The Intelligent Idiot

I can express myself a lot better through writing than I can through talking. I enjoy writing and I like to think I am good at it. When I write, I sound intelligent, and can get my point across effectively. However, every time I open my mouth to speak, I sound like a total idiot. Everything always comes out wrong; nothing ever comes out right. I can never get across what I am trying to convey. People never "get the point" of what I am saying; it's very frustrating. I have a lot of intelligent thoughts and good ideas, but if I try to express them verbally, it always sounds really garbled and disjointed. What is VERY frustrating is when I am right and the other person is wrong, but because they can express themselves verbally and I cannot, it ends up looking like they know a lot more than I do. I am eloquent when I write, but when I talk, I stammer and fumble and look like a fool. I almost need an interpreter because I can never make myself understood, and the other person always has some quick, smart-sounding answer and I feel like they have "shown me up". I sometimes wish I were a mute, because talking always frustrates me; I talk as little as possible. This isn't something I want to overcome or want "help" with; it is who I am, and I like who I am. I wish I could find a different job ( I won't say what I do, since I want to remain anonymous ) where I don't have to talk very much or interact with people. Making conversation is like inhumane torture for me; it's not that I want to learn conversational skills. I just DON"T LIKE dealing with people or especially making conversation. Being around other people, even people I know well and like, is an exhausting act for me. I just want to be alone so I don't have to talk to anyone. Talking and socializing just "isn't me". No one want to do something they dislike, are terrible at, and makes them feel incompetent; that's what talking always does. I really enjoy EP, because writing allows me to get my ideas across, and share myself in a way that would never be possible through face-to-face interaction. Writing is something I can ( sort of ) shine at. It makes me feel competent and enpowered. It allows me to show the world my smartest, happiest, most confident self. I have just had a really frustrating day, so I hope this story doesn't sound too negative. Everything I have said here is truly who I am, but if I were in a better mood I might have tried to put a more positive spin on it. I try not to write when I'm in a negative mood, but when I saw this group, it seemed perfect for me, and I knew I had to share my story. I'm glad to know there are other people like me out there. I try hard to be a positive person, but I can get negative really easily, especially when I have an experience that makes me feel incompetent. That's one reason I don't like to talk; it always leaves me feeling frustrated and incompetent. Well, that's my story, such as it is.
atpeacewithme atpeacewithme
52 Responses Sep 18, 2010

I have that exact same problem, although I've always put it down to the fact that English is not my first language - however now that I've been living in the UK for the last 10 years I am fairly confident that my language skills are pretty much on par with native speakers. The problem however, persists.

I think for us both this has to do with the following:

1) 'Lack of experience' - much like you, I am an introvert who feels drained by conversing with people etc - this leads to lack of 'conversational experience.' Spending a lot of time on your own you are not used to having to explain your ideas - you immediately get them. When you have the time to outline them on paper, you might be successful conveying the meaning. Yet when talking you tend to struggle because of the sense of urgency. In a way when talking you need to very quickly learn to "tell" your ideas rather than just seeing them in your mind, mostly visually. The added stress of being put on the spot by another person expecting your input doesn't help.

2) 'Quickness of thought' - I firmly believe that people like us have a much quicker thought process, which becomes even more sped up over time as we don't engage in pointless chatter with others or brain-numbing recreational activities like small talk. I often find that I can't even finish my sentence in a coherent way as in the meantime my mind has analysed 25 related concepts and scenarios. Hence whatever comes out of my mouth sounds like disorganised mumbo-jumbo. In a way I found that it very much helps to SLOW DOWN and discuss just one concept at a time. It's like my driving instructor once told me - they can fail you for making mistakes but they can't fail you for driving slowly (btw this also helped me pass on 1st attempt.)

In summary - my heart really goes out to you. I very much sympathise with all that you said - especially the part about looking like you're wrong or less knowledgeable than your less-than-capable colleague just because you can't express yourself as well as they do. This happens to me all the time at work and it is very frustrating. Hang in there. Would be good to hear from you and whether you have managed to find ways around this frustrating thing.

