Not knowing what to write is a terrible feeling. It’s just as awful as not knowing what to say. Particularly in the moments where you feel as if you’ve got words ready to burst forth from deep within yourself, but you also don’t know if what you’re about to say, or write, will come out as a veritable word salad.
That’s why I didn’t post last week. I wrote a draft, but it was too much, too busy, too much. My brain was crammed full of things, but none of them, and all of them sounded right.
I had an interpersonal situation as well, where nothing I could think of saying would be the right thing to say at the moment. In that moment. So, I remained silent.
I’m not known for being quick on the comebacks, at least not to my knowledge. I’m a thinker. I can mull over a situation for weeks on end until I settle upon the “correct” response. This slowness does not help in those moments where a retort, whether it witty, scathing, or kind, is needed quickly.
For a long time, I was very hard on myself for this tendency. I saw it as a tremendous failing and being a competitive person; I came down on myself hard. As I write this, I realize that it is something I have compared myself to others over, like my brother, who always seemed to have a snappy comeback. So, I guess my post the other week about comparing ourselves to others does apply.
But, I realized within the last couple years that being slow to respond the first time I experience something isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It means that the first time I encounter something, perhaps I’m just not prepared for that particular situation. Most of these cases are human interactions, and there are so many variables with other people, that I’m confident I’m not the only one who ends up looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
So, I’ve become easier on myself. Kinder. Not as rigid in my beliefs that I should be able to respond at the speed of light.
There is, after all, always next time.
Do you typically find yourself at a loss for words or with a ready response?
What social situations leave you looking like a deer caught in the headlights?