It may seem odd, but I do not like the physical act of talking. This goes deeper than social anxiety or introverted awkwardness (of which I have plenty). It is a real, palpable fatigue inside my throat, a sort-of throbbing weakness that reminds me that the simple act of creating words in my head that arrange themselves in my throat and exit my mouth in actual sound does not feel that good to me.
Is this odd?
I was talking to my mom the other day about how much I detest talking at the end of the night. Unfortunately, my hard-working husband often doesn’t get home until late and the end of the night is the only time we can catch up. But I’ve been surrounded by three children and their friends for the entire day. I’ve ran errands and made phone calls and talked to friends. By the end of the night, I’m done with talking.
What I said to my mom was, “There are only a limited number of words that can come out of my mouth safely in a day.” What I meant was when my throat area starts to fatigue and I have grown tired of the physical act of talking, I start to shut down. Along the shut-down highway, my words get snarkier, ruder and all-around bitchier.
I know this about myself and try to reign it in as much as possible. Unfortunately for the ole husband and children, any conversation after 9:00 p.m. can be wrought with sharp, bullet-like, clipped words shooting out of my mouth. I want everyone to go to bed so I can settle into silence. Ah, the bliss.
But I have learned a couple of tricks, simple though they are, that help soothe my over-active throat, and help to keep my marriage going strong.
- A scarf wrapped snuggly around my throat, warming my skin and deeper. I find this soothing. When I took a 4 hour train ride to RWA in NYC recently, I traveled alone (on purpose) and brought a scarf. I nestled into my window seat and wrapped the scarf around my neck, nurturing the area that would take the most abuse during a vibrant, brimming-with-people conference. On the train ride home? Same thing. It worked wonders.
- I think about my throat. I practice relaxing the muscles there. (Yoga always helps-relax your jaw and that can set off a chain reaction to the throat. At least for me.)
- Tea. A warm cup of tea can internally do what the scarf does externally. My favorite tea-in-a bag variety is Yogi tea. I also love loose teas. They smell divine.
- Fight for, arrange for, plan for long periods of silence-complete and utter silence where the lips don’t part (except to sip that tea!), and the throat isn’t working in producing floods of words. I love silence. I love to sit in silence and be silent. When my three children are in school all day, I relish the days when I have no one to talk to (when there are no errands to run or calls to make). I make a point, on these rare days, to be silent–utterly and completely silent. It really does help.
Does anyone else have a physical reaction to talking? If so, share your tips. I’m always open to new ideas!