I’ve never done well when it comes to speaking off the top of my head. There’s so much that I have to think about, and its hard to do that when you’re under a time limit. I took a speech class for a year and one of my biggest difficulties was being too note-tied. Even now, I’m not easily able to speak without preparation.
Some people are amazing at coming up with things as they go. A lot of times, I wish I could do that too. In a society that requires an instant response to a question, its looked down upon if you take longer than a couple of seconds to collect your thoughts.
Its not to say that I can’t carry on a conversation, but I need more time to process things than most people. Sometimes, if someone asks an in-depth question and I can’t think of something fast enough, I’ll say “let me get back to you about that”. And they’re usually surprised, but its better than saying what’s going through my head at the moment, which is nothing.
This link here has a humorous take on the thought process of an introvert.
When I’m in a conversation, I’m constantly thinking. I’ve always done this. Its not a conscious or intentional thing.
In a conversation, there’s always a topic being debated. Someone in the group will make a statement or pose a question. At this point, my mind starts thinking of all possible responses. Once I’ve decided what I want to say (which can take a long time), I start thinking of how to say it. Should I phrase it as a statement or a question? If I say it this way, will people misunderstand? Maybe I should use this word and this word instead. Yeah, that sounds a bit better. Oh, but then they might ask me about this. If they do, then I can say this. Or maybe it would be better if I say this. Yeah, the other idea could have been taken the wrong way. Oh, but is that approach going to be too harsh? I don’t want to sound like I’m judging anyone who has a different opinion. I should probably say it this way instead. Maybe I’ll use this word instead of this one. Okay, so now I’ve got my idea ready to say, but when can I say it? Well, at least they’re still talking about the same subject (so many times, the topic has changed by this point). Should I interject here? No, looks like she’s going to continue her thought. Oh, she just interrupted her, I hope she doesn’t change the subject. Looks like she’s almost done talking. Almost, wait for the pause. And go, you can do it!
This is basically how my thought process works all the time.
How does yours work?