition to making yourself check for important things like keys (good job!) – is to *always* do it the same way, so it gets into body memory and you develop a habit. Auto-pilot has saved my bacon many times in my life!

      For example, I *always* use my turn signal, even when my young friends make fun of me, saying that I don’t have to signal leaving my parking space on an empty side-street. I need to keep that habit in place – I don’t WANT it to be a factor of conscious decision.

      Remind your mom that short-term memory deficits as we age are fairly common. It seems to scare those who have been lucky enough NOT to have life-long struggles the most. Unless either of you are noticing other signs and symptoms, she’s probably fine – and merely needs to develop “compensatory strategies.” (and eat more GRAPES, lol)

      I’m looking forward to planning-our-game: 6pm my time – 4 yours – and you call me, right?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • robjodiefilogomo says:

        Yep, & yep!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I DO have it in my calendar, but I’ve been known to write things down on wrong days (or wrong times), so good to know I’ve got it straight this time.

          “See” you tomorrow.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  16. This article was written about us, lol… “Have you ever gone into another room only to wonder what you went there to do?” You mean this happens to others too, lol.

    In all seriousness Madelyn, this is an awesome article. So well presented and illustrated. There was not a paragraph that didn’t hit home for us.

    Keep up your works and as I have noted before you are making a difference!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the wonderful response. But I am curious about how it plays when you are traveling. How many rooms does that car have? lol
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, LOL we’re still rolling on the ground laughing. After unloading, setting up camp, breaking down camp and reloading we’d get in the car, look at each other with that deer in the headlights gaze of now what. You wouldn’t want to hear some of the responses, lol. Love your sense of humor Madelyn, don’t lose it, please.

        Like

        • Now THAT is truly funny – I glad you found it so as well (eventually!)
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • 🙂 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  17. mistermuse says:

    Trying to change the minds of those who are “wrong” reminds me of the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” — the difference being that those who disagree with me are jackasses, not horses (just kidding — or am I?). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee Haw — braying is good way to think about a certain orange-tinted rage-faced guy when he spews his venom. 🙂

      You have changed many minds about what kind of music they like, I’ll bet. Politics and listening is tougher – but it HAS to be done or I’m afraid for the world.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  18. -Eugenia says:

    Brilliant and I so enjoy your posts as I learn from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for saying so.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Reblogged this on When Angels Fly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy to see this one reblogged. So much anger out there – which was why I ended this post slightly differently than originally outlined.

      Thanks for spreading a bit of what I hope will be seen as common sense.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Most welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

        • God bless, and do your best to stay positive in the face of all the hate-mongering that seems to ooze from the top and infect the nation these days.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • You, too!

            Liked by 1 person

  20. Lucy Brazier says:

    Brilliant, as ever. I particularly like the ‘mind-wandering’ bit – that is me all over! I put it down to having a ‘creative’ disposition, but I have found that lots of highly academic and intellectual people do it too. Whether it is that some people have so much going on in their minds, or that day-to-day reality is just too boring to hold their attention – it is certainly something that is very annoying and I must work on!

    I agree completely with what you say about not making people wrong. I trained in tactical communications (and later became a trainer myself) and always, always finding the common ground is key. So very few people ever take kindly to being called wrong!
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I always look forward to your visits, Lucy – so thanks so much for continuing to take the time to read and comment.

      FIRST, I can’t really say from here, but I’m guessing that your challenge with “wandering mind” has more to do with all the items on your plate, coupled with high intelligence than much of anything else. You have more what I would call “busy brain syndrome” lol – as, “under the table,” your brain thinks of ways to forward stories in process, a few ideas for a new novel, a topic or two for your next blog article on a couple of sites, your next video, AND whatever it is you are doing at work or at home.

      High creative/high intelligence usually combine to keep adding items to an overfull plate, practically unbidden. Given your output, my professional advice would probably be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

      And yeah, I’ve never met anybody, actually, who won’t challenge somebody who makes them wrong. Even in situations where they can’t “talk back,” the challenge is in their heads, and nothing much gets in after that.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, read and comment.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucy Brazier says:

        It’s always a pleasure to pop along here and join in the discussion! I think you’re right – it could be ‘busy brain’. It seems the more I have to think about, the more my brain comes up with! This works just fine most of the time and, thanks to you and your blog, I am now getting pretty good at spotting when it’s getting too much and need to take a break. I used to work and work until burn-out but I haven’t done that for MONTHS. You really have helped me become more self-aware and I know when to throw on the brakes, take a day or two out and relax before I crash. I cannot thank you enough, my dear friend!
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • WOW, I had no idea that you were applying anything I write to your own life. I am grinning from ear to ear to hear THAT!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          And good for you for letting yourself off the busy hook more often – with no burn-out for MONTHS?! Good job.

          Don’t you find that you actually get more accomplished than you do when you keep sticking the gun in your own back, pushing past brain and body fatigue? I know I do – even though, sometimes it doesn’t seem possible to take a break, that’s rarely actually the case, and I am always better off when I stop working for at least a little bit.

          NOW, I have to wonder why I don’t do it more often. ::grin::
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • Lucy Brazier says:

            Oh yes – you have been such a help! I do get so much more done, especially as burn-outs could floor me from anything from three days to over a week. Now, I can take a couple of days off, not feel guilty – and even then sometimes I might do an hour or so of work but in my mind I am on a day off so no stress, no burn out – perfect!You really should take your own advice, I certainly feel better for it and the quality of my work has improved, I think 🙂
            xx

            Liked by 1 person

            • NOT that your work was ever anything but wonderful, I do think it has been getting better and better. I see it especially in the Poiret posts. FABULOUSLY clever – and your distinctive Lucy-style has inspired many more times that I simply must stop and admire how you are saying something as much as what you are saying.

              Ongoing practice, of course, gets some of the credit, but an exhausted brain is rarely able to come up with anything that can compete with itself when it is fresh.

              So I guess you actually OWE it to your fans to take frequent breaks, huh? 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              I agree, it has improved and this is down to a change in attitude towards my working – now I still work hard, but I work smart, too. I owe it to the readers to be the best that I can be! And you realise that you are now an important cog in the whole thing, so they should thank you too 🙂
              xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • Awwwwww – how sweet you are to say that. When you are a household name, I hope you won’t forget those of us who loved you when. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              Never, never will I ever forget a single one – and especially not YOU! 😀
              xx

              Like

            • EXACTLY what I’d hoped you say.
              ::big kiss::
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              Big kiss!
              xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • And speaking of breaks – Tink is whining that it is time for us to be off to bed. I’ll be back to see if you have a new page up when I awaken.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              Sweet dreams, my dear!
              xx

              Liked by 1 person

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