Home > Learning to talk > 1.10 learning to talk

1.10 learning to talk

Now here is something that may actually interest a few new people around the internet, a little insight into my life away from writing and cousework. I have found it difficult to actually go out and talk to people for as long as I can remember, and it seems to get more difficult all the time. I think at least partly it is that my expectation of myself is not to talk, so I lack confidence and don’t bother, other people’s expectations of me stop them bothering to try communicating with me, and then, of course, I lack practice, it is difficult for me to know what to say and when.
Exactly what is wrong with me, I have no idea, I have confused a few psychologists and therapists so far, they keep suggesting new things it could be, nothing ever quite seems to fit, and certainly labels don’t actually help me overcome the difficulty. Neither, as it turns out, does meeting with someone to discuss the issue, it isn’t as though they can actually do anything to help, whatever I have to do, I need to do myself. I stopped bothering to go and see the people that were meant to be helping for a few weeks recently after we both got frustrated with the lack of progress there and elsewhere (more on this, a lot more, in some of my earlier posts, perhaps I will link to them from here if the idea gets enough interest)
I have always been frustrated with this part of me, but just recently I have become even more determined than ever to do something about it, and now have a plan. The things that are most difficult for me are firstly, having other people actually try talking to me, I can be very quiet, hard to hear, then I don’t say much early in any discussion, people assume I will not talk much back to them, that sort of thing, so if I decide I want to say something, it becomes a little awkward to find a chance to do so, I am not very good in groups where everyone else is talking, or with going up to someone and starting a conversation myself. Secondly, I just don’t know what to say, so many different things I could say when I meet someone, which to go with, or all too easy just to go, oh well it doesn’t matter, they don’t expect me to say anything at all, then later, I often have little to contribute, I don’t have the same experiences or interests to discuss, I can’t remember things I want to say exactly at the moment I need to, and so on…
Anywy, this plan, I have over the course of the next few days five chances to meet with people and talk to them, just five, then after that, it is back to the usual university routine of only ever seeing people I know at all once or twice either side of the christmas break, whilst my flatmates are already acting like I don’t exist, that will prove a greater challenge, though I have more time there.

Introduction out of the way, what I intend to do is, every time I go to one of these meetings, someone will presumably say something to me as I enter, they usually do. I will then reply with ‘Good morning’, having chosen this response beforehand I know exactly what to say in that moment, and it forces me to say more than I might do otherwise. And, as well, it could lead into some comment about my choice of greeting, particularly during the afternoon. From there, then, I hope to be able to persuade those I am meeting with that I am making an effort to talk, to be able to slip one or two more comments in later, and to gradually build up from there.
First chance is in a couple of hours time, let’s see how that goes…

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