My lack of a filter is ruining my life

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TheHaywire
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10 Jun 2010, 3:20 am

I say absolutely everything that is on my mind 24/7 and cannot stop. It is ruining absolutely everything about my existence. What should I do?



monsterland
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10 Jun 2010, 3:24 am

Learn to say the same things but in softer fashion. For instance, if a friendly hostess offers you a dish you can't stand, instead of "I can't stand this dish", smile and say "Maybe later".

In this way you remain true to yourself by achieving the same results, yet minimize the "ruining" quality of your words.



SeaMonkey
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10 Jun 2010, 3:28 am

Do benzos or other CNS depressants help?



TheHaywire
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10 Jun 2010, 3:28 am

How would I go about learning this when I don't feel like it's something I can control?

I post every single thought I have (well not every single thought but most of them) online and this has hurt my career as an artist. I say everything that comes to my mind when I'm out and this has hurt my reputation socially. (to the extreme) How do I gain control over this? How do I keep my thoughts inside when I feel like they have a life of their own?

I am on both Klonopin and Cymbalta but I think they... stopped working?



Fickle_Pickle
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10 Jun 2010, 3:40 am

Just don't say it, easy.



IamTheWalrus
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10 Jun 2010, 3:54 am

count to ten before saying anything

or before you hit submit



zen_mistress
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10 Jun 2010, 4:03 am

Read "How To Win Friends And Influence People'. Take the suggestions on board. Gradually build a filter. It wont happen overnight though.


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ToughDiamond
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10 Jun 2010, 4:53 am

It's hard to fix that one.......when I tried, the first thing that happened was that I just kept completely silent, or took so long to put my ideas through the censorship routine that it was too late to speak by the time I'd given my words the green light. But after a long time, I became better at quick-censoring and I've found some kind of middle ground between saying nothing and saying everything.

Part of the solution was to realise that I was just dumping every thought I had onto anybody who would listen.......I started to realise that I was putting a huge burden on myself, and that I could do a lot better by leaving spaces for the other person to speak, and to take an interest in their thoughts......it's easier than having to dream up more and more stuff to disseminate. Best thing I've found is to ask questions about the other person - my questions can be alarmingly personal and deep, and I should probably try to keep them a bit more trivial (particularly with people who don't know me very well), but even without that filter, I've been surprised at how well my questions have been received - after the initial shock, people sometimes seem quite impressed that another person is interested in going that deep with them. I get the impression that there are lots of folks out there who are as bored with trivia as I am, and long for something that goes straight to the heart.

It also helps if you can choose your friends carefully. Some people can easily be put off by the occasional inappropriate comment, others won't mind at all. The worst are the ones who laugh it off at the time as if you've cracked a really good joke, but then they never invite you back. :oops:

I also find that if I take too much time out from being with people, I start to lose my social skills so that when I next have company, I'm back to Square One. The skills always come back in the end, but meanwhile I can put people off.......so I try to have a maximum isolation time of about 2 days.



TheHaywire
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10 Jun 2010, 5:00 am

That was a really helpful response and reminded me of the best coping strategy that I've found for this. Thank you. Do you find that the questions you are asking are questions you're genuinely interested in hearing the answer to or that you're just "playing the game?" Sometimes I've forced myself to ask people questions that didn't really interest me just to stay afloat.

"The worst are the ones who laugh it off at the time as if you've cracked a really good joke, but then they never invite you back."

How can you recognize these people? A lot of my close friends genuinely appreciate the way I act in public and view it as both hilarious and liberating. Others laugh and pretend like I've cracked a good joke but never invite me back. How can I tell if they are laughing at me or with me?



monkeybutt
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10 Jun 2010, 5:39 am

I have frequently said I have trouble with my Brain-to-Mouth-Filter. One of the strategies I use is to force myself to talk s-l-o-w-e-r. Sounds stupid, but I've found that when my filter appears to have stopped working, I'm talking REALLY FAST! So as I force myself to slow, my brain seems to be able to catch up to my face.

I also meditate on situations and what I might say if someone says This or That. Therefore I've had multiple conversations in my head, and when in the actual conversation, I've already had it and know things I really don't want to say. The only problem with this particular strategy is that sometimes I forget what I have actually said, and what I am thinking about saying. This particular one I've discussed with my husband and told him if I screw that one up (think I've said something and I actually haven't) he's supposed to tell me. I have started using this one less because it started causing me a bit of a problem (due to me not being certain what was said and what wasn't).

The weirdest one I've used is to imagine I'm watching myself, like a camera on a reality show. So half my brain is talking and the other half is watching. I've caught myself doing all sorts of stupid stuff that way. This one works really well because I'm intently paying attention to my conversation instead of daydreaming about math or something and not paying attention.

I also completely agree with ToughDiamond. It's extremely difficult for me personally to have a conversation, I tend to dominate it and make it one sided. I also tend to jump in with "me too, I know what you mean, that happened to me also blah blah blah" and so I force myself to quite unnaturally listen to the answer to my questions and find new things to ask. Actually I was a reporter for years and my boss pointed out that I had an amazing ability to ask questions and listened really intently... lots of people liked being interviewed by me because of it. Yeah, well, it's because I can force myself to have laser focus on what people are saying because if I'm not listening with all of my brain, half my brain is thinking about Winnie the Pooh 8O



ToughDiamond
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10 Jun 2010, 5:42 am

TheHaywire wrote:
That was a really helpful response and reminded me of the best coping strategy that I've found for this. Thank you. Do you find that the questions you are asking are questions you're genuinely interested in hearing the answer to or that you're just "playing the game?" Sometimes I've forced myself to ask people questions that didn't really interest me just to stay afloat.

"The worst are the ones who laugh it off at the time as if you've cracked a really good joke, but then they never invite you back."

How can you recognize these people? A lot of my close friends genuinely appreciate the way I act in public and view it as both hilarious and liberating. Others laugh and pretend like I've cracked a good joke but never invite me back. How can I tell if they are laughing at me or with me?


I hardly ever ask a question that I have no interest in......if I do that, I find it hard to focus on their answer, and to remember it, which makes me worry that they'll eventually realise I wasn't really interested. People seem to accept me if I seem to have just the right level of interest in them - too much and they'll get scared off, too little and they'll feel frustrated and move on.

I wish I knew how to tell the difference between genuine appreciation and fake appreciation. Mostly I can't. Sometimes they're not very good at faking it and I can detect the falseness of their laughing and smiling, other times all I can do is wait and see how they react to me over the long term. I think it's usually possible to redeem myself after I've blown it......people are generally quite forgiving as long as I haven't gone too crazy, so you get time off for good behaviour. And I'm probably better off without them if they're too squeamish.

One other thing I had to deal with was an incredibly strong feeling that words can't do any harm. I really used to believe that talking was just a load of hot air and that it's what you do that counts. Not true - words are very powerful, they can work wonders or they can kill.



alone
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10 Jun 2010, 10:07 am

I used to live like every minute in reactionary mode, on constant alert. All I did was run down alleys and look under cars. I felt like an animal, dippin and dodging, growling and barking, at whatever. My brain was burning 24 x 7 with really nothing more than electricity. Appropriate behavior wasn't anything I could even understand. I lived in my world, all that matter was in my brain. I just stopped one day and decided to walk among people. No better, no worse, but the same. Every thought in my head was as important as everyone else's single thoughts. My brain was mine and only a few things make it happy and any bombardment makes it crazier and crazier. I have to watch the information going in to control how it feels. It is simple in a very complicated way.
Breath, dial back, be quiet and learn who you are.

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CockneyRebel
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10 Jun 2010, 10:54 am

Think before you speak.


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