Breaking Mindless Habit Which Upsets Husband

Hi all,

I have to post quickly and then do my nightly routine of lunches, clutter fun, and school work.

This is going to sound ridiculous:  I am a lifelong stomper.  By this, I mean that in spite of the fact I am a normal-sized person, I have been known to "walk like a herd of elephants," to quote my mom when I was a teenager.  I don't mean I am having an adult tantrum.  I mean that for whatever reason the way my foot strikes the ground is loud; it's my gait (no, I am not like Quasimodo).

So...when I am in a hurry, my gait is more pronounced.  When I am running around doing lunches, when I have a lot to do during the school year and I am trying to get it done, I get (you might be shocked here, folks)...distracted.  The second I lose self-awareness, I start the stomping.  I also slam cabinets, apparently.  My husband told me today that in spite of the fact he has not yelled (he hasn't; ACTUAL shocker), I have not "changed the behavior." EDIT:  HE ONLY MENTIONS THIS BECAUSE HE IS TRYING TO SLEEP.

He is right.  I just don't know what to do!  Maybe write signs to myself that I hang in the kitchen?  What if I forget?  Maybe wear my slippers so my gait is softer?  He doesn't want me putting any in the cabinet that involves screws (I already tried that thick felt-type material that you stick under chair legs to prevent floor scratches.  The cabinets still bounce 3 times when shut quickly.

He thinks I don't care enough to change.  NOT TRUE!!! I am trying to correct it, but I need a better strategy!  I can't override my stupid working memory with willpower.  Were that the case, this would NEVER have been a problem to begin with! 




PS I also don't want to inadvertently "train him" that he NEEDS to yell at me...more.  He's trying to do it my way, and I want to be able to respect his needs, but my memory doesn't give a rat's ass!

Pbartender's picture

Two silly things...

"He's trying to do it my way, and I want to be able to respect his needs, but my memory doesn't give a rat's ass!"

Right.  So you need a simple prosthetic memory to remind you every time until you retrain yourself into a new, less annoying, mindless habit.

STOMPING: You're right.  You need to change your gait.  It's likely too long, and too hurried.  You're probably plopping your weight down with your leading foot on the floor like you're dropping an anchor.  You need to learn to set your foot down gently when you take a step (the reduced repeated shock will also be better for your joints, in the long run).  It'll sound (and look) silly, but try this...  Tie your ankles together.  Put loose loops are around your ankles.  The length of string/rope between them should be as short as possible while still giving you a comfortable walking stride.  That'll help shorten and slow your stride.  Or, if that doesn't help or you want something less conspicuous, try wearing shoes with a very small, but noticeable, pebble placed under the middle of your heel...  That'll serve as a reminder to step lightly EVERY TIME you take a step.

SLAMMING: I've been trying to cut back on my discretionary spending until a few debt are paid off.  I have a bank card for my checking account that can be used as an ATM card, a debit card and a credit card, so I use it for almost every purchase that I make.  I simply stuck a small post-it note to the front of the card and wrote "DON'T" on it with a marker in big, black letters.  It worked wonders.  Try doing the same thing with your cabinets for a few weeks (so long as hubby doesn't mind the post-its hanging everywhere)...  Little notes next to the cabinet handles that just say, "DON'T".



Not really sure how you change something like your walk

but I would imagine it will involve working hard at correcting something about the way your foot strikes and that sounds like it would be extra hard for a person with ADD.  I admire that you want to tackle this.

I have a niece who we used to say the same thing about.....was the tiniest child in the world and she sounded like a herd of elephants.  Her parents did the reminding her, but she'd regress to that loud way of walking (not even sure what is different about it) at times regardless of reminding.  They put her in dance class.  I realize that might not be an option for you, but she is a pretty good ballerina and got the main part in their recital last year.  I haven't noticed anything about her walking so loudly for a while, so I assume that corrected it.

Do you like to do dance videos or anything for exercise?  I know there are some different types and maybe it would help make you a bit lighter on your feet.  Sorry is the only suggestion that I have.

So funny you say that.  My

So funny you say that.  My daughter does ballet, and could not be girlier, which is hysterical to me as all I ever wanted to do as a child was be a black belt.  I just talked to her ballet teacher the other day, told her my tale of woe and she reminded me that ballerinas walk on their toes (and are much lighter-footed than me)

No, not much of a dancer, which would certainly help, I'm sure...

Thanks :)

Ahhhhhhh the Cabinets...

I don't know what to say about the "Thundering Heard" walk, but cabinet slamming was one of my specialties. I think after 1 Million annoyed remarks from my DW I just started going over kill on resting the cabinet door against the cabinet. They still get away from me sometimes,but I don't get too many complaints (About slamming cabinets, at least) Part of the issue is probably due to my tendency to "Not Close" doors and drawers all the way. (90% closed 90% of the time ;)

With regards to when my DW is still sleeping (I Always get up first) I open and close doors silently, like not letting the spring in the doorknob click it into place, no lights, only my phone pointed at my feet. I don't wake her up, unless she has put something where it is not supposed to be, then when I hit it with my toe my "Sailor Speak" might leak out.  

