2401@2x change your vocabulary change your mindset

Change Your Vocabulary, Change Your Mindset

It’s 2022! And we’re kicking off the new year and new season with change. Specifically, we’re going to look at how the language we use influences the way we think about – and approach – the world around us.

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It’s 2022! And we’re kicking off the new year and new season with change. Specifically, we’re going to look at how the language we use influences the way we think about and approach the world around us.

As an anchor for the conversation, Nikki gives us a review of I Get To: How using the Right Words Can Radically Transform Your life, Relationships & Business by Alicia Dunams, a book that has helped us to refine the way we think about the language we use and how it influences our own mood as we approach hard things. We communicate through our words, tone of voice, and non-verbal cues such as body language. As Dunams says, “crafting our daily language with effective words and tone is a true art.”

Along the way, we lean on two other resources. The first is the work of Karen Reivich, author of The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles. She gives us a framework to reframe negative thinking in a positive light.

And Emily Campbell gives us insight into how our natural spirit of curiosity — not judgment — is the secret to healthy emotional well-being in her piece, “Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity” published in Greater Good Magazine by UC Berkeley.

This week’s episode is sponsored by TextExpander from Smile Software. TextExpander is central to our daily productivity and with a little curiosity and exploration, it might just be for you, too. Listeners of the show can save 20% on their first year by visiting textexpander.com/podcast.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright: Hello, everybody, and welcome to Taking Control, the ADHD podcast on True Story FM. I’m Pete Wright, and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright: Season 24.

Nikki Kinzer: Amazing.

Pete Wright: 24, that’s [crosstalk 00:00:28]

Nikki Kinzer: Season 24.

Pete Wright: We’re going into year 12. Is that possible?

Nikki Kinzer: I think so.

Pete Wright: 12 [crosstalk 00:00:35] years of this show.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, because we started in 2010. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Yeah. That is bananas. I conceive of time like that anymore. So 12 years, still more to talk about apparently. [crosstalk 00:00:49] It just keep coming, the hits keep coming. We’re excited to be here and to be back. And to regular listeners, I just want to say personally, thank you for your patience and your understanding in our delay in coming back. We are a couple of weeks late. I lost my dad over Christmas, and that was real, real hard. And had to do some travel and had to put pieces back together. And I don’t know if there is ever a show that … let’s just say in the annals of ADHD podcasting history, I am sure one day we should do a podcast on ADHD and grief, and that day is not today.

Nikki Kinzer: No. No.

Pete Wright: At some point we’ll figure that out because, man, do I have thoughts?

Nikki Kinzer: I bet. Yeah.

Pete Wright: And I don’t think I can do those without going through knee buckling grief right now, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there. I think that’ll be a conversation that we need to have, because I certainly did not expect to learn lessons about my ADHD this week or over the last couple of weeks. So I’m excited to do that. Mostly, I’m just really excited to be back. I missed you.

Nikki Kinzer: I know. I missed you too. We had happy hour at the beginning of January without Pete, and it was really sad.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. I’m just glad you’re back, and you know how I feel. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Pete Wright: Thank you. Well [crosstalk 00:02:23].

Nikki Kinzer: I’m glad you’re here.

Pete Wright: We’re going to try and have a better time of it today. Now that we’re kicking off this season, it’s just real excited to be podcasting again, and to be talking about good stuff. And today we’re going to be talking about our vocabulary, change your language, change your mind. And you’ve been inspired, inspired. And so you’re going to do a little bit of teaching [crosstalk 00:02:41] for us. Before we do that, oh, Nikki Kinzer, I’m very excited today. I’m very, very excited.

Pete Wright: In fact, I hasten to say it would be hard to express how excited I am to be able to welcome this week’s sponsor to the ADHD podcast.If you’re a regular listener of the show, you’ll know him and hopefully love him as a source of incredible trust in your productivity system. If you’re a first timer, well, I’ll never forget the day that I first learned about text expander. And for all you new kids, that day is today.

