Health, MS, Partners/Caregivers

5 Tips: How to converse with a ‘foggy’

Brain fog causes issues with processing and comprehension. Here are some things to remember to help conversations flow more easily when you’re speaking to someone with brain fog.

Memory issues

1. Don’t change the subject.

It’s a very wavery tightrope to collect your thoughts and articulate them clearly when your brain is drowning in cotton. When you change the subject mid-conversation, often we can’t retrieve the original thought that just might have been world-altering.

2. Don’t ask questions until we’re finished speaking.

Again, any interruption throws the train off the tracks so even if you think being an attentive listener means asking questions, hold back. It can be a ridiculous feeling of success to process and articulate a complete thought when your brain doesn’t want to cooperate so please allow the time and space for that to happen, without interrupting.

3. Don’t talk to us when we’re trying to complete another task.

Multi-tasking is the gold standard for success these days, everyone is SO BUSY! Brain fog allows a person to only complete the simplest of tasks, one at a time. Please don’t try to chat if they are trying to cook or even tie their shoes. Every task takes so much mental (and physical) energy, it is impossible to split the focus.

4. Speak clearly and slowly, don’t mumble.

It takes as much effort to listen and process the message receiving information when Charlotte has spun her web so thoroughly in your noggin. Again, allow time and space for processing and for Pete’s sake, speak loudly and clearly. But not like we’re morons. Thanks.

5. Accept a grunt as a polite response.

Sometimes carrying on a conversation is more than we can handle. Don’t take it personally. It’s sort of like when toddlers ‘hit the wall’ – “Complete meltdown approaching, back away, BACK AWAY!”

Brain fog affects many people living with chronic illness. For many, it never goes away, it just changes in its severity. I hope these tips help your next conversation with a foggy to proceed without too many hiccups.

Do you have any tips to add? What is the most difficult aspect of conversing when you’re suffering from brain fog?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

May the spoons be ever in your favour

❤️ Amanda

29 thoughts on “5 Tips: How to converse with a ‘foggy’”

  1. Amanda, this was absolutely wonderful!! I really want to print this and wear it as a sign around my neck! I think people mumbling is the most obnoxious thing in the world!!! I think if I could wear this daily, the ignorant people I am around would develop some sense!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this too. I shffer still from “chemo brain” and somehow, I don’t think I will ever be the same again, since its been four tears now. I STILL have brain fog and all of what you have said is SO me. Thankyou

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is amazing what humans get used to. I just shrug now when people ask me how I am, where 5 years ago I’d be moaning about crappy I felt. It’s that adaptability that has made us so successful as a race though, I guess. If we didn’t adjust, we’d go nuts(-er😉).


  3. Huh. I didn’t realize that brain fog was a ‘thing’. I have been foggy much of my life. I suspect past trauma but not sure. ALL of the things you mentioned derail me, although I’m pretty practiced at asking people to clarify, rephrase or explain. My sister and I have had to put ALL of your tips into practice lately with our Mom, who is in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s. We have even talked to her about it, so she can also ask us to slow down (etc.). Mom’s illness has DEFINITELY made me a much better listener… Lovely, helpful post. So glad you ‘found’ me and are following my blog, and very happy to have found yours…😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they’re all tips that would make everybody’s conversations better but especially important for brain fog. I wrote it because it affects me every day but also because, like you, my mom is in the early stages of dementia so I’ve become even more aware of it. I’m so glad I found you too, thanks for following back! Look forward to reading your blog. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So this is what I suffer from sometimes. I know I have trouble making simple decisions at times, but also must have the foggies too, because I periodically have trouble processing information.


  5. These are great tips Amanda! MS is indeed a disease of challenges, frustration and change. How you respond to each of these will determine the quality of your life. I speak from experience. Thank you for following my blog. I hope you enjoy your visits.

    Liked by 1 person

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