Thursday, August 7, 2014

Don't Say It

One of my worst characteristics is saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Yeah, I said one of my worst.  Sigh.

All is not lost, however.  I am learning to overcome my personality defects.  In conversation, I have learned to consciously think to myself: keep your mouth shut, don’t say it, it’s not worth it, and - when things are dire - for the love of BeyoncĂ©, STOP TALKING. 

It’s a constant practice.  I was not naturally blessed with the gift of tactfulness.  I neeeeed to make connections, appropriate or not, good sense or not.   I also neeeeed to try and be witty, clever, sharp, and flippant.  I’m exhausting to be around.

Is it self-centeredness that drives my predilection to say the wrong thing?  That’s been mentioned before.  Thoughtlessness and stupidity?  Well, that’s two, isn’t it?  Awkwardness?  Mmm-hmm.  One too many glasses of wine?  Just what are you implying?

The need for the spoken word-monitoring practice that I employ in most every interaction didn’t become apparent until I was well into my adult life, so the instances in which I say the wrong thing are largely documented.

At least remembered, wincingly. 



Like the time in junior high when I was making new friends and we were all sitting at lunch and talking about names we liked and all these names were being thrown out and I felt like I wasn’t contributing enough and I thought it would be smart and funny to talk about names I didn’t like.  Except because I have a flair for exaggerating, I commanded the table’s attention and said, rather commandingly, “Do you know what name I HATE?  Like hate so much that I want to punch the face in of anyone who has that name?”

I didn’t think things through back in junior high.  Oh, you did?  How nice for you.

“What name is that?” all my new best friends singsonged.

“Clarice*,” I made up.  Any girl with that name I want to punch in the face,” I repeated triumphantly, expecting fist pumps and understanding nods.  Brilliant, I thought.  In a few weeks I would rule this school.  My reputation as the smart funny girl was on its way, certain to overshadow the unfortunate hairstyle choices that would take me all of junior high and part of high school to grow out.

The table grew quiet.

The girl next to me gave me a look. “Clarice is my sister’s name,” she said.

Oh. 

Whoops.

Again.

*Name changed for privacy purposes.  Also because I don't really remember what it was.  Also I should mention that I think Clarice is a lovely name.


I've written about this subject before.
Check out this other post about when I put my foot in my mouth.  
Not literally.  That would be better.


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This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #4: Write a blog post inspired by the word: whoops.

24 comments:

  1. That's funny! Was this before or after the Silence of the Lambs?

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    1. Ha ha! It wasn't actually the name that was used, I don't think. I can't seem to remember it exactly. Age is a tricky thing.

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  2. I always say something stupid, usually because I'm trying to be funny or I don't know what to say at all.

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    1. You and I may have the same affliction. When I'm quiet, you can be sure that I'm racking my brain for something good to say, and it always comes out wrong.

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  3. Right there with ya sister! I like to think of it as a complete lack of inner monologue. Own it, love because it is part of what makes us special and remarkable. m

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    1. Is that what it's called - that's great! I thought I was wearing my inner monologue on the outside. :)

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  4. I would think your self-deprecating humility would make even a gal named Clarice forgive you!~May

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    1. Aw, thank you May! It's what I hope for the most in this world. :)

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  5. Oh we're going to get along famously or infamously..or both. ;)

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  6. I have NEVER put my foot in my mouth. Not physically anyway. The other way? Yes, MANY times. I once said I generally did not like girls names that started with "D", in front of my friend DEBORAH. ;) (and that is not a pretend name...)

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    1. Ha! I'm sure she was gracious about it... to your face. ;) Oh well. At least we have our adorableness to make up for our lack of social graces, huh?

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  7. Ah, yes, the "oh no I'm talking and it's too late to stop myself" problem. Yeah, I have that. Sometimes I have to just clamp my mouth shut to stop it and then people are all "oh, wow, she's so cranky and antisocial, never talks to anybody." Trust me, it's better that way sometimes. I blame my ADHD - impulsiveness is one of my biggest symptoms. But I kinda like Miriam's better - sounds much cooler.

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    1. I do wish there was a happy medium between quiet/snobby and loud/abrasive.

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  8. I don't trust people who never put their foot in their mouths. They must be up to something.

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  9. Yes, I go from passive and inactive in convos to blurting out what's happening under my shirt or something. Lately, I've been getting blank stares after (what I consider) normal conversation. Either I'm inappropriate again or I have a very thick non-southern accent. I'm gonna have to ask next time.

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    1. I'd like to have that conversation, too: "Did I say something to offend you?" Then again, maybe not.

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  10. I have a TALENT for putting my foot in my mouth, it's almost expected of me to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. It's almost like my party trick.

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    1. Ha ha! At least you're consistent. People could just bring you out when the party's dragging a little. Hmmmm sounds like a lucrative side-job to me.

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  11. It is like you are TALKING ABOUT ME.
    I have foot in mouth disease so badly that I am on meds for it.
    Ok I made that up but I wish there were meds for it.

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    1. They have meds for it but they're illegal. :)

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  12. We are definitely in good company with each other. I read a quote once about how if you are awkward you should just own it and stop trying to change, because it's what people love most about you. I think that might be something socially capable people say to make us feel better, because that's what they're good at. I made fun of the name Bianca HARD one day (as an adult) and it was the middle name of the person I was talking to. I feel your pain.

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  13. I dig my holes deep. The list is endless of how many times I put my foot in my mouth to my crimson shame.

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