S4 E21 - 3:31:22, 12.36 PM
4:39PM Mar 31, 2022
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hey everyone welcome to yet another episode of the all the things ADHD podcast.
Oh, God thinks all the things oh the things
oh I was gonna do at your clock there and then thought better of it because we're anyway. Microphones and stuff. Yeah. I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette
Yes she is. I am sorry most days and I am a different co host. You may remember me from such podcasts as this one in my name is Amy Morrison. She is ready writing on Twitter. I am. Did you walk on Twitter and you are here with us today?
Are we with Walter Cronkite and William Shatner in this like? Well, I
got the glasses on. Oh, okay. very, like, I need some brutal cream. And like possibly a lit cigarette beside me as I read the news to a national audience.
Yeah. It's pretty sweet.
Thank you. This Justin, we are distracted already.
You're at 1111 by our own faces, we are distracted already by our own faces. Oh, true. horrible cases can be distracting is very true. So we are actually going to topic Today's episode is was requested by a listener in ERISA. Thank you. She is one of the longtime listener. First time finally remember to email you. And she asks, get big shout out to all y'all again. Um, she asked about receiving feedback. We've talked a lot about you know, or I have around RSD around the difficulties that we have in in hearing and processing feedback. So how do we do it because she she had a particular situation where she received feedback from her roommate and reacted poorly.
Yeah. This one really stuck with me. First of all, that an ERISA bless felt personally called out by are on Guam last week that said, we had a shout out for all the listeners who've been really meaning to email us, but haven't just like yeah, okay. All right. All right, you got it. Now, it's been wrote to us great. And this also stuck with me because the example that she shared was very similar to one that I had shared last week, which was that my husband was upset that I had not gone to get the groceries, and I had a complete psychological meltdown. So that was some fairly straightforward feedback. Amy, we don't have any milk, and it's your job to go grocery shopping. I reminded you yesterday. And I reminded you this morning, and here it is 9pm on Sunday, and we still don't have any milk. And I was like, first of all defensive I was gonna do it. It reminded me again, right. And my second one was complete personality meltdown, which is apologize profusely adopt a cringing and supplicant position, I beg to be forgiven, because I'd overwhelming sense of my own guilt. And then I rage grocery shops, because I was mad. That my husband, this is my bad thinking my husband had put me in this position where I was certainly going to fail at doing this task. I mean, I was even joking about this last week where I was like, Look, I don't even eat. Right? How do you expect me to notice when we have no food in the house? Oh, didn't I feed you people last week?
Right? pay this bill last month may pay this bill last
month? Why do you keep bothering me about this stuff? Right? And you've made me feel bad and knots? You're a bad person for that. Right? And all of those were, in some ways fight or flight responses to, to receiving feedback, negative feedback. Everybody likes getting praise, right. But many of us in the neurodivergent spectrum world really have difficulty with even the most constructive, lightly negative feedback. Yeah, and I have some some thoughts about this lead. How are you about receiving feedback?
Oh, my God. So you know how I was saying how, like, you know, writing was something I was really good at, sort of leaned into that, but didn't care what they said about at school. Right? Well, you know, I didn't care what my English teacher said about my five paragraph essay, because, quite frankly, I could have given two shits about the five paragraph essay.
Well, and the five paragraph essay is bullshit. Let us Yes.
Okay. Yes, but true. And I knew that maybe not couldn't quite articulate it in reasons why it was bullshit when I was in high school and somebody would have said, you think it's bullshit because you're 15 You think everything is bullshit, and it's the 90s
But anyways, so but the writing that mattered to me, like my Writing the writing that mattered to me the writing that I put the effort into getting any sort of feedback on that daggers jaegers daggers. I, like this is, you know, I'm in university, my university is Co Op. I'm in a writing program. And so we have worked placements at various places to do my professional writing. And I ended up at a small tech startup again, this is the most 90s Montreal story ever. at a at a tech startup. We had an open floor plan in a loft oh my god like Villa Mar. And, but it was like a dream for me because it was like, they were a small startup, they were looking for us. As we said, we go back and study and to basically do anything and everything writing related. And so I was going to get to write copy, I was beta testing the software to make sure because all the programmers were French. So make sure there weren't any errors in the English and everything made sense. But also beta testing the software and I kept breaking it. Which I was also really good at reward for though, right? Yeah. Because awarded Yeah, hey, I
broke it. Where's my Why did you?
Why did you do that? Because there was a button. Why did you push it? Cuz there was a button there? I've done. So yeah, I have to, I have to find every single instance of English, which means pushing every single button. Anyway, and so copywriting technical writing, I'd write the manuals, I did some translation work. I did. You know, again, writing for software interface, all that kind of stuff. It was really, you know, ideal. And that's our way. And
you can if I may you were in charge of writing all the things.
Yes. Sorry. Yes. No, it's true. So again, perfect. And we had just, so they asked me to write some copy. And they were totally tell them what they wanted to do, and all of this kind of stuff. And I wrote some stuff. I mocked it all up. And I was really proud of myself. I thought it was amazing. And sat in a meeting for an hour with somebody on the phone. And it just had them absolutely, to my mind eviscerate it. Right. And it was copy. Right when I you know, I didn't really know how to write copy. I was just like this look, you know? And as Yeah, well, yeah, I was stabbed. Yeah. Right. And, and looking back, I'm sure they were being generous and trying to teach me and help me learn it. But I literally cried through the entire meeting in front of my boss in our office in Montreal. I'm sure that helped. Yeah. And I just, like, even just to think about it now. I'm like Jesus fucking Christ. Like, what, uh, like, Oh, my God. But like that was, you know, that was like one of those moments where I was getting constructive feedback, right? They were trying to help me learn, this is how you write good copy. This is what we were trying to look for. I didn't hear any of it. I couldn't hear any of it. All I could do was saw it was like, it was literally. And I think that that's the that's the part that is hard for people to understand that it is a physiological reaction. Like your body, like just tenses up, and your heart rate goes up. And you're like handshake and like you have no control over it whatsoever.