Pete Wright: What can you do with more hours every month? Repetitive typing, little mistakes, searching for answer, they all take precious time away from you and your team. With text expander, you can take it back so you can focus on what matters most in your business. With text expander, you and your team can keep your messages consistent, save time and be more productive and be accurate every time. The way we work is changing rapidly. Make work happen wherever you are by saying more in less time and with less effort using text expander. You will never need to copy and paste repetitive responses again. With text expander, your knowledge will always be at your fingertips with a quick search or abbreviation.

Pete Wright: Here’s how it works. First, you drop your commonly used content into a text expander snippet and give it an abbreviation, something common like comma, em, might stand for email. And the snippet might have your email address in it. And then you can share that snippet with your entire team, if you’re working with multiple people. And then you just type those few characters, comma, em, for example, and you’ll trigger that snippet, which expands anywhere you type. It is that easy.

Nikki Kinzer: So if you are going into a system that requires your email and a password, can you do it there?

Pete Wright: Absolutely.

Nikki Kinzer: Because you know how sometimes you have to put your whole email and it’s like, Nikki, take control ADHD. [crosstalk 00:04:58] It’s long.

Pete Wright: I absolutely do. It’s long. [crosstalk 00:05:01] That’s exactly a case example where you would put your email address. And if you have multiple email addresses, comma, em one, comma, em two. You could do all kinds of different things. I have hundreds of snippets that expand for just exactly this purpose. It is that easy. Text expander, it’s available on, and this is the best part, on Mac. On Chrome, on windows, on iPhone and iPad, iOS. It’s available everywhere you deal with text. For listeners of the ADHD podcast, you can get 20% off your first year of service. Just visit text expander.com/podcast to learn more about text expander and redeem your 20% discount today. The link is in the show notes.

Pete Wright: They have put together a fantastic blog post that I will also put in the show notes. For those who want to learn more right now, click on the link of the show notes. The link is called what is text expander? And it’ll take you straight to a blog post where you can learn more from the team about what this wonderful tool does. We’re going to be talking more about the fantastic text expander in coming weeks and months. Our great thanks to text expander and the Smile software team for sponsoring the ADHD podcast.

Pete Wright: Nikki, I have to tell you, it was so exciting to be able to just throw up everything and leave for two weeks and know that our members were still so active and excited to hang out with each other in the ADHD community. I just love coming back to the conversations, and I’m trying to dig through DMS and things like that. And it just really reinforces to me the incredible value of the ADHD community. I’m so excited about it. And you, if you’re listening to this and you’ve been thinking about joining and supporting, we encourage you to do that. Head over to patreon.com/the ADHD podcast.

Pete Wright: You can learn more about what you get as a supporting member. You definitely get early access to the show. You get access to super secret member channels in Discord. You get access to each other, frankly, and some really rich conversations, and help and support when you need it. And so we do have some new members over the last several weeks. We sure appreciate Emily and Katherine and Kirsten and Sepina and Aria, all new patrons in the last little while since I’ve been gone. Thank you so much for your support of the ADHD community, the ADHD podcast and everything that we’re doing here. Do we have any other news?

Nikki Kinzer: No, I think we’re ready [crosstalk 00:07:35] to get started.

Pete Wright: I want to know what we’re talking about today.

Nikki Kinzer: We are talking about a book that caught my eye at the bookstore and it’s called I Get To. And it’s how using the right words can radically transform your life. Radically transform, is that not powerful language?

Pete Wright: It is powerful. Words like, Hey Pete, here’s a million dollars.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: I can see how those words would radically transform my life. [crosstalk 00:08:04].

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: I’m not sure that’s what we’re talking about.

Nikki Kinzer: No, but you get the point. So yes, How Using the Right Words Can Radically Transform Your Life, Relationships and Business, and it’s by Alicia. Dunams. I hope I’m saying that right? What do you think?

Pete Wright: Sounds good to me.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay, good.

Pete Wright: You just read what it says, so I’m going to call that a win.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay. Good.

