People are surprised when I tell them I struggle with communication.
They often tell me that it doesn’t seem like I struggle.
The truth is that I’m faking it.
I’ve had 34 years of watching what others do around me and mimicking, with a lot of error, what those people did in social situations.
I don’t really think I did well with this skill at all until I uprooted my life and moved to the UK from the USA for university.
It was hard.
It did force me to excel at camouflaging and trying my best to “fit in” or whatever.
Nowadays, I’m so good at being uncomfortable that I don’t even notice it sometimes.
The giggles, smiles, forced “Have a good weekend” or “Happy New Year” and other general conventions of conversation.
To give you some perspective, I couldn’t even really mutter a “hello” or “goodbye” until I was like 27.
I legitimately do not understand the concept of “hello” or “goodbye.” This caused me a lot of problems including being fired from a job when I was a teenager or people thinking I was a rude human being.
Taking various psychology courses in high school and community college has helped me learn the structure of effective communication so I guess this is why people think I do it well.
I don’t really mean any harm to anyone. I don’t mean to be rude or anything like that. I try my best to hide my inability to understand and usually default to the giggle mentioned above if I don’t know how to respond. I’ve gotten better at saying “I don’t understand, can you please explain it more clearly?” but that doesn’t always work out in the best way.
I still struggle if I do not receive a direct response or action. Passive aggressive behavior is basically my kryptonite.
Written words are no issue. Verbal words are another matter.
I have had meltdowns over communication.
I guess we all have our own preferred methods of communication and I am still surprised by the amount of ineffective communication that happens (i.e., dramarama) over silly things that would be prevented if people were honest and open with each other.
It’s a funny thing, this communication business.