Talking can be hard. Not to myself. I do it all the time. I spend hours in privacy rambling off a hundred and one ideas in my head. They’re so powerful that I have to speak them aloud, even if no one’s listening. I feel like almost a genius in this state of mind.
But when I get around public (not all, but a lot of times) I kinda freeze up. It’s like the clockwork gears running madly around in my head grind to a halt. I’m left wondering what to say past the casual “Hello,” and then the gears start churning frantically as I fumble for a follow-up.
I can do small talk, yes. But that makes me sound meh, boring. But many times I feel like I can’t create the complexity of human dialogue that runs through so many day-to-day interactions. At least, not without faking it. Or feeling like I’m faking it. Wearing a plastered smile, moving my hands around, or making some highly feigned gesture that passes me off as normal in the eyes of others.
Sometimes it feels like too much work. Sometimes I don’t have the motivation. Sometimes I want to have the motivation, but just get distracted quickly. As soon as I’m five seconds into the conversation, I’m already thinking about where I have to go next. I might start to fidget here, or least look like I’m comfortable, while a bunch of different thoughts are busy inside me.
I have a hard time staying grounded, because of my mind working overtime. I want to be better at interactions (and have, to an extent), but I wish it was easier for me. Sometimes I do feel like I would rather be at home, in my room, listening to loud music, rambling off creative thoughts, wrapped up in my own little world. That feels easier because, like many so-called “introverts”, it’s a natural state of mind. My natural state of mind runs inwards, rather than outwards. Sometimes I might sit in public constantly looking around me (mainly at cute girls), but still concentrated deeply on the thoughts running inside me. I can get up, walk around, and pace for hours this way. But when it comes to holding conversations, I feel like I have to slow myself down, just to catch up with people. Or else I have to speed myself up.
Either way, being in sync with the world around me can be difficult at times. And it’s mostly because of my internal, rather than externalized way of thinking. I do want to be better at interactions. And relationships. So I’ve tried. And, in some ways, succeeded. But for me, it takes adjustment. It isn’t natural, the way it might be for certain people. Because I tend to be a more private, internalized person.
There’s a Stephen Hawking quote: “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” That’s definitely me, in a nutshell. I can seem louder at times to the people I am close to. Especially while under the influence of port wines, liquors, and inebriating substances. But most of the time the world shouts inside of me, rather than outside. And I tend to be more attentive to that.
It’s something I’m working on. For one thing, I try to make myself speak up and smile, even when I’m reticent to. I can feel fake inside, but as long as I communicate a sense of manners and acknowledgement to the other person, that makes me happy in hindsight.
And a little less shy.