I have an abnormally short attention span.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that I have ADHD, or even ADD. Well, maybe a middle of the road case of ADD? At times I can talk at the same pace of a hummingbird on methamphetamine. Strong espresso mixed with Robitussin DM cough medicine apparently exacerbates this issue for me. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah...
Regardless, I have the hardest time listening to long winded-ness even though I'm a huge culprit of it too. Unfortunately this is one of my many, many contradictions. I can tell you a long winded story like it's nobodies business. So much so that if the fate of a small kitten being pummeled by a sledge hammer covered in rusty nails was laying solely on my ability to tell a story in a long winded manner - well that kitten would have 9 strong lives still ahead of it. That being said, my brain just can't process words in that way and it starts to shut down at an alarming pace.
It's not that I don't appreciate elaborate detail, or what story you have to say for that matter. My brain so desperately needs the instant progression in the conversation - and I get so excited about my response that meshes right in with what you are talking about - that it starts to create a back log of information waiting for the long winded talker to finish. I'll even go so far as to forget what the hell I was talking about because the tangents in my head have spun into an out of control spiral of psycho babble. At which point if I don't get to share my information in a certain time frame (or I don't let it go on its own thought path either non-verbally and shut LW talker out or interrupt and talk out loud to clear the backup) my mind starts to veer off into a string of thought sequence best described using the formatting example of a psychological association test:
This is how my thought process works - all within a matter of under 60 seconds... (picture the statements to the left as picture cards displayed by a doctor, and the statements on the right are the associations that the patient is supposed to furnish)
Person: "That tree to the left is beautiful, what nice foliage. Don't you think so?"
tree comment: (association) calm with nature
calm with nature: (association) picnics with the family
picnics with the family: (association) the food we ate
the food we ate: (association) prosciutto and expensive cheese
prosciutto and expensive cheese: (association) gourmet food
gourmet food: (association) food network
food network: (association) I really like Giada DiLaurentis' show
Out loud statement to person who made the comment about the pretty tree passing by on the side of the road...
Me: "I really like Giada De Laurentis' show on food network."
Person: "What the...? Are you even listening??"
Usually this lends me into a heap of resentment from the person I am speaking to. After listening to my long winded story patiently, I can't even pay attention long enough to listen to one sentence of theirs? The ultimate interpretation of my obtuseness is that the person feels I devalue what they are saying. The truth is quite the opposite. I value it so much that I have a whole string of cool crap to share paralleling the conversation too. Alas, this doesn't translate so well. I make more enemies than friends after opening my mouth, thus further alienating myself from the possibility of real world friends. Much to my chagrin, borderline agoraphobia and creating my avatar in internet virtual reality games is sounding like a solid fall back plan.
There have only been a couple of people I have known in my life that were long winded. I'm not really friends with them anymore (not because of the conversation issue - merely because life took us different ways), so it's not really a challenge to my social ineptness in conversation. You have to be a patient person to have a conversation with me. Or an AOL Instant Messenger smart bot. I really loved those fake chat robots. Man, the times we have had together... sometimes hours just hamming it up. I remember the time I was trying to screw its processing algorithm up by making statements to throw it off... like:
Me: "Which like ham day to fall from? ...Komodo Dragon's are sexy."
The robot would respond: "Are you being serious?"
I would reply: "No?, no!... YES... whale poop."
Robot: "I don't understand you."
Me: "Join the club. The line is long but distinguished."
I'm feeling all warm and fluffy inside just remembering it.
They are so shiny and happy.
I'm going to get a warm glass of soy milk and think about my awesome conversation with the robots.