I'm Better in Writing

I’m not good under pressure. Plain and simple, I can’t act on-demand or on impulse. I’m very much a planner; I like to have every detail laid out in advance so I can be prepared and remain in control of the situations I’m in. When things happen unexpectedly, I freak out a little, and it takes time for me to recoup myself. It goes for just about everything in my life, from planning my meals for the week to creating my daily to-do list, but what causes the most stress and anxiety is speaking without prior planning. Some might see that as a fault, and I can understand why. However, there’s a method behind my madness. 

When I’m put on the spot to speak, I stumble over my words and become an out of breath, fidgety mess. I lose all mental function of how to put together meaningful sentences and actually say what I want to say. Instead, all I can think about is finishing the task of speaking. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m running as fast as I can to get there, all the while tripping over my own feet and embarrassing myself. And when I say speaking, I don’t just mean public speaking; although, that seems to be the worst. There've been many times in school when my mind goes blank after I stand up to give a presentation. I'll finish the presentation and get a good grade, but I'll have no idea what I said or if what I said was right -- all that mattered was getting through it. 

When it comes to important conversations with friends or family, the same thing happens, especially if it’s confrontational. My mind goes blank, my mouth takes on a mind of its own and I come back to life once the conversation has ended. Most of the time, I don’t even say what I want to say or everything comes out wrong. I’m not able to convey the message I want to send because I’m so caught up in finding a way to say it correctly, and by the time I have, it’s too late. It’s similar to how you only think of a good comeback after the fight has ended, except I feel that almost every day. 

Journal in front of laptop Photo by Nick Morrison from Unsplash

It’s because of this that I’m so much better in writing than I am in person. Give me a pen and paper, an email to send, or a text to draft, and I’m golden. I love having the time to sit down and write out exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. Even more than that, I love going back and rereading what I’ve written so that I can add to it and make it even better. All in all, I love to plan. Some people can speak on command and come up with amazing arguments or conversation-starters, but that’s just not me. I spend hours coming up with almost every possible outcome of a conversation with someone to be prepared incase it happens and so I can know what to say. I like to be prepared, and when I’m not, I feel out of control. 

I’m not sure why I feel the need to hold such a tight grasp on every little detail of my life, but I think it has to do with the fact that I get overwhelmed easily. Especially with school and a pandemic being so prominent and quick to change, there are certain things I like to plan out to feel a little bit more in control of my life. I’m better at writing than I am in person, and I accept that. Although I work hard to become a better communicator, I prefer being prepared instead of walking into a situation and not knowing what will happen next. I’d rather send out a well-written, thoroughly revised email than speak on the phone and only say half of what I wanted to say. Fighting over text is so much easier for me than fighting in person because I can stand up for me instead of backing down. 

There are all kinds of people in the world: type A and type B, introverts and extroverts, planners and non-planners. From that list, I would classify myself as type B, an introvert and a planner. What does that say about me? I’m not sure exactly, but that’s just the way I am. So maybe you’re better giving presentations, talking on the phone or conversing in large groups -- good for you. But I would pass up a microphone any day for a pen and paper or a computer keypad where I can plan out my thoughts and organize them. Planning takes patience and thoughtfulness, qualities I admire in myself, and I employ them daily.