My biggest problem with speaking, the biggest thing that blocks me from talking about anything ever, is perfectionism.
You see, I’ve just finished another semester of classes – exams to come. In tutorials, I’ve spent hours gritting my teeth as a classmate stammers their way through an answer, liberally peppering it with ‘like’ and ‘um’. I know, sounds a bit snobbish, but I’ve been a student for years now.
I too was guilty of using ‘like’ on occasion, though not every second or third word.
Now though, I’ve decided to cut it out entirely unless I’m comparing something. I have done this by catching myself. If I slip and say ‘like’, I’ll apologize and say ‘Sorry, not like,” and carry on. I read a novel recently. One character was a bit of a language-pedant and said “It’s not like. It either is or it isn’t.”
That stuck with me. Now, I find that my talk-barrier is perfection. Over the past few months I’ve become more concerned with proper grammar and I tend to pause, gathering my thoughts before I speak, lest I slip into incorrect grammar and ‘like’ heavy sentences that go nowhere. I also try to use few words. As I once heard, about a very verbose someone: “If you want to be seen, stand up. If you want to be heard, speak up. If you want to be liked, shut up.”
I’m going to explore this in a bit more detail tomorrow.