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Counseling/Chronic "Ditsyness"?


I want to start this out by saying I do not feel as if I have low self esteem. I am a recent college grad in my early twenties, I am a very creative writer, musician and artist and feel as though I have many positive qualities. However, I always find myself being the butt of the joke and in my social groups, even those stemming from middle school and high school, I find that I am the person who catches the most crap, if you will. I know my close friends don't make fun of me to be hurtful, its just that it seems I have a propensity towards the role of the ditz, and I don't know how I keep falling into that role in almost every social situation. I do feel that my brain may not work on the same "level" as most peoples'. Things most people would consider to be common sense, I do not consider. A good example of this would be an issue that recently occurred at my moonlighting job. I wait tables at a mom and pop italian restaurant and one of my tables ordered an entire bottle of wine. Going back behind the bar, I spotted a bottle of the type they requested and promptly brought it to their table. One of the other waitresses, who has been with the restaurant since they opened, brought to my attention that I had placed the wrong bottle on the table. I had apparently given my table the larger wine bottle that the restaurant uses for "by the glass" orders. I had to go back to the table and explain my mistake after they had already opened the wine. I later caught the waitress fussing to the host and the owner regarding my mistake. I know it was a stupid mistake, and that it should have been an obvious one as the bottles meant for purchase are smaller, but this didn't cross my mind. This is indicative of the types of incidents that happen to me on a daily basis. I want to know why my brain doesn't "catch" these seemingly obvious concepts and what, if anything, I can do to work on this. I know this negatively affects my life because not only does it make me feel stupid, it hurts me that other people see these mistakes and assume I am dull as well. It also worries me that this issue will affect my career. If I am not able to think on a level with other individuals, I will get passed over for promotions and more than likely lose out on opportunities for other types of advancement. I want to thank you in advance for any and all advice you have to offer.

Hi Ashton. I interpret "ditziness" as situational lack of concentration, awareness, and clear thinking. If that's what you experience, it's possible you're often controlled by one or more impulsive and/or naive "inner children" rather than your wise, practical true Self. To explore whether this may be true, read these:

If this seems to fit you, then invest time studying this free online "lesson":

If you do and have questions, please ask - Pete


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about mood disorders, depression, suicide, relationships, communication skills, problem solving, clear thinking, bonding disorders, trauma recovery, addiction management, grieving, shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion, and trust disorders; courtship, family functioning, "problem kids," mediation, (re)marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, stepparenting, boundaries, self-neglect, abuse, parental neglect, personality subselves, ("parts work"). I cannot answer legal or medical questions.


I maintained a private therapy practice near Chicago for 27 years, and have worked with over 1,000 men, women, couples, and families on a wide range of personal and family problems. I have been in personal recovery from growing up in an alcoholic family since 1986, and have worked with five therapists to heal my own psychological wounds. I maintained a "warm (phone) line" for callers on the topics above for 20 years, and have taught over 200 seminars and classes in midwestern universities, churches, support groups, and schools since 1981. I have practiced internal-family therapy ("parts work") with trauma-recoverers since 1991.

National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council; Compassion and Choices, and Final Exit Network

# Several hundred articles in my non-profit "Break the Cycle!" Web site at These articles are augmented by over 150 educational YouTube videos .

# six books on childhood-trauma recovery, effective communication, and stepfamily courtship, coparenting, and management.

A bachelors degree in mechanical engineering (BSME, 1959) from Stanford University, a Masters degree in clinical Social Work, (MSW, 1981), and over 500 hours of post-grad training in the topics above - including clinical hypnosis, spirituality, codependence, addicrtion-management, and guided imagery. My post-grad traning includes two 9-month internships on doing internal-family therapy at the University of Illinois.

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of grateful emails and comments from students and clients all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
Over 1,000 average Midwestern-US women, men, couples, and families. A physical disability limits me to doing telephone and Skype counseling now.

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