2502 ADHD Over-Talking

It’s Our ADHD Talking

Today on the show we’re going to talk about what’s going on in your brain that makes your mouth so active, and give you some tools to practice that might help you give that mouth a reset from time to time when you feel like you need one!

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People with ADHD talk. And sometimes we talk a lot. We might be nervous or excited, insecure or scared; for whatever reason, these triggers cause our mouths to go right into overdrive.

This week on the show, Nikki and Pete talk about over-talking. What happens in social situations when you find yourself over-sharing? How about parties in which you reveal sensitive information? And have you ever been in a group conversation and didn’t realize you were monopolizing the show? We’ve all been there, and this week we want to try to dissect why.

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Episode Transcript

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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 over there in the squirrel shirt.

Pete Wright: It’s vintage. It’s a classic.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s vintage-

Pete Wright: And I’ve had it so long, it’s starting to wear.

Nikki Kinzer: … it’s vintage podcast.

Pete Wright: It’s starting to wear like, it actually looks straight up.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, I see that.

Pete Wright: It’s pretty. If I were clever enough, I would get out my big camera and take a super high resolution picture of it as it is, and then isolate that photo and put that on another t-shirt and it would just be a meta vintage over vintage, over vintage-

Nikki Kinzer: Oft-shirts.

Pete Wright: … thing.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: That’s that’s what I would do.

Nikki Kinzer: You should do that.

Pete Wright: You know what? I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to do that. I don’t even-

Nikki Kinzer: Okay.

Pete Wright: I don’t even know where the gear is to do that kind of thing anymore. How are you? You feeling good? You feeling good today?

Nikki Kinzer: We’ll let that one go good. Yeah. Yes I am. I’m feeling great.

Pete Wright: Me too. We have a lot to talk about. Before we dig into specifics, head over to takecontroladhd.com. You can get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. You can connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest @takecontrolADHD. But if you really want to connect with us, join the ADHD Discord community. It’s super easy to jump into the general community chat channel. You just visit takecontroladhd.com/discord. And you’ll be whisked over to the general information login. If you’re looking for a little more though, particularly if this show has ever touched you or helped you understand your relationship with ADHD in a new way, we invite you to support the show directly through Patreon.

Pete Wright: Patreon is listener supported podcasting, and with a few dollars a month, you can help guarantee that we continue to grow the show, add new features, and invest more heavily in our community. You do that by visiting patreon.com/theADHDpodcast. All of our tiers are there get access to the super secret channels in discord for members only, you get access to the placeholder podcast from yours truly, very excited about an upcoming episode, and just it’s really, really great. Not to mention the accountability sessions and Happy Hours with me and you and coaching with Nikki and coffee with Pete. It’s just, there’s a lot going on. You should go check it out.

Nikki Kinzer: There’s a lot.

Pete Wright: Speaking of a lot going on, you have a thing. Do you want to do your thing or should I do my thing?

Nikki Kinzer: I do. I have a thing and I’ll make it quick and easy for people to follow. So over @takecontrolADHD I am offering the GPS membership. It is open right now. Enrollment is open. It closes on July 29th. If you happen to be listening to this podcast later, and it’s not anywhere near July and maybe it’s like October, do still check out the GPS membership and put yourself on the waiting list until it, and then we’ll get back to you when it opens up again. But the GPS membership is a fantastic way to come together with other ADHDers who are looking basically looking how to put together a planning system. How do you figure out what’s important? How do you know when you’re going to work on things? How do you know how you’re going to work on things? And so these are all things that are really difficult for ADHDers and I’ve put together this membership, worked very hard on it for the last year and a half. That includes all of the education and accountability and learning how to do this with myself, and sometimes Pete Wright is going to make his appearance.

Pete Wright: It’s a very special appearance.

Nikki Kinzer: From Pete Wright. Yes. And give you the time to practice and put together your systems during our actual sessions, which happen to be on Mondays and Thursdays. So please check it out. And if you have questions, let us know. And yeah, I hope to see you in the next GPS enrollment phase.

Nikki Kinzer: I think that’s what it’s called.

Pete Wright: Phase? What phase are we on? Are we on phase 17.

Nikki Kinzer: I know. Is that even a thing? Open, when it’s open, it’s open.

Pete Wright: Yeah. It’s open enrollment. It’s like insurance; there’s open enrollment, then enrollment closes.

Nikki Kinzer: And then it’s closing and then it opens again. So that’s why you want to put yourself on the wait list because it will open again.

Pete Wright: Can I say something about that? This is what really important to I’ve reflecting on that this morning, because I’ve been working on some other stuff for you. The whole idea with open and closed enrollment, that community, when you join with other people who are just joining for the first time, you build, there’s certain cohesion that comes with that. That’s really, really special, especially in an online community, especially when we’re dealing with coming out of the pandemic and learning how to be social again, all of those things really matter. And so we take that into consideration and we’ve been piloting this thing for a year. We get-

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: … what the routines are like. And we’re just really excited now to share it. So if you’re concerned that, "Oh, they’re just selling us to rush us into the thing." That’s not it at all. We really are trying to be methodical, thoughtful about creating the most cohesive community that we can by doing this staged enrollment. So it’ll come back again and you can join whenever, but just know when you join, you’re joining with other people who are new and you’ll have something in common. You’ll both be new, you’ll all be new.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: So that’s-

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: Is it my turn? Can I talk about my thing?