Pete Wright: All right.

Nikki Kinzer: So like I said, it caught my attention at the bookstore and it reminded me of a podcast that we did years ago around the power of language. And I remember talking to you about instead of I have to, I get to. And there were some different switches, right? Just some different shifts of how you say things. And that’s what this book is about. The author is a communications expert. And in this book, she’s teaching us about intentional communication, and you know I love the word intentional.

Pete Wright: And how. Oh, [crosstalk 00:09:07] dear.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. So she says, "We communicate through our words, tone of voice and nonverbal cues, like body language." In the forward of her book, she says, "Crafting our daily language with effective words and tone is a true art. The book gives you ideas around sentence starters and communication skills to be successful in life." Now there are 40 different sentence starters to help you shift your mindset. We are not going to go over all 40.

Pete Wright: But wait, I have presented a candle for each one, [crosstalk 00:09:40] which I will blow out incrementally as we do this.

Nikki Kinzer: Of course, if I was to do that, I might as well be the audio book person.

Pete Wright: Oh, absolutely.

Nikki Kinzer: … to do that. But no, what I want to do is I do want to go over five of them. And when I was going through this book, I was noticing this connection between communication, how we communicate, ADHD, and specifically around limiting beliefs. And then there were some other things that just really blew me away about how one word can really change how you see a situation. So I want to go through these and see what you notice. And let’s just talk about what we have here.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Let’s do it.

Nikki Kinzer: So the first sentence starter, actually, of the whole book, which makes sense because the title of the book is I Get To, I get to versus I have to. So one thing I want to say is a lot of what I have to say today is from the book. So what I want us to do is I’m going to be talking to you about the pieces that I thought were interesting. And then Pete and I will have a conversation around it. So I don’t want to take credit for any of this because this is all coming from the book.

Pete Wright: Alicia.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, yes. So I get to versus I have to. I have to eat healthy.

Pete Wright: I buy that. I buy that because it connects with my own internal vessel of shame.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I have to pick up my kids.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: I have to, [crosstalk 00:11:17] because when you don’t, it’s bad.

Pete Wright: When you don’t, they’re not picked up.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s right.

Pete Wright: And not picked up kids are less good than picked up kids.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. Yes. So what she says in the book is when you say have to, it’s a mindset of dread or it’s an inconvenience in some way.

Pete Wright: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:11:35].

Nikki Kinzer: So eating healthy definitely feels dreadful because it just doesn’t sound fun. And having to pick up my kids feels like it’s an inconvenience when really it’s not. Right? We want to pick up our children, so it’s an interesting thought too, I have to. What are you thinking? I can see [crosstalk 00:11:56]

Pete Wright: It is interesting. Well, I want to go back to that feeling of shame because that’s what was triggered for me around eating healthy, because those sorts of things … I look at picking up the kids, for me, it triggers that a feeling of selfishness. If I have to pick up my kids, the implication is I have to stop doing what I’m already doing and go inconvenience myself to pick up my kids. And to me, that feels like I’m being super selfish and I don’t like that. I enjoy my kids and I enjoy spending time with them, especially now that they’re growing up. Any minute I can get with them, I’m excited about that. And so that’s a matter of perspective that I can wrap my head around. The eating healthy one though, is I have lived for many years figuring out how to eat healthy. And it still feels like an obligation that is less fun than Twinkies. And as long as it’s less fun than Twinkies, than have to is the natural order of things.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. And so that’s where the shift is hard.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Right?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Because we have to look for what is the get to for you? And so, because the get to is bringing up a mindset that’s more a around, this is a blessing in some way, this is a gift. This is something that I can appreciate. And so if we’re looking at eating healthy, I have to eat healthy. If we’re going to change that, we could say, okay, well I get to eat healthy today so that I can have more energy. Or I get to eat healthy today so that I’m a good role model towards my kids or whatever it might be. Right?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And I think that even with the pick up my kids, like you said, it may feel like an inconvenience, but boy, we’re lucky to be able to pick up our kids, because there are some people that aren’t able to pick up their kids. Or their kids have to walk home or their kids … whatever. And so I think it’s looking at the gift in it and shifting it. But as she says in the book, it’s a really powerful way to view life, relationships and business [crosstalk 00:14:03] because it really does go from this dread to, wait a minute, where’s the gift?

