One of the hallmarks of my hyperactivity is that, when I get particularly excited about a thought during a conversation with someone else, I tend to just jump right in with it, even if the other person is still in the middle of speaking. Whoops! This leads to hurt feelings and (if you’re talking to a fellow Brain) the other person possibly losing their train of thought, which can be super frustrating.
But luckily, I’ve come up with a pretty decent solution for making my brain wait its turn. I work in a doggie daycare, and we have an on-staff trainer, and I sometimes get to see her in tutoring sessions with the pups. Sometimes our brains really are just big excited puppies, right? One thing she does with her real-life dogs is the “Wait” command. This helps the dog focus in on her instead of whatever’s gotten their attention, and the act of “waiting” until the dog is ready to approach the new exciting thing in a calm, personable way is really good!
Example: Doggo is working with the trainer when a new person comes into the room. NEW PERSON! HELLO! I WANNA SAY HI TO NEW PERSON! YAYYYY! Except bouncing over to the person and leaping up on them to say hello isn’t the best way for a dog to greet someone, right? So the trainer says, “Wait!” to the dog, in a kind, calm voice, and adds, “Watch!” to get the dog to focus on watching her hand for a few seconds. This helps the dog weather the initial storm of the HI HELLO I WANNA GO SAY HI impulse so they can approach the person much more calmly and have a better overall interaction.
So, I’ve adapted this to my conversations! Whenever I’m struck by a SUPER EXCITING thought that I feel must be said NOW, I tell myself, “Wait!” and “Watch!” to help myself wait for the other person to finish, and then “watch” to really hone in on the other person, and to ground myself in the moment, and tune into what they’re saying. Sometimes I lose the thought if I make myself wait, but most of the time it’ll come back to me if I hunt around enough for it. This doesn’t work 100% of the time - it’s much harder if I’m tired or if I’ve had to use the technique a lot during the day already. But it does really help!