View Full Version : Verbal Impulse Control

01-28-14, 01:46 PM
Hi all! I'm new here. :)

I have a question about verbal control. As in, censoring yourself verbally. I tend to say whatever comes to my mind whenever it hits without thinking it through. This is both a merit and a curse. The good thing about it is that, with my quick wit and dry humor I get a lot of good jokes in. The bad thing is I tend to say things that are quite hurtful without realizing it. This is especially a problem with my sister because she is bipolar and very sensitive, whereas I am a bit apathetic and hard to offend personally, so usually I'll think if it wouldn't offend me then it won't offend her (or anyone else). This causes a lot of fights and issues in our house (I live with her and her husband) and I'm just wondering if anyone has found a way to stop themselves and think their words through before they speak? I would really appreciate some help here. :(

01-28-14, 02:16 PM
One proven technique is meditation. Not that you meditate while talking, but long experience with meditation gives you a few extra hundredths of a second where it really counts, that moment right when you're opening your mouth. Becoming "a more thoughtful person in general" doesn't act directly on this problem.

"Mindfulness" is an offshoot of meditation, also worth investigating. With both mindfulness and meditation in general, it matters very much who you learn from. Lots of people benefit from these techniques, and lots of thoughtful generous people who happen to be terrible teachers then try to teach the techniques to others. Finding an instructor who really knows what they're doing is important. Printed qualifications are not always important - their skill at getting across to you how this is really done is what counts.

If you have ADHD and are currently un-medicated, that can also make a huge difference.

01-28-14, 02:35 PM
YOu know how when you go to talk, especialy if it's gpoing to be a long sentence you start by taking in a deep breath?
Well during that breath I quickly consider, as best possible, any repricussions that may occur because of what I'm about to say. Then I may pause a moment before I say it, or I change what I was going to say.

Here is why that works for me;
If I just wait and think about it, someone else may say something or the person may add to what they said or asked me, and then I forget what I was going to say and that drives me straight up the wall.

When I pause and take in the deep breath, everyone watching can see that I'm about to say something so they pause, and it gives me a few extra seconds to think before I speak.

I am notorious for sticking my foot in my mouth.
However, the really true method is through trial and error and remembering how I hurt someone in the past. That really helps me to stop and think before I speak because I really hate hurting someone's feelings!

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!"

01-28-14, 03:48 PM
Don't know about you, but I always have less control of what I say when I'm emotionally charged. So I try to regulate my emotions when I have to be careful about what I say. I take a deep breathe and relax before speaking.

If the topic we're discussing is too interesting - I change it. If it's upsetting - I change it before I feel the impacts. If we're in a group setting, I try to let others speak for a while if I start feeling compulsed to talk and sit back, breathe, and relax.

I find excuses to step away for just a moment if I can though that's harder.

Really though, what helps me the most is meds. I wonder if your current meds are working well enough for you though of course meds often can't solve all problems.

01-28-14, 04:25 PM
High emotions, yes... or high energy in a hyperactive kind of way also does it. The regrettable remarks that come from hyperactive high energy are the ones that medication controls most easily. Medication also gives more ability to stay focused during high emotion.

01-28-14, 06:29 PM
Thanks you guys! A lot of good advice. I should probably note that I actually just started on medication (ritalin and prozac), so hopefully I will see more of a result within a short while. :)