The Top Ten . . . Stupid Questions from the ADD clue-free

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another post in the Walking A Mile in Another’s Shoes Series

Stupid questions are those I find impossible to answer at all because the truthful response would be unkind, A graphic of a fat question mark in several tones of gray
and I really do try my darndest not to be

(to my own detriment, more’s the pity!)

For the record . . .

Any time anybody asks questions like the ones below, I always need to stifle a response something along the lines of the following:

  • “Is that a real question or yet another indictment with a question mark at the end of it?”
  • “If you have to ask the question you’ll never understand the answer.”
  • “What part of ‘ADD Poster Girl’ don’t you GET?”

BTW – the questions below were actually put to me in words very close to what you see here.
(You KNOW who you are – and I still love you anyway!)

  1. Do you have to talk to yourself when you do things?
  2. Did you ever think about putting your keys on a hook by the door?
  3. Is there a reason you left the car lights on and the door open?
  4. When are you gonna’ learn to turn the lights off when you leave the room?
  5. HOW can a grown woman misplace a full coffee cup four times in one morning?
  6. Well, how much longer do you think you’ll be?
  7. To figure the tip all you have to do is double the tax — how hard is that?
  8. You’re not going to leave the Christmas Tree up all year, are you?
  9. How can you spend FOUR hours grocery shopping?  What do you DO in there?
  10. And my VERY favorite stupid question of all time: WHY ARE YOU LATE?

If you ARE one of those ADD clue-free folk
(and don’t want to be)

Grab your ADDer and read the list above, using whatever tone of voice you would use if you were inspired to ask the very same question. (Tell them it’s an internet list first so they don’t think you’re “scolding” THEM)

Chuckle along, even if you don’t GET what’s so funny — then ask for their feedback about some of the ones they found the funniest.

  • YOU pick – one or two of the ones they laughed at.  
  • If you ask them to choose, you’ve just shot the conversation in the foot!

If you listen with the goal of understanding how things work in their hearts, brains and bodies, it might turn out to be the BEST conversation you’ve ever had with them!

Turn-about is Fair Play

By the way – once THEY’VE felt heard and accepted, then (and only then), you can turn the tables.  Gently.

  • START by acknowledging that you really appreciated hearing how it is for them.
  • THEN you can add how it is for you – lightly – laughing as you explain the reasons why you say some of the things you say.
  • Cap it off by SAYING that you never intended to hurt their feelings or make them feel stupid – apologize and ask them to forgive you, and WAIT . . . FOR . . .  IT. . . .
  • Whatever you do, don’t brush off their “forgiveness,” especially if it’s the “mumbled” kind.  Forgiveness is a gift that ADDers give easily and LOVE to give. V-e-r-y healing for both parties.

PRESTO CHANGE-O.  You will have taken a HUGE step toward the relationship of both your dreams.  Don’t stop now!


YOU PLAY TOO: Once you’ve read “About the Top Tens” (or even if you haven’t), use the comments section below to keep adding to this list. Make sure you ADD something – don’t “ditto” — and don’t invalidate anyone else’s world view, please.

ALSO, don’t get hooked on the “TOP” Ten part – whatever pops into your brain probably qualifies.

As always,
if you want notification of new articles – in the Top Ten or Walking a Mile Series, or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) STRICT No Spam Policy

HOWEVER you do it, stay tuned — there’s A LOT here already, and a lot more to come.
Get it here, while its still free for the taking!

If you’d like some one-on-one (couples or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this post (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end, or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

Related Content here on

ADD perspective in a humorous vein

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

6 Responses to The Top Ten . . . Stupid Questions from the ADD clue-free

  1. Pingback: Not Ready for Prime Time - ADD Coach

  2. annie ellerbusch says:

    “Why can’t you just keep your mind on what you are doing?” (this is a classic)

    uh huh. yes, that does seem to be the gist of the problem now doesn’t it, how very astute of you

    however, since YOU seem to be paying so much attention to what i am doing
    maybe that would just be redundant


  3. Shelley says:

    I just don’t understand why it’s so hard for you to remember to flush the toilet?


    • LOL – there was actually a time when “somebody” couldn’t do it reliably at my house – REALLY odd since I had just moved in and was the only one living there.

      After FINALLY remembering to pay attention to what was going on at the end of this normally automatic task, I figured it out: one of the toilets was “backwards” for some crazy reason. The flush handle was on the opposite side of the tank from all the others in the house AND from any others I’d had in any house I’d ever lived in. Apparently this little glitch, coupled with the distractions of how MUCH I had to do to get settled in, coupled with a ringing telephone (next client!) and the short-term memory deficits common with ADD, left me totally perplexed when “somebody” failed to flush yet again. I’m happy to report I eventually re-built the habit! (really demonstrates how important kinesthic auto-pilot is to follow-through, doesn’t it?)

      Now in my current apartment, I have to stay and WATCH (QUITE the toleration!) Those darned “low-flow” toilets make it impossible to simply flush and go. Sometimes I have to flush three times to get the TP to go down. Coupled, however, with how darned long it takes the hot water to make it to the sink and how much I hate washing my hands in cold water, I’m usually still in the bathroom for two of the three. (So much for saving water and money, huh?)

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


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