Adults with ADHD or ADD often experience challenges in their social interactions at work and at home.  Below are some strategies to help with impulsivity and listening skills.

Strategies for Filtering What You Say & Breaking the Cycle of Impulsivity

  • Before you speak, take a deep breath.
  • If you’re in a meeting, write down what you’re going to say, before you say it.  Read it to make sure you should say it.
  • Squeeze a ball or use an object to fidget with.
  • Put your hand over your mouth lightly to remind yourself not to speak or to think before you speak.
  • Before you speak, think about your goal for what you are saying.
  • Watch others and see how they are reacting and adjust your actions and words accordingly.
  • Have a friend give you a hidden signal when you are talking impulsively.
  • Build an environment that inhibits your impulsivity.

Overall Strategies

  • Exercise daily.
  • Eat a diet high in protein and low in sugar.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Do calming activities regularly (especially at the beginning of your day or before a situation in which being impulsive will be detrimental):  meditation, listening to calming music, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, deep breathing

Listening Strategies

  • Face the person.
  • Look at the person’s mouth.
  • Look at the person’s face.
  • Get rid of distractions (e.g., visual distractions, noise).
  • Summarize what the person has said and check for understanding.
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