Yeah. You know, Lee, there's some research into this. And I have read it for you. Yeah. Shocking. So you're so there's a couple of things at play here. There's actually many things. In fact, all the things are at play here. So we've discussed on this podcast before how first of all, we are impulsive emotionally, right. So so neurodivergent people have difficulty sort of moderating their emotions in them aware impulsive interactions and sort of impulsively falling into and out of different types of moods in what feels like uncontrollable widths, right. So, you know, if we were lightly unhappy with some feedback, it's difficult for us to feel slightly unhappy. We feel all the way unhappy or none of the way I'm happy. Right. So there's that sort of emotional lability right or volatility there and our tendency to swing a little higher and lower on the highs and the lows. So that's one part of it. Another part of it is, as we have also mentioned on this podcast, we've got four radio stations playing inside our head at all times. And also we are projecting right as, as your husband was describing your son thinking about, about quitting swimming, he was projecting all the power sort of all the possible scenarios that could arise from this decision, right? And we're making jokes about chaos theory and butterflies flapping their wings in Shanghai so that your brain is also very busy catastrophizing and ruminating simultaneously. So you're not entirely in the moment itself, when you are receiving feedback you have already got, you've changed all the stations in your head to True Crime podcasts where the villain is you. And you're listening to all those you not actually hearing what the person is saying. We also have a learned response to critique, which is I'm probably wrong, right? Because everybody tells me I'm wrong about everything all the time, right? We've talked about this extensively on the podcast where we feel like we're one mistake away from being banished from human society forever, because that's kind of been our experience of like failing at things that other people don't fail at getting negative feedback, pretty constantly in ways that is often mystifying to us. And very surprising, right? Like, you would think like if you're going to write, you know, advertising copy for the first time, but you don't know what you're doing, and someone's going to give you feedback. But you don't think about that when literally every single list you've ever written like you You wrote a grocery list and you get this feedback from your mom, but you did it wrong. Why would you do this isn't even a list. This is like a thought bubble with a bunch of words, scribbled side, you did this wrong, you did that wrong, you did everything wrong. So it's not a matter of you can't distinguish between tasks I need to learn how to do and thus require feedback and tasks. I think I know how to do, right. But I'm getting feedback anyway. So everything is an opportunity to be critiqued out of the blue. Yeah, and negatively. Another thing that we often are bedeviled by is, the feedback often relates to our lack of attention to detail, which we have deep shame about. Yeah, right. Or are having forgotten to do something which are absent mindedness, or absent mindedness, right, our lack of prospective memory or lack of executive function related to project planning, and we already hate ourselves. You know, if somebody says like, I think if you just have like, another couple of days where you've done this, or like, if you'd contacted this person earlier, I think they would have been able to help you. We experience all of these things as an existential threat, right? Yeah, we're not angry. We're scared. Right. And that's different. And so this triggers, like the the research that's been done. I really, I want
to stop on that for a second. Because I think that that's like, that's like my mind. Just build. We're not angry. We're
scared. We're scared. Yeah. terrified, terrified.
It's, it's, it is everything. And this, and this is what it's hard is like that, that the time folding in on itself. It's not just this moment of failure. It is a moment, every single other moment of failure you have ever had. That's in your life.
Yeah. With every emotion you've ever had amplified by 10. Yeah, right. And also your body because you are experiencing a fear reaction. You're having an adrenaline response. Right. So now your body is being flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, which are the use of chemicals that we often rely on to binge or work at the last minute, right? But which will make your palms start sweating and your heart start racing, and you will either want to fight or run away or go catatonic. Right. So those are, those are our reactions to feedback. So some people that are just like, you know, narcissists respond poorly to feedback as well, too, but they just disregarded because they don't care. Right. And people who are trying to get away with something, don't like getting negative feedback, but also they're just trying to game the system, right? Like, it's it's neurodivergent people often who look like we are being disobedient or recalcitrant, or like not open to feedback, but we're the only category of people who will outwardly manifest what looks like the same rejection of critique, but the only group of people that experiences their own rejection as stemming from anxiety, panic and shame, right? You're not from like, a Vers, liveness or not from like lying to yourself or not from trying to get away with something or not from thinking that you're better than other people. We are legitimately panicking and often we can't even hear like, so you're saying, I remember how I felt in that meeting. And I know that I cried the whole time. I don't remember what anybody said, because you can't listen. Right? Yeah. Because you're for radio stations of true crime podcasts where the villain is you were playing and you're also flipping through the giant photo album of all of your failures since time immemorial, and
of how I'm never going to be employed as a writer ever again. Yeah, and the more I try them last professional, I look in the last likely I'm ever going to be able to achieve my dream of being a sure paper,
ever having all the feelings at the same time and your heart rate is like probably shot up to 140. And your palms are sweating, and you have tunnel vision. Great. And then people say like, lead us and take feedback very well. Like I gave you this feedback. And then like she didn't actually change the document after because you didn't hear any of it. Right. Yeah. And so it's interesting. I was reading today a little bit about So my issue with the groceries sometimes is about pathological demand avoidance or as it is now less damningly called extreme demand avoidance. And this was originally thought to attach mostly to autistic people, but also has been found quite substantially, and probably even with a greater penetration among the ADHD population. And this is different from defiance, or opposition, in that the reason that the tasks are being avoided in the feedback is being avoided is terror. Right? I don't, I don't want to, you know, do this particular chore. Because the last time I did it, I did a poor job. And then I got yelled at or, you know, I went to this place, and then something bad happened, and I don't want to go there. Or if I go now, then I will prove that it was actually not that hard to do. And then they're going to expect me to do it again next week, and I'm scared and then I don't do it. Right. And so that's, that's part of our issue about receiving feedback is we're very well aware of all the things that we're not doing, right. And of all the things that we're not doing well. And what I've been reading about is, is that neurodivergent people often experience any type of critique or negative feedback about like work performance, or about relationships, right? You know, like the words that strike fear into my heart is like my husband saying, like, we need to talk. I'm like, Okay, what did I do? Just tell me, just tell me, just tell me what I did tell me right now. We don't have to talk about it until like later, but I need to know right now, like, are you gonna leave me? I can never it's like, but why do I? Why do I go there? Right? Why do I go there? Because I'm scared because I have a proven track record of not being very good at anticipating why people are mad at me. Right? Just like at work, we have a hard time anticipating what it is that we said that made somebody's nose go out of joint or where like, somebody is gonna yell at us, we get a notice. But we have to pay a bill a late fee for a thing that we forgot that we skipped because we don't know it could it could be the dentist. It could be the optometrist. Maybe it was the MRI. I don't remember what I missed, but it's going to be bad. Ah, yeah. Like we're already in that state. And we experience any kind of feedback as an existential threat to our psychological safety. Not because we're narcissist, but because we're so confused in the world in general, and quite aware of all the ways in which we fail. Yeah. And, and so it's very difficult to do tasks you don't want to do and very difficult to receive feedback on things that you've done. When it's really not the item itself. That's in question. It's your entire value as a human being that seems to be on the line. Yeah, every single time. Yep. Does that attract you?
Yeah. And I think also, like, goes back to what we were saying. So there's, there's two sides of it, too. There's the stuff that we already know. We're bad at. Yeah. But then there's also like we were talking about last week, the stuff that we know we're good at? Yep. Where? No, get away from it. Oh, yeah. Don't take that away from me. Are you taking away writing for me? Is this taken away? Like, I, you know, or a bad grade? Well, I get a bad grade, like, No, I'm not the kid who gets good grades. Like how, like, this is the thing that helped me, you know, that people would praise me on and now they're not going to praise me on this anymore. So what the fuck do I have left? You know, so it's both sides. There's the shame. But then there's also that you want to protect the thing? are few things that do that you do? Well, or well enough that nine Garner praise that aren't constantly critiqued or criticized? Yeah. And in a lot of cases, again, like it for me, it was always the cycle about I didn't, I don't take criticism. Well, like it is very clear. Like I am a sobbing mess. This is clearly me not taking criticism. Well. Yeah. But then, then it's again, it's internalized. Well, I never learned how, yeah, right, like nobody. And so because I never got hurt. Did I not get enough criticism? No, I feel like I got enough criticism. So what did you know? And but then you internalize it. You blame yourself? Yeah. In terms of that, where it's like, and then again, you're trying to be neurotypical. And failing at it, right? And not understanding why and being like, Oh my God, why can't I just take criticism away? Everybody else takes criticism. I'm going to try really hard. I'm about to get critiqued, like my writing is gonna get critiqued, because this is what happens when you're in a writing program.
You know, I mean, that's a great place, brace yourself. And, yeah, I mean, what you're hearing, like normally, you're talking about, like, just really trying to be neurotypical or trying to pass as neurotypical is like, the reason that that critique is experienced as an existential threat is because we fear our mask is about to be removed. Right? And we'll be discovered for who we are even and probably especially when we don't have a diagnosis yet, right? We because we just know that there's no reason for us to be as off As we happen to be and we have to just continually fake it and we don't have the word for masks, but what we are feeling is that we will be revealed, right? We will be unmasked we will be shown for for who we are someone has seen through our bullshit, right? And this is this is the final moment where you are sort of stripped of all of your everything and sent your cast off into the forest and left, you know Hansel and Gretel style to maybe make your way back or not. Right and, and then the birds ate all your breadcrumbs, and the birds ate all your breadcrumbs. Right. And then there's candy, which I would absolutely deviate from my one true path for candy because I love candy. So I'm in the oven right away. Poof, being a witch probably. Yeah, so. So the issue there is like, we don't know how to accept that feedback. Because we don't, we don't have any sort of sense of proportion about or there's also like the all or nothingness of the feedback. Like maybe my husband can say to me, like God dammit, Amy. Like, I reminded you three times about the groceries. And then like the third time I did, you got snippy about it. And you said you're going to do it, but like now it's nine o'clock and the grocery stores gonna close it an hour and it doesn't seem like you're, you're gonna go and I can be like, Don't you still love me? Yeah, you know, but of course, he still loves me. People argue about the groceries all the time. Yeah, apparently or like something else like you'll apparently. Right? Like, I don't know what normal people do. I have no idea. Right? But like, we tend to Tailspin right into catastrophizing and ruminating again, because we've got so many channels open in our brain at the same time that we're not fully paying attention to the moment that we're in, we doubt all of our relationships with people, right? We are afraid of being unmasked. Like, of course, we don't take feedback. Well, and it leads to like we were talking about last week, perfectionism, right, in some ways, which is I will be perfect. And therefore I will never have to have that moment of crisis where someone says we need to talk, and I die. 1000 deaths, right? I could just be perfect. I won't have to receive feedback anymore other than your perfect. And in your case, you lowered your own expectations of yourself of your own accomplishments, your own happiness and your own ability or, or or capacity to have your own needs met. You're just like downshifted your own expectations. So it's like, everybody's disappointed me. But at least they're not. They're not. They're not. I'm not disappointing them. Yeah, exactly. Right. And these are both, I would say maladaptive strategies, but an inability to receive feedback.
Yeah. shipped. Yeah. So now that now that we've told Marissa everything she already knows about.
We gave her some language. Yeah, we did give her some language. Yes. So much language. We have all the best language, all the
best language, all the words. All the words, all the fancy words, all the not fancy words. I think I did all the swear words. Not sure if I got all the swear words in there. But I can pull the French ones out and then really confused the AI transcription again, but I love it. They're confused the AI. It's really sad. Yeah, I was gonna be great. That one will be
great. Yeah. How about I guess we're moving into the like, to so what do we do? Yeah, tips and tricks. Um, I learned some tips and tricks, actually, in teaching some of my tips and tricks, because
most of them the sandwich method.
Oh, you know, it's really funny, curling lesson last week, you know, because like, you're in this these groups every week, like, just for people of this, like, okay, and you're with somebody every weekend. So we were with this guy Blair. And I was talking with somebody else was something he said, Well, you're teaching us Yeah. And he's talking about feedback. And I was like, oh, yeah, like so one of the modes is like, classic shit sandwich, right? something nice, something you need to work on. And something nice. So like, like, Blair, you know, like, that's a really nice jacket that you're wearing. I think that's quite stylish. I'm wondering if you're perhaps like not gonna be warm enough if we're out here for two hours. But it goes really well with your shoes and my like that. He's like, That's a shit sandwich. I'm like, yeah, and then later, he was at like, maybe 20 minutes later, it was really not a long time. And and he was he was the guy like holding the pylons right, that we were aiming for. And he's like, this is broom down and he's the line of delivery. You're like, yeah, aiming your body towards him. And I get all the way down to the end where he is and he was like, You have really good technique on your slide. I think your bodyweight was a little too far off to the right because you missed my broom by a bit but you have a lot of control of your balance anyway. Oh, thanks. Anyway, should sandwich motherfucker like I don't even know the the master got even 20 minutes, but that's my working memory is right. And he just like, yeah, got me and I was like, bravo, sir. Right. Love it. So there is the classic should sandwich. But something that I have learned from watching students is you may have had this policy in your class and probably a lot of our academic listeners love this policy. The company can do your papers back. There's a 24 hour cooling off period. Before you come talk to me about your papers, right because people have an emotional reaction. Right away. Right. Like they cry in a meeting.
Yeah. Could you just take this written feedback, go somewhere? For a day, right? And then come talk to me when you have your shit under control again. And the way I was framing that originally was from this mode of like, your emotional reactions are inappropriate. They will lead you into bad behavior, and I don't want to see them, right? Just like Get your shit under control was my thinking, right? Yeah. Also, I'm autistic, I'm not really great at being on the receiving end of other people's crying, or it was not I'm much better at it now, because I'm afraid for it. But what I discovered over the years was that I ought to make space in a more positive way for people's emotional first reactions to things because like, if you thought you wrote a paper that was going to get 92, and it got 78. Like, that's a blow. That's a disappointment to you. Alright, if it turns out that you spelled the main character's name wrong in your entire analysis of a novel, that's embarrassing. That's really embarrassing, right? And like, you can feel embarrassed by that or like you, you handed something in late and got the late penalty. And now you kind of don't want to look your teacher in the eye like these are, these are natural human emotions to have and instead of saying, like, get your emotions out of my face, yeah, don't get your shit together. This is an intellectual space law. Now I say like, you probably need a day to have some feelings about this. Let's have some feelings right now. And I usually bring when we were meeting in person, I would bring a scented candle to class. And my like, snuggie, or my booty or whatever. And yeah, you know, a box of tissues. And I would say like, when I give feedback, right, I need a stiff drink. And I need to feel sorry for myself. I play mopey music. I light a scented candle, I put my comfy clothes on and I bitch to my family about how dare reviewer to be an asshole. Also, I am worthless, right. And now it's my process. And I know that I have to feel my feelings, right and comfort myself, and that that's natural. And then the next day, usually, I have exhausted my feelings, and I'm ready to be a bit more dispassionate about it. So I stopped shaming students for their feelings as like, let's start having our feelings right now. Like, I'm going to teach you how to have your feelings, I'm gonna light this candle. I'm going to sit underneath the desk where I can't see you. And I want you to I'm going to play some mopey music. So timer for five minutes, and you are going to pitch to your seat partner about how unfair I am. And what a genius you are, or just bitch about anything, like just let it out. And they look at me and I'm like, I'm under the desk and like, I can't hear you. They just need to hear a din of bitching. And you know what, when we're done that with a disk in five minutes, and they're all laughing and they're smiling, like it's normal to feel negatively about those like imagine, like, what would it be like if if someone made space for you to have a bad reaction. So like, now interpersonally. Like, if I'm having a dispute with my child, like I will say, This news is going to make you unhappy, right? I'm going to tell you the news, and you are allowed to have your feelings like, please don't have them on me. But like, I can support you in that. And then you know, when you feel ready, we can talk about this right? And that makes space. And I will do this with students, I have to deliver bad news to like in my office to and stuff I will say like, you are probably going to be disappointed to hear this. And that's okay. And if you're not ready to talk about this right now. That's okay, too. Right. And so part of that is maybe normalizing that we're going to have, yeah, negative emotions about receiving negative feedback. And if that was more normal, maybe we would get through those emotions, faster and more healthily, instead of hating ourselves for having emotions and trying to suppress them.