Hi, I know this is a REALLY old post, but the page just grabbed my attention whilst I was scrolling in Google! I, too, feel very much the same way and as a 17 year old girl soon to begin the university application process, in which I will be interviewed a great deal, my inarticlation has become a problem of mine. Over the past few days, I have thought long and hard about this issue and when it presents itself; it seems to occur only when I am talking about something to which I am passionate about (i.e. Genomics), but I am completely functional and articulate during small talk and expressing emotions! It frightens me that I won't be able to show the interviewers quite how much I love biology and quite how many ideas I have about it.Whilst pondering the reasons behind my incompetence, I have theorised that it could have something to do with the number of 'thought streams' that one has in a given moment, after someone has told me something which really interests me. This is all made up so it's probably all wrong, but perhaps with a higher multitude of different 'thought streams' occurring all at once, a person cannot pluck just one to form into a coherent sentence.Maybe it is a subconscious process to which we are not aware: due to the many different thoughts which you deem as equally as important, your mind does not let you choose just one with the knowledge (based on previous experiences) that the others will quickly dissipate due to a formidable memory!Again, these are just some weird ideas of mine but I would really appreciate if someone could help me! (p.s. I have seen in comments people suggesting a step-by-step method to think before speaking, but as I am talking about thoughts that occur so fast, I'm not sure that's possible!)

Thank you for sharing your story, atpeacewithme.
Me too, I have the same, exact problem when trying to convey my thoughts and ideas orally, but when writing them down, I have no problem at all, although sometimes, even when written, it takes a bit of time to me when trying to express them: the more complex the subject in discussion, the more time it takes to me to write what I want to express.
Anyway, I am so happy that I am not alone in this endeavour, and that there are people like me with the same issue; but when I say "issue", that isn't necessarily negative. That totally depends on how one sees it. You know, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all should make the most out of them. Even weaknesses are there so we can learn from them. Life's an adventure, so lets all try to enjoy it.
Peace. :)

I completely feel you. I'm like this as well, give me a notebook at a pencil, and I can write like no tomorrow. Tell me to explain things verbally and I get tongue tied and jumbled. Whats worse, is I'm a natural blonde so people automatically think I'm slow and dumb, so this inability to explain my point only validates what they already think of me. My problem is the thoughts in my head pop into my head so fast when I'm trying to explain things that my mouth sometimes jumps ahead before I have a chance to finish what I was saying before said thought. I don't have ADD or ADHD either, my brain just processes certain information faster.

I have the same problem, but that doesn't stop me from attempting to talk to people. We have to have the self-confidence to know our listeners shouldn't be judging us on our verbal acuity, anymore than we would judge their intellectual level on their writing ability.

I feel for you , as I too suffer from exactly the same ailment.
I speak 4 languages and I am really good with words but when I try and get a point across orally , it's a mess. Words fail me , my mind goes blank I get flustered and sound stupid .
But then on paper it changes I can focus the thought and the words flow .
Attention deficit does cover many of these symptoms . It affects people in different ways . Challenge yourself in the written word , that's what makes me feel better . Good luck

I feel the same way, but some times I just think I was born like that.

Add a response...

I must admit that I know nothing of this site, now what it's about. I was just simply looking for answers of what I felt was a type of "mental condition". I came up on a Wikipedia result, the emotions that you briefly described was called, as they say "Alexithymia". Look it up.

I, on the other hand, believe that people with this per-say "condition" is equivalent to people who has an absence of one of their five senses, most studies' report that people who are blind or deaf has the ability to heightened their available senses. You must treat this scenario with the ability to express yourself superb in one area of communication, and lack in the other. I also think that this lack is something to be embraced. I, for one, has knowledge of the disadvantages of lacking verbal communications, yet I write without fail. I can channel my emotions and inner self-concerns was usually jotted down on paper or on Microsoft Word. I even write my prayers. But as for it to be spoken aloud, it seems childish, ridiculous more.

I must say, it's nothing to be ashamed of. As I said before, it shall be embraced. I feel that my ability to express myself through literature could help the writer in me. I already started two novels, which is both just a work in progress of life experiences, basic knowledge, and doing something what I love, is to write.

I am no less than anyone I know or befriend, even those I become indifferent to. I believe that I'm beautiful, regardless of my non-witty dialogue. I believe speaking up for myself, and announcing when certain situations doesn't settle for me. Just be yourselves. Do what you love, say what you feel. We are blessed with a unique way to communicate, and it's not for everyone to understand.