Nikki Kinzer: It’s your turn.

Pete Wright: I get so excited about TextExpander because they’re back, they’ve been, as you’ve heard me talk about them before they’ve been advertisers with us for the last six months and they emailed me and they said, "You know what, Pete, your community has responded to TextExpander. So we want to stay with you. We want to be with you guys for another round." And so they’re back. And that is just so heartwarming to me because I believe so strongly in the power of this simple little tool. It is my favorite invisible tool in my tool chest. It is always there, running in the background, just waiting for me to type an abbreviation or a snippet in TextExpander speak. And when it sees that snippet, it goes to work instantly expanding from just a few characters on my keyboard, to words, sentences, paragraphs, entire pages of text, even code.

Pete Wright: So first, a quick reminder of how it works. You store it, you keep all of yours and if you’re on a team or your families, most used emails, phrases, messages, URLs, everything in your TextExpander library, then you expand it just going throughout your day. You type a few keys for the abbreviation for your most important snippets. And they expand magically in wherever you type text. And I mean, wherever you type text; messaging apps, docs, online, offline, everywhere, and then optionally, you can share it. If, as I said, you have family, you have a team, your whole team can have access to the shared content, reducing errors, making sure your messages are consistent. The works. It’s that easy. Now I try, when I talk about TextExpander to share a thing, a new thing that I’m doing with TextExpander on a given week.

Pete Wright: And I have some I’m very excited about, but the one that has changed my use of TextExpander most dramatically, it took me almost 10 years to learn that it even existed. And that is a magic key combination that activates TextExpander itself. Now, Nikki go ahead. Ask me how many snippets do you have Pete?

Nikki Kinzer: How many snippets do you have Pete?

Pete Wright: So many snippets, Nikki. I have 500 snippets in my snippet library.

Nikki Kinzer: Wow.

Pete Wright: You might ask Pete, how do you remember all those snippets?

Nikki Kinzer: Pete, how do you remember 500 plus snippets?

Pete Wright: That’s the awesome thing about TextExpander, Nikki, I don’t even have to, because of this magical key combination, that key combination, if you’re on windows control right leaning slash or forward slash. Control forward slash (Ctrl/) if you’re on a Mac command forward slash, right leaning slash (Command/). When you hit that magical key combination, it opens a popup box, a search box just for TextExpander.

Pete Wright: And all you have to do is type a few letters of whatever the snippet contains, and it will be there. Then you can just hit the snippet and it expands. It goes to work, so you don’t actually have to remember. I have 500 snippets. I remember a handful of them at best on any given day, the ones I use every day and the rest of them command forward slash. It is absolutely magical. And man, did I carry around some shame for being a power user of TextExpander and not knowing about that amazing tool.

Pete Wright: So you should check it out. TextExpander is available on Mac, windows, Chrome, iPhone, iPad, and for listeners of the ADHD podcast, you can get 20% off your first year of service, just visit take controladhd.com/textexpander. And you will once again, be whisked over to our page on their site where you can get started again. If you get started now, you’ll save 20% off a year subscription. The way we work is changing rapidly, make work, work the way your brain works by saying more in less time and with less effort using TextExpander. Our great thanks to the TextExpander team for sponsoring the ADHD Podcast.

Pete Wright: Nikki, today we are talking about… After that intro, somehow, if you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re-

Nikki Kinzer: We talk a lot?

Pete Wright: … talking about ADHD and over talking.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh God, that’s funny.

Pete Wright: We’re doing great. So far-

Nikki Kinzer: We’re doing awesome.

Pete Wright: We’re doing great. Where did this come from?

Nikki Kinzer: This came from actually our assistant over at, our Discord mom, Melissa.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Had an idea because we’re doing a theme. Our theme in this time, in July, has been around ADHD symptoms. So last week I can’t even remember what we talked about last week. What did we talk about?

Pete Wright: Lying, with Noreen. Noreen was here.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, that’s right. See?

Pete Wright: Yeah. I almost did a spit take.

Nikki Kinzer: All right. So yeah. So lying was last week.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And guess what’s going to be next week with Ari Tuckman? Memory. We’re going to talk about memory.

Pete Wright: Oh boy.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh boy. I can’t wait to talk to him about that, because obviously mine is very poor.

Pete Wright: All of a sudden that means this whole engagement has to stay in the show. I could cut it out, but now I can’t.

Nikki Kinzer: No. Oh no, you can’t. You can’t cut this out. Yes. So Melissa’s idea was, "Hey, another ADHD symptom is talking."

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: Talking too much, or talking too fast. And, so that’s where it came and we both said, "Hey, that’s a great idea." And I know from a coaching perspective, it certainly is something that comes up with my clients. But I did want to do a little bit of research before we talked today because some topics we can just talk about and I don’t need an outline. I don’t need to do research. We can just talk, right?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But this one, I thought, "Ah, I got to read a little bit. I got to see what’s being said about this." Because it just wasn’t something that I felt totally comfortable with talking with you off the cuff.

Nikki Kinzer: So a lot of the information that we are going to talk to you about do come from other sources. This is not stuff that Pete and I just came up with, and we will have all of those sources in our show notes. So all of the references to the articles that I looked at and everything will be there for you guys to review.

