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It’s a running joke that when people ask me to repeat something I said, I often forget what I said.
In fact, I usually forget what I’m saying as I’m saying it. When I was assessed and diagnosed with ADHD, and dyslexia, my working memory was measured in the 3rd percentile.
There seems to be just enough room to think of what I want to say, and remember it long enough to say it.
Then it’s ejected, and replaced by the next thought or statement.
Much of what I write is created with ideas that show up a bit at a time. It’s not uncommon for me to write a thought, then scroll a bit or start reading an article, then in pops the next idea for the article I’m writing.
I have a program called Otter.ai that could actually transcribe conversations in real time.
I can see it now, me meeting up with a friend, and whipping out my phone. Only to fire up the app to help remind me what the heck we’re talking about.
Just ask my clients how often, and how quickly I lose my place in a conversation. They’re used to me asking, “What was your original question?” Or, “What were we talking about just now?”
I find my memory improves when I focus on being as calm as possible. I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to do this. Thank you meditation and mindfulness.
I’ve taken to making notes of things I want to say, ask and so on. I’m frank with people about what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.
They’re totally okay with it, because it shows them I’m invested in the conversation, that I care about listening well, and being conscientious of how I respond.
Not allowing myself this accommodation is tantamount to self-harm. Like choosing to walk when I honestly need my wheelchair.
Sure I can do it, but it makes getting from here to there much harder, and with significantly more stumbles.
It simply makes sense to use what you must to become more effective at connecting with the people you care about.
Effective communication begins with learning to listen to yourself.