Tag Archives: hyperactive

My Wife’s Suggestion – A Support Group For Spouses

photo of Robb Lightfoot and Karin Lightfoot

Pity my wife. After all, for almost 35 years she’s been married to me. The guy who has never–not once–been able to sit through an entire meal without springing to my feet to go get that extra serving spoon or refill a cup of coffee or glass of water.

I just can’t sit down for more than about 5 minutes at a go. And the thing is, I don’t even realize I’m doing it until she either sighs or bursts out laughing.

So when I was putting together my site, and laying out the topics I want to write about, she had a semi-serious request.

“You need to offer a support group for wives.”

We both laughed, but she does have a point. People who are hyperactive don’t outgrow it as much as they find, more or less, ways to direct that energy into places it doesn’t irritate quite as many people quite as often. I’m thinking of my second-grade teacher as I write this. So, Mrs. Reyes, instead of sending me to the principal’s office, maybe you should have just had me walk your dog.

At least it would have freed up a space in the principal’s waiting room.

Yes, energy management is an issue, and the people who are around us the most still get more than their share of ‘excessive enthusiasm,” even when it is dialed down or a bit diffused. I am, as Karin will tell you, still a work-in-progress. So I have to work to address the more problematic parts of this. I don’t interrupt her quite as much as I used to. And I’ve learned not to supply the punch line to a joke she’s telling. Well, not often anymore.

But if you’ve got a hyperactive spouse, and you want to drop Karin a line, perhaps she’ll share her husband-managment secrets. I’m sure she’s got some behavior-shaping tools she keeps to herself. These do not include her sharp left elbow, which has been inserted, more than once, into my ribs when I was standing next to her, talking to a friend or new acquaintance, and about to make a problematic pronouncement.

You can leave her a message here, or I’ll pass it along at robb@robblightfoot.com.

Addendum: Karin said that you should not include names, or at least real names. She said this will “protect the not-so-innocent.” That’s the sort of loving support we all need.

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

hyperactiveclub.com thank you card off morguefile

How many people have wanted to strangle you?

Seriously.

This occurred to me as I began mapping out the topics I’m going to cover in this blog. I can joke about some of the situations I’ve survived, but the truth is that I’ve managed to—without trying—really tax the patience of many of my family and friends. This, I think, more than any other clinical description is what is a huge benchmark of the hyperactive person.

In the columns that follow, I want to have a few laughs at my expense, but the reality is that, at the time, some of this stuff wasn’t funny. Oh, sure, if you were looking in the window or standing just down the hallway and safely out of range, it could be a riot. But for the teachers and other authority figures who had to maintain their professional composure—while wanting to wrap their fingers around my windpipe—then it was not funny at all.

I get that.

And I think it’s appropriate to thank them for their patience, the ones that were patient, and their kindness, when they were kind.

Not everyone was.

You may notice I’ve not apologized here. I have, at times, apologized to specific people for specific things when I clearly screwed up. But some of the behavior that really annoyed people was, for lack of a better term, naïve exuberance. And that is and will be the point of many of the postings here. It’s not that hyper people are trying to be annoying, often they think they’re helping or at least doing the right thing.

Honestly.

It’s hard to apologize for just being the sort of person I’m hardwired to be. I do realize that I don’t have a license to be a total pain all the time. But I also think that being a mature, understanding person can cut both ways. I hope that the non-hyper reader is willing to at least hear me out in these columns. Of course you can disagree, and please feel free to post such comments. But as much as anything, I want to help those who the world deems normal—whatever that means—understand the mindset of we who are hyper-enabled. You may laugh, but many of us think it’s a benefit to be the way we are. Being impulsive is fun, up to the point it’s not. And having bursts of energy can wonderful when it comes to getting things done. But I admit that there is a restlessness at work that can be wearing to be around.

So as I begin this journey, to take a look at what it means to be hyperactive, to share the stories and the scholarship. I want to pause a moment and thank the many people who have helped shape my behavior for the better. I really do appreciate it. Speaking from my life experience, it’s not always possible to “dial it down” as much I’d like. And just about the time I think I have it under control, I find that I’m getting the eye-rolls and those “we’ll talk about this later” looks that tell me that I’ve crossed the line.

All I can say is: “Sorry about that.”

And in writing these posts, I will be sharing the tips I come across for “hacking the brain” to change habits or otherwise be less annoying. I’m also open to your helpful suggestions for tips, books to read, or people to interview, too.  But the honest truth is that most hyperactive people are never going to shake off entirely their irksome manners and mannerisms. I think that all of us—those who are hyperactive and those who are in close proximity—are going to have to meet one another somewhere in the middle when it comes to negotiating the norms of behavior. Otherwise, we’ll be fighting many losing battles.

So thank you in advance for those of you who are willing to be flexible, forgiving, and faithful in your commitment to your less-than-perfect friends and family members. And for my part, when I share my stories here, you patient people will be the heroes, because you are. We really do appreciate it when you grin and bear it yet one more time.

But if you can’t… remember that strangling people is frowned upon in 38 states.

Welcome to HyperactiveClub.com

 robb lightfoot mug shot for hyperactiveclub.com

Hello all.

This site began after two hyperactive guys compared notes about what we found amusing. (Hint: It wasn’t golf.) I said that we shared so much in common, including the fact that we are still, as adults, easily bored, and that we should start a club, or at least a newsletter, for people like us.

Well, here it is.

And now that I think about it, why not? Those of us who are hyperactive adults have survived the perils of childhood and our difficult grade-school years. And that is worth celebrating. Those of you who stumble across this website can take heart that there are plenty of successful, hyperactive adults who do manage to find their way into the right niche.

My intention here is to spotlight these individuals, and to have some fun along the way. Let’s face it, you have to be able to laugh when you have hyperactive people in your life. We like to think we’re lovable, and we can be, but God knows we can be exhausting sometimes.

So, if you have a story to tell or want to join in our discussion, please do so. Perhaps you are a teacher–oddly enough, both my friend and I are–and want to give your perspectives. That’s fine. Or maybe you’re a parent who wants to remind we the rambunctious how tiring it can be. That’s fair, too. But the underlying tone I want to strike is one of optimism. We can all get through this, and, maybe, still like one another. That’s my hope.

And you can if you like, apply for membership here. We’re still sorting out the terms, but at the very least we want to hear a story or two.