Nikki Kinzer: But this is the thing, Pete, in my research, the one thing I couldn’t find, and this is something that I want to ask our listeners to help me with, and we’ll come back to this at the end of the show too, to remind people that I need help with this, is how do you tell someone that they may be talking too much or talking too fast without offending them?

Pete Wright: Mm.

Nikki Kinzer: Did not find that in my research.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Let’s come back to that because I have, I-

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: I definitely have thoughts and I want to hear what… I’m going to give people time to simmer on that one too.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: Especially in the chat room.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Okay. So can I just say one thing about this just as a setup, for me personally?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, of course.

Pete Wright: Do you think I talk too much?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: That’s amazing. Because in my notes I said, "I don’t think I do," but that’s probably why we’re here.

Nikki Kinzer: And I say that to be funny and to put you off, to-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: … put you off your rocker, whatever. No, I really don’t think you talk too much. No I don’t.

Pete Wright: Okay. Well one that’s good to hear, see what happened there. Okay, so I don’t think I do. And I think that’s because I recognize it in when I see it in other people. And part of that is when they say, if you look around the room and you can’t tell who’s talking too much, it’s probably you, that I think actually holds up for this conversation.

Pete Wright: But my challenge is I think adjacent and related, which is I do talk too much, in my head, when I’m in conversations with people I’m going like crazy. And I call that-

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: … I called it on the show, I call it fireworks brain. And it’s usually a sign I’m not really paying attention to what people are saying. I’m paying attention to the voice in my head. And so because mostly everything that I’ve been researching on over talking absolutely directly applies to me, as long as it’s in my head. The social part, the way people react to me is a little bit different because it’s related to how I’m perceived as not talking too much; I’m not talking at all because I’m not paying attention to what’s being said around me.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: But I’m not like offending people by not shutting up. I don’t think. We’ll see. No, I’ll stop talking now.

Nikki Kinzer: You sure you don’t have anything else to say?

Nikki Kinzer: Oh boy, this is going to be a fun show. Okay, in my coaching experience, I notice it a lot in coaching groups. So it’s not one on one because when I’m working with someone individually, that’s part of the process is verbal processing. I want them to talk things out and organize the thoughts in their head and work through it with me. But I do notice in coaching groups, I get a lot of apologies like someone, so for example, one of the things that we do in GPS at the very beginning is I ask everyone to share one success that they’ve had that week. And people will share their success, and some people are very concise about it. And some people will talk a little bit more about it and give us the reference or whatever. And then they’ll apologize.

Nikki Kinzer: And they’ll say, "Oh, I’m sorry. I said too much or I took too much time." And I see that, I think from my perspective, sometimes where I see people fall into that is there’s a fear of being misunderstood. And so they want to over-explain or they repeat themselves, because they want to make sure that you hear all of the details and that you really understand. But if you think about it, it makes sense that this would happen with someone with ADHD, because it’s hard to know what’s going to be important to the listener when you don’t even know what’s important. And if you think about prioritizing tasks, it’s hard to prioritize what to do next, when you think everything is important and everything needs to be done at the same time. It’s the same thing with your thoughts.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Right. A hundred percent.

Nikki Kinzer: It just needs to get out. One thing I want to say is that within attentive ADHD, that is a symptom of what you might think of is hyperactivity. Is that people who talk a lot or talk fast can be a symptom of inattentive ADHD with that’s where the little H is.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: So that’s why they changed the ADHD, ADD, because the three different types of ADHD, one is the inattentive, one is the hyperactivity, and then there’s a combination of both. So you can still see that as being a symptom.

Pete Wright: Well, that’s what I was describing, when I talk about fireworks brain, that’s a hundred percent my experience of it. I don’t have the leg twitch. I don’t have… I do fidget. I fidget the hell out of things, but I find the hyperactivity is internal.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Where do we go? Where do we start? There are some things that we found out in our research around what happens and why this happens. And so let’s educate our listeners about this.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: Because it was, actually, I thought it really was fascinating. Over talking; ADHDers tend to experience a mind full of constant thoughts, fireworks brain, right? And regularly diverted by a waning focused. And then I think this is where the over talking comes is where that impulsivity and hyperactivity, which we just explained. In an effort to want to please people and feel included or accepted ADHDers tend to over talk in an effort to try to keep the conversation interesting and flowing. And I think this is interesting because silence to them feels like the enemy, so they’re going to fill it.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah. Fill it with detail that doesn’t matter. Fill it with meaningless words, filler words. Crazy, amazing, amazing, amazing. Those kinds of things.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Just to keep sound.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: I wonder if that has something related to needing to have, what happens in that experience when there is silence and you’re alone? For me, I always have to have something playing in the background. I don’t do well with silence.

Nikki Kinzer: I was going to say, I don’t. And I wonder, again we’re not experts on this, but I wonder if that’s why white noise also is recommended for ADHDers.

Pete Wright: Podcasts, audio books. Somebody’s talking.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, anything that have some kind of background, silence is really uncomfortable.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s also, when we go back to strategies around homework, I remember us talking about this and saying, "If your student is studying or they’re working on something and they’ve got the TV on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re watching the TV, but they like to have that stimulation." So it’s something to definitely think about.

