I enjoy talking, sometimes even with other people.
Often in these conversations, though, I find myself having a separate inner dialogue involving additional topics that keep popping into my head. While the inner debates are entertaining, they can make it difficult to also concentrate on the outward conversation, which occasionally causes problems like when I get lost in the discussion or accidentally volunteer to do something
Here is an examples of how the inner conversation might proceed when I am having a discussion with a group of people:
- Why is that woman touching her nose? Is that a sign to me that I have something on my nose? I’d better casually touch my nose to check.
- My nose seems to be fine, but I will check it again to be safe. Oh, now she is touching her nose again. Does she think I am giving a sign that she has something on her nose, or does she have an itch? Or is there something on my nose that I missed and she is trying to signal me again? Dare I try to touch my nose again? I’d better do it casually, like I am fixing my hair or something like that so that she won’t feel the need to touch her nose.
- My eye itches and is watering now. I hope that guy doesn’t think I’m crying. I’m not crying! My eye just itches. I will mention my contacts and try to explain it that way.
- I wonder if my eating is too loud right now? The popcorn sound is deafening in my head but can they hear it? I will try to eat quietly. I can’t do it. It’s too loud, but I am also hungry.
- Crunch, crunch, crunch. What did they say? What are we talking about?
- Oh great, now because my eye was watering, my nose is running and I really do need to wipe my nose again. This still isn’t a sign and I’m still not crying!
- I like to look people in the eye when they are talking to me, but there is a time limit on how long I can comfortably make eye contact in this conversation. That’s the limit right there. This is too long. I will have to try to look down at some papers in my hand or pretend that I hear something so I can look away.
- Maybe I can tighten my shoelaces. That will be a good way to look at something else, and then hopefully I can casually wipe my nose again.
- They haven’t said a word about the new water bottle I have today. In fact, no one has even mentioned it! I’m so excited about it, too. Maybe if I prop it up here in front of me she will say something about it. Nope, I’ll have to try to drop some hints about it in the conversation.
- Now that guy touched his nose. What does this all mean?
- Did my voice just crack? Why would my voice crack like that? I’m in my 40s? What must they think of me?
- Whoa, I got lost thinking about the Avengers movie again and I think I accidentally stared that this person for like 45 seconds. I wasn’t staring at you, I was just thinking about Captain America! Surely, she will understand.
- That guy just said “take” when he should have said “bring.” Lots of people do that, and the amazing thing is that it is extremely unimportant. There is no need for me to be thinking about this. It does not matter. I definitely shouldn’t take it this guy’s attention, but I would want someone to bring it to my attention.
- Did my cell phone just buzz? Can I check it? I constantly think that my cell phone is buzzing, sometimes when I don’t even have it with me. I don’t want to be rude to them, but what if it’s an emergency?
- Maybe I can use the cell phone screen as a mirror to make sure there isn’t anything on my face or in my teeth.
- I just tried to use the word “niche” in our conversation and I badly mispronounced it. I tried to move on quickly, but I know it was noticed by everyone here. Why did I try to say niche? Why can’t I remember how to pronounce it correctly? Maybe mispronouncing words is my niche.
- Are they going to want to hug when we are done talking?
- That was a nice thing that they just said about me! Wow, that was cool. And now my face is turning bright red. Stop blushing, stop blushing! That’s just making it worse.
- It is super hot in here now, too. Please talk about someone else so everyone will stop looking at me.
- All right, that was a good discussion. Ok, I guess I am giving a hug now after all. I will just do that and be fine. I can get through this hug, don’t worry about a thing. Here I go.
- And he didn’t want to hug me at all. He was trying to hand me some papers. That was embarrassing. At least I was able to check my nose again when I hugged him.
- Oh, good, now it looks like I’m crying again. Better pretend I am getting a phone call so I can make my escape.
- Well, they were actually very nice and I liked that discussion. I’d say that went much better than usual.