Pete Wright: Well, and I wonder, does she talk at all about how rewards play into language? Because I’m thinking about eating healthy again. And one of the things that that strikes me is that once I eat healthy for a little bit, then I start feeling better and losing weight. And those rewards allow me a gateway to reinforcing the language that I’ve changed already. Right? I get to eat healthy is easier to say once I’ve lost 30 pounds, right? I get to eat healthy because it reinforces my behavior every day. Also, I get to eat healthy might lead to behavior and results that then reinforce the language every day. So I think it’s important to note when you see the impact of the cycle of change that you have started.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. I think that’s very important. And it’s also starting from the very beginning. Even if you haven’t felt that impact yet, we want to be manifesting that, we want to be affirming that that’s where we’re going. So even if you don’t really believe that you’re at the get to yet, you want to keep saying that, because it’s that whole state of mind that if you focus on … and we’ll talk about this with the what ifs, if we focus on everything that could be bad or hard about it, then it’s going to continue to be bad and hard. But if we can already, yeah, I’m going to get to this point sometime, I know I’m getting there, you’re also being honest saying, maybe I’m not there yet, but I’m going to get there.

Pete Wright: But at least you’re opening the door to change.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. Yes, because if you keep a have to it, then it’s just always going to be negative. It’s always going to feel like it’s a have to, right?

Pete Wright: There is a facility, a place where I grew up in Colorado Springs called the Quit Center. And I don’t know if this is a national thing. Have you ever heard of the Quit Center?

Nikki Kinzer: No.

Pete Wright: So trigger warning, this is disgusting behavioral stories and I’m going to tell you anyway.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay.

Pete Wright: The Quit Center is a place that helps you quit behavior that is hard for you. And so for years, my dad was a smoker and he would go to the quit center to quit smoking. And what they did was they put him in essentially a phone booth and the phone booth had a little desk in front of it and it was closed. And it was just full of piles of spent cigarette butts, smoked butts and [crosstalk 00:16:53] a trash can down below.

Nikki Kinzer: This is a true story?

Pete Wright: This is a true story, legit, true story.

Nikki Kinzer: Wow.

Pete Wright: And they said, all we want you to do … You love smoking, so we just want you to sit in this room and smoke, and don’t stop smoking. And so they made him smoke for hours and hours at a time in front of this pile of butts. And he would just put his butt on top of the thing until he, and I’m not kidding, until he threw up in the trash. That’s what the trash can was for. It was the vomit bucket. And after I think two, maybe three sessions of that, he was done smoking for the rest of his life. What he replaced it with, that behavior, was Butterfinger bars, and then he gained 40 pounds. And so he went, guess where, back to the Quit Center, and they made him eat Butterfingers until he threw up. And then he was done with Butterfingers forever and largely done with candy.

Pete Wright: So that is the cycle of behavior that strikes me that it doesn’t take very long for you to say, Ugh, I have to eat Twinkies, because if you change your behavior and let your language lead your behavior, you can make it gross. You can make anything you want do, that you enjoy [crosstalk 00:18:06] disgusting.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, no kidding. So did he replace the Butterfinger habit with something else too? Or was he like, I’m not going back to the Quit Center, ever?

Pete Wright: I think he actually reinforced his behavior not to go to the Quit Center. [crosstalk 00:18:20] I think that was the last I heard of it.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s what I would do for sure. That’s really interesting. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Isn’t that interesting?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Wow.

Pete Wright: So anyhow.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay. All right. Well, the next one I want to talk about is I can versus I can’t. And I hear this so many times with my clients, I can’t do this.

Pete Wright: Sure.

