Thursday, August 09, 2007

Temporary ADD

It’s so easy for me to lose focus on something entirely when I get frustrated or just plain bored about it. Then there are other times where I obsess about a particular thing- like choosing a template for my website or finding the right codes to insert into my html, that I literally spend hours trying to figure it all out. I’ve been told that I may have OCD or ADD or some other disorder that makes me too extreme one way or the other. (With OCD, I become a clean freak- not the type where I check the doors a million times to see if they’re locked…)
My problem isn’t ADD---it has everything to do with something that interests me. People say, “Oh she can’t focus on something for too long.” Well, make it interesting or challenging for me. If something doesn’t challenge me, I simply become disinterested fast. Even when I first started dating- I needed the chase- I needed the “challenge”. If it came too easily, I wasn’t interested anymore. If the person didn’t stimulate me intellectually, I was looking out the window while she spoke about everything and anything. She didn’t even have to be “an intellectual”, but she needed to have strong beliefs or opinions of her own and not agree with every single word that came out of my mouth. I needed a conversation, not someone who “yessed” me to death. (Is that even a word?)Even in school, I wasn’t interested. The teachers didn’t challenge me. Their monotone voices turned me into a complete zombie. All I heard was, “Blah blah blah blah blah.” ...You know why? Because they weren’t even interested in it themselves to begin with. Then, you have those amazing teachers who are completely enthralled in what they’re talking about. They become nearly animated when giving a lecture. That makes a class interesting- when a teacher loves the subject they’re teaching. It makes all the difference. I’ve failed school, because my teachers showed a lack of interest in what they were talking about, and I lost interest too, becoming distant and eventually cutting out of their classes out of pure boredom. Then there was a time I was totally gaga over my art teacher. She made it interesting, of course, but I failed her class intentionally for two years. (I’m an artist too!) Sometimes being too much of an interesting teacher can be a bad thing.

So what does it take to draw someone’s complete attention? What can you do to draw someone in? The best way is to find out more about “them”. Ask questions. Ask them about their life and ask, “closed probe questions”---as opposed to open probed ones. If you really want to know something about someone, it’s best to inquire about it; instead of letting them pick the topic, leaving you with that glazed look in your eyes. (This only applies to people like me where I lose attention fast.)
Did you ever hear the phrase “nervous chatter”? It’s complete blabber about nothingness due to silence. It makes both parties nervous. One party feels obligated to knock the silence out by talking about their cat Fluffy or discussing the flowers in their garden, while the other one becomes completely withdrawn and disinterested. Take a moment and stop them in their tracks. Ask them a question about their family or---be brave and ask a personal question. Everyone loves being asked a personal question. I don’t care if someone says, “Oh, you shouldn’t ask that!” ----Everyone loves a good juicy conversation about a taboo subject. It always intrigues people.

I guess I can self-diagnose myself as having “selective ADD”. When you find yourself saying “yes” to, “Would you like red or white wine”, you know your mind has just shut down. I try my best to be polite, but sometimes you can just see the boredom oozing out from my entire being. I try to engage in conversations that are less than appealing to me, but you can definitely tell there’s a twinge of agony going on behind my smile.

What are the things that make you develop temporary ADD?

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Art said...

But what if wanted BOTH red and white wine? :)

Seriously, that nervous chatter really gets to me. I tune it out. I see their lips moving but I don't hear a word. Next time, I'll try the personal question tactic.

~Deb said...

I usually say yes to both- but that's a whole other story in itself, Art! The personal question tactic really works. They love it.

Dave said...

When words are spoken just to make sound. I tune out and then I do ask silly questions and wait for replies. It is a fun game and my attention returns to the room to see how long it takes for the person to realise they are being put on.

~Deb said...

The sad part is, they won't know... There's nothing else to say on their part sometimes. Ah, whaddya' gonna do, right?

Samantha said...

Le Chubbs and I have been together for a year now, and sometimes I'll look at him and ask a random question (Who do you think would win in a fight, King Kong or Godzilla? Those kinda questions). He does the same to me. I swear it's why we're still together. LOL!

tkkerouac said...

Great post, sounds like me in a nutshell. Except, you are most polite about it.
People look at me and say "I'm boring you" I just say yes, but its not your fault. Its me.
And I'm more than sure I have ADD, which by the way, can make you hyperfocus on the things you enjoy while blocking out everything else.
As for the nervous chatter people use to fill in dead air space..
I say, just be comfortable with the silence,
not everything has to be said, better to just observe and just be.

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

Silence is golden! I am with you on being stiumlated intellectually and I am lousy at small talk because if people are going to talk they should have something to say! I love being with people who stimulate me intellecutally but I treasure the folks in my life with whom I can be silent - and still in communication.

Amy said...

I have a bad habit of just nodding and agreeing, that so gets me in trouble. What I need to work on is going with what I really want, I choose to comfort others.

Flip Flop Goddess said...

I have ADD as well..only when my kids talk to me though...

it passes..dont worry.

sorry I have been MIA...I am back.

Dan said...

Selective ADD!! LOL! I think the entire population has that.

And, for the record, if that was my grammar school teacher all I would have heard was blah, blah, blah as well. And it wouldn't matter. Hugs Deb. :)

Ricardo said...

First of all I really like the picture of the teacher for obvious reasons. Secondly I find myself getting temporary ADD with all sorts of things like my current job, constant small talk or anything to do with math.

I know this feeling and I wish I had a better ability to focus on things I'm not crazy about. But I can't.

GW Mush said...

Since I cannot go back in time and start the whole damn thing over, I am stuck with myself as I am.

Only thing that keeps me upbeat is the thought that I might be reincarnated as a bar of soap in Deb's shower, hehe

DaBich said...

I develop Selective ADD when people talk non-stop about how sick they are, how terrible they feel, how downtrodden they are, how bad their job is, how they hate the weather, how they can't stand their family, their life is so terrible...yada yada, yada...see what I mean?

Enemy of the Republic said...

1. People who won't allow me to finish a sentence and interrupt me.

2. Anything having to do with power tools.

3. Getting lectured on my spiritual state--generally when I am perceived as hellbound.

4. People who love themselves and think we orbit around them.

5. Gossip that is mean and degrades others. I figure that person is doing it to me as well.

6. People who try to manipulate me.

7. Porn. Serious. It is boring.

8. Religious homophobes--when they speak, write or communicate in any fashion. I shut down.

9. Bush's speeches or anything that comes out of his mouth.

10. People who tell me about money, power, higher acheivement--don't they grasp that life is more?

kathi said...

Hmmmmm, when I'm confronted or angered, I get calm...I even get ADD backwards, lol. The kids say when I get quiet and they see me start to 'smile', they know I'm angry.
When I get scared, I force myself to take a step back and imagine myself in the palms of God's hands.
Okay, I've got one. When company gives me short notice or the boys say some friends are coming over, I start picking up, even if nothing needs it, and end up like a chicken with it's head cut off running around looking for something to clean or pick up.

SJ said...

When I am bored it shows only the totally self-absorbed fail to notice it's one of my superpowers :D

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Ernesto said...

I want a blonde teacher like the one in the picture.

see my blog