Well, That Sucks

This entry was posted by on Monday, 8 January, 2007 at

For some reason, I was thinking earlier today that my biggest flaw is that I am utterly incapable of thinking on my feet. I will agree to just about anything if caught sufficiently off-guard. This has been especially problematic in financial matters. (It costs HOW much? Gee… I guess I’ll just pay that then…) Another aspect that I realized today is that it also prevents me from having really meaningful conversations. I can’t answer a question that I have not thought about in advance and am prepared to talk about. Often, I can’t even answer about a topic that I have given thought if the question simply isn’t asked in quite the right way. Regarding something I said a couple of posts back some one told me that it wasn’t their fault that I never mentioned stepping on a bee, that I had plenty of opportunity. And that’s true. That anecdote was actually meant as a criticism of the general lack-of-giving-a-crap attitude that I felt in the group, myself included. I wasn’t trying to say that I was right and the problem was with everyone else. In fact, in that specific instance the only reason I even mentioned it here on the blog was because, strange it it may seem, I had actually forgotten about it earlier and somehow happened to think of it while writing that post. I digress. My point was, when asked a question that I am not prepared for, for some reason my brain just shuts off and I can only give some vague response, often no more than a single word. I think there was a time when I actually prided myself on this, in a Yeah, I’m mysterious, what are you going to do kind of way. Now I realize that I’m not vague in a conscious effort to hide anything (usually). I’m only vague because I am a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad communicator. And I want to change that now but I don’t know how.

I mentioned in some post awhile back that I was envious of someone else’s deep theological conversation. I see now that this is why I never manage to get into those myself. I can’t engage in any kind of deep conversation, because I get completely derailed whenever someone introduces a point I had not considered. I like to consider various perspectives and yet I simply can not do it on the fly. In another recent post, I was listing reasons that I do not participate in group discussions, then a couple of days later I added that it also takes me too long think of responses.
I meant it as a bit of a joke, but I think that it is much truer than I initially realized.

So, that sucks. That is my number one flaw. And now that I see it, what can I even do about it? Is it actually possible to develop the ability to think on the fly if one does not already have it?
How am I ever supposed to be a missionary if I am unable to engage people in conversation?

By the end of the day I realized, “Wait, I have a better one.” How about the fact that my brain is fricken‘ wired backwards? When I get upset about something my response is generally to withdraw and not talk about it. Well, first of all, this must be difficult to notice at all, because, as I just finished describing, my non-upset response is also to not talk about things. Even so, there are some people who do know me well enough to recognize the withdrawing part and realize that something is wrong. Their response usually seems to be to assume that I need space and that I will talk about it when I’m ready. Which seems a perfectly reasonable assumption, it just happens to be dead wrong. Because not only is something bothering me, but then I also perceive that nobody cares, and very quickly spiral further into depression. I’m not going to talk about it when I’m ready. I’m going to talk about it when you show me that YOU are ready to enter the dark world of my private thoughts. People have their own problems and I don’t want to dump mine on anyone who doesn’t ask for it. So I don’t get many takers there. (And the ones that do are often more psychotic than I am.)

Immediately prior to becoming a Christian, I got really mad at a friend of mine. I honestly don’t remember what it was about. (Which is strange in itself, because it generally takes a lot of effort to really piss me off.) I flat out stopped talking to her, which was blatantly obvious given that we were working together at the time. Then God turned my world completely upside down. One of the first things I realized was that I ought to try to repair some of my existing relationships. So I apologized to my friend. She basically accepted my apology and was glad to be able to resume telling me about whatever was going on in her life, and never bothered to ask why I stopped talking to her in the first place. That pissed me off anew, but since I was in apologizing mode, I felt that I had to suck that one up as well. Apparently it’s just not unusual for me to give someone the cold shoulder for three weeks without any explanation.

So what did I mean by the brain wired backwards? I need time to think when I’m in the middle of conversation, but when I get upset and apparently signal that I want time alone, it’s actually the last thing I need.

At this point I’m tempted to pout my lips and say, “Awww, is poor timoth upset because his little attention-getting games don’t work?” See, this is why I loath myself.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.