Nikki Kinzer: And so the chapter starts with a quote, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right," from Henry Ford, which is true, right? I mean, because we’re telling ourselves what we think we can do. So instead of can’t, her suggestion is that you choose not to because choosing implies that you’re taking some kind of action. You have purpose and you have control. So words of power, like choose, are there to inspire us so that we don’t shut down, but we actually look at the possibilities, but can’t gives you no other possibility.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: And can’t is a limiting belief. So it’s really important that we connect that too, because limiting beliefs are here to protect us. Right? Because they want us to not be sad. They want us to not be disappointed or frustrated. So they’re going to come into your brain and say, you can’t do this. What are you thinking about? Why do you think you can do this now? You’ve never been able to do it before. So this is the part where I would actually change a little bit of what she has to say, because I understand that you want to choose not to do something, but I would take that even a little bit further and say, okay, how can I do this to work for me? Or how can I do this in a different way that I can do? You know what I’m saying? So [crosstalk 00:20:11]

Pete Wright: I do. Yeah. And I think I have … My spin on it comes from, and many people have probably heard this. I know we’ve talked about it on our show. It’s yes, and. Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. Yeah.

Pete Wright: So take something that there is sort of … something that you’re going to do, right, and yes, and it. Even if it’s hard, yes, and it. My kids, their pickup time is at 3:30 and somebody’s got to get them, and I know my day is troublesome. Yes. Yes. All of that is true. Foundationally, that is true, and what am I going to change in my day to enable me to pick up my kids? How am I going to change my behavior, my processes, my strategies, my tools to enable me to do the next hard thing, even though it’s hard? I really like the pivot you put on, I can’t. Yes, that is a thing that could be done and I’m not the person to do it.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: At some point, there’s a decision that has to be made about moving forward or not because again, as a corollary to this, whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right, if you don’t make a decision, you’re making a decision because eventually time runs out and that decision will be made for you.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: And so I really feel like if it’s something that you want to do, you feel like would improve the way you live your life somehow, or is an obligation to friends or family that are important to you, yes, and it.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, yeah.

Pete Wright: And that helps you get over the, I can’t, I can’t hurdle.

Nikki Kinzer: I can’t, that’s right. And I just want to add to that, one of the examples that she has here in the book, which I think is a good example of what you’re saying too is she says I can’t fix my credit. Okay. What if we change that and say, I can fix my credit? What is required for me to do this is …

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: So it’s giving you the opportunity and the solutions, and maybe you do need to change the goal altogether. We don’t know.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But it’s giving you another option. What can I do to make that happen? So, yeah, very good.

Pete Wright: There are very few impossible situations, right? There are very few impossible situations, but the stories we tell ourselves imply that many things are impossible. The difference is something that seems impossible might just be masked by high costs, and not just monetary costs, right? Time costs, emotional costs. The costs may be high, so high that it feels impossible. But in truth, if you’re willing to yes, and it, it’s not as impossible as you think. I would love to have that challenged, if it’s not a life or death thing. Largely, you can fix your credit. You might have to do some very hard things. That sort of thing.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely, love it. Okay. So the next one I want to talk about is why not versus what if. Okay. So when I read this, I quickly saw the connection between what if and anxiety, because I always go to the what ifs, and they’re negative for the most part.

Pete Wright: Oh, like the deconstruction versus constructionist what if.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: What if everything falls apart? [crosstalk 00:23:41] What if we could build something huge?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: What if I fail? What if nobody likes me? What if nobody shows up? What if, what if, what if.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And something that she said that just … again, this is powerful language, at least for me it was, is she said, what if crushes dreams like no other statement if it’s stated it in the negative.

Pete Wright: But what’s interesting about that is what if is the language of dreams if it’s stated in the positive.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, this is what she says. If it’s used [crosstalk 00:24:16]

Pete Wright: It’s like I was sitting on her shoulder while she [crosstalk 00:24:18] wrote the book.

