Diary #15 : How not to talk to other humans….

I don’t think people get just how badly anxiety can effect you. For instance I can come across as unfriendly, anti-social or shy because my anxiety effects my speech. Similarly when I try too hard I can come across as annoying, overly sarcastic and a bit of a bitch.

There isn’t a middle ground for me because I suck so bad at communicating with other humans.

Why I’m writing this is because today I realised how I can come across as not trying to hold a conversation or be part of a group. Whilst people engage me I tend to shy away from opening my mouth because I know what will come out is usually garbage.

I stutter, I have problems getting my mouth around all kind of words, I tend to forget what the point of a sentence was midway through speaking it or I’ll think it absolutely perfect but change it whilst saying it and making a complete mess of it all. Its worse when I like someone. Now I’m not talking about LIKE like someone just generally like someone. I either shut up completely because I don’t want to look like a idiot or I talk too much trying to fill awkward silences that aren’t even there.

My lack of social experience due to social anxiety is one of the main problems, I’m not used to talking to people so I its a chore to do so. Not that having a conversation with someone is a chore but actually working my way through a sentence and holding one end of a conversation is a chore because I just can’t do it. Then again I also suffer from being a extremely boring person, I could chew your ear off about my feelings on Eren and Mikasa from Attack on Titan, how wonderful Seth Rollins is, how much I want to punch James Ellsworth in the face or how perfect Jared from Silicon Valley is. I can go on all day about a number of really niche things that no one wants to know. If someone asks what I’ve done recently I automatically know telling them I sat around staring into space day dreaming about Marty Scurll or my infamous crush “Joe” isn’t going to be a conversation starter.

The first person who says well go out there and live your life OR the equally annoying who cares what they think could get a slap.

It DOES matter. If you want to have a conversation with someone you can’t bore them to death babbling on inanely about something they don’t care about and I personally can’t blag a normal conversation. So whilst I get on with someone and would love to join in a conversation I can’t because I can’t do it and it DOES matter to me. If it didn’t matter I wouldn’t be writing this.

If you can’t talk to people you can’t make relationships with people. I feel like the biggest burden in the world to a whole group of people because they have to deal with me and I must come across as a right ass hole. I don’t know how people put up with me, I don’t even know how I even made friends in the first place or how I’ve kept them. Hell I’ve had one friend for over 10 years! How this happened I don’t fucking know!

I was once told that confidence isn’t something that you are born with its something that you work on every day. They told me this when I confided in them how I feared I’d never be employed because I can’t communicate in interviews and come across as a idiot, this was going back 9 years ago of course, but its never become easier. I’m just as bad now as I was back then, whilst I fully know how I got my first job I’m baffled to how I got my second and even more baffled how I didn’t get fired for being incompetent. You’d think it would give me confidence but it doesn’t it just makes me worry.

So I guess to cut to the chase….

If you talk to me and I don’t really communicate back it isn’t because I find you boring or I’m being anti-social. Nine times out of ten its because I would love to hold the other half of a conversation up but I just can’t. You do not know how much your kindness in treating me like a fellow human being means but I just can’t physically be a normal human.

If you talk to me and I babble on and you can’t understand me that is me trying.

If I never talk to you ever it isn’t because I dislike you its because I honestly would rather die then make myself look like a idiot in front of you. There are at least three people in my life right now that I’d rather jump in front of a bus then talk to not because I dislike them, quite the opposite in fact and the thought of making a ass in front of them makes me physically ill.

Similarly if I hardly ever talk to you but then sometimes will throw in a attempt at friendliness then you probably should know I’m trying VERY HARD because I like you.

I think you can guess I’m starting to get very paranoid I’m giving off the wrong vibe to a lot of people who probably think I’m a ass hole but in actual fact I would love to be able to have a normal conversation with them but just can’t.

Funnily enough I have no problems telling people I don’t like them or talking to people I don’t like. I don’t care what they think of me so it doesn’t bother me.

Its days like today that remind me why I’m always going to be alone.

 

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3 thoughts on “Diary #15 : How not to talk to other humans….”

  1. People don’t understand how detrimental speech and communication is to connecting with others when they don’t struggle with it. I know where you’re coming from: I stumble over my speech because of anxiety, I hold my tongue often because of anxiety, and then when I do say something I will swear up and down it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever said–because of my anxiety.

    Once, in a class, a really intimidating substitute teacher called on me and what came out of my mouth sounded like I was speaking tongues in a church. The entire class was silent, the teacher stared at me like I was having a stroke, and that is one of the most embarrassing days I can remember in that class.