Hi. I know this is an old post and I came up with this on the internet when i was trying to find answers. It seems like there are a lot of people out there who are just like me- and we are often misunderstood, misinterpreted by our more extroverted counterparts. I just want to say that when I write, I have this continuous flow of thoughts in my head that I have to- I need to- write them down. Sometimes I feel that my hands are my real mouth, because it is the more eloquent if the two. At the same time, I often feel that there are two people living inside of me- one governs the mouth-she observes the people around her, but she hardly says anything. If she does-the words don't come out right anyway. The other controls the hands. Her mind is constantly full with thoughts that she has no other choice but to put all those damn words into paper. But I never knew hands were beautiful, terrible things. Do you? :)

Are... Are you me? I really think we're the same person, haha. The fears, dislikes, and strengths you mentioned above... it's like a description of me and it's uncanny.

Except, I'm not really at peace with it. I don't like that I can't be eloquent when I speak. I wish I could change it, but I can't. Anyway, it's nice to stumble upon someone who's in a similar, or the exact same, boat as me. I just signed up to post this; I couldn't help myself.

Thank you and welcome to EP.
I'm glad my story resonated with you.
You can message me any time you want to talk more.
Take care.

YES, You said exactly what I wanted to say. I'm the exact same, I refuse to speak to more than two people at once because I get muddled up so easy. I have to go over what im going to say in my head before i say it and if im caught of guard with a question, i end up rambling something that dosen't make sense. The words just dont come out in the right order. This has caused me so much social anxiety that I avoid eating with people or talking with groups of people because I can't hold a proper conversation. Or even trying to explain something, my brain goes blank and I just end up saying "dosent matter" and walk off, It makes me so upset because the career i want involves me having to speak correctly & I know thats not possible so I have to find a job where I dont have to speak. I was thinking speech therapy but it seems to be a problem cognitively

Thank you for reading and for sharing.
I also don't enjoy eating with people. I am also beginning to think I would be better in a job where I don't have to talk constantly.
Thank you again for your kind words.
Take care of yourself. :)

i work night shift in a store which means 8-10 hours of not speaking to anybody which i love. I had day jobs before which caused me so much anxiety cause i had to explain things which obviously never worked. It sucks for us that we have to choose a job based on how anti social it lets us be! :(

I have the same problem. We are introverts. Don't be hard on yourself. Read up on what an introvert is and I think you will find some answers. I have started to relax in the area of socializing now that I understand my inherent style. Hope this helps.

maybe you have a gemini stellium in the 12th house of pisces. :)

Hi,you you shou ld really read this
i had this problem two years ago and whenever I would speak with anybod, they would be like:"hey Bro speak a little bit louder you are mumbling (I know mumbling isn't your case or they would say what every time"
First of all whenever you meet someone (which u should do), just focus on the other person and it is must for you to listen him carefully , by doing this you're going to understand him better, without this you are always gonna be double minded
2.if he us speaking something that is making any common or his subject is enjoyable to you then,
3.understand his angle of speaking/direction and according to that give him an answer.
4.never be double minded...just keep it simple and don't fear.
5. If you don't wanna speak to anybody don't force yourself to and sit with those guys that can understand and care you.
Second part
1.after understanding these steps, while answering or speaking to someone make hand emotions.
2. Pause for 1,2 sec after speaking a whole sentence. (By this people are going to tune into you)
3.make sure to give some eye reaction Bro, this is the most important thing cause some great personalities that I have seen, they can silence a big hall by the raise of their eyebrows
4.create a personality (if you cannot think of a personality just watch a model/celebrity whom you love or support and add opt some of his wags of behaviour
5.atlast but not least, say yes I can!
Good luck to and remember try to meet new people and calculate who are the nice ones and sit with them cause your confidence is gonna get better

Very well written. I think you are capable. You have the knowledge and all you need is a little encouragement. Challenge yourself to rise above your anxiety. You can do it. I, too have this issue.

Wow, glad I read this. I've had a communication problem all of my life. I am a better writer than I am a speaker and feel if it were reversed I would have better opportunities to promote. Wish I had the verbal skills.

What kind of work do you do?

It seems like you might be harboring the illusion that you're particularly articulate in writing, but based on this post, I think a lot of that sense comes from the fact that you tend to express the same idea several different ways before moving on to the next. It may feel like there's a fluent connection between your thoughts and your writing, but you're taking five minutes to get across a thirty second thought, and that's not very articulate at all.

This could obviously be a consequence of your feeling incapable of communicating verbally, but you are compensating by writing too much.

