Majority of us must consider ourselves lucky if we can self-express about how we feel about things, people around us and our daily interactions and the environment around us.
Some of us, for reasons I have shared below, find it difficult to express how they feel exactly at the moment they should be doing so, but later in life they regret for not having done so.
Self expression requires a lot of confidence and high self-esteem, which people take for granted. Not everyone has it. This causes misunderstanding and the person who can’t express suffers.
However, if their friends or anyone around such people can understand what they wish to convey, then they could do a lot of good for these people.
It is difficult to pin point the exact reason why they are shy and unable to express.
One of the reason could be an anxiety disorder experienced during childhood that carries over until adulthood called ‘selective muting’, where the child seems to be very comfortable communicating at home with known people such as parents or siblings, but they are unable to speak in front of the class, with the teacher, friends or with relatives they don’t speak often or in any other social settings like birthday parties or get-together.
This could be one of the reason where little souls are misdiagnosed and recommended for speech therapy. Being able to talk is not the real problem, the problem is just the environment and the unknown people in that environment which makes the child reluctant to speak.
Other reasons could be strict parenting or being ridiculed by parents, teachers or friends for not pronouncing certain words correctly that they completely stop communicating.
The experts will obviously have some complex explanation to this behavior. Personally, I feel if one of the parent were around in social settings or were allowed in school for few days in their early years, then kids can learn to talk to unknown people comfortably.
Let’s be honest. Parents also teach only what is taught in books exactly how they are taught in school. What is really required is early training on inter-personal communication e.g. inquiring about someone you just met, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and also expressing when they are hungry. Lack of inter-personal communication can be observed even with adults.
During the teenage, especially in their dating phase, they may come across as awkward. When either partner expects the other to clearly express how s/he feels about him/her.
They usually compensate through written communication though, in the past it used to be letters and now through electronic communication.
Ironically, people who can’t express themselves have a lot to express, but those phrases and thoughts are lost revolving inside the head and are left unspoken. By the time they do think of expressing, their crush has found someone who is better at expressing leaving this soul devastated and further damage to their confidence.
Their relationship is likely to suffer more often than not, if they are just unable to say ‘I love you’.
For many, fear of offending or fear of rejection plays a major role. They are likely to hang around with one or two people who knows them best and sometimes even prefer their friends did the talking on their behalf.
They are good listeners though. If one ever wants to vent out and wants someone to just be there and listen, they are the perfect people to hang out with.
I have been a people observer all my life and I knew few of them closely.
Workplaces is where they are likely to find a lot of difficulty in adapting, because there are no real friends there, whom they can trust and who understands them well, in the modern dog-eat-dog environment and hence communicating clearly is a key to survival.
While most co-workers are understanding, there will always be few people in the higher ranks who expect everyone to be communicative like them. I have known many of my colleagues who got negative feedback just because they did not speak in project meetings.
People who aren’t expressive have a lot of knowledge, and, they are better off show casing their ability through e-mails or other means, however, when it comes to responding to some queries that require an immediate answer, they are likely to be lost and have no response, which gives a bad impression to certain people. This problem can be overcome through feedback and making the person more aware that s/he needs to be alert in project meetings etc.
They are unlikely to tell you if you have hurt them unintentionally because they don’t want you to feel offended. If they do muster courage and let you know that you have hurt them in the past, and you yell at them for not letting you know earlier, then do watch their eyes closely. They are likely to be moist and they are even more likely to go home and lock themselves up and cry their heart out.
I love to hang around such people. They are quite straight forward, no evil intentions, they can be trusted and they are more likely to be great pals. You just need patience.
When you are on a phone conversation with them, you might have to ask them at least twice if they are still there on the phone though.
In a world full of people who are sadistic, confrontational, argumentative, self-absorbed, egotistic and always wanting to be right, and least concerned how they make you feel, sometimes, it’s best to hang around with people who have a limitation in expressing themselves.
They are always misunderstood and hence isolated because they are not fun to hang around with them. Hence, if you decide to befriend them, you will have their gratitude for life and you will also know someone who genuinely cares for you.