Sunday, February 11

Part 1 - Talk

  1. Talk
  2. Get off the Web
  3. Get Healthier
  4. Leave the House
  5. Join some Clubs
  6. Say Yes
  7. Spoil Myself

There are many confusing steps on the Becoming Me list, mostly because I invented it during a boring sales call. I imagine however, that none will confuse those who think they know me more than the first – Talk.

Talking has never been easy for me.
I have a stutter, a small lisp and talk faster than bad news. Generally I write
instead. Writing can be edited and it is easier to appear witty when you’ve rewritten your punch lines.

But in Reading, I was a loud annoying bastard. Overconfident in my importance, I forced my way into conversations, dominated discussions and generally pissed people off. It’s a gift I’ve always had, or did at least, hiding my verbal insecurities by talking loudly enough to sound important. It’s a common trick used by many, most notably George Bush.

All that changed when I met my boyfriend. It became less important to impress people, because hey, I was getting laid! I would spend evenings in a corner talking to him or eating his face. Love was overpowering. I didn’t need anyone, and they’d still be there if I did, possibly with a sharp stick to prod some sense into me.

Overtime I learnt to shut up. It was, although those with teenage children may not believe it, a remarkably easy lesson. I wasn’t special, just one of a couple, the Corbett to his Barker. And I moved to Bristol unable to lead a conversation, function as a single unit or repair the stubble rash on my chin.

In a social society, communication is important for survival and happiness, as well as a good way of getting arrested. If I want to be part of the world again I will have to start acting like it.

Hence my first weeks aim to start talking again –in four stages.

  1. To myself
  2. To my friends
  3. To my Co-workers
  4. To new people.

During the next 6 days the blog will be updated with (hopefully) short entries detailing how my various talking adventures are going.

I hope, if nothing else, they will make your laugh at me, although always politely.

9 comments:

michael sync said...

I'd like to do link exchange with you.. let me know if you interest.

Ps said...

Sometimes the best way to talk is to....listen.Then you hear what the ohter erson is saying and not saying as well.Most people talk and don't really listen.So, if you are a good listener,it is half the verbal insecurity battle won.

Pickled Olives said...

Learning to shut up is hard. Learning to listen is harder. Good for you for recognizing and working on it.

Also - Neosporin on the chin/stubble rash immediately after getting it saves a lot of face.

The Freelance Cynic said...

Actually listening isn't really a problem. It's knowing what to say in the silences.

Cheers for the tip Pickled Olives!

Ps said...

You could try "hmm--thats interesting" in the silences, when you really mean it..Or you could say about something similar that happened to you..Or you could ask a pertinent question..or you could nod and tell the person that it is fascinating--if it is of course.The most important thing is to be sincere.

My Marrakech said...

I look forward to your adventures in talking:-) For the first several years of my life, I didn't speak - it was one of the reasons why my parents moved back to the US from Egypt where we were living when I was small. Now I train people how to speak in public. Go figure...:-)

Lord Matt said...

Is it me or do number 2 and a blog have a slight tension with each other?

aqeel said...

Stick me in a pub/bar, I tend to be very quiet...no I am quiet...being hard of hearing, it's difficult to take in what people are saying, and the drunken speaking makes it hard to lip read them...
With regards to those awkward silences, I know too well what you mean...I find that if I force myself to say summat, I tend to say things that make me a look a little insane. Just go with the flow...if you find silences awkward with certain people, there's probably a reason...

etain_lavena said...

Gosh I missed this post....goodluck!

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