Heart vs Head

  Like many so many adults with ADD I am a very emotional person. I can tend to let my heart rule my head. This isn’t always a bad thing but quite often people with Attention Deficit Disorder can get into trouble this way. When we let only our hearts or emotions rule our actions this can prevent us from taking the very important step of listening to what our brains are telling us.

  Our brains help us with reasoning and seeing potential consequences to our actions. Even if we choose not to listen to the reasoning or really care about potential consequnces it still beneficial to know they exist. We don’t always have to go with what our heads tell us over what our hearts tell us but comparing the two before acting can be good idea.

5 Comments

  • Gerard Montigny

    Reply Reply December 13, 2005

    Hi Tara, interesting post

    You’ve got me thinking about how this predisposition towards emotionally biased perception interferes with our social interactions. I don’t mean in terms of how things affect us on a personal level, but rather, how this might interfere with our ability to relate/interact with others. I’m thinking specifically in terms of on a professional level, how would this affect somebody as a teacher or a coach? For example say I’m listening to somebody’s story and I’m experiencing it on a personal emotional level (say feeling pain or anger) does that prevent me from being able to objectively empathize and relate to the person professionally? It sort of feels like it runs the risk of becoming corrupted by a self-centered emotional perspective, do you understand what I mean? Maybe it’s just a situation where you have to keep telling yourself this is not about me it’s not about my feelings.

    Anyhow it’s definitely an interesting post that got me thinking!

  • Tara McGillicuddy

    Reply Reply December 13, 2005

    I think professionals who can find the right ammount of balance between heart and head do very well. I think part of being a professional is being able to seperate the two. In most human service related professions this is something that a supervisor can help with. Since the profession of ADD coaching doesn’t require actual supervision I really think that ADD Coaches must be very careful about this.

  • Brenda

    Reply Reply December 13, 2005

    I find that because my emotions are so close to the surface that I avoid certain situations, such as funerals and wakes, and this can be misunderstood as not caring. I also find that music can make me very emotional, particularly a live performance of say, a symphony, and I am sometimes embarassed because I will start crying — simply because my emotions are overwhelming. Is this common with ADD?

  • Douglas Cootey

    Reply Reply December 15, 2005

    As I matured I developed a delay between the moments of trauma – real life events of high emotional impact – and my reaction to it. I suppose that seems cold, but in honesty I cannot let myself feel until I can process the data. As soon as my mind is finished processing, the floodgates open. I have found this to be immensely helpful when dealing with a crisis because I am cool headed when I need to be. I just wish I could take credit for developing this “skill”.

    I believe I have developed this way because of ADD. I simply had one too many experiences where being headstrong made the repercussions of my actions excruciatingly uncomfortable to live through. So I began to distrust my feelings. Even fear them. Over time I built a wall to protect myself.

    Now if only I could do the same with impulse buys… 😉

    Nice post, Tara.

    ~=~
    http://thesplinteredmind.blogspot.com

  • Bill Dueease

    Reply Reply February 3, 2006

    I have found that my direct connection to my inner self, my intuition, and my senses have been very enhanced over what normal people (the normals) have because I have ADD. I love this wonderful advantage. I feel that almost all ADD people have these same advantages. But the real issue, the real problem that I face and it sounds like other ADDers face is how to handle these special gifts.

    How I (we) handle these special ability to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste what other cannot is where I (we) get into confrontations with the normals. For example, I (and many ADDers) can easily and quickly tell when someone is lying to me and I created unwanted confrontations when I told others that they were lying. I was right, but I created a conflict that usually caused me as much if not more pain than being fooled by the lies. So I worked on accepting my gift and learning to control my reflective actions, but to use my special awareness in a more positive manner.

    I had a boss one time, named John Lee in Bartlesville Oklahoma, who pulled me into his office when I was a 25 year hot shot know it all. He told me that I had a real temper, which I did and had let it get me into trouble with two previous bosses. And then, much to my surprise he told me it was OK to have a temper. I was floored! I was expecting the same stern lecture about my temper that I had heard before.

    Instead, he told me that having a temper was fine, even showing a temper at times was very effective, but losing my temper was where I hurt myself. When I lost my temper I lost control of my emotions and myself, which made me very vulnerable, and I gave up all of the intelligence and strengths in the process. How we control our reactions to these situations is how we can turn our special ADD sensitivity gifts into tremendous advantages. I always keep my senses alert and tuned in, but now, I focus my energy on controlling my reactions and use of this information. You can too. Being right is not all it is cracked to be, but using the special knowledge can be very powerful. It is a continuous effort and even a struggle at times, which I do not always win, but winning has its rewards.

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