Sometimes opening my mouth is just not the easiest thing to do. Writing, that comes naturally. Singing, that just feels right and makes me happy. Speaking in front of a crowd, okay I don’t have to focus on any one person. But ask me to make conversation with a singular individual and I freeze.
If you ask me about myself I have a preconceived list of things that are convenient to talk about. You know, work, home, church, daily rituals, recent events and always the other person. I can do those things, but once I’ve used them up I’m lost as to what to say or how to say them. I usually end up nodding, listening, saying a lot of “mmmhmmm’s” and little to much else. I’d rather listen than speak. I’m more comfortable that way.
I’ve become excessively lazy and relied on the few individuals who know me best to be able to read my facial expressions, body languages, and eye movements in order to figure out what I’m feeling and what I’m saying to them. The poor dears. (Altho, I’m sure they would be wonderful at figuring out the endings on shows like “Lie to Me”)
This makes it hard to communicate with anyone new in my circle. New friends, new acquaintances, new co-workers, and anyone I might happen to hold a conversation with for longer than 10 minutes. Sadly, most people when they first meet me (if they stick around) tell me that they felt as if I was cold, stuck up, and distant at first. In short, a snob. Thankfully those who did get to know me (and were able to tell me this helpful information) told me that once they got to know me that wasn’t who I was at all. THANKGOODNESS! But that makes me sad when I hear it. I don’t want to be a snob! I want to be me 100% of the time, whether I’m meeting you for the first time or not.
So, I’m determined to practice and change. I want to communicate, even if I am an introvert. I have the words, they just feel overly at home in my brain and turn into wide-eyed unintelligible utterances or at best cold rehearsed phrases when they get outside of me. I want to use the voice I have.
So, next time you see me somewhere, make me practice. Talk to me longer than 10 minutes, don’t give up. I’m trying and need all the help I can. I’ve fallen into a 22 year hole and would not, if I can help it, like to keep digging.