Nikki Kinzer: So you had also talked about, well, you talked about this at the very beginning of our live stream, when you were actually talking about your other podcast with the anxiety and how you went back and looked at, or you were thinking about it and you felt a lot of regret or like, "Oh, I shouldn’t have…" Whatever you were saying. So I’m curious from you, is that also going, can that also be applied to over talking in general?

Pete Wright: Yeah. You mean like saying things I regret in conversation wise?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. And then going back and thinking, "Oh gosh, I shouldn’t have said that. Or I did talk too much or I maybe said something inappropriate or…"

Pete Wright: Yeah, this is the oversharing model, right? This is when you say things, for some reason, your mouth isn’t stopping or your mouth is ahead of your brain. And you start saying things that maybe you shouldn’t say, because you are divulging something that’s inappropriate about yourself or about other people or about the workplace or about something you did something body, something, something… I just used the word body. I don’t think I’ve said body in 15 years. Hmm. Anyhow, so you’re saying something over and over. And part of that is just not being able to get ahead of your thoughts and I definitely have experienced it. And part of why I think I have a better handle on it is because I became a full-time podcaster and I’m talking all day long. So by the time I get into a social situations, I’m tired.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right.

Pete Wright: So I don’t socialize that much as much anymore.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: And so, yeah, I wonder about that because I know things, that plays into anxiety too.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, for sure. Because I can tell you from that angle, for sure. There are many conversations that I’ve had where I sit back and I think about it and like, "Oh man."

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: It could have gone a different way. It should have gone a different way. And that’s where the RSD comes in too, I think for people, is feeling that sensitivity of not knowing what other people are thinking. Because I think that is the root of a lot of it too, is that there’s this fear again of, are you being understood? Are you connecting with this person? Do they like what you’re saying? And like you said, you’ve got this fireworks brain and you want to connect with this person and how do you connect with other people? You relate to them in some way. So then you want to talk about all of those things. It certainly makes sense.

Pete Wright: The challenge is that you want to talk about, all those things at once.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right. So I want you Pete, to talk a little bit about the science behind all of this, because I can’t pronounce these words. So I saw this in our outline-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: … and I’m like, "Oh yeah, Pete’s going to talk about these big words."

Pete Wright: Well, okay. Let’s see if we can muddle through it.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay.

Pete Wright: The thalamus is the area of the brain that controls response inhibition. That is the thing, the gate that is sending these signals that allow or stop your behaviors, like your mouth. And so-

Nikki Kinzer: Your gate is open.

Pete Wright: … your gate is open all the time. It’s just wide open. So the brain then detects a red flag, "Oh my gosh. Something’s about to be said or done that you need to respond to." It is the limbic hippocampal connection. Limbic hippocampal.

Nikki Kinzer: Limbic-

Pete Wright: Every bite of that-

Nikki Kinzer: … hippocampal.

Pete Wright: The limbic hippocampal connections relay this warning from the Thalmus to the frontal cortex, which is the control center of the brain that handles emotional expression and problem solving and that kind of-

Nikki Kinzer: Executive functions.

Pete Wright: … executive functions, right.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. That’s where the executive functions connect.

Pete Wright: So you could see, I use that all the time. Mm. My wife and I will have an experience with somebody out in the world. And we both look at each other and said "Missing a frontal cortex." You can just notice.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right.

Pete Wright: You notice that kind of stuff.

Nikki Kinzer: So yeah.

Pete Wright: In ADHD brains, the Thalmus gate is broken.

Nikki Kinzer: Open.

Pete Wright: So everything gets to flow through it all the time, because it doesn’t open or close, it’s just-

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: … open. It’s just broken on the hinges and it becomes this uninhibited, unchecked flow of whatever the brain had, whether there are red flags or not.

Nikki Kinzer: So I remember, especially in my twenties, we had this friend of ours who was very upfront and we would sometimes say, "Yeah, he just doesn’t have a filter."

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: "That’s just who he is." And that’s what this is, right? Yeah. Not-

Pete Wright: Well, and that’s why I-

Nikki Kinzer: … being able to filter.

Pete Wright: That’s why I think the word broken is important because I find I notice the red flags. I know they’re there. And I can think, be cognitively aware and present that something I’m about to say should not be said, but by the time that signal gets to my mouth, the thing has already been said, and the gate closes afterward. And when the gate closes afterward, that’s the shame trigger for me.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Right.

Pete Wright: That’s regret because now I am seconds after the thing came out of my mouth, I realize I screwed up. I didn’t stop soon enough. And I get to feel shame at having done it. And so this is from, from Joel Nig, says that people without ADHD have this ability to stop midstream, if they recognize a person is not smiling. They can adjust, change course. The child with ADHD needs 20 to 30 milliseconds longer warning to correct course, which is an eternity when it comes to behavior control. Yes it is. And also body stories.

Nikki Kinzer: So it makes sense. What I like about this, not necessarily the information, but I hope that it gives people an understanding of what’s happening. So if your child says something or you say something, it at least gives you some awareness of why it’s happening. I think that’s important.

Pete Wright: Well, and what is the trigger to the behavior? I talked about the shame response when the gate closes.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: What happens, and I’ll speak for myself, what happens when I start feeling that is I stop talking altogether.