Nikki Kinzer: I know. Yes. If it’s used in a positive way, what if I fail, and we switch that to what if I succeed, then we open the conversation to potential. We open the conversation to dreaming, to opportunity, to brainstorming, creativity. There’s a quote somewhere about what if I, and I can’t remember who says it, but it’s something about, what if I fall? And then the next sentence is, but what if you fly? And it’s the same kind of thing here, right?

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But let’s not look at the what if as a negative, but let’s look at all the what ifs I do make my goals? What if I do get that house that I want? Or whatever it might be. It really changes the way you think of things.

Pete Wright: The day my daughter was born, we invited her godfather up to the hospital room and we’re in the elevator. And I say to her, I can’t wait to … I want to get a picture of you holding her. And he says, oh, I’m not going to hold her. I said, why aren’t you going to hold your goddaughter? He said, well, I’ve never held a baby before, a newborn, never held a newborn. And I said, okay, what are you afraid of? He says, well, what if I have a seizure? And I said to him, have you ever had seizure? And his answer was, no, I haven’t. [crosstalk 00:25:54].

Pete Wright: But what that to me demonstrates it is the case example of the what if that destroys dreams. And I was there to actually say, bite me, you’re going to hold your goddaughter. And I’m going to take a picture and you’re going to … We’ll put a net underneath if you [crosstalk 00:26:07] really feel like you need to.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: But we’re going to yes, and this holding because it’s important to me. And it turns out to be an important thing for him too. Bu that goes into this idea that language can destroy dreams, that can destroy opportunity.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. And something that you and I have talked about before in the past too, is when we have these limiting beliefs, you’ll say, well, what is the truth in it? Where is the actual truth or evidence?

Pete Wright: Fact and truth.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: And so Karen, oh, help me, Pete, how would you spell, or how would you say [crosstalk 00:26:43] Reivich?

Pete Wright: Reivich?

Nikki Kinzer: Reivich.

Pete Wright: Reivich.

Nikki Kinzer: Reivich. Okay, so she [crosstalk 00:26:48] she talks about the, why not, and she’s an expert in fields of resilience, depression prevention, and positive psychology. And she has three strategies to challenge negative thinking. One is the evidence, two is reframing, and the third one is the plan. So Pete [crosstalk 00:27:10]

Pete Wright: Well, we just did … I can’t believe I just did it with the godfather of my kids.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: He said, what if I have a seizure? Well, the evidence is, have you ever had a seizure? No, I have not. I’m not prone to seizures. Okay. Two, let’s reframe it, right? This is important to everybody that you have this experience, and three, the plan, what are we going to do to actually make it feel safe for you? I feel like that walks through that model really cleanly, but we were talking about a different example though. And this is one that gets to the fact and truth bit that I live with too often, that I’m constantly challenging, which is … let’s just say I have to do a lot of zoom calls and podcasts and things, and I spend a lot of time showing up for zoom. And we have a couple of new clients this year, and we’re excited to get started.

Pete Wright: And so I set up a zoom and I’m in waiting for the meeting to start and minutes go by. And the meeting does not start because they don’t show up. What are the things that go through my head naturally? And I don’t want to generalize for everybody, but my sense is these won’t be foreign feelings to people who live with anxiety and ADHD. The first thing that goes into my head is, oh, did I get the wrong time? So is it my fault? Wrong day, wrong time. Did I screw up? And the fireworks start and I can start going down this other road pretty quickly. Not about did I screw up, but how do they feel about me? And is them not showing up on time a reflection on my place in the world and in their lives.

Pete Wright: They don’t like me. They don’t trust what I can do for them. They don’t feel like there’s going to be value in the session that we have together. And therefore, I am being ghosted right now. I’m just going to sit here, and I could never hang up. I could be paralyzed in anxiety and no one’s ever going to talk to me again. Now I don’t voice those things, but I certainly am mired in those thoughts, in a cyclone of those thoughts. And it does not take long [crosstalk 00:29:20] for that to happen.

Nikki Kinzer: This is what you’re thinking, but the evidence that, that is true, where is the evidence that you know that all of those things that you said are true?

