How does anyone ever talk to anyone else?
February 17, 2014 8:02 AM Subscribe
I'm in a new relationship and we just had a fight that was started more or less because of an issue I've been struggling with my life: I never know what to say to people. How can I work through this issue?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a man a few months shy of 30, and I've been dating a wonderful woman since December and we've been in a relationship for about half that time. The fight we had today was caused by bad communication about our plans for the day. Mostly I just failed to talk about the plans enough in time for them to solidify into something that actually happened.
Maybe today's fight wasn't completely relevant to this question, but it's what got me thinking and worrying about this again and it does feel like this fight was sort of a symptom of something I struggle with in every relationship I have, romantic or not.
In short, I just don't know what to say to people. I get by fine with the people I've known for a long time, and when I'm just getting to know someone there are enough obvious questions to last for a while. But during the intermediate period between those two extremes I just struggle so hard to keep a conversation going. I'm an open book, and I'm genuinely interesting in people, (especially in this relationship, where I really care for her and am really interested in getting to know every little thing about her), but I can just never think of things to either ask or mention. A typical conversation during the intermediate period will have a few back and forths and then peter out when I run out of things to add, then long awkward silence until the other person offers up something or a miracle occurs and something comes to me from the blue.
I've had relationships before that have lasted long enough to get close enough that things flowed naturally, but I also know I've lost at least one romantic relationship specifically because of this.
How can I work on improving this trait in myself? How can I work to get past the awkward intermediate stage with people faster? And what can I do to work through this in my current relationship?