Nikki Kinzer: You shut down.

Pete Wright: That’s the all or nothing response.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: So if, as soon as I, if I don’t ever feel the shame, I could talk, I could get myself going and talk in my brain all night, but-

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: … once I do something stupid, I can feel shame about it and stop talking at all and just feel bad.

Nikki Kinzer: So I’m glad you said that because as a parent of a teenager who has ADHD, it actually gives me an insight into what’s probably happening with her.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Where she might shut down. So I appreciate you saying that, because I think those insights are important for us to understand other people.

Pete Wright: You know what’s funny, having these conversations with my mom after my dad passed away, six months ago, we’re coming to a new understanding of his undiagnosed ADHD. And this was a huge part of it. The way he would get going as a comedian in public. But that hyperactivity takes over the mouth and he doesn’t recall, or it doesn’t have the shame gate closed after he says things. It’s just his was broken wide open and was constantly saying, especially as he got older, he was constantly saying things that otherwise might have been regretted.

Nikki Kinzer: All right. So we’re going to change gears a little bit and talk about, first I’m going to talk about how I would approach this with a client. What questions I would ask, and then we’re going to go through some of the challenges and solutions that we found. Some ideas for people to take away with and see if this might help you, if you are one of these over talkers.

Nikki Kinzer: So from a coach’s perspective, there’s, what I’m trying to do is build awareness. And so some of the questions that I would probably ask someone is the first of all, would be what makes you think that you talk too much? And get them talking to me about where they might find themselves doing this. And I would also be interested in knowing what people have said to them in the past, because we often come up with our own limiting beliefs without really having evidence.

Nikki Kinzer: And so I want to know, is this something that you think you do or is it something that you get asked or there’s something that is said to you about it. So getting more information around the background around all of it. And also understanding, are there any topics that tend to make you want to talk a lot about or a lot, and these can be hot topics. So for example, if someone is really passionate about something or they believe in something really strongly, that’s going to be a trigger for them to really want to be understood and to be heard.

Pete Wright: Right. Right.

Nikki Kinzer: And so that could be some somewhere where they get locked in that cycle of over talking. Does that make sense?

Pete Wright: It does make sense, but since we’re having a conversation about ADHD hyperactivity, can I share what just happened to me?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: You said the words hot topic.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: And I stopped listening to you for a little bit because I immediately thought of the store Hot Topic and the store Hot Topic, we have one right down the street, and I got very excited about the store Hot Topic because it reminded me that Hot Topic had some weird stock issues going on a while ago. Did they go private? I should probably think about that some more. And think about what happened with Hot Topic. Do you know who should really work at Hot Topic? Oh, my son, he would be great as a clerk at Hot Topic, but not if their business is failing, we should think about that. I went and then you said, "Does that make sense?" Cut to right now. And-

Nikki Kinzer: I love that.

Pete Wright: … I went on a journey with Hot Topic and that happened.

Nikki Kinzer: So that’s it. There you go.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: There you go.

Pete Wright: Yeah. So what I mean to say is-

Nikki Kinzer: I appreciate that.

Pete Wright: … I’m sure it makes sense, Nikki, because you’re smart.

Nikki Kinzer: Because I already have a job for my son at Hot Topic. So not only do you make sense, I have solved a really big problem.

Pete Wright: Oh my God.

Nikki Kinzer: I love it. But you know what? That’s what you have to, embrace it.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: You have to just embrace your brain for that. That’s great. And the thing is that if I was asking you a question and I had lost you, then all you would need to do is just clarify. Can you tell me again what you’re asking me or what…whatever.

Pete Wright: Say that again. I want to make sure I understand.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s how you can backtrack, you were being very honest.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: But most people aren’t going to tell other people about where their mind is going.

Pete Wright: No, of course. And in the podcast I would’ve said "Yes," and moved on to another question-

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: … that is right in here. And actually the question that I had five minutes ago before this whole distraction was what are the signals that you hear from people that you are coaching, when they answer that question, "What makes you think you talk too much." I’m curious what the consensus is of signals that people who struggle with over talking are actually taking in, because my hunch is there is a part of that pie graph that doesn’t actually get the signals that they’re over talking, that can’t process those signals, the read the room signals.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, that’s exactly right. And so that’s why I have to ask those questions.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Because I don’t know what they’re getting, what they’re seeing and what they’re not seeing. But the other thing is I’m not in the conversation, so I don’t know what the other person-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: … is thinking or feeling.

Pete Wright: But do they report, do they say, "Well, people are looking at me funny," or "People start conversations on their own and move away from me," or…

Nikki Kinzer: It’s never really that concrete, no.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And that’s why I think it’s important that we ask, that question, "What have people said to you? Or what do you notice? Why do you feel this way?" Because it’s never concrete.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s never this like this person, I shouldn’t say never, but I don’t usually get an example.

Pete Wright: Sure.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s something that they have really taken in as a story that they believe and to be fair, they may talk too much. I don’t know. So that’s why we have to figure out why do you think it’s a problem?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And then, maybe let’s get specific. And so in coaching, I would really try to get them to make an example, "Tell me a time where you felt regret afterwards." And if you were able to do that conversation over again, what would you do differently? And, I also think it’s important to find out how much attention have you put on this communication skill. Because one of the things you said earlier, Pete, as you said, you have paid attention to it and so if it’s something that’s bothering you, if it’s something that you feel like, "Gosh, I really want to get better at this because I think it’s happening too often."

