The Top Ten . . . Things we wish YOU’d stop doing!

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

Dear and wonderful non-ADD friends and associates –

Color graphic of a stop sign

We know what drives you crazy — really!
We’ve heard about it all our lives.

Even though we don’t do it on purpose,
we’re really sorry,
and we’ll keep workin’ on it.

HOWEVER,  I’ll bet you never realized that some of the things you do and say make it practically impossible for us to give you the very things you say you need to keep you from going crazy.

Did you?

I’ll double the bet that you had no idea that there was
much of anything that YOU do that drives US crazy!

At the risk of being benched by the ADD team, I’m going to let you in on just a few of the things never said to anyone outside our tight-knit ADD circle.  

Don’t shoot the messenger!


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Ten Things YOU Do that we wish you’d STOP

1.  Attempting to rush us

Do you think we’re intentionally dragging our feet like second grade kids
trying to avoid going to school?

Why else would you think hurrying us along would be necessary?

I promise you, it’s a major annoyance, no matter how nicely you try
to do it — and the periodic distractions (along with the pressure)
s-l-o-w-s us down!

Related post: ABOUT Distractions

2. Using that “reasonable” tone of voice after an oops on our part
like you think you have to talk slowly and carefully to the not-quite-bright

And while we’re on the subject: it’s an oops – we didn’t do it on purpose,
so please don’t speak to us as if we did (in any tone of voice)

3. Yelling at us in the morning – we’re sluggish, not deaf!

Too much stimulation in the wake-up window shuts us down –probably the exact opposite of what you’re hoping will happen when you “raise your voice.”

On my honor — we already KNOW how important it is to get-a-MOVE-on! — and we really don’t need to be reminded that our breakfast is getting cold.

Just attach us to the coffee-drip and leave us to transition softly.

4. Saying yes and doing NO – and making it our fault

We count on your follow-through in our planning.
If you can’t, you can’t.  But don’t expect OUR result without yours.

We have a tough enough time when everything goes as expected!

By the way – when we point to an example of your failure to
follow-through negatively impacting our ABILITY to do so,
we are EXPLAINING, not blaming.  

We’re FRUSTRATED, not mad at you.
We’re DEFENDING, not attacking. 

So try not to get your shorts in a knot, ok?  It’s confusing, it doesn’t help,
and it makes us wonder what’s up with YOU.  We don’t automatically
think you did it on purpose – so it doesn’t occur to us to BLAME you.

If you DID do it on purpose – that’s truly slimy.
Stop it immediately, whatever your reason!!

5. Starting sentences with “It’s just . . .”  and “It’s ONLY . . .”
with that  “But it’s so simple” tone of voice.

If it were simple, don’t you think we’d have done it?
(unless, of course, you DO think we’re lazy, stupid or crazy!)


6. Filibustering

If you don’t want us to interrupt, give us a chance to
respond to Point One before you go on to the rest.

(Ditto, point Two, etc., right?)

7. Showing up EARLY!

Hey, guys, early is the part you can control!
If you’re early, stay in your car, take a walk or relax on the porch.
Don’t knock, don’t ring, and for heaven’s sake do NOT try to look in the window!

We are frantically trying not to be late.  
Don’t interrupt the process!  Please.

8. Calling from your mobile on your way to meet us.

Unless you are lost and DESPERATELY need directions
or are much more than 30 minutes late 
see points 7 and 1.

If you’re just a little late, we don’t care, we didn’t notice,
and we don’t want an interruption to talk about it, ok?

We can’t get ready AND talk to you
about whether or not we are ready.

Get it?


9. Pushing your way as THE way

Let’s think logically for a minute — do you really think, as different as we are,
that anything that works well for you would actually be EASIER for us?

One size never fits anybody very well.
You wear your size and allow us to wear ours.

10.  Making what we don’t do well more important than what we DO!

Please stop speaking to us as if ALL we are is a gigantic toleration.

• Most people have gifts and talents that make them worth putting up with.
• Most people have little quirks we wish they’d lose.
• ADD/EFDers have double-helpings of both.

Tell us everything you LIKE about us FIRST.
(If you start there, you might not get to part 2)


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 your take on it – don’t simply type “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 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 article (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!)

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From the Walking A Mile in Another’s Shoes Series of Articles


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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!"

10 Responses to The Top Ten . . . Things we wish YOU’d stop doing!

  1. Pingback: Predicting Time to Manage Tasks | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Cherie Avery says:

    OMG. #8 on your list made my day. I HATE it when people call me on the way to meeting me. You described my experience perfectly. My additions to the things not to do to us ADDers.

