YOUR TIME, YOUR HOME, YOUR LIFE
SUMMER 2017 >> ADDitude 27
AS ADULTS WITH ADHD, WE; sometimes sabotage our best intentions when we compensate
for weakness in follow-through by
nagging ourselves, or playing back the
nagging words of others.
E;ither way, these negative, energy-draining messages usually begin
with “I should have…” or “My mother
says I ought to….” It’s best not to
“should” on yourself, but if you do, take
a moment to examine the facts.
Shoulds and oughts come from a
place that does not create incentive.
It’s a bit like dragging ourselves to
complete a task with a chain around
our neck. It’s not going to work.
When we catch ourselves thinking of
a should, it may help to pause and ask
why we should. If the matter in question
is a legal, health, or safety issue (as in,
I ought to renew my driver’s license, or I
ought to clear the skateboard away from
the stairs), once considered, we might
jump past “I should” and go right to
red alert: Do it now!
If it is “I should send Aunt E;mma
a thank-you note for the set of dish-
towels,” we might ask, “According to
whom?” When it comes to social nicety,
it’s usually OK to keep it simple. While
a card with a handwritten note might
be what Miss Manners would suggest,
timely follow-through may be better
served with an email or phone call.
When we are up to our knees
in clutter, “shoulding” on
ourselves for letting it get to
that point usually makes
matters worse by calling up
should’s wicked stepmother,
shame. Get out of that
thinking quickly. Humor
always helps: “Yes, and I
should also figure how to
bring about world peace!”
—BRE T T HARRINGTON
It’s difficult to be an adult woman whose brain
doesn’t want to “adult.” —WE HEAR YOU,; PAGE 29
28 GOOD HABITS 29 WE HEAR YOU 31 M Y STORY
I CAN’T HEAR YOU
Take a Stand on Shoulds
Stop playing back the nagging words of others.