First think, then speak


I am quite reluctant to say that we live in an extroverted world. Rather, I would say that we live in the world we create, even if it is different from what most of society would expect from us. However, I have to agree with one thing - the modern, dynamic way of conducting a conversation based on a quick exchange of sentences was definitely created by an extrovert. And I have a feeling that before the implementation it was not certified 'suitable for introverts and hsp' 😉 In any case, he would not gain my approval. But let's start from the beginning.

In practice, it looks something like this: I enter my favorite dance school. Place is already known, but each time the atmosphere is a little different. A lot of people, general confusion. My brain is still processing new stimuli coming from everywhere, light, smells, movement, sounds, temperature change. Many faces around, each with a slightly different emotional message. I am also wondering if I locked the car a while ago. I fall into a vortex of processing for a moment, which looks something like when we open too many bookmarks in our web browser. They all work, but it all goes a little slower. And if we overdo it, they all crash.

And that's when the question comes to me. QUESTION. If you want to make sure, yes, that's the missing icing on the cake. And no matter what this question concerns - the answer to most of the welcoming questions we hear usually does not require too much eloquence. But first you have to hear and understand the question. And then find the words in your head. And the system is not responding. Blue screen. Such a 'suspended' brain needs a few nice seconds before it can recover and realize the situation. And these few seconds is enough for our interlocutor to start watching us strangely, wondering what is going on inside. Or worse, he starts talking to someone else in the meantime. And we just ... Eh ...

It doesn't have to be noisy

These types of situations do not always have to be associated with staying in places where a lot is going on. Sometimes they come to the surface even in introvert-friendly environments, such as our own apartment. For example, I talk to my partner in peace and quiet when THIS question is asked. THIS, meaning one of those of the deep, important or emotional genre. The answer to such questions is particularly cunning, because it requires analyzing a whole range of factors. The intention with which the question was asked, the body language of the interlocutor, my own emotions caused by the unexpected turn of action and the general shock associated with the pace of conversation. In addition, there are sounds from behind the wall and the memories that this question evoked in my head. By the time I get to the stage where I could think about answering at all, my partner already seems bored. He makes sure I understand the question and that I'm fine. "Yes, the most," I answer. "I just need a moment to answer."


Immediately afterwards I start to think about whether it is something wrong with me, or maybe the world in which we live is so impatient. And I try to believe with all my heart that it is the latter. Otherwise, I would have to assume my own incompleteness, which is not necessarily my ambition. So I think that maybe the world doesn't really care about the answers from the bottom of your heart or mind? Those thoughtful, analyzed, which have already undergone the first internal correction? Maybe it is just a matter of maintaining conversation, continuing exchanges, even if they do not matter much? Or maybe other brains are so efficient that they are able to prepare a neat, brilliant and reflecting reality in a split second?

After rethinking the subject (and many long extra seconds), I come to the conclusion that the truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between. The fact is that human brains are different and one of us can communicate at a very fast pace, maintaining the full logic of expression, while others have a problem to say anything "quickly". On the other hand, let's remember that on average there is a kind of correlation between the time of preparing a speech and its substantive value. Specifically, these two values ​​are usually directly proportional to each other. So it's not like the time we use before we open our mouths is a waste of time. Our answer will simply take into account some more factors that perhaps a more spontaneous person will not even notice.

Our strengths

This gives a very clear picture of the strengths of introverts and highly sensitive people. Maybe we will never become masters of rapid retort, or the loudest people in a dynamic, group discussion. However, there is a good chance that after such a quick exchange of opinions someone will contact us to hear our opinion on the discussed topic. We are a good source of thoughtful comments, taking into account all available factors and circumstances. Very often, we also understand the concept of emotional intelligence well and are able to use it. It has been known for a long time that behind almost every great speaker or entrepreneur in history stood a kind adviser or thinker without whom nothing could happen. Coincidence?

Development opportunities

Each conversation style is therefore more or less favorable depending on the situation. And none is better than the other, provided that we respect the other person. Let's also remember to always give ourselves time to think, which we need at a given moment. Our interlocutor will also be happy to wait a little longer if he cares about our opinion. After all, he does not accidentally talk to us. Of course, I encourage all ambitious to work on themselves and train their own conversational skills. I believe that this is the area in which we have a big development potential. And that innate talent is only part of the success. It is worth considering this, especially when the restrictions we encounter start to bother us, or even get in the way of achieving goals. But this does not mean that we have to give up our valuable observation and analysis capabilities. Rather, the key to success is to use them in a controlled manner and, if we want, afford a little looseness and imperfections. Without uncertainty, fear of judgement and all other undesirable goblins.

See also


  1. Very interesting questions that you put up and the analysis, which is so much spot on. Interesting for me especially, as I wouldn’t call myself a pure introvert, but I often show these pattern of thinking and troubles, and trying to analyze every possible aspect before talking about my truth or opinion on the really important things.

    I am unsure about where the impatience is coming from. I also think most people don’t expect too much of a deep answer to many of the questions they ask, or they expect the other to have the answer already processed a long time ago, so it should be easy to just „tell” the result we came across before.
    But especially when emotions are involved this becomes (for me) often a challenge, as…
    Which emotions do I actually have towards this?
    Is this my true self speaking?
    Is it only true at this very moment or is the full picture different from what my mood tells me at this very moment?
    What are my reasons for this conclusion? Are the reasons valid? Still? What are the emotions of the other person? Do I understand them enough to rely on it?
    How can I express my conclusion to stay true in all the details and variations?
    How is the person reacting? Could my answer be disturbing too much? Is it safe to tell my full truth without hurting the person? Is it safe for me to speak the full truth? Which part of the answer is the person expecting? Are there expectations? How deep may I answer this question without being too intrusive – or boring? Which information is needed to communicate the result? May I use the information that I just „feel” to supplement or even completely change my answer or is this too much of a guesswork and judgemental? Do I want to answer the question? 😉
    Last one should be asked before going through the rest, though. Sometimes doesn’t happen, though.

    I think it is normal to have situations / topics and timings when you are quick to answer things and some when you are not. It is just impossible for others to see what’s going on inside you to get everything ready. And when this much is not expected, people become impatient, bored or disturbed by longer delays 😉
    Fun fact: I am impatient as well sometimes, although I know the troubles with too many things to process at the same time.

    Your post is a very welcome reminder to be more aware in a daily / usual listening role to try to not get distracted during these kind of breaks in a conversation, although it is sometimes very difficult to stay focused when being in listening mode when the own thoughts run like crazy and the world around as well, while waiting for response.

    Do you also feel the complete opposite sometimes? I mean like: sometimes my brain seems to shut down and ignore the usual processing demands and just gives autoresponder messages back. These can be off quite a bit. 😀

    I had such a great laugh! „And we just… Eh…” ;-D ;-D ;-D I had tears in my eyes from laughing! ;-D

    1. Thank you Thomas for this beautiful comment 🙂 Well sometimes I think that people get impatient when they are actually busy trying to hold in their own thoughts. So they either start speaking again before we take our time to respond or they start speaking to someone else. Or if they don’t have anything more to say, they just get bored 😉

      Out of all the question that you mentioned involved in your speaking process, I guess all the ones on the expectations or impression of the other person should be excluded, as it’s like trying to mindread them or take responsibility for them. Sometimes it’s better to just trust that they will ask for clarification or tell you if sth is wrong.

      And yes, I also have those ‚autoresponder’ moments sometimes and I actually enjoy them, as they are usually quite funny. They do not happen often though.

      I’m happy that I could make you laugh. Big hug!

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