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: Then we need to also figure out, "What are you willing to try?" And that’s where the strategies and stuff will come in, where we’ll talk about that. But you got to think about what you’re willing to try. But I also want people to think, and I don’t know the answer to this, but how will you know if you’re talking the right amount in a conversation? What does that even look like?

Pete Wright: Right. Yeah. What does that look like? One of the resources that we pulled up, the link will be in the show notes, the writer with ADHD had a comment that said, "Pretend you’re a ghost and you’re at a seance. Whatever you say will not be listened to. So wait until you are invited to speak, to say something. Pretend you really are a ghost." And it’s a little bit more gamification than speak when spoken to, which is dismissive.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: But it’s more of the game of, "Okay. If I practice this skill, if I speak when my name is spoken, then maybe what I have to say will be heard and reflected more attentively because I’ll be invited into the conversation." I actually liked the angle there. I’m not sure I liked the implementation. I think there’s some risk of social intermitting, but I like the idea of pretending to be a ghost.

Nikki Kinzer: So one of the strategies that I saw that is also gamifying it, that I thought was actually a really great idea is to think of the conversation like a game of catch. So when you’re asked a direct question, it’s your ball, you’ve caught the ball. So now you get to talk and then you wait a second and you look at that person and then you throw them the ball.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And let them talk. And then it goes back and forth. So, okay, now I have the ball, so it’s time for me to talk. And I thought that was really creative because I know that so many ADHDers like that visual, they like having a story to relate to. And I thought that was great.

Pete Wright: Did you ever see, have you ever seen Rose-

Nikki Kinzer: You have the ball now.

Pete Wright: Yeah, yeah. Right. No, I’m taking it right now because I have ADHD. So have you ever seen the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?

Nikki Kinzer: No, I’ve never even heard of it.

Pete Wright: It’s an alternate perspective version of Hamlet and it’s a comedy. And so you’re following these two completely side characters, but they’re the protagonists in this, it was a play, and then a movie. And in this movie they play this game of questions on a tennis court.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh.

Pete Wright: And so they actually do make it a literal game where the person loses when they respond to a question with a statement. And that has fueled me in so many awkward situations when I can’t figure out what to say. I just, in my head, play this game of questions. When somebody asks a question, I respond with another question and it becomes a volley.

Nikki Kinzer: Mm-hmm.

Pete Wright: And so it takes real practice, but it’s a fun way to think about not keeping the ball too long. Right?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: You will not keep the ball too long if you know that you have to throw it by asking a question.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. I like that.

Pete Wright: It’s a metaphorical ball. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. But it’s the same concept.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: I think it’s great. Yeah. I like that. What else do you like here, Pete, that you found?

Pete Wright: Oh, well I think I’ve already vomited up my most exciting parts. I think there is the, we’ve talked about it before, the idea of taking a break of using the tools that you have to measure your pauses in a conversation. To actually, one of the reasons we keep talking if we don’t like silence is because we’re not aware of time because we’re time blind and it can be useful to just say like, "Look at your watch," in your head, and watch the second hand go by for three seconds and actually use that to notice that your mouth is not moving and celebrate that before you start talking again. Use some sort of mechanical device or account or tapping your leg, so you feel something that isn’t your mouth to remind you, it’s not your turn anymore. Or you have monopolized something. It’s time to take a break.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: I really like that.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that we’ve talked about, this was around communication on the phone. Do you remember when we talked about the phone-

Pete Wright: We did.

Nikki Kinzer: … in one of our shows, and one of the tips there, I think apply here, is when you are going to have a conversation, especially if it’s going to be a meaningful conversation, something you have to plan for. So it’s not just spontaneous, like at a party, but it’s with your boss or whatever, to actually do a little bit of pre-work, especially if you think you talk too much. This is, I think, especially relative to the people who are interviewing, for a new job. Is to think about what are the key points that you want to say.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And have those in front of you to be your guide, to keep you on task and focused on where you want the conversation to be. So I think there’s some value in practicing that and role playing with other people and see how you come across and be able to refine that before you actually have the conversation.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Right. Right. I think to that end, sometimes when I’m going to a social event, I spend time in the car preparing my stories. Because the idea of going in cold is risky because I’ll tell all the stories and-

Nikki Kinzer: All the things,

Pete Wright: I’ll tell all the stories. But if I go in and say, "Hey," if I say, like an hour before, here’s where I’m going, here are the kinds of people who are at this event. Let me take a minute and talk to myself and talk through the stories that might be, might be useful in a social situation to get people thinking or laughing or talking amongst themselves. How can I prepare for that? Because I know that on the fly I’m at risk of embarrassing myself and others. I’m a danger to myself and others.

Nikki Kinzer: You’re a danger.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: I wouldn’t go that far.

Pete Wright: Yeah. At some point, but yeah. I might tell the tapeworm story and that just risks disgusting people.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay. Yeah. It really is gross. Okay. So moving on.

Pete Wright: That’s a little Easter egg, somebody’s going to ask for the tapeworm story now, and I’m going to have to tell it at Happy Hour.

