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EmailHave you received an e-mail and immediately typed a stinging reply and without checking - pushed the Send button? When you have calmed down, you realise... oops!

When you re-read the e-mail later, you find you have totally misunderstood the context and have now made a complete idiot of yourself. Once it has gone there is no taking it back.It's like you can't unsee something.

OhNoOh the abject humiliation.

Impulsivity is one of the biggest dangers of having ADHD. We react without thinking whether it is in conversation or the written word.

My impulsivity has got me into a lot of trouble of the years and one of the biggest lessons I have had to learn is to read, re-read 2 or 3 or 4 times, then think about it, draft a reply, if necessary get someone else to read it, sleep on it, think about it some more, edit it heavily and finally send a reply.

Because ADDers are so self absorbed we immediately take everything very personally. It doesn't occur to us that the person who has sent the e-mail lacks communication skills, maybe having a bad day themselves or has also mis-understood the context.

We mis-read body language and forget to observe cultural differences, bouncing in and hugging where a formal bow is appropriate. We don't notice that a group is having a private conversation and maybe our presence isn't required at that point. A good South African expression is that we ""pick up stompies"" and immediately give our unwanted and ill considered opinion. There is a good reason we have one mouth and 2 eyes. Listen twice as much as we speak - torture for ADDers I know.

For those who are studying our impulsivity can mean the diffence between passing and failing.

We speed read the page we are meant to be studying and immediately draw conclusions about the topic. If we are reasonably diligent we will even make a few notes but often based on incorrect assumptions.

When it comes to exams we are so eager to get started that we read the questions once and start writing immediately. We can write pages for a question that is for 5 marks. Usually it is a whole lot of waffle based on a movie playing in our head. When we come out of the exam room we are feeling super confident that we have aced the exam and then the disappointment at failing. We do not understand why. In multiple choice questions we miss a critical word especially if they are trick questions. We answer ""yes"" when the answer should be ""no"" because we haven't read the question correctly.


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