Pete Wright: Well, it’s only in my head.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Right? That evidence is only in my head, and I’m totally making it up. Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: That evidence is only that I feel like surely the only reason they must not be there is because they don’t like me. No one has ever ghosted me like that ever before, ever.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. And if you were to reframe it into the, why not, why not there was a miscommunication in some way, maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they sent you the link. There’s a lot of things that could be not [crosstalk 00:30:03] anything to do with you. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Maybe they’re humans and they got a call from their kids’ school and they had to rush to pick them up.

Nikki Kinzer: Yep.

Pete Wright: Lord knows that’s happening a lot these days, right? And then what is the plan? Well, the plan is I need to reach out to them authentically and say, I may have made a mistake. This was the time I had for us in our calendar. I really look forward to making a plan to meet with you. I look forward to this experience that we’re going to have together. And then I’ve gone through, I’m challenging what is fact and truth. I’m challenging my experience and I am replacing it with what is fact and truth. The only thing I don’t know is that they’re not here [crosstalk 00:30:44] when I am here.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: I know nothing else.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Two left, that pause, oh, boy, the power of the pause. And I’ve talked about this in the show. I talk about it with my clients. Communication isn’t just the words we speak. There’s the tone that we use, and there’s body language, right, that we have. So Pete, you could be smiling at me and then telling me how horrible you think I am.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: And you could be doing it with a big, huge smile, with a very, upbeat tone, but you’re hearing the words, right? I mean, [crosstalk 00:31:18] it’s weird.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s not matching. So the power of the pause is a great skill to practice when you have ADHD, because so many times from what I’ve heard from my clients is that sometimes you say stuff that you wish you wouldn’t have said. There’s this impulsive reaction. Communication can be very difficult when you have so many things that are going on in your mind. Right? So the power of the pause gives you that moment, that time to pause before you say anything, and have a little bit of processing time. Now this is a skill. This is something you practice. This is not natural for anyone, right? It’s really hard to do, especially if you’re really emotionally driven. I mean, we want to just spit out what we think. And so it is definitely something that we want to practice, and we want to practice and probably conversations that we’re pretty safe in with partners and friends and family.

Nikki Kinzer: But these are the three benefits to pausing. One is it builds trust because it lets the other person feel heard. So as humans, right, we want to feel like we’re heard. We want to feel like, okay, you’ve acknowledged me, you’ve heard me, you know what I have to say matters. And so it builds that trust. It’s also showing careful consideration that you care. So your silence is saying that you’re being mindful of what they’re saying. And that can really be again that showing that you care.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And then understanding creates greater efficiency. So it does give you time to reflect on what you want to say next, or to just really process what they’re saying. What are they saying here? Again, I can’t emphasize enough that this is not easy. This is not easy.

Pete Wright: Well, and it’s not just easy, it is a practice.

Nikki Kinzer: It is a practice.

Pete Wright: And I think that’s different than practice, right? You practice to achieve excellence in something, right? You practice the violin if your goal is to become first chair violinist. A practice is something you do every day [crosstalk 00:33:41] to get to and maintain incremental experience in a certain thing. You have a meditation practice, you have a listening practice. And I think back to something that our friend of the show, Dr. Dodge, advocates for. He’s like, it is a practice to think more slowly.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: It’s a practice to really slow down and reflect in every conversation every day to make sure that you are tracking hundred percent. And with ADHD, it is both important and difficult.

Nikki Kinzer: And something that I want to say about that too, with the practicing, if you’re listening to this podcast because you want to learn how to be a better communicator, or you want to understand how words can influence how you communicate to other people, then there’s a need there. Or there’s a want there for you to become … you want to become a better communicator. So with intention, because this is a skill you want to practice, then you want to be thinking about that pause before you even get into the conversations. Right? So it’s something, like you said, Pete, you want to practice it every day, but you want to do it on purpose. You don’t want to just think you’re going to do it. You really [crosstalk 00:35:05] Like you said, you just really have to practice it in a way that’s intentional. I want to listen better. If you want to listen better and you don’t want to interrupt people, then practice the power of pause.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Expertise doesn’t come from want to. Expertise doesn’t come from hope.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Expertise doesn’t come from wish. Expertise comes from practice.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s no perfection either, right? So, I mean, I think that one of the things too, is that you’re going to practice it and there’s going to be times where, hey, it didn’t work and that’s all right. Give yourself some grace. I mean, [crosstalk 00:35:41].

