I am a rather introverted person. That doesn't come as a shock to anyone, does it? I mean, in certain situations you'd never know it, and on the internet we're all loudmouthed jerks of varying degrees depending on the level of anonymity in whatever corner we're hiding in at any particular time. But generally speaking - in real, physical, actually-interacting-with-actual-people life I am an introvert. I've known it for a long time. I've been ashamed of it, I've tried to hide/overcome/change it, I've felt like it was something I needed to fix about myself. And in the last couple of years I've finally started to accept that this is just who I am, and that it's not a bad thing to be . . . even when it seems like I'm the only one in the world sometimes.
At this point I'm sure it doesn't sound like it, but this isn't something about myself that I think about a lot anymore. But it was brought up to me a little while ago, so I've been paying more attention to what goes on when I'm out and about with people. And I noticed something in the last couple of weeks that I already knew, but I guess I'd forgotten - I'm not very good at the whole "having conversations" thing.
I think I've mentioned once or twice that I prefer communicating in writing as opposed to verbally, because in writing I can change things as much as I want until I've got my words expressing what I actually meant to say. When I talk a lot of the time I know what I meant, but that's not what the people I'm talking to hear. Sometimes I know where things got lost and sometimes . . . not so much. But when someone asks you a question in person, you have to answer more or less immediately. A response in writing can take a lot longer without looking weird/rude. (side note/fun fact: this blog post is probably going to take me most of the afternoon)
I saw this gif recently, and it really describes me perfectly - especially the second box. And that, I think, is what makes it so hard for me to have a conversation . . . because I've also noticed that it's a lot easier for me if it's one-on-one rather than a big group of people all talking. I get lucky sometimes with the occasional witty one-liner or something, but generally speaking the more people there are involved the more likely it is that by the time I think of something to say the group will have moved on to four or five new topics and my comment is completely irrelevant now. And of course since I'm trying to be a good listener and they say good listeners don't just think of what the next thing they're going to say is I'm getting my topics mixed up and feeling guilty for thinking too much of myself when I should be listening to the people I'm spending time with but if I didn't then I would never say anything and that would just look weird . . . and I just can't win. L'esprit de l'escalier? Story of my life. All. the. time. One on one is easier, but even then sometimes I find myself at a loss for words - even with Luke, and if you don't know how to talk to the person you're married to, how the crap are you supposed to talk to anyone else?
I suppose it's something I should practice. Actually, I had a roommate who would try to get me to practice . . . mostly, I think, as practice for her since she was a psych major, lol. (love you, Cindy!!) And it worked great because we were roommates and she was one of my best friends and so we'd just sit in the living room and chat so it didn't take that much effort on my part. Because we all know I'm not one to go out on a limb for social interaction.
Man, three years of blogging . . . the list of reasons that a shrink would have field day with me must be in the quadruple digits by now . . .
Anyway. I'm a little at a loss. Hiding in a hole forever isn't exactly a practical option (even if it is what I mostly do in the summer). Practice doesn't seem to help - heaven knows I've had enough to make me a pro if that were the case. Like I said, I've been paying more attention lately and I can see exactly where I'm . . . failing, I suppose. But what does one say when one doesn't know what to say? When the mind is blank or you feel like you have nothing to add to the conversation? It's not that I don't feel welcome - but I do feel overwhelmed sometimes.
I suppose it's no surprise really that I have over 1200 books on my to-read list, is it? Books let you talk when you're ready.
To end on a lighter note, a classic Luke-ism for you: we were playing Disney trivia. I don't remember the question, but the answer was Crimson Tide, and as a hint Luke said we'd watched it at my parents house once.
Me: No we didn't. I've never seen that movie.
Luke: Yes we did. Wait . . . that was Hunt for Red October. But they both have red in the title!
I cracked up . . . but maybe that's because I've won 17 games to his 6. :-)
P. ost S. cript
I . . . kind of want one. Don't judge.