Nikki Kinzer: I know, but-

Pete Wright: Get ready.

Nikki Kinzer: … you don’t need to with me. Yeah.

Pete Wright: Patreon.com/theADHDpodcast.

Nikki Kinzer: Alrighty then. So as we keep talking about these things. Oh, I know what I was going to say. See, my memory’s really off today, the practicing with someone you trust. And this goes onto my original question from when we first started the show, is how do you tell someone that they’re talking too much or too fast without offending them?

Pete Wright: And let me say, in the chat room, if you’re a Patreon member, you could join the livestream chat room, and let me say, nobody has chimed in apart from our own Melissa who says that I do in fact talk too much. About me, not about her. And so no one is no one is helping me answer this question.

Nikki Kinzer: No, no.

Pete Wright: So this is a thing that I think is really important is, well, you go ahead first. I have a… I’m going to think about myself first.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, no, I just am saying on a personal level, because I may have people in my home that this happens and I would love to know how to approach it.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings and I don’t want people to get shut down or think that I don’t want to hear at all, or-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: … that I don’t care because I do.

Pete Wright: This is what I think is really important is that you think first not about the message you’re trying to send, but about what would cause pain. And for me-

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: … that’s always being called out in public.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Having somebody say something public or having some disruptive event happen in the conversation, being interrupted in a way that is somehow disruptive in order to take me away from the event.

Nikki Kinzer: Or like being rude, you mean?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Or being like-

Pete Wright: Being rude to interrupt-

Nikki Kinzer: … sarcastic or…

Pete Wright: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Now sometimes that has to happen. And we haven’t talked at all about the effects of substances on over talking and ADHD and that if you’ve been drinking, you might need to be rudely interrupted, but-

Nikki Kinzer: That’s true. We didn’t talk about that. But that was actually brought up in one of the articles that I read.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Is that alcohol or drug consumption can definitely increase how much you’re talking and what’s being said, and then all of your impulses at that point can be altered.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: So yeah, that makes a big difference.

Pete Wright: That’s it. And so I think that’s really important to make note of, but for me, again, I’ll make it personal. If I am talking too much and somebody that knows me pulls me aside and says, "Hey, you’ve got a lot going on right now in your brain. You might want to take a breather, take a minute and listen, because there’s some other really interesting things going on that you might benefit from hearing. This might be the time to do it." Who can be gentle about it. And if I’m presented with that kind of opportunity, that’s pretty useful. I sometimes talk to my son that way, who deals with this as well, which is, "Hey, you’ve got a lot going on in your brain and your mouth right now. And let’s take a minute and see what other people have to say," but never in front of others.

Nikki Kinzer: No. And that actually helps me to think about, because I have a very fast talker in my home, but I think it allows what you just said allows me to think, "Okay, what if I just said, ‘Hey, I’m not following you. Hold.’"

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Because then it’s about me and what I’m not getting, but not-

Pete Wright: That’s right.

Nikki Kinzer: … not on her. I don’t want her to feel bad.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: But I’m not following it.

Pete Wright: And part of it is, I’m not following you. And that means there’s a chance others aren’t.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right.

Pete Wright: And so to make that connection, especially if you’re new to being adjusted like that in the moment.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah. And I can tell you, this actually just came up to me too, with coaching groups. So one of the things about being a leader in a coaching group, which I’m leading, I’m guiding, is I do have to sometimes pull people out of the conversation that they’re in, so that we can get back onto the topic. And I try to do that very delicately so that it doesn’t offend anyone. And so what I will do when I have to, is I will have to interrupt them and say, "Okay, I get where you’re going. And maybe we can talk about this in between our sessions." We use Discord for communication, give them another option, but try to get them to come back.

Nikki Kinzer: And a lot of times people really appreciate it, I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody that’s really been offended by it. So now that we’re talking about it, I can see where in my own personal world, where I’ve had to do that, to keep things on track and other people tend to appreciate it too, because they may be noticing that what’s supposed to be a topic is getting completely washed because we’re talking about something that’s not that topic.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. It’s delicate. It’s hard because we all have the tendency to do it, but it’s very difficult to hear that you’re doing it.

Pete Wright: Yeah. It is. And question from the chat room, how do you circumvent an over talker in a group setting where the talker is monopolizing a conversation that is supposed to be time for everyone? I think that is-

Nikki Kinzer: Is that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Pete Wright: … the central question. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. That is it’s exactly. It is so true. And it is so hard, especially as a group monitor or whatever-

Pete Wright: Leader.

Nikki Kinzer: … leader, but yeah. Especially when you’re with ADHDers because everybody wants to talk or you get those that don’t want to talk, but we want them into the conversation. So it’s also my job to focus on them too. And give them an opportunity to talk and yeah, it’s tricky for sure.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s just interesting, because I’m thinking about if you’re that person and you’re feeling like you’re talking too much, what are some other things that you can do? And I think that awareness piece is just so important that you pause for a moment, even if it’s just for a second.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And think about what do I really want to say. And something else that came to my mind that helps me is I don’t have to keep repeating the same thing, if they have a question, they’ll ask.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Nikki Kinzer: So I try not to repeat things, but I still do. I know I do in this show, so people I’m sure will be able to get recordings that say, well, "Nikki, you repeated this three times." Well of course I did well.