Pete Wright: That’s part of practice.

Nikki Kinzer: And it’s part of being human. And you can always go back and apologize if you need to.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: So okay. So this last one that I want to talk about is being curious, and I love this because it’s so much about what I do as a coach. So she says, "I’m curious, so be curious about your communication. When you come from a space of curiosity, you create a safe and non-judgmental space for others to share. It can also deepen your learning, and we all fall into the trap of assuming too much."

Nikki Kinzer: And so I think … a couple things that I think about this. I’ve heard the expression be curious, not judgmental. I think that’s really important.

Pete Wright: Ted Lasso.

Nikki Kinzer: Yep. Yep.

Pete Wright: Ted Lasso.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. We love Ted. So, that’s an important piece of being curious, and it does give us … Well, there’s three benefits. One is it does give us that deeper learning, because we’re not just assuming anything, but it gives us deeper relationships too, because it really creates connection because people want, again, to be heard. They want to be understood. What better way to make somebody else feel that way when you’re really curious about them and you’re asking questions.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And also, one of the benefits is deeper happiness. If your focus is on others and not just yourself, and this is really nice, because this comes from an article by Emily Campbell, research has shown curiosity to be associated with higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety, and more satisfaction with life. Let’s [crosstalk 00:37:27] be curious [crosstalk 00:37:28] about everything, right?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And take the judgment away. And one of the things I want to say is when I am working with clients and we’re practicing something new, like the power of pause, we want to go into it with curiosity and start asking those questions of, why was it so hard? What was it about that conversation that set you off? Was there anything that you could have done differently? What could you do differently if you’re in that position again? There’s so much learning that can happen when you’re being curious.

Pete Wright: Yes, and I love it.

Nikki Kinzer: Thank you.

Pete Wright: Yeah. I think it’s great. I think this is a great way to start off 2022, check your language. How are you talking to yourself? How are you talking about yourself? And how are you talking with yourself? All of those things [crosstalk 00:38:16].

Nikki Kinzer: I do. I talk to myself all the time. In fact, my husband caught me. He says, you always talk to yourself when you’re working. I’m like, oh, I know. This period goes here. This title goes here.

Pete Wright: That’s right.

Nikki Kinzer: And I’m doing it all with love and grace and curiosity.

Pete Wright: Absolutely. And love and grace and curiosity with which we give to you, everybody listening to this show. Thank you. We appreciate you downloading and listening to the show and joining us over in the community. Thank you for your time and your attention. And special thanks to Text Expander and Smile Software for sponsoring this episode. Don’t forget, if you have something to contribute about this conversation, we’re headed over to the show talk channel in our discord server. And you can join us right there by becoming a supporting member at the deluxe level. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. And we’ll see you right back here next week on Taking Control, the ADHD podcast.

Pete Wright: This is the last birthday card dad sent me, and it says five rules for men to follow for a happy life. And it’s got a cowboy on it, right? [crosstalk 00:39:37] with lipstick kisses all over it. It is important to have a woman … so I may have to do it in a Western accent.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay.

Pete Wright: It is important to have a woman who helps at home, who cooks from time to time, cleans up and has a job. It is important to have a woman who can make you laugh. It is important to have a woman you can trust and who doesn’t lie to you. It is important to have a woman who is good in bed, and who likes to be with you. And most important of all, it is very important that these four women do not know about each other.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, geez. I was not expecting that. Oh, that’s fantastic. Oh, my God. That is so funny.

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.