I’m Terrible At Communicating — I Just Didn’t Realize It Until Now Because I Talk So Much

I used to think that I was a master of communication because I can talk all day long about anything. The problem is that’s not necessarily real communication at all. In fact, I’ve figured out recently that I’m actually terrible at it.

  1. I tend to babble. I get lost on tangents instead of getting to the point. I think that I’m explaining my feelings, but in truth I’m confusing the issues and the other person. No one can focus on what I mean because there’s so much unnecessary dialogue surrounding the root of the conversation. I talk in circles that no one else understands but me.
  2. I forget that listening is more important. I used to be a good listener but then I got tired of feeling like no one ever listened to me in return. I started talking first and loudly to make sure I got my point across but I totally lost my listening skills in the process. I’m trying to come back to a happy medium. I sometimes catch myself just waiting for someone else to finish talking so I can start, and that’s definitely my pet peeve.
  3. I ramble when I’m nervous. I’m terrible at approaching conflict — I get super anxious and restless. I can’t make eye contact and I’m super fidgety. Just like my body gets all weird, my speech does too. I can’t talk about the topic at hand — I try to bring up everything else I can instead. When I finally get there, I circumvent the issue until I’m no longer sure what’s going on at all. It doesn’t work, that’s for sure.
  4. I hate conflict, so I lose the strength of my position. It doesn’t take much to make me back off of my stance or feel like I’m completely wrong for reacting the way I do. I have no strength when it comes to disagreements and arguments. It sucks. I don’t want to be a jerk who thinks I’m always right about everything, but I’d like to be able to stand by my own side of things while still considering the other person’s point of view.
  5. I bend easily to the opinions of others. I lose my strength because I’m always so afraid of being wrong and ruining things between myself and another person. It’s a huge problem and one that leaves me feeling bad about myself. I want to be firm but flexible and I’m not sure how to get there. I don’t want anyone to be mad at me so I cave quite quickly. When someone else approaches me with an issue first, I think I must be a horrible person if they feel that way about me.
  6. I talk at people instead of to them. Because of my nerves and fear of vulnerability, I end up disconnecting during conflict and just spouting my feelings willy-nilly. I get emotional and scared and stressed very easily. I don’t know how to stop doing it. I’m so sensitive and so emotional that I end up drained after any kind of serious conversation if I open myself up.
  7. I think that others understand what I mean just because it makes sense to me. I can talk all I want, but it’s not communication if I don’t express myself effectively to the other party involved. I have it all in my head but I don’t get it out of my head and into the ears of other people! It’s the most important element and I often fail miserably.
  8. I’m not good at changing my wording to make myself clear. Obviously, I can see when what I’m saying is confusing to someone else. I can see when they don’t understand me or they’re taking what I say to mean something I didn’t intend. I get frustrated because I have trouble changing my words around to make my true meaning understood. This leads to exasperation on both our parts and makes me despair of ever having the ability to conduct communication normally.
  9. I often feel unheard or misunderstood. Sometimes that’s because the other person doesn’t care enough to listen, but more often than not it’s because I’m not communicating what I mean. I get aggravated and give up because I don’t know how to explain myself better and make myself understood. I don’t know if I need like, a class in talking to people or what.
  10. I’m overly sensitive to what others have to say. I get so worked up and worried before I actually discuss something important with someone that I get very easily upset if they have anything critical to say about me. I’m not good at taking criticism without feeling personally attacked or like I must be the worst person ever. I know it’s because I don’t have a strong foundation of good self-esteem and that it’s my problem to fix.
  11. I get nervous about how others will react to me. I can’t just speak my piece and not worry about how someone will react. I’m scared that I’ll affect them in some adverse way, or even worse, that they’ll be horribly mad at me. I don’t handle any of that stuff very well and I have to learn if I ever want to communicate like an adult. It’s embarrassing and dumb that I get so upset about how other people feel.
  12. I overthink my words before I actually speak. By the time I get to an actual conversation, I’ve played out the many different ways it could happen in my head a million times. I have a hard time staying in the moment and dealing with what’s actually transpiring rather than what I thought would. If things go a totally different direction, I’m at a loss and have no idea what to do. I know I need to just jump in, get in the moment, and stay authentic, but it’s very tough for me.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.