I lack good judgment, common sense, and impulse control. Is there a way to improve any of these things?
posted by silly me to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
FWIW, I'm older (almost 40), and have plenty of life experience, so I don't think my deficiencies can be traced to a sheltered existence. I do have several complaints that seem to be somewhat tied in together--at least, they all add up to me feeling like a hopeless f***-up.
I miss obvious stuff about human interaction that other people seem to get, such as noticing the subtext of peoples' relationships with each other. It's not apparent at all to me when two people dislike each other, for example, but I later learn about it from someone else commenting on how obvious it is.
I seem to lack all ability to rein in my emotions when it would be appropriate. So, if I'm grumpy or depressed I will behave in a way that is totally out of line with my conscious values, and that later leaves me feeling totally embarrassed or even permanently messes up relationships. (My parents, FWIW, both have terrible tempers, which may be where I got it.) I also lack the ability to "mask" what I'm feeling. So for instance if someone is praising me, I can't control getting a little smile on my face, which makes me feel really smarmy. I chalk all of this up to lack of impulse control.
I am incapable of thinking on my feet. This has led to some embarrassing misunderstandings. For instance (warning: this is gross), I was on a road trip recently with a woman I didn't know well, but who I wanted to have a good opinion of me. We stopped at a restaurant to use the restroom, and when I went into my stall there was pee on the seat (I'm female). 9 times out of 10, I would just grit my teeth and wipe away the pee myself, then lay down more TP so I could sit on the seat. This time, I was already feeling carsick from the road and didn't feel like facing that, so just did the hover over the seat, then left the pee. I opened the stall door and was very surprised to see the other woman standing right there waiting to use my stall (there was another empty one in the restroom that must have been out of order). Instead of explaining to her that it was not my pee on the seat, I just hurried out of the stall, leaving her to think that I'd left my own pee on the seat for her to deal with! This is but one example of the many, many misunderstandings I frequently have that could be simply cleared up by me saying something, but instead being surprised causes my brain to temporarily short out(?) apparently.
Finally, I often feel like I am just sort of going along in a fog. I have actually wrecked my car due to being out of it mentally. I have a hard time thinking clearly sometimes. It means that I have poor judgment and common sense bc I am not paying attention to stuff that is right in front of me but am instead daydreaming or thinking about nothing, really. I often find myself wandering around my house looking for something but not remembering what it is or what I'm doing. I've found out that acquaintances have thought that I was "slow." (their word, not mine). I have tried all sorts of dietary regimens, caffeine and no caffeine, physical exercise, different medications, Ritalin and others. The only thing these seem to have an impact on is my anxiety level (which is high). They don't really seem to affect my feeling of being in a fog, mentally.
I've been to different therapists who have told me that I'm not that out of it, but that could be because I find that being in therapy and talking about myself is stimulating and more interesting than, say, housework or small talk or work stuff. Also, there are like a million little things that happen everyday that i don't really catalog or tell anyone, but which seem to add up to support my conclusions. I often wonder if therapists could see me in action in my daily life, if they would have a different opinion of this.
So, my questions is: is there anything I can do to improve these shortcomings, either individually or all together? I don't know why, but I do have the sense that they're interrelated. Does meditation help? Should i convert to Buddhism? It's hard to go through life with the certainty that just around the corner I'm going to do something to embarrass myself, alienate someone, or otherwise just hose things up. Then I'm left with the feelings of guilt and anger that I didn't notice or do something so obvious.
Thank you to anyone who managed to wade through this whole wall of text.