Yeah. Part of that part of it, though, is and I think that this is the this is the challenge, too, is that moment. Mm hmm. Right, when your husband comes up to you and read like Goddamnit,
Right. And, and there's, you know, there's, there's ways to discuss after the fact, but at the end of the day, there's also their, their own frustration about not having done the thing that you said you were going to do. Absolutely. You know, and, and then, you know, and they're, you know, she's making space for their emotions, too, because they're like, I'm hungry. There's no food in the
house. That's right.
person. You know, and so you have those moments of like, just you know, the weather, it's two conflicting emotions. It's one thing if we're going to as students, and we're we already know ahead of time in this particular and we can be, we can manage our own emotions, we have time and space, manage our own emotions to then make space for for the people we're in engaging with, to have time and space for their emotions, right as parents, we try don't always succeed as educators as a coach, right, you know, a swimmer has a bad swim? And, you know, like I know, right? I know the swimmers who are going to react badly to bad swims. And you know that there's time and space for me to further between them finishing the race and coming to see me where I get myself together, ready for what do I have to do? Yeah, to, you know, help them through to their feelings and then be able to give them feedback, right? Because they got the immediate feedback of a shitty time, or the time that they wanted to go. Yeah, but then they're not going to hear my feedback as to this is why you got a shitty time.
Yeah, sure. They're not ready to process that they're not
ready to process that they're not ready to hear you didn't do any you're under waters or, you know, you're you shorten your stroke too much, or, you know, you didn't hold your glide, whatever it is, and they don't want to hear it. No. But, but again, so you know, like, okay, now I need to make space for them to cry, to scream, to throw things to, you know, tell them to go swim down and get it all out of their system or, you know, go scream in the bathroom, whatever it is you need to do. You know, so again, there's there's but, but so those are moments that we can control, right that we have some sort of control over it, we have a control over the environment, no control over ourselves. And so there's only let's put it this way, there's only one variable. That's kind of thing, there's only one unpredictable variable, everything else you've managed to predict fairly well. So when you get into the two unpredictable variables, variables are more, right. Right, that you that it's now I'm reacting and they're reacting. And now we're all having negative reactions of varying degrees.
Yeah. And you need a script, you need a script, I need a script, right? So this is what I would I have learned about this right? One, I am going to be the one receiving the feedback, right? Or I am giving negative feedback that is inter relational, which means the other person may also have feedback to give to me at the same time, and now we're both upset, right? In a situation where I am the one who's going to be receiving feedback, or I am the one who's in like a multi person disappointment, conflict situation is a go to therapy for a long time to learn how to deal with that. Right. But but one of the things that one of the greatest tools for interpersonal conflict in this way, is to repeat back what the other person is it so what I'm hearing you say, Lee, is that it is easier for you to give negative feedback in an emotional situation than it is for you to receive feedback in an emotional situation. Is that right? Right. Yes. And then you can agree because I have to make sure that I actually understood what you were saying. And like for ADHD people, this is crucial, because sometimes we're so wrapped up in what our next move is going to be, we're not actually listening to what the person is saying to us. So we can't It's not like we we don't understand the nuance of it. We just didn't hear the friggin words, because we were not actually listening. Right, like so what I hear you saying Lee is, is this, I don't and then it went on for a bit and I think I look, can you just reiterate that for me, right, like so that would be a movement, that's just a thing that you do with your mouth and you make words and it's a an action that will train you to be a bit more attentive and to slow you down. Because you can't respond, right? Like, if you say me, you're always late to our podcast recording like, well, you're not always on time, either. Right? Like I could say, um, so I hear you, you saying, your tone of voice seems to be annoyed? And you are noticing that I'm late at cow. Does that make you feel right? Or? I'm sorry. That's what I heard you say? What would you like me to do? Or what kind of remedy do you need right to remain maybe not focused entirely on ourselves, but a little bit on the other end? Like that's hard to do in a good way, because it's another main trick that neurodivergent people do. You've probably done this. I mean, you did it in that meeting that you're describing. And thank you for sharing that because that sounds like traumatic and all and it's probably not fun to talk about even like low these years.
It's, it's embarrassing. I was in my early 20s, right. I'm not a teenager anymore. I am in my early 20s on the cusp of graduating I think it was no it was my last one. But you know, and and here I am. balling like a small child. Yep. Um, in in, in a professional setting.
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. If you can learn to slow your own reaction down to listen to other people in that like if you just train yourself, you just train yourself. It's like when I learned to do the the they used to call it an Eskimo roll. That's super racist. I don't know what they call it. Now when you're in a kayak and you go over on one side and you pop back up the other side. When I learned how to do that my instinct was never correct, right? I always like would go out the ones that I'm visualizing and I always seem to try to pop right back up. Under and like eventually I could not sort it out in my brain. But what I taught myself to do is go The wrong way. Right? Because whatever I thought was the right way was inevitably the wrong way to do it, right. I was like, when you go upside down goes up, you're gonna really want to go in one direction. It's never the right direction. Go the other way. Right? And then I had a good result that way, like that worked for me. So sometimes when you are, you know, in this face, it could be like, I know, I'm gonna do this think don't do that thing. Like, just pause. Yeah, and ask the question back, because like, when we have these big emotional reactions, and we go right to I don't know why you don't fire me right now. I'm crying like, no one will ever love me because I don't deserve love. And everyone in this house is going to starve to death because I am a terrible mother. And like, you've asked so little of me, and I can't even do these testifying, and I'm crying. And then you know what happens? The person who was giving us well deserved feedback is now saying they're there. It's gonna be okay. Then we just did a white lady tears. Because what we did, we took perfectly legitimate, impossibly well intentioned and non non aggressive feedback that's trying to call us in. And we have turned ourselves into emotional wrecks, who need to be taken care of by people who have legitimate complaints about our performance or behavior, right? Yeah, we don't want to be that person. No, do you I don't want to be that person or that person. That was my move. To go right to like, I'm a garbage human being should be erased off the planet. Right? Yeah. Yeah. That's manipulative, ultimately. And, and, and we don't
mean to be though, like, right, like we do not mean to be, which again, makes us feel worse, because now we're like whitely do tears, oh, my God. But well, that and the other thing that that that has helped me, this is a mind shift that I've had, that I've had to do. And it's not an easy one. And part of it is just a certain privilege. And I think I talked about this for about my writing, right? I know, I am very sensitive about my writing. And I'm in a position now and I've said this before, where I only work with people that I trust. Mm hmm. Right, where I trust somebody with my writing to give me feedback. And I know them, and I know that they are coming from a good place. Yeah. Right. In that sense. And so that's, that's something for me that it's at that for my writing. Like, you can't do that with everything, obviously. But like for the things that are most important to you find the people that you trust, right, like I wouldn't do a podcast with anybody else other than you. That's right, because we hate each other. Because yeah, because we trust each other. And we understand each other, we know how to give each other feedback. That's right. In terms, but we also, as we said before, to our standards, and so as to what it makes a good podcast episode
also are matched, our standards are matched,
our standards are matched. And and that's important as well, right? Like we if our standards weren't matched in terms of what we expected from a quality podcast, this time, you Yeah, we'd be frustrated all the time. You give me feedback, I think you'd hate me. And eventually, you probably would, right, we'd resent each other. Yes, but Well, yeah. And so, um, you know, so I think people you know, working with people that you trust, who you know, care about you and care about your best interests, which still can be hard because, you, you the feeling of being a garbage person, and nobody's gonna love me never goes away, but not know. But to train that mindset is like, maybe there are people out there who don't think that about me, and who actually care about me, and maybe I should pause and listen to that person. Because I know that they care about me.
