The Struggle Of Writing What You Can’t Express

270d872fe2b0588ad4bbc2322d2d0b96Do you ever have those moments, where the thoughts in your mind are not as eloquently expressed when spoken out loud? Perhaps you have a day where you sit down to write in your journal, but the words don’t seem to flow. Your mind is at a pause. It’s the difficulty of expressing how you are feeling, and being able to put them smoothly into words. Sometimes it’s because there are just simply no words to express how you may feel. Other times it’s something that makes complete sense in your mind, but it doesn’t make any sense when you speak them out loud. I find that happens often when I want to express something, it doesn’t always make sense to someone else.

The truth is it is much easier to express your feelings through writing, rather than speaking them out loud. If you ever feel very deeply, sometimes the only way to understand those feelings is to listen to music, surround yourself with nature or do something peaceful. It may be finding self expression in drawing, cooking, exercise, dance, playing music or singing. There are also many things that we can’t understand, unless we experience it ourselves. I know for those who have ever been through depression or anxiety, may also feel the struggle of expressing how exactly it feels. It’s very often an invisible feeling, that one can only fully empathise with if they experience it themselves.

Have you ever had someone ask you a question and it takes a while for you to respond? I’m someone who sometimes talks slowly, because I tend to think before I speak. I choose my words wisely depending on who I am talking to. When I’m faced with someone who is asking me a lot of questions, I explain myself, and there are some cases where they still won’t understand what I’m trying to say. Then there are moments, where many people expect an immediate answer or they want you to express how you feel on the spot. If you have anxiety, speaking fluidly can be hard at times. It’s something that takes practice. It’s something you learn, because as you grow older, it’s better to say what you need to say even though it’s not always easy to do so.

Many introverts prefer to write, because it enables us to communicate with more sense. Many introverts are deep thinkers. This means that although we may not be as talkative, we have a colourful mind. There are moments where we need to be direct, but when it comes to complex questions, it can take more time to think of the words to say. Small talk is something that as an introvert, it can be draining and make one feel easily disconnected. When we can’t express out loud how we’re feeling or we can’t write the feelings out on the paper, often we just need to laugh, smile or cry. Articulating oneself doesn’t always come from what we speak. It’s an important aspect of it, but sometimes we just need to read a good book, go to the cinema, attend a seminar or listen to someones story to gain a new perspective and understanding.

Art by Monica Barengo

11 thoughts on “The Struggle Of Writing What You Can’t Express

  1. Yes, yes, yes. So often I feel I can’t verbalise what I feel – when I know how I feel, but there will also be moments where I feel conflicted with my feelings too. But if you ask me to write it all down, then expressing how I feel comes more naturally to me.

    Like you, I am more of a slow talker and prefer to have time to say my responses out loud with my mouth. Sometimes I’d start off saying one thing slowly and before I finish, the other person has already gone on to asking another questions. Maybe they are quick thinking, or maybe they are quick to judge. Either way, I’m not a fan of it. In these situations, I just try my best to be as honest as possible and just take my time, sometimes even going back to the previous question – just being me.

    1. Writing is just such a wonderful way of expressing ourselves isn’t it! I was sitting in the library this afternoon, and reading the words in a book makes one really understand what the writer is trying to say. It makes us empathise more and experience a little of what they’re going through.

      I’m not a fan of it either. It’s difficult to talk to someone who isn’t really listening or interested. They just want to keep the conversation going, but it doesn’t always have a lot of depth. Haha, yes I relate to the going back to the previous question! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me :)

      1. “They just want to keep the conversation going” I think so too, and think that is why some extroverts/social people hang out. Not because they are interested in you as a person, but for the pure sake of company and not doing things alone (e.g. eating alone, seeing a movie alone). I generally feel like I am used when I find that out about someone.

      2. Yes! There are many extroverts out there who genuinely care for you, but then there are some that only want you there as a listening ear. Your comment made me smile, because I went out and had lunch and watched a movie last night alone, and enjoyed it so much.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with this post. These are the reasons why I too feel undoubtedly far more at home with the “writing” side of my job, while its “verbal” aspect usually makes me feel like a fish out of water (I’m a lawyer). Thanks for this honest and resonating post.

    A fellow INFJ
    ~~

    1. Thank you for your comment. Writing is definitely a way of keeping the thoughts flowing more smoothly. Whereas speaking tends to come with little pauses and commas in the head! Especially for us INFJ who prefer to take time to think before we speak.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with everything you said (and I wish I could double like this). I’ve always been a writer, but there are times I can’t put what is so fluenty (or influent) running in my mind into written communication or verbalized. It can be painful at times to have something trapped in your mind with no means of true escape.

    Speaking from experience and discussions with friends, there’s something lost, for introverts in communicating something verbally from our heads at times. It can be the most eloquent, ground-breaking thought, but put into words it loses something. If only humans had a telepathic option!

    1. Thanks for your comment Rin. If only we did! It’s true, often we have the most intelligent, wise or as you put it, ground breaking thought, but when spoken it sounds completely different or not fully expressed the way we feel it!

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