I think my DW is WAY sensitive to sound. There is not a bathroom noise I can make that is not annoying in some way. (I'm not talking about gas noises either ;) I rinse with mouthwash to loud, I stopped doing the 1st thing in the morning throat clear Years ago because she hated the sound. The popping sound from flossing too... I just try to be as quiet as I can :)

I think the ADD oblivion is largely to do with us not "Noticing" how loud we are...


Are you or your wife (or everyone on this site) aware of this?  Misophonia: Hatred of Sound.    I have this and it is one reason I DO very much appreciate my ADD spouse.  Many common noises people make drive me crazy fight or flight nervous.  I cannot stand mouth noises, smacking, popping gum, cell phone talkers in public areas, etc.  There are studies being done on this.  Hundreds of thousands of people bear this annoying/nearly debilitating condition.  Info and support group on and a support group on Yahoo health support groups called Yahoo Sound Sensitivity. The good thing about DHs ADD is that when I am hypersensitive to a noise or an activity that DH does, he forgives and forgets that I was such a jerk. When I must leave a theater/restaurant/building, he will understand most of the time and get out with me.  I mention this to get the word out there and to let people who crunch happily away know that there is a good percent of the population who have this and are hating you because you crunch, smack or have bad food/table manners.  FYI.

Very interesting...

I'm going to check out your link. I know sound levels can make me want to run screaming, but my issue is overload. Too many channels of noise all at once. My wife's is like you say little specific noises. She also has a hyper-sensitive nose. This is really interesting, because I can relate to the feelings of Needing to get out of a place due to sound.


I (nonADHD spouse) am very

I (nonADHD spouse) am very sensitive to noises and to smells.  I can hear people unwrapping candy from the other side of the house, and I'm always the first (only?) one to notice when there's something dead (e.g. a mouse) or rotten (e.g. food) in the house.

Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome 4S

Yup, candy or gum wrapper unwrapping.....yikes...get me out of here! Some people can't stand typing or barking or drum beats or loud bass too.  For almost all, however it is the mouth noises of others of smacking, gum popping, snoring, loud breathing...any noises someone's mouth makes..

It seems to always have started in people's lives at adolescence.  

This condition is also called 4S or Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome. 

I am the non-ADDer in the family. 

Going to check that website out...

One of my students has this (he has been diagnosed with OCD, with a possible ADHD diagnosis forthcoming).  He targets his mom because she is the "heavy" with discipline and he is out of control and angry, but the symptom is part of his OCD, according to his mother.  I literally just heard about this the other week for the first time, so my entire knowledge base is centered around this conversation I had with his mother, so forgive me if I am mistaken. 

I hate certain pitch sounds that don't bother anyone but me and my kids when they were a little younger and had more sensitive hearing.  The sound of that instrument that blows air into your mouth at the dentist is horrible to me.  Worse than nails on a chalkboard or styr ofoam.  There is an amusement park near our house with a water play center for young kids, and the pitch of the sound coming from one of sea creatures is so bad, I put my hands on my ears like I'm on the spectrum.  And the sound of the school's vacuum cleaner must also be the same pitch.  I hate it so much I have to leave school (after the bell rings) the second I hear it.  It's not just that I can't concentrate.  It really, really bothers me.  I don't know what this is about.  Some sensory issue.  No idea why.


Please ban all gum and candy in the classroom.  When we were young, gum and candy were banned from the class.  I don't think I could have gotten through school if people were chewing in class.  I heard that chewing gum in class is allowed many times for students with ADD for them to be able to concentrate better. I don't know.  That would be MY end of an education.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul...;)

No gum; kids are gross and still stick it under the desks.  I've heard of that as a accomodation, but few have that in my school. 

Yeah, it always makes life interesting when the effects of one student's disability affect another student's disability in the same class. Or when you get a class with a lot of ADHDers whose accomodations include "preferential seating," because it's a FABULOUS idea to have all of them seated next to each other in the front  row;).

is this a common adhd issue?

My husband (has ADHD) walks the same way.  He pounds the floor so hard that I can feel the floor shake when I'm upstairs!  Wow, that is very interesting.  It doesn't really bother me, except for the fact that it wakes up our kids occasionally.  I do wonder if this is common?

Tiptoeing through the tulips/No longer Godzilla in Tokyo

Hi drewifeadhd,

I don't know about the stomping, but there are a couple of threads on this site about cabinet doors being left open or alternatively slammed, which is definitely a distraction issue.  For me, my foot strikes the ground heel first, which is basically the opposite of a dancer; dancers being known for their grace.  My natural gait and distraction issues are amplified when I'm tired, trying to multi-task, and in a hurry (which describes every school night for me).  I've had some success with reducing my stomping since this post; THANKS TO ALL WHO RESPONDED: YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!  I think that just putting it out on this site raised my level of awareness quite a bit.  I've been wearing my slippers, a cue to me to walk more softly (like the proverbial string on the finger).  They also reduce the noise I make on our ceramic tile floors, which further alerts me to what I am doing RIGHT.  I also made a ridiculous sign with Foam letter stickers on it that says "Quiet Feet = Happy Feet."  I put it on the kitchen counter where I make lunches as an additional sarcastic reminder to myself.  Sarcasm gets my attention in a good way, especially when it's humorous and not mean-spirited.  Whatever works, right?