Home About
Dr. Michele Novotni
Articles Events Services Blog Contact            
Opening Doors to New Possibilities

With a little preparation
     and your favorite non sequitur
once-dreaded family gatherings can be lots of fun.

The "Peanut Butter" Fix for Thoughtless Relatives

by Michele Novotni, Ph.D.

Samantha adores her family. But for years the prospect of family get-togethers filled her with dread. The intricate planning needed to pull off such gatherings made her anxious. She worried that her AD/HD would make it hard to hold her own in conversations with far-flung family members, many of whom she didn't know well. Inevitably, one of her relatives would make an insensitive or cutting remark, to which she didn't know how to respond. She wound up deflated, resentful, angry.

No longer. Now, if a relative uncorks a zinger, Samantha smiles and says, "Peanut butter." It stops people every time. What can one say to a non sequitur like that?
If a relative uncorks a zinger, Samantha smiles and says, "Peanut butter." It stops people every time. What can one say to a non sequitur like that?

Here's how to make the most of your next family outing:

Prepare in advance to handle zingers. Imagine that someone says "You look like you've gained weight," or "You need to do a better job of disciplining your child." How will you respond? You might simply smile and say "Thanks for caring about me." If all else fails, you can always utter your own version of "peanut butter."

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

Home | About Michele Novotni | Articles | Blog | Contact

2006 Michele Novotni, Ph.D.
Design by K.K. McConlogue