Overworked about what to say

by John
(Bellevue, WA, US)

Hi, My name's John and I'm a 16 year old guy. Recently (in the past year or so), I've been kind of upset because I've had trouble having conversations. I start thinking about the specifics of talking and it makes it hard to say anything without overthinking it. And when I overthink it it starts to become harder for me to even have a normal conversations. Sometimes I'm completely fine but then other days I can't help but thinking about thinking of the right thing to say (which I seem to not be able to do a lot) and in the end I feel really stupid, like I can't form a conversation while other people do it just fine.

I'm wondering if maybe it just has to do with me being a teenager and all with all the hormones and whatnot, because like I said, some days I'm completely fine and hold conversations just fine. It seems to be especially bad when I'm with just another person and I feel like I need to constantly hold a conversation.

Any advice would be really nice and much appreciated!

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overworked as to what to say.
by: Anonymous

Take it as it comes John, we have all had those problems earlier, sometimes if you try to rehearse it makes it worse. If there is a public speaking course somewhere you could join, you will get some help on how to present yourself. I did Toastmasters years ago and it helped me a lot when I had to get up and speak at church.
You do not have to justify yourself at all, just be you.

Speaking with people
by: Kay

Hi John, I think your big problem is that, as you say, you over think your conversations. A good way to keep a conversation flowing is to ask the person you are speaking to about himself, his hobbies or interests, family, work, anything that allows him to do the talking. Most people are happy being asked about themselves because it gives them something to say, and of course this puts you in a good light as being someone who is caring and friendly. So when there is a lull that makes you feel uncomfortable ask your questions!

When you feel at ease gaps in conversations wont bother you, but this may come when you are a bit more confident within yourself. Sometimes it's important to become a good listener, and when you have your 'listening ears' on, you should feel confident, but make sure you are listening and not trying to work out what to say next. Speak about what the person is saying to you, don't worry about changing the subject or having nothing to speak about next.

From reading your message you appear to be a very considerate young man. How you see yourself and the thoughts you have about yourself make you how you are. Focus on your ability and how capable you are. Stop thinking about what you can't do because you reinforce these negative things each time you bring them to mind. The times you are at ease when you speak is when you haven't started with the negative "What can I say" thoughts. So get rid of these, replace them with "I am at ease when I speak to people", relax, smile, and ask the person how their day is going and take it from there!

Good luck John.


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