The science behind why introverts struggle to speak by Jenn Granneman as originally seen on Introvert, Dear.
Sorry, Speechies. I haven’t been the best about highlighting Better Hearing and Speech Month. So here’s one for you!
Being an introvert myself, I often have terrible word recall. And it always happens at the most inopportune moments too. I have found that with the more languages I learn, the slower this gets too. So not only do I have to take the long route to the actual word, I also have to pick the route to the right word in the language I want! So all the time I’ll be standing there trying to find an English word and the only thing that comes to mind is the Spanish word or vice versa. I’m not good enough at sign language yet for those to pop-up like that.. yet. All the while my conversation partner (s) are sitting on the edge of their seats… sometimes literally, waiting for what seems like an eternity for me to bring out a word. In the case where I can only think of the word in the “wrong” language, I will usually just say, “Well it’s X in Spanish/English, but I can’t think of the word in (the language I’m speaking in.)” Around here, it often doesn’t matter which language I pull the word up in, because so many are bilingual anyway.
But back to the quandary I had today and is highlighted in the article, trying to just find a word in English and coming up completely blank. Here’s a bit of free advice that wasn’t mentioned in the article. In that instance I pull from my experiences in language learning– which is why I mentioned it above. When I’m speaking in Spanish and I can’t find a word, I talk around it… describe the word if it’s a noun “It’s a fruit… and it comes in red and green colors… it grows on a tree… It’s crunchy when you bite into it… It starts with an ‘a’…”, or act it out if a verb while saying something like, “You do it like this.” This often triggers the word in Spanish. This works for me in English too.
Now, don’t get me wrong. No matter what language I’m speaking, I can sometimes get funny looks when I do this, especially when acting words out. But hey, if it helps find the correct route to my long term memory to recall that word, who cares! Or maybe I just need speech. 🙂