A coworker suddenly appears and asks you what should be an easy answer. Their stance, tone of statement, and their glaring eyes tells you that they need a reply as soon as possible, like right now. The request is simple, but your mind suddenly goes blank.
Or you begin to say something and then suddenly stop mid flow, having a momentary mental block. Everyone takes notice and looks at you, wondering why you’re stalling. You’ll at times say something which is close to what you want, but comes out wrong.
Conversely, those who are outspoken, the extroverts of the world, have is a fluency of words which instantly comes out of their mouth. This could be a coworker, friend, or spouse, who are able to express themselves effortlessly at all times.
What they’ll often do is look at you when you hesitate to speak, and will say, come on spit it out. You want to, but your brain isn’t cooperating.
Introverts And Word Retrieval
When needing to say something, the process that occurs in the particular area of the brain, the connection where the brain tells the mouth what to say, this to speak what you mean, can be a difficult process for some.
This especially when it comes introverts, who often have difficulty finding the words that they want to express. The result is they may come off sounding like they’re confused, or have no idea what they’re talking about, although most do.
This often occurs in work or social situations, when introverts have difficulty attempting to keep up with the slick fast-talking extroverts, who are able to crank out verbiage a mile a minute.
The Brain And Relay
What the mind uses are a variety of different areas of the brain, this when it comes to saying what you mean, as the process needs to work in concert.
There’s an array of information which needs to flow properly, and then combine with all of the separate areas of the brain.
The problem with introverts, is that this process of information relay runs deeper, so it needs more effort to retrieve the information from the brain, resulting in delayed development.
The Difficulty Of Retrieving Words
Retrieving the proper words to say can become a problem for introverts, this because of the deeper processing that’s required, this since the words needed to be said are retrieved from their long-term memory.
Similar to a computer, it takes longer to access data from long-term memory, as what’s needed is finding and connecting the right associations.
This retrieval process involves something which reminds or associates the data center with the word, which is buried in their long-term memory. The process then extracts the exact word that needs to be said.
Emotions Can Also Interfere
Emotions such as becoming anxious, which can happen when introverts are talking with others that they don’t know that well.
Or when they’re in high-pressure situations such as asking for a first date, which compounds the difficulty of locating and then articulating the exact word that they’re wanting to say.
It’s Easier To Write
What introverts find is that they can express themselves a lot better in writing, this rather than speaking in conversation.
This is also because of the need for the brain to tap in the deeper regions of the brain, so thoughts to fingertips becomes more efficient.
This is the reason why introverts often prefer to send emails, or write text messages rather than making phone calls. Many prefer to keep journals, compose poems, lyrics, or stories, as some will make it an occupation.
This is how the brain happens to be wired, this since what writing words does is uses completely different pathways in the brain than speaking words.
The Memory Retrieval Process
Memory is an extremely complex process, as what it employs are a variety of different areas of the brain.
It becomes complex since the brain stores different memories in several locations, much like a library, and needs to create links between them, which are known as associations.
So to pull a distant event out of long-term memory, what’s needed is locating the association. The good news is that the majority of these pieces of information that resides in long-term memory, are found within several areas.
So the process becomes unlocking them. If the brain is able to find just one key association, then what becomes possible is retrieving the entire memory, usually intact.
Whenever there’s difficulty to remember a word, some type of information, or what you did over the long weekend, something that’s often referred to as “small talk,” is when your mind suddenly goes blank.
Learning How To Communicate Better
Quiet yourself down, don’t allow anyone to rush you. Buy time to process your brain by using filler words such as, “Hmm, let me think…” Give some type of nonverbal sign that you’re thinking, such as making a facial expression or momentarily looking away.
Allow your mind to wander for a moment where it needs to. One thought will flow into another, and then one of those thoughts will hold the “key” to unlocking the word from your long-term memory.
If what you’re wanting to say escapes you, never feel stressed or embarrassed, as all your brain is doing is reacting naturally, and that’s thoughtfully pausing and reflecting.
You can also overcome potential awkwardness by injecting a bit of humor, by making light of your slow response, or say that you’re a bit distracted right now, that you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, this by sending them an email.
Once you’re in a group with other quiet people, you then feel grateful knowing that you’re in good company with other deep thinkers.