Tuesday, March 30, 2010

tongue-tied

All the time. I write like nobody's business and I can't speak.

Picture me, sitting across the table from a singing icon that I much admire (no, Mon, not her), and picture me struggling to say something with any level of coherence. That, folks, is the story of my life. When I am in the midst of my social anxiety, jokes sail right over my head. I miss the humor in certain comments. I say the stupidest things.  I am sure that half the world thinks I'm a blathering idiot because my brain and my mouth cannot function together.

And then I go home and say to myself "What the hell was that? What were you thinking?"

I am not exaggerating.

Put me in a room full of children or dogs. Sit me down in front of a Scrabble board. Put me in the company of a few people that I've known for years - it sometimes takes years for me to get to a level where I am comfortable - and you can catch the smallest glimpse of the inner me. Engage me in a one-to-one conversation, and you might get somewhere, as long as I am not incredibly nervous about something. And I can find the smallest things to be incredibly nervous about. I worry so much about sounding stupid that I end up sounding...stupid.

I am a great listener. And to cover up for my own insecurities, I ask very good questions. Because then the heat is off me, and focused on someone else.

So if you ever meet me face-to-face, please be kind. I really am rather intelligent, even if I can't put five coherent words together.

Maybe I should just take a notebook and pen with me everywhere I go and write everything down.

7 comments:

Em said...

Oh Camlin, I sooo get this. I just want to give you a hug.

Dragon said...

I heard some weird advice from a college text book of all places. But I agree with what it said. If you want to be a person that can talk with people without a problem, fake it. Just do it. Act like you are that person that can talk to almost anyone. Go in, sit down and chat and act like you don't worry about it. Just start talking and listening and not think about whether it is right or wrong. Act like everything you say is the most amazing thing to be said and everyone wants to hear. Just do it. The more you "act" like this person, the easier it will be.

Mon said...

Okay, you knew you would have me at the first word, I was sure you somehow scored dinner with HER....and I was instantly jealous!!!

It's much easier to write than to speak a lot of times I think. The "what if's" abound in my head after a situation, then I'm kicking myself for days..

Hang in there baby....

Mon

MY word verifcation is TOOOO good...

nummeggg

shane rocket said...

just remember everyone is feeling some level of what you are while in a group. then picture everyone neeked.

greg said...

I'm with you here - I forget very common words when I'm nervous. It's embarrassing to say the least. A cocktail helps. :)

Camlin said...

It's not just about groups - I was at dinner with one other person. I am even worse in groups, so I tend to avoid them...

Yeah, Mon, I knew where your mind was gonna go. If that momentous event ever happens, I promise you will be the first to know!

Greg - my mother dealt (well, I guess it's kind of a present tense thing, too) with her social anxieties by drinking lots and lots of alcohol in public places and family parties. For that reason, it's a coping mechanism I tend to avoid.

Making Space said...

Big hugs! Some people find that introspective sort of personality intriguing. Don't sell yourself short. Charm comes in many forms.