Yeah, and we can have a squad, too, right, like, so I can know that. I'm not great in the moment. And since I tend to be, like, impulsive and clever, like, if I get like someone shit talking me in my Twitter, like, my initial idea is I'm just gonna blast them all to hell right away. But that's rarely a good idea. So I know enough to step back now. And often I will, you know, copy the tweeting question of the conversation in question. And I will send it to people who have, you know, the two people who have volunteered in my life to help me sort out these questions sometimes, like, Did I do the wrong thing here? And I do that for them. Right? So they're not even party to this. I'm like, Well, you know, if you were the observer of this, like, what would you? How would you read the situation? And can you give me some advice? And it's reciprocal, right? So I will do this for them. And they will do this for me. And so those are people who are not even involved in the area in which I'm getting feedback, right? But they are people I trust to help me sort out my next actions and the crucial act there for me is pause, right? Don't respond to the feedback right away. Just don't I'm going to be up in my feelings. I have to know that about myself. Right. I have to know that as a follows is a follow up. That's not right as being follows a right someone is going to say something negative to me. And my whole stress response system is going to fly into major gear and and I tend to fight. That's what I do, right? Yeah, I will fight, I will get defensive, I will get nasty. And I know I don't want to do that it's usually not, it's always not the right idea. So my main move is stop, right away, don't act, my next move is get some advice, or get some distance, don't keep going to the same people for advice who don't want to be part of this for you. So I have like, negotiated a circle of help. With some friends for this. You can also like in situations, it's okay to express your your boundaries, right? If someone is like, you know, you didn't get the groceries, for example, or like you didn't hand your grades in on time, right. And while we're here, also, you didn't do this thing. And while we're here also, like, we need to talk about your receipts, or whatever you can say, I can only handle one thing at a time, I want to give this my serious attention, right? I want to be able to process this feedback. So can we limit this meeting to one item? Right? And that's another great thing about the what I'm hearing you say, technique is that it stops both parties. monologuing, right, because you cannot then say what I hear you saying and then like spit back 800 words, like because people can't pay attention that long, right? So it can slow the conversation down. So that's been very useful for me. Another strategy is to set a different kind of boundary with people and say like, I'm usually not very good in the moment. So if you can, you know, sort of give me the substance of the critique, and then just let me sit with that for a little bit. Right. And like, it's not like we will talk about it later. It'll be like, you know, you've given me this, this piece of feedback. Today, can we meet about this tomorrow? Right, because some people can do it right away. Some people like just rip the band aid off, like, tell me what the issue is. Let's brainstorm it not a problem. Other people are like, I can you send it to me in an email, because I'm probably going to start crying. Yeah, and then we can have a meeting about it. Or you can tell I'd like to talk about it in person with you. So I can make sure I understand what you're telling to me. But then we can be solution focused tomorrow, or like, this afternoon or whatever, right? It's okay to say like, you know, your feedback is important to me, this job is important to me, I want to do this task. Well, I want to like be a good friend in this relationship. I want a good parent, a good wave. Yeah. You know, a good soccer player, whatever it happens to be a good member of this curling team, to say like in order for me to to receive your feedback and act on it in the way that we both want. These are the parameters I need not like never give me criticism, right? Because that's not fair. And and the way, the way maybe we get to those boundaries is to say like, you know, what are we both aiming at? Yeah, here, like, what is the shared value that we want. So maybe in your workplace, it was like, we want to make sure that the copy conforms to, you know, the company style guide and accompany voice and to the specifics of this interaction that we're trying to have with an audience. And so since we both want that, let's talk about how we can move this piece of writing from where it is to where we both want it to go. Right now you're sharing. You guys have a goal. It's not a conflict, because we do tend to experience feedback is conflict, right? Is this person or me is going to win? Yeah. And that doesn't work either.
Yeah. Well, and I think that that's really good advice, too. Because like, well, you're while you're was was, as we talked about last week, yours is the perfectionism mine is to just shut down. Yeah, right. I'm just going to shut down in these conflicts. I am just going to shut down. I'm going to sit here. I'm going to say I'm sorry. And I'm going to keep everything in and I'm not going to talk to you ever again. Right. And it's not I'm not going to pick a fight. I don't want to pick a fight. You know, I don't want to do anything. Yeah, ever again.
I'm just gonna walk away. You're on a down. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think that that's, there's, for me, all of these, all of these strategies that you evolved is is something that I that I've been trying to do and now I can articulate it is remain present. Yes. Right. It's make sure that I stay there. That's in that moment. And you know, and really just like like you said, listen and hear but because because again, the ADHD brain will just
leave. It's some like it'll just other place
and, and just be really present but also, like, present with myself in that like meditative state where I can just they're listening and what do that running tab of my feelings? How am I feeling right now? What am I feeling in my chest? What am I feeling in my legs? What Yeah, you know, and run through all of those things to kind of take control over them. But like, I think at that moment of uncontrollable crying, like I literally could not stop crying, but I also couldn't acknowledge that I was crying. That's right, because I didn't want to be crying.
You didn't want to be crying so you were not you were not present with yourself. Yeah,
cry I was just sitting there going like, Fuck you crying like stop it. But But and so like had this inner conflict, that's why I wasn't present in that moment to hear is because there was just, you know, whereas if I said, Okay, I'm crying, I'm upset, Mm hmm. You know, and sort of run through those things, I might have been able to have a little bit more agency a little bit more control, you know, those kinds of things. So I think, for me was, it's just when these moments come up, because again, we don't always expect them either, right, like, minding our own business, like we're minding our own business and like, suddenly, like shit, I forgot something that has been pointed out to me, right? Like, it's just boom, there it is. Um, and so, you know, being yanked out of whatever, 27 different places I was in my head that caused me to forget the thing, but also forget that I forgot the thing. So it didn't matter. And I was in a state of blissful ignorance, you know, is to be like, Okay, well, now I'm in this state. Right? How am I going to handle myself now within this state? Yeah. And run through and say, and knowing I mean, knowing that you're going to have these bad reactions, I think is, you know, again, acknowledging them, and instead of just trying to tamp it down and be like, you know, which that's really is counterproductive, right. Clearly working? Yeah. Like, clearly, it's not working. Yeah. It's sort of say, sledding it, you know, sitting with it and being present in it, and allowing for that to happen. And again, it's it's all it's, it's a way also of self acceptance and sort of self forgiveness, like, it's okay. It is that I'm feeling these things. It's okay. It is. And they're ephemeral. And they will dissipate. Yes, in this moment, right. Now they are, they're the only things that I'm feeling. But there's going to be five minutes from now, or 24 hours from now, or, you know, however long it takes, these feelings will shift change dissipates, that's fine. And that's okay.