Before you start getting critical of me, you should read some other stories on this site. There are many people who can be quite long-winded and say nothing. So many stories are capitalization and punctuation free.
You obviously have an over-inflated sense of your own intelligence and value, and you compensate for it by being an arrogant know-it-all.

Firstly, you are a hypocrite. You are saying to @willowparks that they obviously have an over-inflated sense of their own intelligence or value, and that they compensate for it by being an arrogant know-it-all? How do you differ from this description? You have written "I have a lot of intelligent thoughts and good ideas", "When I write, I sound intelligent" and"I am eloquent when I write", yet having read your (for lack of a better word) disjointed and relatively incoherent (despite what you may believe) wall of text I would be inclined to disagree.

The fact you have received ONE example of constructive criticism and the immediately responding by insulting them to a fairly significant degree only serves to demonstrate exactly how much you dislike being proven wrong, despite the fact you obviously are. There is nothing grammatically or structurally wrong with what you have originally written, until you start applying all of the filters you claim to have. YOU have an over-inflated sense of your own intelligence and value, and you compensate for it by being mean to other people on the internet for no good reason whatsoever.

Not to mention in the comment you have written below, you wrote "When you're communicating with stupid morons", now you are just insulting the intelligence of everybody on this site. That is not something a rational and logical person would do, you are NOT the smartest guy in the room by a long shot and to think that you are is nothing short of a wild misconception.

"not the smartest guy in the room"
That's funny...and interesting.

Based on your comments you seem quite arrogant. this may be due to your own insecurities but using words like 'obviously' when giving advice isn't the best way to go around doing it. I can appreciate your quite smart but not everything you write has to prove it. Sometimes using your knowledge to help others is the better option. i agree with you that he is unable to speak verbally so he probably compensates when writing. My advice to him is is stick at it, the more you socialize the more comfortable you will get speaking to people and expressing yourself. Don't let anxiety stop you from developing yourself.

When you're communicating with stupid morons, you sometimes have to say something several times before it finally sinks in. Sometimes I have to say something several different ways, for they won't understand the first one.
At least my writing is coherent. It's different from the rambling, disjointed, ungrammatical, poorly spelled stories I so often read on here.

It's generally best to give people a chance to understand what you're saying before you repeat it over and over. That just keeps intelligent people from wanting to continue reading as it becomes exhausting, and could be responsible for your continued interactions with "stupid morons."
Yes, your writing is coherent, but coherent and articulate are not the same thing. I did not mean my original comment rudely, I am just trying to highlight that it is easy to confuse quantity with quality in writing. You may be writing more than you are talking, but that does not mean you're writing better.

So, that's constructive criticism? From what he wrote, I think he doesn't need anybody to tell him that he's "overcompensating". And why are doing that? Did he mention he needed any advice or constructive criticism?

Did you hate the fact that it was a wall of text? Did you really? Even though he actually said it was a rough day. Is it so hard to imagine he was doing a bit of catharsis?

He has an "over-inflated sense of it's own intelligence"?. Are you blind? Did you miss that part when he said that he feels like an idiot when he talks?

Jesus, the guy is putting himself out there, and you people think you have the right to start making comments about him, and what he's doing right or not? Why don't you post your own personal life so we go there and make opinions about that, and just point out your own flaws.

Want to do constructive criticism? What about "hey, I hope things work out for you. And hum, hey, I know that you must have had a hard day, but try to not do a wall of text next time. :)". THAT'S CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Not the cold, piece of **** comment, no heart "you're overcompensating", "you have inflated sense of intelligence" STFU, If you don't like what he's writing, then LEAVE! NOBODY ASKED YOU TO JUDGE HIM!

Thank you. I've noticed that all the people who criticize me have never written any stories of their own. Let them post some of their most heartfelt experiences, and I'll give them "constructive criticism". And I'll critique their spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.
You're right that I had a rough day that day, and this post was sort of a catharsis.
Thanks for your support. :)

