Talking to People

Photo by Alexandre Dulaunoy via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.
Photo by Alexandre Dulaunoy via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

I’ve been told that I have good communication skills, but I don’t think I do. People only know what they hear me say. I know the difference between what I want to say and what actually comes out of my mouth. Often the two are not close enough for me to feel content that I’ve gotten my message across.

Yes, I am quite talkative for an introvert and a likely Aspie. And I did have an adult-sized vocabulary as a young child. But I know from the way people respond to me that just having the ability to converse isn’t enough. I am misunderstood a lot. Not only my words but my intentions. People often seem to assume I have wrong motives for things when I don’t. I have also been falsely accused of things many times in my life, first by my mom and sometimes by my teachers, and later by my bosses. Even worse, when I know someone thinks I’m guilty, I feel and act guilty, even though I’m not.

Often I lie awake at night, replaying conversations I’ve had with people, thinking of how wrongly I worded things and ways in which I could have worded them better. I have been known to send people e-mails at 3am saying, “You know that conversation we had earlier? There’s something I want to clarify…” This is one of those things that makes other people think I’m weird and/or obsessive. But it is important to me to ensure I haven’t misrepresented myself or given anyone misinformation, because I have inadvertently done that too many times in the past and it has blown up in my face.

I even think of things I said 10 or 15 or more years ago and my face gets hot with embarrassment and shame. Sometimes I think I shouldn’t try to talk to people at all, because I just say things that are stupid or wrong or that reveal myself to not think like a “normal” person. Sometimes it really doesn’t feel worth it.

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2 thoughts on “Talking to People

  1. I can relate to so much of this – including the 3am emails (usually in the form of a very long essay) which tend to overwhelm those I send them to. I get misunderstood a lot of the time, too, and apparently act guilty when others respond to me as if I am (even though I am often not.)

    I did not have the adult size vocabulary at a young age (my son did) and in fact did not talk much at all into my 20’s. At times people tell me I am communicating well now, but I really don’t think I am. Most of the time what they hear is not what I said, and no matter what angle I try, I can’t seem to make them understand (but instead end up offending them.)

    It can be really frustrating at times. It often brings me back to the place where I wish I hadn’t started talking after all – after working for 20 some years to try to learn to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I talk a lot too, especially when I am comfortable around people… and yes, I get misunderstood a lot. Another thing is that people tend to not hear me, or at least don’t acknowledge that any words came out of my mouth. I’ve thought about becoming an elective mute.

    Liked by 1 person

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