And it's such a gift to be able to, to integrate your bodily sensations, your emotional sensations and your cognitive situation to be able to say, I'm having trouble listening, because my body is having a panic response, right? Yeah, my tummy feels weird. I'm feeling a sense of threat like this might be out of line with what's actually happening. Maybe I need a pause in this meeting, right? Like, just to notice instead of just going with it, like that's natural, right? And that's like, step one is to just notice to be like, I not, I am, I am experiencing a physiological reaction to what my body seems to think is a threat. And then you can say to yourself, not like, I am under threat, right? Yeah, my body is reacting as if I am under threat. And already, that's half the battle, half the battle is to know that the reaction that your body and your emotions are having is maybe not the right reaction, but it is real. Right, in this situation may not warrant it. Like the second part about that is to Oh, God, what is the second part of that? Yeah, you can you can? Oh, yeah, because this is a learned response, right, like, so this is something like I had worked on in therapy for a while. It's like why every time I tried to sit down to pay a bill, I would like have this unbelievable amount of panic before it even started. And it was because my brain leapt ahead and was telling myself all the stories about all the times I hadn't done it and all the negative consequences that I had suffered, and what a bad person I was. So that just sitting down to the task, which was very simple, had so much emotional baggage and psychological baggage attached to it that didn't need to be there. Yeah, right. And so I could tell myself in that moment, like, Oh, you're having a lot of feelings that maybe this situation does not want right now. Just sit with the feelings for a minute, you know, acknowledge the feelings, let the feelings pass and then just do this for five minutes, and then stop so that you start to build up a positive pattern. Right. And part of the thing interpersonally that has helped me to like I think being present, I mean, if that's the only takeaway people get today, lead just nailed it just be present in the moment. Because what we do is we immediately take off, we take off, right? In our brains, it's like, boom, Paul band is playing, the tears are coming. Everything has been hijacked, nothing is going on, we're not going to remember this other than we are failures. That's it right? Not Present. How I try to reframe for myself now, and I do this for my students sometimes to is to say like the goal of this meeting, right, is for both of us to get to a better place. Right? Yeah, we have a shared goal. And the shared goal is like you're going to finish your dissertation or like whatever it is, you're gonna get your paperwork finished. And so the way that you are doing it in the way that I am doing, it is not working right now. So let's try to figure out how we can work on this together, right is to put yourself on the same team as the person giving you feedback in the context of you share a value so it could be somebody that you you lived with, or live with when you're trying to negotiate how things get done in the household. It has to be like shared values are we enjoy living with one another, right? And we wish to continue to do so with a minimum of conflict. So how can we arrange that so this person is going to give me feedback, they are trusting me to know that they are not happy with what I'm doing that is a gift, right? It's not an attack. So what can I do to help make this better, right? And we have to just be present for that.
And those conversations are so important as well, because particularly in the interpersonal, like living with somebody and that kind of stuff is that if that other person already knows you don't take feedback very well. They're not going to want to give you feedback. And by the time they are ready to give you feedback, they are at wit's end. They are not in a good place to give you constructive feedback, either. They are yelling at you about, you know, things not being put away garbage not being taken out.
Oh, I will. I will tell you that, you know, our brouhaha about the groceries at my house was not because my husband said we had no food. It was because it was nine o'clock at night. And I heard him put his shoes on and I said, Where are you going? And he said, Well, I'm going to get the groceries. And that was how it started. Because he given up on me. Yeah, because he reminded me a few times the last time he reminded me I snipped it him about how I'm a grown up, and I can plan my own time when obviously I cannot. Right. And so that was like, like how it started, right. So we do have to be attentive to how our reaction to criticism may lead people to give up on us. Types, right? Yeah, so sometimes people like actually saying to, you know, when you win friends, we had to say like, when you come over, like you need to leave by 10. Because we need to go to bed. And we find like, we love to have you but you need to go like we tried hinting. But we just we will tell you next time you come over when we need you to leave and we need you to hear that. And they were like, Oh, really? And then we sold to be like three times. Okay, you need to go now. And they were like, Oh yeah, in a minute. And there was like, remember, we had to talk about this shit. Yeah, right. Okay, we're gonna go it's not that I'm not having fun. It's that like, I can't stop yawning. And now I'm getting angry because I'm tired. Right? And so we have to like to be present for for people's attempts to call us in, in those ways, right and to I mean, in some ways, it's also a little bit solipsistic, solipsistic of us to turn every piece of negative feedback we receive into a referendum on our value as a human being that's the way fragility move, right? They're like I'm a garbage human. If you go right to I'm a garbage human. Every time you're not actually it seems like you're taking the feedback. So seriously, because the person is so important, you but you're not actually listening, and they just really wanted you to get the groceries. Right? Or they really wanted you to use a reference manager because your MLA style is very poor. And if you would just get your Zotero operational, we would not have to have this discussion anymore. About your feelings all
doubt by that one.
You feel like a garbage human on that, right? No, I
don't feel like I just feel like you've looked at my MLA Bibliography.
I've just been grading bibliographies all day today. Like that's, that's the issue too, right? So so sometimes when we're our all or nothing thinking comes into play, we we turn a critique about like, I should know, like, I prefer cookies to cake. And then you like, how could I know this person so little, and maybe the rug set for them for years, like, but for God's sake, just get cookies next time? Write it down? Because you're gonna forget? Yeah, right. Like, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Right? Which is the other way? We tend to think about it. I honestly, I still hate getting feedback. I really hate
Oh, yeah. No, I
just like to be perfect. Yeah.
Well, I just like everyone to agree that what I do is already good enough. Yes. And like, yes,
no one could ask anything else of you. And you're like, great. Please don't ask anything else.
Yeah. Leave me alone. But again, there's i Because of this, I do have a sensitivity because I see it. Again, in in, in my own kids. Right. And, and part of part of the reason I think my son doesn't like swimming anymore, is because all he ever hears and I mean, we're trying to give Like the whole point of training is to get feedback.
That's right. Right. That's what you're, that's what you're paying for. Anybody can swim by themselves. Yeah. Right.
Yeah, exactly. You're paying for somebody not just to give you things to do. But to give you feedback on those things.
That's right, with the goal of improvement, not aiming.
Yeah, exactly. And, but, but I think that that's it's gotten to the point where that's all he hears, because now. Now it becomes like when you're a little kid, it's just like, you're getting the basics down. Right, you're getting the basics. And a lot of the reason
you keep thinking is you're not actually kicking.
Yeah. And they're like, oh, yeah, all right. Oh, yeah. Or, or, you know, like your your stroke is not timed properly bridle, you know, and so they're just learning the basics of it. And they also just keep growing and when they grow, they get faster regardless. And they just, you know, it's it's basic feedback. It's very general feedback, but he's at the age in the stages, let me know where it gets very special. cific Yep. Right and very pointed, and not in a bad way. But in a like, you're going a little bit like this out rather than going down and in. And so therefore you have to like turn that and you're losing
1% of your propulsive force. Right. Right. Yeah. Little that. 1%. Yeah, yeah,
we're fiddling around with it. And you know, you need to, it's, it's now we're starting to get into the attention to details. Yes. Right, you've got to start paying attention to details, because they
matter now going from
I know. And so anytime, you know, so obviously, ADHD, you're already not really paying attention to detail anyways, or at least not details that you're really interested in paying attention to. Plus, you start hearing it, and then it's like, because there's also a lot of trial and error, because people's economies are different, and all of that. So you've asked them to try something to try it, they doesn't work. So you tell them to try something else. And then they're like, Well, what the hell do you offer? to, like, just did it like what that was?