6 More Responses

I'm once read in a classic writer's book , what you shared here; very eloquently put .Can't remember if it was Dostoevsky/John Steinbeck/ Dante - wish I can find that paragraph again- so uplifting to find others "caged" the same way as me! Researching HSP(highly sensitive person) has also helped me a lot're the me i consider myself to be.i wouldn't know why i am at the corner of my classroom keeping on writing stuffs that literally interests me while my classmates bound themselves into groups and chat like pigs left unseen.but the thing i think which always boosts me up whenever i feel low about my ability to write is that...........there are two,if i am to myself writing at the corner of my class,my friends will have a chance to think me to be unique moreover they'll get interested in knowing what's really in me!...two,i am good at my works and assignments and some academic'i am appreciative.....when people know my greatness and still find me doing something different from others.....that's different,isn't it??....i think that even if people around me can never get me acquainted so easily,i am still in love with my paper where i can pour my heart.....i feel myself to be unique and give myself more importance than short,i love myself unmindful of what others think of me.....when i get people saying"what?" kind of expression at me....i go back to my paper..and feel good sharing my real true thoughts...those interactive people wouldn't say they love paper and i never will say i fake myself to become a's all it is...let's find goodness in ourselves and transform it into greatness rather that feeling low at our unfilled part....

I just came back from a doctor appointment disappointed and embarrassed from how incoherent I sounded when I tried to describe my issues. It felt like I was a 5 years old trying to explain what an average adult would have been able to easily. I also express myself in English better than my first language which is the same as where I live. Very frustrating.

Hi i'm also like you. I always amaze my friends by my ability to get almost an A on every assignment because I really know how to express myself through words. However, when i come to talking, I seem to forget the words, I feel i have too much to say, yet so little. I once seached about it and something like 'social anxiety' came up. I think that is it. If we are able to write well enough, these thoughts can be communicated if we are not anxious while we speak! Goodluck

some people just have the Gift of gab and can talk a really good game but have nothing to back it up.
You will lose against these type of people even if your 100% correct with the subject matter.
This I believe is one the biggest downfalls in human existence. The idiot with the gift of Gab will rule the world at the sometime the people with the real answers to our problems will be ignored. This will be the ultimate downfall of the human race. maybe in the next life or plane of existence the tables will turn. I imagine a world where the truly smart ones among us get to make the real decisions for the benefit of all mankind.

I'm the same way, and I used to lament the fact that I am unable to verbally express myself as well as I can through writing. Fortunately, I'm starting to think about the issue differently. My friends compliment me on my writing. My coworkers value my grant writing skills, and they seek out my input on their own work. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens to you! It would be nice to be able to speak eloquently, but life would suck a whole lot more if I could do neither. Surround yourself with those who appreciate your skills and those who can compliment your abilities. One of my best friends is an awesome verbal communicator, but his writing is comparable to my speaking abilities. Together, we kick butt. You have a skill set that is not easy to come by in our world. Appreciate yourself for what you do really well and be thankful that you're aware of your weaknesses. Be strong - you're not alone in this boat! :)

same issue with me but i can't even express myself in writing. Its too frustrating and embarrassing.

Me too. I also have problems conversing with people. They said I couldn't express myself clearly. I feel bad and upset. Sometimes it was so frustrating that I just yelled at them, but couldn't say a single thing. Now people are avoiding me. It hurts my feeling too. Pls tell me there is a cure for this.

Yes, yes and yes. That sounds exactly like me. I do know I can speak more fluently with people I feel are on my level. If I try talking to someone on an upper level like someone in authority, I get tongue tied, find myself jibbering and making no sense. Knowing this about myself, I just tend to shut up and say nothing. I also tend not to look at the person I am speaking to because I don't want to see them make those confused ex<x>pressions trying to understand what it is I'm trying to say.

Great story! I almost thought I wrote this because it is pretty much my same story. The only part that differs is that I would like to have better conversational skills.
Thank you so much!

It makes me feel good to know that so many people feel the same as I do, but my question is what do we do about it? Is there some way to resolve this issue. If anyone has a solution I would love to hear it.

Hello, "atpeacewithme"...i was in awe when i read your article. It totally resonates to me. It's true, conversations are also like torture for me...and i'm finally discovering all this at 39 yrs old. I just thought i let you know i've been looking online for a story like yours for the past 10 years!
The name for my "uniqueness" is called ADHD (innatentive subtype), and i have speech processing disorder...the fact that i cannot seem assertive/articulate when talking to others, and i end up not telling them what they need to be told...indeed so frustrating. I recently also did a career aptitude test and i was told i have above average reasoning, but working in fast paced environments is very overwhelming for me.

I'm glad this was such a help to you. It's incredible that something I wrote could make such an impact. I was debating whether or not to share something so personal, but now I'm glad I did.
Your comment helped me a lot. It's good to know that I'm not alone in finding fast paced, high pressure environments overwhelming.
Thanks so much. Take care.

