Top 10 Things NOT to Say (if you want to stay alive)

Monday Grumpy Monday Series headerIf LOOKs Could Kill

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

The Death-Ray Look

Source HERE

We’ve all seen it. Some of us are shooters and some get shot.

Most of us learned to recognize THE LOOK in childhood. 

We saw it primarily in public, most of us — whenever Mom believed that a comment expressing her extreme disapproval would be inappropriate.

At home, it tended to be a warning: last chance to stop what you are doing before consequences are levied.

Spouses and partners frequently shoot each other “LOOKs” when others are around.

Charge Neutral

Comprehensive coach training teaches the “charge-neutral” skill: expressing a thought without attachment to personal opinion that might color a comment in a fashion that would make it difficult for the listener to hearMost important, in the coaching world, is the development of a style of expression that avoids make wrong.

Make-wrong is a term used in the coaching community to refer to judgments that might as well be saying, “Anybody sane knows there is a right and a wrong way to do life, and this communication identifies an item on THE unacceptable list” (in contrast to one’s personal unacceptable list).

But make-wrong is more than a linguistic concept.  It covers communications in all forms, a concept of come-from.

Struggles of the Past

As a coach who tends to be an open-faced sandwich, I’ve spent most of my life valiantly attempting to keep a particular expression off my face that would give away what I’m thinking, without a doubt the essence of make-wrong:

“What, are you brain dead?!”

My clients, whether neuro-diverse or “vanilla” are never the ones who inspire that thought. Many members of the so-called neurotypical world inspire it frequently.

I’m not talking about expressions of curiosity or thoughts expressed through dialogue: legitimate questions, misunderstandings, differences of opinion or misguided conclusions. I’m talking about comments born of intractable ignorance.

Way beyond Grumpy, intractable ignorance makes me FURIOUS.


As I slip, kicking and screaming, into the twilight of my life, I’m thinking a lot about where I spend my energies. 

At my Grumpiest on Mondays, it frequently seems to have been a waste of time to continue to turn the other cheek: to attempt to extend kindness and respect to those who still haven’t extended it themselves.

Source HERE

It’s simply a matter of time before I decide to spend the rest of my life retraining myself to fire verbal salvos at individuals who make the comments like the following, with no consideration of the feelings of those about whom they speak – or to how those comments land with me.

So watch your language, world. Below are ONLY ten comments that will eventually get a-whole-lot-more than THE LOOK from me, as time marches on.

My retorts (below) are are my way to to clear the record with anyone who uttered the following statements in my presence, back when my response gave little indication of how I really felt when you said them.


Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar for a reminder
of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

And NOW for the list
(in no particular order – they are ALL equally obnoxious!)

1starI Don’t Believe in ADD [ADHD]

Yeah. Well, I don’t believe that the world is populated by idiots either – yet here you are.

2star 1ADD [ADHD] is simply an excuse for bad behavior.

Really?  And what’s YOUR excuse?

3star_1Accommodations aren’t fair to the rest of the population.

Gosh, I’m so sorry that you can’t continue to have the advantage of a playing field that is no where NEAR level. Maybe those unfair accommodations will help you develop a bit of empathy – which you are obviously lacking.

4star 1Everybody gets depressed sometimes – if they’d stop focusing on it they’d probably snap out of it.

Everybody says something stupid sometimes, too.  If you’d do a little research you’d probably snap out of your ignorance.  Maybe. By the way, there is a huge difference between “being depressed” and depression.  Look it up.

5starIt’s a belief. Change your thoughts – change your reality.

I want you to know that YOUR belief that you possess the secret to managing mental health is flat out wrong and that I don’t want to hear that belief out of your mouth another time.

6star 1Thought manifests: you just need to think positively

I AM thinking positively.  I’m positive that you were half asleep in the class where you picked up that little tidbit — and that it makes you appear ignorant and insensitive to repeat it in this context.

7starEverybody has problems – I’m tired of the pity-parties.

That’s true – but only some of us work on them. Step one is getting in touch with the problem – let me know how you feel when you get in touch with how mean you are.

8star 1Popping a pill is taking the easy way out.

WOW – I had no idea you were enrolled in med school.  Obviously you haven’t taken psychopharmacology yet.  Until you have, if you wouldn’t say it about someone taking medication for cancer (or diabetes), don’t offer your opinion on mental health medication – it makes you look stupid.

9starThere’s nothing wrong with that kid that strong parental discipline wouldn’t fix.

Your parents beat that closed mindedness right out of you, huh?


Psychotropic medications are dangerous, unnecessary, and on the rise due to the marketing efforts of the pharmaceutical industry. 

Where do you get your information — the National Inquirer?

If that’s truly your belief, there’s not enough time in my life to counter your opinion with facts.  How ’bout you take some time to do some reading of primary sources before speaking to me again.  Anyway, gotta’ run; I’ve got more important things to do than entertain idiocy.

A bit harsh, you say?

Just in case you are thinking I’m over-reacting, check out a more recent article from Autism/Aspergers advocate Laina Eartharcher:

15 More things not to say (or do) to an (this) Asperger’s / autistic person

If you’re still not convinced, read the comments.

Those of you in the mood for more from me might enjoy my response to a TRULY ignorant YouTube video from supposed education guru,
Sir Ken Robinson:
RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms INDEED!
Clever but seriously flawed

What’s my Beef with Sir Ken Robinson?


Let’s hear it from YOU

What makes YOU crazy – and how would you like to have responded?

I invite you to dump YOUR Monday grumps and gripes
in the comment section below each of my own – related or NOT.

As long as you don’t make individual people wrong, and do your best to avoid the dreaded “should” word, I will approve all comers (link-spammers shot on sight, however).

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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

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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!"

7 Responses to Top 10 Things NOT to Say (if you want to stay alive)

  1. Pingback: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Hey Madelyn,

    I just linked our readers over to you here and would love to connect on a more personal level to set up an interview and discuss things like this in more detail. Perhaps in its own piece on the site. Keep doing great things. I love this information! So many great points I know myself and our readers can relate to!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: STOP Judging Purse-dogs! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. Glen Hogard says:

    “Moderation is for cowards” glen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glen Hogard says:

    OMG Madelyn! How wonderfully funny this post is to read. I really did have to stop after the first one on the list to allow myself to stop laughing out-loud and be able to read the next nine examples.

    It reminds me of some ADHD book I read early after DX which said: “we tolerate fools poorly.” It reminds me of Thom Hartmann’s chat room where there are usually one or two trolls who seem to exhibit “willful ignorance” as if the truth was some sort of communicable disease they’d rather not get.

    You are the Encyclopedia Britannica of ADHD wisdom viewed from the inside, and the web world of ADHD would be much poorer without you. Much love from your humble student/servant, Glen

    Liked by 1 person

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