You have probably heard the phrase or at least some variation of it, “Speaking before they were thinking” or “Engage brain before opening mouth.” We’ve all done it and have heard others doing it, some people seem to have a natural tendency to speak without thinking. I raise my hand to this. However, in my case, it isn’t always me speaking without thinking. Sometimes I do think about what I’m going to say but what is formulating in my head doesn’t come out that way through my mouth. Like there is something in between the two that distorts the original message.
Some will say that this is nothing unusual and maybe they’re right but for someone who has Asperger’s type anxieties, it can be like walking through a minefield. The result is that it makes me reluctant to speak out of fear that I’m going to get it wrong. What’s worse is that there have been occasions in my life where even when I have thoroughly thought through my proposed speech and it seems fine in the brain, it doesn’t sound that way coming out of my mouth. This only makes me more reluctant to speak.
What causes things from my brain to come out of my mouth in the wrong way? It seems like there is some evil demon somewhere along the communication line from my brain to my mouth that intentionally distorts the message in order to get at me and make me sound bad. Needless to say, people pick up on this and have used it against me, especially bullies.
One of my college professors once suggested that the way to get over my reluctance to speak would be to take a public speaking course. I can see the merits in this but for me, I can also see how it wouldn’t solve the problem fully. For one, in a public speaking course, I would normally have had ample time to research whatever I would be speaking about and that would be a great aid to my self confidence in the matter. Furthermore, I would have a more respectful audience, no one would immediately aggressively snap back any retort where I would have to hesitate to find an answer thus saving me from a load of anxiety. Most importantly, I would be reading from a script so the evil demon would be rendered powerless. Even if I had taken such a course and passed it with flying colours, I would have thought that the course was of little help because it wouldn’t have solved all my problems.
As with most things in my life, I have learned to cope with the problem through many years of painful trial and error. The demon is still there, I know he is, okay, it might be a she. It still gives me loads of anxiety in social situations but I can cope with it or at least not going into complete meltdown. Now for the shameless book association, Mark does experience this quite a lot in “He Was Weird.”
Next post: Other Reasons I’m So Quiet
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426588241&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird