New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD Adults

Strategies on thinking of what to say before I say it...

So often as of late, my mouth seems to either get me in trouble or make people angry with me..

The older I get, the more reactive I’m becoming about almost anything. I don’t particularly like that about myself sometimes…

I’m an exec assistant who was asked to order lunch for an internal meeting on the other side of the office..towards the end of the day, one of the other admins said she was told that the conf room wasn’t cleaned up. My reaction/response was, “I’m not the cleaning lady.” I was a little nasty about it, but that’s how I felt right at that moment. I could tell she didn’t care for my response because I later saw the office manager with the box of extra sandwiches from the conf room in her hands. She walked passed my desk while I was on the phone. Knowing her, I’m sure she was not pleased.

I do feel bad about seeming like I’m not a team player or looking snobby,  but at the same time, I don’t feel like I should have to clean up after anyone. I can still feel my blood boil even thinking about it.

I mean.. How should I have responded? I don’t know of any other way of saying I don’t feel that I should have to clean up after anyone.

I have a feeling the news has spread about my attitude/response in the office and I want to know if there is a better way to handle what might come up again tomorrow when I’m back in the office.

I don’t want to say something I’ll regret but I do want to stand firm on how I feel. I tend to curse when I can’t seem to express what I really want to say.
I’d like to remain calm and be professional but my emotions can sometimes get the best of me..


This will be the office gossip… I care but then I don’t care at the same time. Story of my life!

Posted by SHJ125 on Aug 05, 2014 at 10:43pm

Caring is good. Standing up for yourself is also good. But there they collided in a result you did not intend. In this present circumstance it would not be amiss to say sorry for the tone and leave it at that.

More generally NVC, Non Violent Communication, teaches us ways of speaking our truths without offence. That may be just the thing you are seeking.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Aug 06, 2014 at 1:54am

Thanks - nervous about not knowing what to expect tomorrow.

Hoping it just goes away and it’s all forgotten. If it doesn’t, I’ll maybe say I was having a bad day.

I still feel people shouldn’t expect to have anyone clean up after them but will pray to keep my attitude in check just in case.

Posted by SHJ125 on Aug 06, 2014 at 2:18am

I am never the cleaner in any office
BUT I do enjoy doing the cleaning because it makes the place more liveable
AND it shames those who do not clean up after themselves.
I also enjoy upsetting the social hierarchies, especially pompous people who think they are better than other people in the workplace.

I used to hang out with a group who were (almost) all from a particular ethnic background.  All nice people but they thought that they were too high up the pecking order to actually clean up, or worse still, be seen to be cleaning up and thereby indicating their lowly status.  I thoroughly enjoyed clearing the tables at a party – they would just keep rearranging the empty plates and glasses as the mess piled up – and making the place more liveable.  When they looked at me blankly, or in a horrified way, I would say “I’m an Australian, so I am allowed to clean up.”  Very few saw the humour, most were confused.

On the other hand—
my family were at a party and my son, a toddler, came up to us and needed his shoe put back on.  My wife and I were both standing with our hands full, so a federal senator we were chatting to knelt down and fixed his shoes.  We like here even more.

I was at a university do of some kind, and after the formal part we relaxed and had nibbles and drinks.  The chairman of the council, an eminent and famous scientist, was behind the bar helping to serve drinks.  His stature was not diminished.

Posted by Bob from Cootamundra on Aug 06, 2014 at 4:02am

Speaking before thinking can certainly cause trouble, especially when your true thoughts and emotional reactions are revealed. There are strategies you can use to help with this:

In every office environment I’ve ever worked it, executive assistants were in charge of the entire meeting, including the clean up. Maybe this is an unspoken part of your job description you aren’t aware of. Clarifying that with your supervisor could be helpful in these situations in the future.

I hope all is well for you at work today.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 06, 2014 at 1:27pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions