Why do I talk like I do?
What is it in me that drives it?
Why can’t I talk like a normal person?
These are the questions that are on my mind today. I have finally reached the point of maturity and/or recovery where I can really ask myself what the deal is with all of that. Before now, I think I lacked the necessary distance from my self and questions of ego and identity and such to do it.
But now, I think it is time.
Why do I talk like I do, and how much does that contribute to my inability to connect with people?
Let’s tackle the first question. The obvious answer to the question of why I talk like I do is that I am constantly trying to show how smart I am. And I am sure there’s some of that in there. Certainly, I have been accused of that many times in my life. And I can see why someone would think that. It’s an explanation that makes sense to regular folks. After all, that’s what it would mean if they are doing it.
And I cannot deny that I want people to think I am brilliant.
But I think that’s only a small part of it. I think mostly it has to do with my desperate desire to express myself through words.
Looking back over my life, I can see that I have been trying to express my unique thoughts and unusual emotions through words since I was very young. I was verbally focused from a very early age. And so I have been trying to figure out how to explain myself to people for as long as I can remember. And I think that, on a deep subconscious level, I have blamed myself for some of the bad things that have happened in my life for not being able to articulate it properly to the people I wanted to tell.
I can see how that happened. If the problem was my not being able to spit it out properly, that means that I can fix it if I become sufficiently articulate. It remains within my power to solve the problem. All I have to do is get better at words.
This is typical of the sort of setup one gets when one experiences trauma at an early age. The younger the person, the less sophisticated (and forgiving) their coping mechanisms will be. And it’s when we are young that our most important programming, the really deep stuff, is created.
And that’s honestly the kind of job that shouldn’t be left to children.
As a result of this, I think I have been trying to put as much as I could of myself into words – my thoughts, emotions, ideas, everything – for my whole life. It’s like I am trying to escape my own inner prison through a door made of words. And every advance in my articulacy brings me a little closer to being able to do it.
And you have to admit, that setup does sound like it would lead someone to be a heck of a writer.
And I am!
So maybe the problem is that I am asking too much of my words when I talk. This burning desire to express myself makes me want to impart as much meaning as I can into every word, and that leads to me talking like a man from space from the point of view of the average person on the street. It’s not that I am inarticulate, obviously. It’s that I am trying too hard and I don’t know how to talk in a relaxed and relatable way. A way that does not necessarily express that much or use all my mental and verbal strength… but that DOES make sense to other people.
I suppose I passively blamed others for this until now. There was nothing wrong with how I talked, it was their fault for not being able to understand me. That’s clearly ridiculous, of course. They are the normal ones, inasmuch as that word means anything. I am the nonstandard model.
Ergo, I am the one with the problem. A blind man doesn’t blame the world for being based on vision. Not if he is wise.
Besides, blame or no blame, I can’t change the world and so it is I who must adjust. I will never stop trying to articulate myself and make myself understood. But if I want to connect with the real world and all its peoples, I will have to learn to talk like they do.
Learn the local lingo, so to speak.
And being stubborn about it does no good. Refusing to adapt to the circumstances because it would be a violation of my precious self would be childish. As would retreating into the usual isolation and self-satisfied misanthropy of the intellectual class.
That might work for others but it could never work for me. I want to connect with people. I want to be part of the bright and warm world outside my mind. I can’t wall myself off from humanity like that. If I did, I would go completely insane.
It’s my desire to communicate with others and really connect that keeps me in the real world in the first place.
Plus, on a practical level, I want to go out there and get work and get things done, so…. that’s kind of going to involve getting along with people. Besides, I hate the idea of being an Internet hermit. I had twenty years of that bullshit. I am done.
The question is, then : can I learn to talk like a normal person? I have the verbal skills, naturally, but do I have the social inputs? Will I be able to square it with that inner child voice that refuses to meet people halfway? Can I, in this sense, get the fuck over myself?
Only time will tell, but I am sure of one thing :
I am going to try.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.