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Readers Respond: Saying Things Without Thinking - Share Your Experiences and Tips

Responses: 85


Updated May 04, 2013

Verbally impulsive responses – saying things or blurting out words without thinking through how they may be perceived – are a common symptom of ADHD. Unfortunately, this can create feelings of embarrassment and regret, as one About.com reader has experienced:

“Does anyone seem to say the wrong thing to someone, realize it later, way after it's too late, and then feel stupid about it for days afterward? How do you recover?” --About.com User

Please help others by sharing your experiences, feelings, and tips for dealing with verbal impulsivity.


I am 29 years old and have self diagnosed as ADD. I have been a blurter my entire life. I have been fortunate that a lot of people find me hilarious and some of my flaws to be endearing because I am so up front about them. Not everyone though...there are times when I can convince myself that everyone hates me because a few people can't stand me. The worst is that it seems to be the people that I want to like me the most that I end up running off, because I can't stop interrupting them or blurting out wrong and embarrassing things. This leads to long bouts with depression and the desire for isolation. Once I have been around someone long enough, I eventually relax and the blurting minimizes. I struggle with losing me temper and blurting out things that cause me to lose relationships, and sadly jobs before. I feel like it's hopeless sometimes and that I will always be single. My dad and grandmother are the same way. I recently started medication, but the side effects suck!
—Guest America's most hated

Mom of son with ADHD 9 yrs old.

I feel terrible, my son went into a fit about not having friends & being rejected all day long on his first day of camp, but he kept ramping up, so much that nothing I said to comfort him worked. He just kept yelling & then I started to yell at him & I said some things I regret. I have been his advocate since the day he was born, I love him more than I love anyone in the world but it is SO DIFFICULT to deal with sometimes. I feel for you all, it's terrible to feel the odd man out all the time. I was a "weird" kid myself, very introverted, didn't make friends easily, had a hard time fitting in with the rest of the crowd. I used to go to the library instead of lunch just to not have to face the embarrassment of sitting alone. I have dyscalculia and was called stupid by teachers in elementary school but I don't know how to help my own son not take these things to heart. I am a good mom, just exhausted sometimes.
—Guest adhdmom

Haten it

People think Im crazy. The things I say out of no where. It makes sense to me at the time but afterwards I'm like, "Why did I just say that" I've been diagnosed with ADD but the meds I've tried either make me feel like I'm getting the flu or they affect my acid reflux. I need to go on something. It's so embarrassing. It's bad when you have a child shaking their head like your crazy because of something you said. I think I'm getting worse as I get older. I'm 49 years old.
—Guest Melinda

I blurt sooo much of the time!

I have known since I was about 24, that I have ADD-- I answered 100 "questions" and I only got about 5 "correct!" I have more than ADD, though, I also am "in my head" too often. My dad told me, when I was around 7: think about what you're going to say, from beginning to end, and then say it! Did his telling me that help anything at all?! NO! And like some of the other posts here, I'm afraid I'm going to lose THE most terrific guy! He keeps forgiving me, but dang it, he has his limits!

The dog house

I am a 26 y/o male who has been treated for add for 5 years. I used to always say random and offensive things in social situations with out thinking for shock value. Now I am in a serious relationship and random stuff always runs through my head and I blurt it out with out thinking. The problem is when I tell my girlfriend that I was joking and it was a stupid thing to joke about it is too late. She believes the joke over the truth and I am back in the dog house.
—Guest Kevin

I can relate to lefty

Wow its so crazy my issue sounds identical. I was once told I may be ADHD but I refuse to buy that partly because i have a medical issues and I feel like i am pretty undesirable now when people learn of my issues so I try and hide as much as I can. I dont want to continue not saying want I mean. I want to clearly express myself right. In my professional life I get the same type of compliments but that where it ends. My fiance always thinks I'm not telling the truth when I am or accuses me of being silly or childish ever time I open my mouth which leaves me dazed and confused most of the time and when I try to correct myself I end up getting yelled at.
—Guest butaphlie

It all seems to fit

I said something really stupid to my sister this morning thinking she would get it and she got so embarrassed and hurt. I spent the next 20 minutes saying sorry and telling her that I know I need to think before I speak. I have always been a happy person, but so many times I find myself in situations where I need to be the dominant one in the conversation, and other times where I say things that don't make sense and hurt other people. I feel like I do these things because I need to be in control. I try to understand why and work on it but I always go back to this behavior eventually.
—Guest guest RNL


I don't even understand it myself why I tease many times insensitively. I guess first I think the person will know that I mean no harm no matter what. Then somehow my thought is that they will notice wisdom in the joke. (NOT) Don't know why I even think that. Then I assume they will get over it if they are kind. It usually doesn't cross my mind that what I said may have sounded like a personal attack. So now I guess I'm wondering are there guidelines written for how to know when you are crossing lines?


I don't even understand it myself why I tease many times insensitively. I guess first I think the person will know that I mean no harm no matter what. Then somehow my thought is that they will notice wisdom in the joke. (NOT). Don't know why I even think that. Then I assume they will get over it if they are kind. It usually doesn't cross my mind that what I said may have sounded like a personal attack. So now I guess I'm wondering if there are guidelines written for how to know when you are crossing lines?

Response To Ashley

Ashley, I feel exactly as you described. My behavior is identical and has been for 39 years. I hate myself right now because I do a lot of good things that can be undone in a second by the words I utter.
—Guest scott

Thank God for my meds!

Before I started on Adderall, I was a mess. The medication, most of the time, helps me to reign in any impulsive remarks before I blurt one out. I'm 50, have been on Adderall for 4 years and just recently noticed some of the past behaviors re-emerging even while on medication. After doing some research, I believe that menopause (including pre and post) can cause the symptoms to return with a vengeance due to low estrogen levels. I have not yet discussed the estrogen issue with my doctor. I strongly recommend doing so before changing any part of your treatment plan.
—Guest Liz

I dont know whats wrong with me

I'm 44 years old and all my life I been told that i have no filter. Out of nowhere I'll belch out curse words and people ask what's wrong. I reply with I forgot this or that but in my mind I'm thinking of something I said or did in the past that was inappropriate. At parties I do dominate and take over. I am funny but i don't know when to stop or what not to say. Everything is game it doesn't matter if I am at a funeral or telling my mother something that is not appropriate. I have alienated myself from every one. I have never been diagnosed with anything, because I havent gone to a doctor. I feel there are a couple things wrong with me. I dont know where to start. The belching out words is one, and not having a filter is another. After reading all your stories I believe I fit this. Who do I go to? Where do I start? Thanks everyone for sharing.
—Guest Angel

I didn't mean to...

There are times where I will get worked up over something so trivial and blurt out what i'm thinking without a single thought of what my boyfriend might feel about it. It sucks because every time I do this it always leads me feeling like I'm always doing something wrong. ADHD runs in my family and I always get the feeling that I have a little bit of it in me, but the more and more I listen and observe myself I find it may be that I really do have it.
—Guest Troublemaker


Oh yeah, recognize this one. Not sure if I've got ADD or not, even though experts have played with the possibility in the past. I do tend to talk on the autopilot though, I just keep on japping, without putting a second of thought into it. Most of the time this leads to decent - if not a bit shallow conversation - but sometimes, I blurt out complete nonsense. I also suffer from what appears to be self inflicted brain fog, which does quite the opposite to me. Everything I say has a lot of thought put into it, even though thinking is hard.
—Guest Igor


I tend to talk a lot. And, from time to time, while I am in general a 'good conversationalist' but I screw up, obviously. Screwed up today and insulted my best friend and colleague hands down. That's when I remember, I need to think and shut up a little more, but I never do. I never do.
—Guest Aaron
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