Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Writing vs Speaking

I've noticed in the past few years that it is much easier for me to communicate in writing. Why? Because I am not interrupted when I write. A few months ago, at a party, a friend commented that every time I said something, a certain someone interrupted me. He counted seven times at that point. Another person in my life continually tries to finish my sentences, whether on the phone or in person. And since she is usually incorrect in her assumption of what I'm about to say, it almost always stalls the conversation and makes me lose my train of thought. Both of the culprits are close to me and know me well. One assumes he knows what I'm going to say....he's usually wrong. The other makes that assumption but thinks she is being helpful. Since my big heart drama a few years ago I sometimes take a little time, pausing to find the exact word I want. But the interruptions actually make the problem worse. I need for people to be patient and just let me speak without interrupting.

I love the elegance of our language. I love to find the exact word I want for a given moment. When one speaks and writes concisely and economically, the communication can be so powerful and impactful. When writing there is none of the problem of someone trying to second-guess vocabulary choice or content. It just doesn't happen. One can concentrate on what is being conveyed without being wary of a listener about to butt in. And when one is dealing with a little deficit brought on by possibly minor brain damage, the interruptions just make the process more difficult.

I have noticed interestingly that I am not the only person these two interrupt. For a while I was concerned that my speech pattern or choice of conversation topics was boring people to death and motivating the interruptions. Don't think so. Nor are those two individuals the only folks interrupting. I wonder if our reliance and addiction to rapid fire communication, texting, IMing, etc., has changed our expectations during "normal" conversation. I do think our thought processes are changing as a result of the rapid answers we can get "surfing", and I wonder if the act of pondering is in danger of fading away. I think it is important to ponder questions and think about things.