You refer to ADHD- Have you checked out HSP ?(Highly sensitive person) which is a WHO recognised personality type , 20 % of population are like this. Dr Elaine Aaron coined "HSP" Really was wow to discover I'm not abnormal, just a different type of normal

I love this! I feel like the only time I can speak properly is when I am having a conversation with someone about simple mutual interests. I'm definitely an introvert, but most people assume I'm a much more introverted and shy person than I really am because I just don't speak in front of people very often. The reason I don't speak in front of people often is because I get extremely nervous knowing that I will have trouble sounding the least bit intelligent when talking out loud. It's like the thoughts in my head run faster than I can speak. When I am writing, I can collect and fluidly articulate my thoughts onto paper. Not so much when the words are coming out of my mouth.

I felt like meeting my long-lost twin :) i know, its frustrating when people didn't get what're we saying. And the worst part is when i have to do a presentation in front of the whole class. I usually prepared what i should say earlier but when it's my turn to give a speech, i forgot everything that i should talk ..

Trust me u are not the only one with this problem I too suffer the same

This is the first time in my life (of 40+ years) that I've come across others who have expressed this phenomenon of communicating better on paper (or via computer) than when on-the-spot verbally. When the concept of e-mail emerged a couple decades ago, I was in seventh heaven. Finally I was able to communicate with co-workers and clients in a succinct way.
As an introvert, I also struggle in meetings. The non-stop talker takes over the meeting. My few remarks usually fall like a lead balloon. But I keep persevering. Since I know my brain in capable of formulating thoughts in writing, it's truly capable of turning those words into verbal form. It just takes time and patience.
I'm guessing this is a genetic thing, and would appreciate any feedback from others on this. I saw this own "introvert-but great writer" trait in my father, and now see this trait in my teenage daughter. Has anyone else seen this in their family?

You should read "The Flinch" by Julien Smith.
You're problem is that you are too worried of what people think. I know your problem because I have it too.
You need confidence, not in yourself, but something greater than you. Or at the very least, the current you.
Read the book.

I searched this topic and found your took the words right from my very own mouth! I've recently discovered I am an introvert and now I'm suspecting this maybe a quality of introversion. I say I discovered this recently but I've always know I was more inward thinking and I've always loved to be alone since I was a little girl. <br />
<br />
I've spent much of my life trying to change who I was. Looking at others outward life and wondering why I didn't have the courage even the will to have a life such as theirs. I'm realizing what a waste of the REAL me to indulge in this thinking.<br />
<br />
You are perfect the way you are and if can't seem to say the right words and the words you mean well then speak less and right eloquently MORE c:<br />
<br />
All my love,<br />

Thank you, Sarah, for your understanding and support. Your comment made my day. Take care.

Well, I guess I might be in that club as well.

do any of you often decide to use a different word or phrasing in the midst of speaking and feel like a dingbat bc the resulting emanation from your mouth<br />
is gibberish

It happens almost every time I open my mouth. Your comment perfectly captures my experience. You just said it a lot better than I ever could. Thanks so much.

Yes! Or, what I say does not accurately reflect what I was thinking, and sometimes conveys a different message altogether!

I take time to find the words that perfectly convey my thoughts as the other indiviodual would interpret them. Writing relieves the task of being put on the spot by the other individual

Abbey, you hit the nail on the head! One of the main reasons I don't like conversation is because I often feel put on the spot. I like to get all my ducks in a row before I open my mouth. If I don't, idiocy always pops out. Also, I'm afraid of saying something to offend or humiliate the other person. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story and respond in a way that makes sense to me. Take care.

I am the same way! I always offer to help others write resumes and cover letters simply because I am good with words. Unfortunately, not everyone wants my help because they have heard me talk and wouldn't have the slightest idea of how intelligent I can actually sound(on PAPER)! I feel as though this problem is due to my thoughts moving faster than I can spit them out. I always find myself walking away from conversations with a million things that I could have said but didn't, or a million ways I could have said something differently. It's very frustrating, and to top it all off I'm blonde! :(

dayjod, that is one of the most frustrating things in the world! Don't you hate it when you walk away from conversations with things you should have said but didn't, should not have said but did, things you could have said more clearly, or things that just came out totally wrong. Well, your comment is one of the few intelligent sounding comments I get, so that's why I took the time to reply. Thanks so much!