Pete Wright: And what’s funny is I have the luxury of being able to look at the sound form, the wave form of both of us on this show and see-

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: … how much people talk in relation with a guest too, depending on the guest. It’s really interesting to look at those patterns. I think this goes back to practice and you have a section in the outline, you want to talk about challenges and homework. And I feel like this is a good time to just review some ideas for things we can do to keep these things mindful for us.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, absolutely. So, I think that, again, it goes back to awareness. So role playing with someone that you trust before important conversations. If there’s somebody in your life like a partner or a sibling or your daughter or son, I mean anybody that you’re living with that you trust, practicing with them and having an agreement that when you are talking, if you notice that you are talking too much or too fast, having some signal or having some agreement up front of what to do when this happens, so you’re not calling them on it. It’s not going to be a surprise.

Nikki Kinzer: We’ve talked about outlining what you want to say before you go into an important conversation. I also think it’s important to, after the fact, because a lot of times you’re not going to notice these things until after you’re sitting there and thinking about it, but think about how or what happened to your body when you were talking too much. It’s probably some excitement or maybe you’re frustrated, but if you can start to understand your signals, it also can give you that pause button that, "Oh, wait, this is like stirring up emotion here. So before I say anything, I need to pause." So we’ve talked about a lot of different things slowing down this whole gamification. I love the ball passing back and forth.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: I think it’s a great way to practice. So my challenge… oh, go ahead.

Pete Wright: I just have one more thing I want to add before your challenge. And I think we have actually an interesting opportunity when you look at our, in our community and the multiple times we have to get members of the community together, voice to voice and face to face, the opportunity to think. And probably this is because I think in terms of scatter charts and connected diagrams. And so, I’ll have a conversation topic in mind and there will be five other things that I could talk about that are loosely related and then another level out, and they’re not related at all. And what my brain wants to do is follow the chains, like the Hot Topic chain. Suddenly we’re talking about the stock market and my son’s summer job. The act of practicing going into one of these social engagements and saying to myself, "What is the most important thing that I need to say/" And practice finding awareness in where you’ve jumped to a new topic.

Pete Wright: Sometimes that’s so fluid, you can’t even see it.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: But if you practice thinking about, I’m making a connection here that is loosely and increasingly less related to the topic that I started with, that’s what you practice every day. That’s what you practice in conversations. And I was thinking about Happy Hour, in our Patreon group, we have this face-to-face Happy Hour, what a great opportunity to practice, because one thing we do every time is give us the life update; what’s going on in your life?

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Maybe that’s a way to practice for those who are members to come in and think, "Okay, what is the most important thing that I haven’t talked about since last month? So that I don’t monopolize the conversation because we all ask questions and before you know it, an hour’s gone by and we’ve just focused on one person." Which is sometimes great and organic and awesome, but if you come with something else you want to talk about, sometimes it’s hard.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right. Right. Well absolutely, practice, and you know, something else that I want to add, and I think it’s really important, is that we separate the ADHD symptom from who you are as a person. And so when that shame comes up, I really want people to think, "Okay, that was the ADHD that got Pete thinking about the Hot Topic."

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s not Pete being rude or Pete not caring about what I have to say, or that’s just Pete doing his thing. And you have to. as a person be okay with that, like it is what it is. And, try your hardest not to get down in that shame spiral, because it’s just part of how you’re thinking. And none of these tips are going to make it go away completely. This is not a cure all to this thing. It’s stuff to practice exactly what Pete is saying. And sometimes you’re going to get it right. And sometimes you’re not. And I’m just asking you that you see that as being just an ADHD symptom, it just got in your way that day and be able to recover from that.

Pete Wright: We do run into a lot of people in the community who have a lot of shame around this trait that they know they have and they fight dealing with. But I with you, I don’t necessarily think you want to strive to get rid of it.

Nikki Kinzer: No, no.

Pete Wright: I think you want to be aware of it. It makes you who you are in many, many wonderful circumstances.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, and it can make you so creative and exciting. Yeah, absolutely.

Nikki Kinzer: So my homework for people listening to this, I know we’ve talked a lot. You’re probably going to have to look at the transcript, but what are some things that you want to try and practice and pay attention to? And please let us know, as a person with ADHD, how would you want to be told from someone that maybe this is something to work on, without being offended? And I would love to know what you have to say. And once we have some responses, we’ll share those, we’ll come back to the show and share what people have to say. Because I think, with someone who doesn’t have ADHD, but lives with people with ADHD, I want to know what you have to say. This is really important. I want to know. So please help me, because this is not in the research.

Pete Wright: Right, right. This is awesome. Thank you. Well, thank you Nikki. This was-

Nikki Kinzer: Thank you, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright: Thank you for allowing me my own little tour of my brain and thank you everybody for hanging out with us.

Pete Wright: If you have something to contribute to the conversation, we’re heading over to the show talk channel and the Discord server, you can join us right there by becoming a supporting member at the deluxe level, and it also gets you access to the live stream, which is really, really great. That’s where good stuff happens. And we’ve had such a wonderful energetic group today. It’s fun to reflect on that.

Pete Wright: But thank you all for your time and attention 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.

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.