Statistically, women tend to talk in run-on sentences and then have to gasp for breath, and speak in a somewhat tentative fashion. (Whereas men tend to make short pronouncements and to interrupt other people more than women do.)
I am aware that I am a typical chick in this regard.
But I’ve just realized that it’s gotten much, much worse.
I dunno…it just feels like any time I try to say more than two consecutive sentences to someone, I trip all over myself and run out of breath and my voice gets all squeaky. Then a mean little observer in the back of my brain goes “DUDE you sound like a three year old on a massive sugar high. How is this person even still listening to you? How could they – or anyone else – possibly take you seriously?” and that makes me so anxious that I really can’t talk for shit.
I blame Minx. Goddamn fucking Minx.
Minx, who zoned out whenever I was talking to him. Minx, who repeatedly told me that most of what I say is “filler”*. Minx, who retained maybe four percent of anything I ever told him, so I got in the habit of repeating myself all the time to make sure the important things stuck, but god forbid I should ever repeat something from that four percent or he’d snap “you told me that already!” Minx, who would frequently cut me off mid-sentence by shrieking, “I can’t deal with the sound of your voice right now!!!”
He wasn’t like that in the beginning of our relationship, but by the end he was…really bad. It felt like only a matter of time before he’d start flat-out yelling “SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP” every time I opened my mouth.
So basically, the person I was closest to in the world told me over and over – verbally and nonverbally – that I’m boring and talk too much and my voice is annoying. Plus I’m simply not used to having someone around who actually listens to me, so I now find people’s undivided attention kind of unnerving.
And so I squeak and stammer and have a hard time coping with steady eye contact.
*Although his own speech patterns were like Bobcat Goldthwaite’s except without the yelling…he would just kind of lunge headlong at each sentence several times before he finally managed to conquer it.