I am very're not alone :)

Hi All<br />
<br />
I am the exact opposite, I have no problem putting over my new ideas verbally but when I try and write them down, my text is child like and very poor.<br />
<br />
I have been diagnosed with visual/spatial dyslexia and it is slowly grinding me down.<br />
<br />
Hope all goes well<br />
<br />

hey atpeacewithme....u sound totally like me speaking...yeah i'm good with the written word but seriously...i cant talk as gud as i write..and i know it can sometimes get difficult to fit in dat way...but hey..dis is who we are...don't need to try that hard to change..:)

When I was in college I took Transformation Grammar because I cannot diagram a sentence. Cannot tell the difference between a noun and a verb. Transformation Grammar is the study of the conversion of thoughts to speech and the type of confused speech you describe. If they have a name for your problem and you can get college credits for studying it then it is a normal human condition. Like you I prefer to write rather than speak to people. And when you write you can look at a paragraph, page, story or what have you and see what you said rather than like I did on prom night. I said something to my prom date that caused her to look shocked and tear up and have no idea what I said. About twenty years later I tried to talk to her and she said "I don't talk to boys like you." It also doesn't help that I'm bi-polar.

you are not alone! I speak without thinking and half of the time i come across as an unintelligible neanderthal but when i write, i can think before i put my words into writing thoroughly. If i had the chance to get together what i want to say before i spoke my replies would be so delayed i would appear to be mentally handicapped.

Yeah I am the same way.<br />
The sad part is people's reactions when they see my work / poetry on paper.<br />
They're like "you sound so smart" lol...<br />
wow, in my world I AM SMART!

I very much relate to your story as well, particularly the first half. Finding ep was an eye-opening experience for me too. When I feel comfortable and confident, I can verbally express myself better (though still not as well as I can write), but when I'm uncomfortable in some way, I have a difficult time focusing and expressing myself very well. I think this stems from being highly sensitive to my surroundings and becoming overstimulated too easily by things. But there are advantages to this, too, like sensing more of what is happening, and having a natural intuition about things. I like dandaniels comment about become more 'well rounded' and using more of our range of abilities. Perhaps this happens naturally with age and experience.

i still sometimes have that problem. i mostly have to just focus on getting comfortable (not too comfortable) but somewhat comfortable...kinda think things over before i ask a question and not lose (so much) confidence in myself once i open my mouth. i just keep strong and finish stating my thoughts) and gracefully retract if necessary..(explaining what i thought was the case) ...i am okay with being quiet too tho... I also keep a somewhat firm posture which helps me not to lose focus one what i was gonna say...idunno why but that helps

Evening all! I was browsing on by and then I read your comments which made me laugh. I can totally relate to how you feel. This is the exact same problem I used to have and sometimes still do! Although it must be said with practice, these days I'm able to win debates and convey my thoughts coherently whilst sticking to the point. With time, effort and a little bit of practice you can too! It used to be very frustrating fo me and would completely destroy my confidence. It's a little bit like a positive feedback loop. You sound incoherent, lose the argument, become frustrated and embarrassed, then withdraw back into your own mind attempting to find a way to get out of that awkward social interaction. But alas! do not doubt your level of intelligence. Your mind is full of intellectual ability with the capacity to understand hugely complex subjects and global issues of the day, everything from fiat reserve debt ba<x>sed fractional reserve banking, to global economics, to the laws of thermodynamics, geology, sociology, geophysics, psychology, general relativity, geometry, quantum pyhsics so on and so fourth. When you attempt to explain them in any kind of coherent fashion it seems almost impossible. If your going head to head in a verbal intellectual debate, you can sometimes come across as rambling missing the entire point. Instantly you lose all credibility and someone with a subservient argument wins the day. This has happened to me on numerous occassions, so much so that I decided to do some research and do something about it! <br />
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Well it turns out this is all down to how we think. We as human beings use both our left and right hemispheres of the brain, but tend to have a more dominant side. The skill is to be able to use the whole brain in unison. Those who have a phenomenal command of the english language tend to be left dominant. They can usually think in a structured, ordered, logical, sequential way and then verbally convey their compartmentalised thoughts in a coherent fashion. They tend to see things in their component parts and are highly analytical. To them it's the detail that matters. They can infact sometimes miss the bigger picture altogether because ironically they literally just can't see it! These people tend to be less emotive and more ordered in the way they do things. Accountants, Financial Advisors, Doctors, Engineers even Scientists. Then there are those who are predominantly right brained in their thought processes, highly emotive, intuitive, able to see and understand the bigger picture, slightly chaotic in their thought process, innovative and extremely creative. These people sometimes "just get things". You can study something, read something and quickly focus on the big picture travelling down from the whole, to its component parts. Almost like reverse engineering. Most of the Western world favours left brain ordered thinking which is why those with more of a creative mind tend to get left behind which is a bit of a bummer because we're the ones who are the most innovative and creative! Practice left brained exercises, this is the side of your brain you need to work on. I used to be predominantly right brained, but over time I was able to focus on my left brain activity and eventually combine them both. How? Well I used to play chess every day and practice problem solving techniques. The power of simple boring repetition is phenomenal. Not exactly the greatest hobby of us right brained thinkers but damn effective. Maybe try an alternative to work that side? I also used to study an issue on my mind and practice discussing things through verbally to myself in real time. I would pretend I was in an important meeting and had some of the most powerful people in the world sat with me. Probably looks and sounds a little crazy but who cares? this is your development we're talking about here! For the record we seem to be moving into a right brained world now, what with the economy going crazy and the world becoming more chaotic. There's a fantastic book you can read on the subject called "A Whole New Mind" authored by Daniel Pink, whereby he explains that we may be moving into a right brained world. The lefties could get left behind! With a little bit of practice, you can engage your left hemisphere, more so than you ever thought was possible, until finally, both hemispheres are firing on all cylinders and in perfect harmony. Hopefully you will then go on to achieve something that you never dreamt possible. It really is all about your state of mind. If you think you can or you can't....either way YOU ARE RIGHT.

