Shiny Object Syndrome



I’ve been trying to learn this one video editing program. Trying, may not be the correct word. It’s been a little like writer’s block where you take out the pencil and pen, the paper, organize your work space, but no words are flowing. I’ve set up my work space, have the video class all ready to go on the screen, but all of a sudden there seems to all these distractions! There’s friends to chat with on Facebook, which I love to do anyway. The girls are getting a little nutsy in the front yard so I need to supervise. There’s that pie in the frig that has been calling me for three days. And gosh, would you look at that, I still haven’t learned one lesson on that video. What is wrong with me?

It’s called Shiny Object Syndrome. There’s no pill or support group but it’s so common among creative and sensitive people. We like colors, and shiny things, and less tangible things like new knowledge and insights. Throw in the empathic thing and we are drawn into others’ stories feeling their sadness, their pain, their losses.

Empathic folks take in a great deal of information at once. We don’t just see the chair over there. We see the peeling paint, the yellow peeking through the wood, and we notice the seat cushion could use some sewing. Every now and then I often wish I could be shallow and only see that surface!

I wondered the other day if maybe I have Adult ADD and not Shiny Object Syndrome. And in a flurry of worry, I did some research to rule it out.

So I took the quiz I found over at Psych Central. Okay, that test isn’t so helpful. I know I’m hyperactive sometimes, but I think that’s inherited energy from my grandmother, and part of my nervous nature. And I can definitely concentrate and stick to a project once I do start. I also have my deeply lazy moments, although my head rarely shuts off. I read the 15 Signs You May Have Adult ADHD, and it’s not fitting me. Elaine Aron’s brilliant self test fits me to a T. I already know I can be a sensation-seeking sensitive, as she calls it. So, I conclude after all this research, it is a big part of my sensitivity.

How do you cure the Shiny Object Syndrome then? I would think you don’t! Why would you want to? I am finding that there is a gift there. Without it, I’d be a dull workaholic. I wouldn’t take breaks or have a full life with friends, and beauty, giant puppy playing, and rose smelling. Perhaps, then, Shiny Object Syndrome shows up just when we need it for that balance. Because maybe I just needed a little break before I dive into my video learning.


For more tips, check out my book HELP! I’M SENSITIVE, online classes EMPATHIC SKILLS & CARE OF THE SENSITIVE. I am busy at work on the sequel book, YOUR TURTLE SHELL.