That was me at my piano lesson last week, where we spent like, half an hour on two bars on three different trolls, right? Three different trolls for Mormons were you just turning around and and like my joke at home is like, I will say at supper a Friday night like I got an A plus A piano today, or I got a C minus. I mean, he's not getting the grades, obviously. Right. But that's how I perceived the world. Right? If I got any kind of critique, that means I didn't do a good job, right. But it's becoming clear to me, like, you know, I had approached some teachers before. And they were like, well, what level are you at? And I told them, they're like, well, we can't teach you because we're, like, not really qualified to give that like at that level, right? I was like, all right. I didn't understand why. But like, now I've sit with like, half an hour with Peter playing three bars, like it's a total of maybe six seconds of music. And we just did it over and over. And like he's doing that, like you're saying about the the stroke, right? He's like, no, like, turn your hand like this, or what have you thought about like, you're hitting this note with your arm. And then these notes just fall off the edge of your hand to try it like that? No, again, no, again, no, it's supposed to hit the beat. This one's supposed to come before the beat. And it's like, yeah, so so fussy. And I would get so frustrated, because like, every time I go to my lesson, I say like, the joke was like Peter would say, like, that sounds really great. Well, we can fix it. Yes. Like, I get my a plus. Right. But yeah, but the fact that we're fixing something different. Every week is the a plus, because we're not fixing the same thing every week, right? It's like so and I'm like, Oh, this feedback is actually how I learn. Yeah. Right. And and maybe we need to think of feedback not as, like, we were talking last week about how students always like it's a one and done like you write the paper you handed in, you get a grade it's over. Like most feedback is not like that most feedback is in fact, formative, right? Like, that was great. Like you're making it down to the end of the pool faster than you used to. Right. But now I think you can start thinking about like how far you want your upper body to come out of the water there. I think you're wasting some energy, right? I'm like, well, I already did it. Like what do you what do you want for me? I want more. Yeah, cuz you can write that, again? Learning. That's why we're here. Yeah, just for this pedagogy piece this week that I share with my graduate students. And it's like learning happens when you make a mistake. And then you correct it. Yeah, well, shit. I don't like making mistakes, because it shows people that I'm a garbage human. Yep. Right? And how do you know it's a mistake until someone tells you and I don't like people telling me I've done things wrong, right? Yeah. It sucks.
Yeah. But that's how you learn. But that's how we learn. Yeah.
And I think and then, and that's, and that's really important. And it's, and it's, this is where, again, like my coaching my own kid, and also, like you said, about a piano teacher not being qualified enough. And I feel like I'm really good with teaching the basics to little kids. Yeah, I'm not so good with the older kids in the details and those kind or that? I shouldn't say that, because I was good with really older ones, where they were kind of more mature and mentally able to be able to hear that kind of feedback. Yeah, but like the high schoolers, I just I'm like, I don't know what to do with people. I, you know, little kids are all excited. They love it. And and there's that that growth, and I can I can explain the gross motor skills, I guess, really well. Whereas once we start getting into the finer stuff, then it's like, whoa, does not I can't explain this as well. And I never even really figured out how to do that myself. But
yeah, so I guess that's the other part of feedback is sometimes the people who give us the feedback are not particularly skilled at it. Yeah. Well, I mean, sometimes it's not that we're receiving it poorly. It's that sometimes the feedback itself is given poorly. I mean, I wouldn't go there first and say like, the problem was not me, the problem is the feedback. But like, realize that like, you know, I have made a mistake in my, you know, submission to the online grant portal, but then somebody gives me feedback on it. And they sort of focus on I should have tried harder, instead of telling me what button to click, maybe that feedback was not great, right. And I think if we were like a little kinder to ourselves about how we receive feedback, and if we assume like in a swimming lesson context or in a piano lesson context or in the graduate classroom or working with an editor is that both of you have the goal of achieving a thing with a A high degree of quality. Yeah. Right. And that the person who has appeal of you, the person who is like your piano teacher, or your swim coach, or your editor is actually their job is to tell you how to do it better. Yeah, not to tell you what you did wrong. But to tell you how to do it better, like maybe if we approach feedback like that a little bit more to Yeah, it might reduce the threat level that we experience.
Yeah. And I think I think that that is I think that that is the the kind of strategy that I've been trying to take myself. Mm hmm. In receiving feedback is that they are trying to help me and this is they're coming from a place of generosity, not a place of attack. Yeah. And that's, that's helped me stay present to Yeah, right. That this is not a situation again, this is not a situation I need to retreat from. Yeah, right. This is not something I need to this is not someone I need to run away from. That's right. This person is not out to harm me. Yeah. Yeah. And that's not always the case.
It's not it's not always the case. But we start to think of it that way, we start to think like this, like, I can see that the goal of this when an editor says like, you know, when I said 700 words, like it has to be 700 words, like people don't read longer than that, or like the print space we have four is not sufficient, or like, I think you could take this intro like your work, I always call it the warm up paragraph, your warm up paragraph, if you're like getting your brain ready to look good. Just cut it. And you'll be like, Well, I never I'm a terrible writer. This is like, oh, no, now I don't have a word count problem anymore. And yeah, it doesn't have a snap year opening, right? Like, there's those people who help you with your writing. But then there's like, prompts like, you know, my prof back in the day who said, you know, you can't coast on good looks and charm forever. Yeah. And that was not constructive, right? That was intended to wound and to shame and to take the wind out of my sails. And if I, if I received that feedback, and it upsets me a lot, and I asked myself, is this person trying to help me achieve a shared goal? Like I can say, they're like, no, they're not. So I have the right to be upset, but I can be upset at their behavior, not at who I am as a person, right? Because I think we're very bad sometimes. Because we always assume the problem is us. Or we don't listen, or we're not present. And we never actually learn how to evaluate feedback that's given to us if we start from a place of like, is this person trying to help me do better, right? Or is this person like acting to to improve our relationship or improve our collaboration, or improve my academic performance? or improve my swimming or piano playing? Am I paying them actually, to help me do those things and actually take the feedback, but if this person just if there's nothing constructive in here that I can act on other than be less garbage person, right? You think you're good looking in farming? Well, guess what? You're stupid, right? Or lazy or whatever, that was not intended to help me in any way. And so I can look at it dispassionately that way, say like, Sure, of course, that would hurt my feelings. But that person was acting in bad faith. And I don't actually have to take that on board. Right. Yeah. So we can assess when we stay present for the feedback, we can kind of assess it.
Right? Yeah, no, definitely. I know, I've shared this before. But that particular comment maybe reminded me still my 10th grade English teacher who, when I raised my hand to like, read my piece. She says to me, she goes Oh, so you'll always make your work sound better than it actually is? Ah, oh, that's
Oh, no, like, process that in the point. Neither did my friends because everybody heard it. Never was I
even mean, yeah, I was like, Hey, how can it sound better than it is? If it's, if my writing sounds better than my writing is?
me reading my writing makes my writing sound better than it is? Well, maybe
she's just a poor reader. That teacher was let's
like, obviously, it's stuck with me. Just you.
Sure. That's bad feedback, right? So it's good. English good feedback from that view, but I bet you I bet you what you thought there is Oh, no, I've been discovered.