    Interaction takes so much energy out of us because we’ve really got to work at stringing out the words. It feels like nothing is ever effortless or free-flowing and everyone else is. I don’t know. I’ve found some great connection with people who understand, who struggle mentally themselves, and it makes it a bit easier to talk around them. I still stumble a lot through, and my speech kind of jumps all over the place.

    It’s a tough road out there when it comes to socializing. I think people are really quick to judge, and when we can find those rare people who we don’t feel are criticizing us every second, it can do wonders for anxiety. Hard to find though.

    1. Exactly this!

      I’m very lucky that my new job is full of a lot of really lovely people. They engage with me even though 8 months down the line they must know how hard it is to get much out of me, no one has turned around and acted like because I stutter and struggle I’m not worthy of talking to. Something that very much DID happen in my last job. I don’t think they know how much it means to me but I was nearly brought to tears once when there was a good 4 or 5 of us working together and they gave me time to get my sentences out and engage with the whole group instead of block me out or talk over me.

      People act like going and doing things repeatedly will make you more confident and overcome it but that isn’t how it happens. I might be more comfortable talking to the person I repeatedly communicate with but overall I still have the anxiety at the back of my mind.

      For example I have a bit of a crush on someone at the moment and that is bad enough as it is, it doesn’t help they are quite quiet and tend to shy away from interaction themselves but every time THEY’VE tried to strike up a conversation with me the words that come out of my mouth aren’t the ones I want to say, I don’t know where they come from, and must make me come across as being rather cold and uncaring about their conversation when in actual fact they are the one person I’d love to have a conversation with, it also doesn’t help 9 times out of 10 I just can’t hear him as I’m partially deaf. So instead of being friendly and saying “hi” or “see you later” or even just having a chat like normal people I do my best to avoid to be anywhere near them because I can’t trust myself to be able to talk to them. Every negative experience with him remains in my head and then effects talking to people who I don’t have a crush on or even who I have been able to talk to.

      Its the same with any barrier you face with anxiety though, its why I do my best to write about it even if what I’m writing doesn’t really make much sense. If you don’t face the barrier you can’t imagine the problems others face. So many times I’ve been told because I’ve held a job my entire adult life, because I do try to be friendly and sociable to people as best I can and I try to smile and be welcoming that my anxiety and depression aren’t as bad as I make them out but I literally use all of my energy to force myself to do that. I’m not naturally a smiley person and whilst I am naturally a friendly person I struggle to communicate that outwardly. I feel like I can come across as being cold or uninterested but its so difficult to put yourself out there even when you want to. I can’t automatically respond to people, I have a quick wit but I have to take time to put a response together because whilst the words might automatically appear in my head getting them out of my mouth is much harder. Some people won’t wait to see if you can put those words together and others will take your lack of being able to put your thoughts into words as you not wanting to talk but it isn’t something you can easily tell people when you meet them.

      It isn’t really easy for me to write either as you can see because I just love to babble on when writing! I just wish there was a easy way to tell some people that I adore their friendship but I just can’t verbally interact well enough to hold a conversation and it has nothing to do with them. Trying to say that people get really nice and say things like “oh but you’re doing fine now” which makes me nervous because next time I might not be! Or else you come across as whining and looking for sympathy. Then I remember that’s just my paranoia and the whole thing starts again and I shut myself into my box to avoid social embarrassment!

      Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. I will never understand how you feel as I personally have never felt anxious whilst talking to people. I have good communication skills and find it easy to hold a conversation.

    I am one of those people who until meeting you would tell people if they told me they struggled to talk would try and let them know they were doing fine with me. It wasn’t until you told me why you dislike it that I realised the way to actually reply is to continue just talking and keep it in the back of my mind, that you are looking to establish a understanding and not looking for patronising praise on how well you are doing.

    That being said after talking to you a few times on Skype I have to say that you don’t come across as cold or unfriendly and if people think that it isn’t to do with how you communicate, you do look very awkward to be in a social predicament, it comes across very strongly, so it shows that they themselves have inexperience in social environments outside of their own comfort group.

    Its why I agree with you when you say no matter how silly these blogs might come across, and honestly they never do come across as silly, its important to write them so that people like me who have never had a problem can have our eyes opened to how others struggle. You write them with such good humour that I love reading them but I walk away with new knowledge I never knew I was missing. It does seem to be important to get these stories out there so that people find a good way to describe how they feel and know they aren’t alone. Everyone is different and its hard to see life through another persons eyes when something comes naturally to you.

    Keep being awkward.

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