Thank you very much for your input. I, like the original posting of this article, find myself quite often short on words. I can put plenty to paper, but at business meetings when i have to speak I have a very hard time. It is such a struggle though, because although I feel competent in my field, I may not appear to be so because under pressure I can't pull in the left side of my brain. I'm going to get the book you recommended. Thanks!

wow! (atpeacewithme) said every single thing that I could have said about my self! I believe it's a good thing (writing), but the fact remains that no matter how much you would LOVE to avoid communication with other people, it's just a part of life we should learn to deal with, that is if we are ever to move up in this world! God knows how much i end up screwing every job interview i get and thats because I begin to stutter and make things worse when all these ideas are just flowing through my mind but they do not seem to pass my lips in the right order. I am an intelligent person, romantic, curious and much more but no one ever sees that unless they read something i write. Writing is a beautiful thing but sometimes i feel like we only get to live once, so we should prove to the world that we are gems and daimonds... unfortunately lost between peices of shattered glass. I wish i could speak my mind and heart out... and still keep my writing skills but its easy to be said than done i guess.

i often feel the same way. i do write much more clearly than i speak, which when nervous, can get disastrously incoherent.

I hear you say that you don't want to improve your verbal skills because you are who you are, yet you find interaction with other people exhausting and frustrating. This sounds very familiar. I've always found that trying to interact with others wears me out. But, on those rare occasions that I say exactly what I want to say, and say it in a coherent and effective way, I'm not so troubled by those feelings. While everyone is different, I wonder if have a few more positive verbal interactions wouldn't relieve the stress of face-to-face communication. I found that taking five or more minutes to formulate my sentences - even if the subject under discussion passes on to something else and I have to yank it back to the original topic - means that I get my point across and no ridicule ensues. There are other tricks, of course, but I won't waste your time on them if you truly have no desire to talk more succinctly to others. I understand your frustration and hope that this improves for your.

@hreed62, could you pls share other tips, cos i am struggling at my new job not letting my boss not think I am an absolute retard because i stutter and say things that don't make sense. I find that when i try and wait and formulate my thoughts it takes out the passion of my point plus it means that can't contribute my point because there isn't enought time in meetings now days. It weird how i also host events in my spare time and when i am on stage i am more in control than in an office.

I also struggle at my job. A requirement of my job is recruiting and training new employees. I can lure them right in with e-mails and letters, but when it comes down to face to face training I sound like it is my first day on the job. I think it is because when writing or typing, I am able to reflect on what is in front of me and go back and change the things that I am not happy with. However when speaking, I do not have an unlimited time to process how I want my words to come out, so I just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, which usually is something that makes me sound like an airhead. It is nice to see that so many people find themselves in the same situation as me! I don't feel so alone!