Right? Um, it was so weird. Like the communists have a so weird and out of the blue. That like, I didn't even know how to process it at the time. Oh, God, right. It wasn't until afterwards where I asked my friends. I'm like, Oh, I mean, did she even mean? Did she just because I was just like, well, she picked me to read. So I'm just gonna read, right? Yeah, I got up and read anyways, because I was already in that moment of being ready to read. Yeah. And it was only afterwards that I was like, what?
Did I hear that right? Did you see
them coming up and saying, Did you see that?
She said, Oh, yeah.
Well, we already like her. Pretty
well. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that tends to be the ADHD way of holding on to feedback. Yeah, for like many Many decades, years, right? Because somebody pokes a hole in the tenderest part of your soul and you're like, Yes, I am worthless. People speak to me like this apparently not a good reader. Yeah, yeah, right, right. Yeah. I mean, you're a good reader, but
a bad writer, writer.
I guess you should get voiceover work. I don't know. Like, what the hell? That's like, just not helpful. Yes, of course, it's not helpful. That's not
how to fix that.
What the fix that was to knock you down. Yeah. Right. That was to knock you down. And that's shitty. Right. So. So where we're at then is Be present? Yeah, right. Try to be present be attentive to like, what is happening in my body? What stories? Am I telling myself about this interaction? Are the stories in my head so loud? That I actually don't know what the other person is saying, right? Is this venue and appropriate venue for me to mindfully receive feedback? Can I ask for a change of venue? Do I need a bit of extra time is this person trying to help me get better at something or helping me move towards a shared goal or attempting to deal with a sticking point in a relationship so that we can move forward together? Right, so how can I accept that? And then what kinds of time and space do I need in order to process this feedback? And but how can I let the other person know that I am accountable to it, and I will come back to them in a specific amount of time, like, those are kinds of Oh, and that emotions are in fact, part of the process. And you can't suppress them? Because now you're spending all your energy suppressing your emotions, and you're still not listening. Yeah. Right.
And, and here's the thing. Listeners, you may be thinking, Ooh, that sounds like a lot. And it takes practice. But we have marvelous ADHD brains. Yeah. So we can actually, while our brain is doing all those negative things, at the same time, we can retrain it to do all those positive things at the same time. It's true. Right? Like, it's incredible. And, you know, it takes practice, it takes a long time takes therapy, we've been, you know, depending on how old you are. This is decades of learned behavior. And so it takes a it takes work to unlearn it. But, you know, our brains are capable of amazing things. Yes. And so, you know, let's heart it. Let's harness it for good, not evil.
In that sense, it letting the horses run wild all over the place and trampling all of our best intentions,
right? Yeah, well, then that's, again, that's the whole thing behind like the being present or being mindful. That, you know, that I didn't think I would appreciate about meditating. But it's this idea of, you know, like, again, don't just let them run wild. Look at them, name them. And then, you know, and then it's sort of like, they're like, oh, wait, you called my name? Or it should stop now. Right? It's like, there goes my kid, you know, like, nope, then you call out their name. They like stop. And, you know, you just, it's, it's an amazing kind of thing that that we can be and I think this is this is a big part to not to beat ourselves up more, but we can, we can work to be more in control. Yeah. But our being in control is not going to look the same or feel the same as a neurotypical person. That's right. That's right. Yeah. And when we describe it, like we're doing right now, you know, a neurotypical person would be like Jesus Christ, you have to go through all of that just as be your feedback. And you'd be like, You know what, fuck you. Yes. Yeah, that's right.
But I took it, and I improved my paper, and my shopping,
and pay. And all of this went on at the same time in my brain, and it's a much more pleasant narrative than the one that used to play in there whenever I would receive feedback. Yeah, so you know, that's the thing. None of that's gonna go away. No, right? It's not gonna quiet, it's not gonna stop.
Yeah, that's like meditation is like the goal is not clear your mind to thoughts once and for all. Like, the goal is simply noticing, right? I was supposed to be focusing on my breath. I am thinking about the tax filing deadline. Okay, taxes, you can wait till after this five minutes of meditation is done. Come back to the breath. And then you're like, I'm actually thinking about ice cream bars right now. I'm supposed to be paying attention to my breath, ice cream bars, I will deal with you later. And then you come back, right? And so receiving feedback is always going to feel threatening because we have many, many years of experiencing these as existential threats. And so goal number one is notice Oh, I'm starting to panic, right? Just notice, well, sometimes you can't change your behavior right away. But you can notice like I have noticed when people send me like in a work context and email like, we should book a meeting, right? If something were to discuss with you, I would notice that like, the world stopped moving until that meeting took place and there was very little I could do about that. So now what I do Oh, you went into wait mode. went into wait mode and freak out and catastrophizing mode, right? And sometimes crying mode and nailbiting mode and like looking for other jobs mode and and but now I will write back and say, Can I ask what this meeting is about so that I can be prepared, right? And then if they say like, no, I'll say, well, let's have it as soon as possible, because I find it difficult to, to be in this position of not knowing, right? Because I'm not going to change my sort of fear that when anybody wants to talk with me and won't tell me about what that I'm about to get fired, or divorced, or executed, or something. So that I know that what I need is just a little bit of clarity. It's not like we have to have this meeting right now, if you could just tell me what this is about. Yeah. Okay. Right. But took me a while to notice that, right, it took me a while to notice that I was so upset by students emotional reactions to feedback that I was not serving them that I was getting drawn into having emotions that I was then desperate to not be feeling anymore, right. So now I know, like, if I'm going to tell students something, and it's going to make them emotional, I need to be ready for them to be emotional and not take that on. Right. Yeah, that the emotions that they are having are a function of the nature of the feedback that they are getting, and just not something I can prevent. Right. But it is something I can support. I don't have to be upset, I don't have to make them feel better. I can say we can do this another time. Or here are some Kleenex is Are your feelings are natural. And it's like, oh, now it's a lot easier for me to give feedback. But it took me a long time of noticing first Yeah, what is the pattern? Where does this go off the rails for me? And for a long time? I couldn't do anything about it. Yeah, right. Cuz you didn't know figure it out? I didn't know. Right? You know, it's noticing, and then asking and then strategies, and then getting advice or going to therapy or looking stuff up online? Like it's to just notice is so huge, so huge. Yeah. solves 90% of your problems,
I think. Yep. Yeah. So on that note, I'm noticing that we've gone a little over an hour. And so we're gonna call it an episode.
We're gonna call this an episode. It's an episode, good episode or an episode. You're an episode. Good job
episode. We had go. There's my feedback for you.
Yeah. If our listeners have any feedback on our episodes, they can, I will say, Lee, that the feedback that we get from our listeners is so kind, right. I know. You guys are big dummies right? There. Some of them are like, my experience is different. But I'm very interested to hear what yours is like, because maybe some of us are a little nicer giving feedback, because we hate receiving it so much. Yeah, possibly. Thank you to our listeners for that.
Thank you. We love our listeners. And if you have any ideas for episodes, please let us know as well. As we said earlier on ready writing on Twitter, and Amy is did you want on Twitter, but you can also email us at all the things firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer it and then DM it.
And I will research all the things
and then she'll research all the things. This works. Well. You do you part of our work for us. We actually knew what we were talking about a full 24 hours before.
That's true. And I've been reading about nothing but feedback for 24 hours. Nice. And
also it is also grading time when feedback. Feedback has
got high salience right now. Yeah, right. Rude.
Yeah. All right. So um, with that, I'll call today and we will see you next week. Thanks so much for listening.