    11. Trying to fix us. “Oh, you should do…”, “Have you tried (whatever supplement)?”, “Here. Read this book. This is what you need to do…”. ADD is not one-size fits all & talking to me like you’ve found the “magical cure” for my “problem” makes me feel like a pariah and like you don’t understand my struggles. I’m working on it.

    If you found something that looks like it could have useful information, send me a link saying, “Found this. Thought of you. Is this a good description of what you experience?” Clearly, trying to understand me rather than trying to fix me.

    12. Blaming any behavior you don’t like (in anyone) on ADD. I get it. I have ADD & that means I don’t operate the same way you do and that frustrates you. But, when you treat me like a label “ADD” then continue to use that label for anything bad, I hear “I am ADD and ADD is a bad thing, so I am a bad thing.”

    Well, that makes me want to say, “Nyah, nyah, nyah. I have ADD so my mind is always the most entertaining place around. You’re stuck with a linear mind. How boring is it in there? hahaha!” (I don’t. But I want to.)

    13. Ignore my ADD. Don’t act like it’s an embarrassing thing that we should never talk about. Don’t change the subject when I bring it up and am trying to brainstorm some coping strategies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are GREAT! That “fixing” thing is almost as annoying as the “blaming” thing (#12).

      #13 is just plain sad (and happens WAY too often) It’s hard to believe that people who claim to care for us would shove our needs and feelings under the bus as often as they do, huh?

      Thanks so much for stopping by – and *especially* for taking the time to comment.



  3. bigcommerce says:

    Excellent blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these
    days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. banana health says:

    You can also follow the popular banana diet, which entails eating a raw banana and drinking room temperature water for breakfast.

    When following a banana diet, you should limit your meals to lunch, dinner and a mid-afternoon snack. Regardless of the sometimes popular name of “banana miracle diet,” the banana diet is not a miracle or some magical silver bullet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Darn – I wish this comment had been at the end of one of the “favorite things” articles like The Top Ten Things I wouldn’t want to Live Without [<=== link] – but since it was posted here, I'll respond here. I'm thrilled to find comments ANYWHERE on the blog, btw.

      About Diets to Lose Weight
      Usually thin, I gained 25 pounds (years ago, in my 30s) through a Prozac trial – back with the “first” wave of ADDult dx, when they wouldn’t “let” you move on to “those dangerous stims” until you had moved through all the anti-anxiety and anti-depression meds

      Prozac was brand new, and nobody listened to my reports of weight GAIN, since those in the trial experienced it’s opposite. – ANOTHER promo for the importance of Listening from Belief [<=== link]

      I knew that if I let that weight stay, I'd end up in a body that I wouldn't recognize as ME, ultimately, so I was determined to get it ALL off! Losing those 25 measly pounds took concentrated attention for 3 solid YEARS, where it seems that I tried everything — to no avail.

      Until I tried an oddball 10-day all-fruit diet (ONLY one specific fruit each day – all you wanted, seeds and all) — nothing much seems to work. I have long since forgotten which fruits or the order – except for pineapple (which I don't like and gives me mouth ulcers) and watermelon , which I ADORE! Like I said, I was willing to try practically anything.

      If memory serves, the scale FINALLY moved down 10 pounds by the end of this diet, at which point my body FINALLY began to respond to a more balanced approach, at about a pound a month.

      I DO want to underscore that these "odd" diets are best used as jump-starts to a more balanced approach, however. It would not be healthy (and probably impossible) to live on them for long.

      Keep coming back.



  5. Rudy Gillen says:

    yay”posting from my smart phone just got it a few days ago and still
    learning it it has an online manual but trying to get into my account argg next
    going to try logging into bloggr and posting there. They give
    you reviews and show you what type of food they serve.

    Owning a Blackberry does not have to be a hassle, especially when it comes to setting email alerts.


    • Thrilled you love your new phone – AND, in the future, I will only be approving comments that relate to the article they are posted below (unless you are a frequent commenter – mistakes happen!). That is the policy on most serious article blogs to avoid link-spam and one I must adopt (sadly) because of so much spam.

      So make sure you post your comments in the right place, okay?



  6. mysterycoach says:

    LOL 🙂 This is really good. I’ve mastered time. I set a timer in the morning at a certain point and give myself time to goof off. 🙂 You have a very nice site here … excellent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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