Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Edited For Clarity


Edited For Clarity

I love words. I admire wordsmiths - those crafters of a well-turned phrase. I am a very verbal person - a storyteller. Ask me what time it is and I’ll tell you the funniest story I know about clocks or being late or that time my wristwatch got hung up on the saddle horn. And while you wouldn’t know it from the way I mis-use words around here, I scored off-the-charts on the verbal portion of the GMATs. I am, in short, verbose. I love words. I adore verbal sparring (but not the sarcastic-laden, mean kind). Witty repartee makes me seriously hot. Speaking in front of a group? No problem. I can work a room like a Vegas lounge singer. Asking directly for what I want? Has me cowering.


When I am trying to describe something, I want you to know the backstory, what led me to think the way I think, to better understand why I feel the way I do. But I also use words as my most serious weapon in manipulation. Yes, that’s hard to admit, but as a person with codependent traits, I have to acknowledge that I can be manipulative. I would spend hours having conversations in my head with someone. Thinking that if I put together just the right combination of words into the most persuasive of arguments, I could finally make them see the error of their ways. If I could string together the perfect sentence, I could stop compulsive spending or even hoarding, affairs or alcoholism. I thought it was within my power to do so and I kept trying. Now I know that my words are useless against such foes.

And I am also coming to know that less is sometimes more. I have used words as a shield, as a buffer, as a way to keep my partner/foe/foil off-balance and away from the real issue. I could deflect anyone who got close enough to see my vulnerabilities. Now I’m trying to live an authentic life and that means distilling things down to their very core.

I have a particular issue with Bick. It’s not huge, but it could lead to some resentment on my part if left unchecked. So I know I need to talk to him about it. I need to ask for what I want. Well, that is so difficult for me. Luckily, I’ve been able to strip what was a half-hour explanation that would cause only eye-rolling, and would-you-please-get-to-the-point sighs down to two sentences. It was very simple, once I edited for clarity.

I'm at a conference. Exercise and food have been okay - not stellar. I had the fortunate or unfortunate, depending, experience of finding a lovely little Turkish restaurant near my hotel. I've eaten there TWICE! And of course, I had to have dessert! I have been getting to the gym every morning but I'm suffering a bit from travel gut but I will be right as rain once I return home tomorrow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Cut to the chase.

-Roxie

14 comments:

  1. Ah yes, I love words too. I think I love them in print more than verbally, because that allows me time to draft and redraft rather than just spouting it out. I get very frustrated with certain people in my life, who shall remain nameless, who don't use words in the way I do. Say what you mean! I sometimes want to scream. Ask what you really want to know rather than some other question that won't get you the right answer. And I tend to get crazy about some very common grammatical mistakes. Oh, sorry to go on and one. Yep, I am verbose. Sure do wish I could write shorter blog posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are a wonderful "wordsmith." I like words too, but I'm not as good with them in verbal or written form as you are. I can always think of how I could have said something better after it has already been said.

    I have admired your talent with the written word since I started reading your blog. I also admire the honesty that you have shared, in terms of your personal traits, etc. You are living your life authentically, but it is not a destination. It is a process, and you're doing very well! (Sorry for using that old cliche, but I just didn't know how to say it any better.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Word lover here as well. I love to read about the history of words. I LOVE puns.

    You are so very right: asking for what you want is difficult. I know. But communication is so essential in any relationship whether it be with a spouse, child, friend, or co-worker. I think that many marriages end because of lack of clear communication. We expect the other person to know or decipher our needs. Think of the heartache that could be spared with communication.

    Wishing you the best. Oh and Anne had many lovely things to say about you. Makes me want to meet you too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It amazes me that such a wordsmith as yourself could have trouble asking for what she wants using just the right, CONCISE words. I wish you well in that endeavor.

    ReplyDelete
  5. God, Roxie - I could have written this very well articulated post! Not as eloquently to be sure...my kids actually joke about me being a wordsmith, and like you, verbal sparring is a major turn on. I never felt overly attractive when out there dating and such - but I could always seduce 'em with my mind/words. oi-vay - shoot me now! But I love yor thoughts about it all here.

    Since being sober, I've learned to ask for what I need. However, that ability doesn't provide the balm for when the request isn't answered with appropriate action and therein develops resentment, which I can ill afford given my propensity to addiction. And so I still hold back at times - which also causes silent steaming!

    Your blog will be a continual daily read for me as I take my blogcation. You're one of my #1,s as I hope you already know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well said :). I am skilled at dodging issues in conversations too--my profession as a psychologist makes this an easy flaw to have. I too aim for being more direct in my communication with loved ones.

    Here's on direct comment: I enjoy reading your blog, every time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was so well written. When you said you have to tell story I thought about my need to know the back story. With every client, friend and blog I need to know their history to complete the picture. Different need for words, but that's how we roll.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've had this issue arise many times when in argument or discussion. I'll try numerous ways to persuade others to come to my way of thinking. It took me until I was near my mid to late 40s before I understood that the more I tried to reword an argument that I was the person who needed to 'get it.' Not someone else. I think this issue drove a wedge in my former relationship. That and he was too dumb to understand.

    Turkish food sounds yummy good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Men seem to respond best to blunt and straight forward. :) I've always been wordy, too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love me some words, too.... you know what I mean!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Short and sweet seems to work best with men, but I, too, have a hard time boiling things down to "I need for you to XXX" - guess I always want to tell him WHY I need things a certain way, and he usually doesn't care.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Go for it! Just imagine how grateful Bick will be to know exactly what you want and that he will most likely be able to do whatever it is...such freedom! And in doing so, he will feel appreciated. That real and true love in man-speak.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I'm more like a man sometimes when it comes to communication -- especially in relationships. It would feel like dying a slow, painful death if my husband sat me down for half hour or hour long talks about what he needed. And I love him dearly (married 30 years, and yes, we married as toddlers). I would just rather stick toothpicks in my eyes than have long "what I need" talks.

    What you're doing to change how you normally express yourself is a kind gift to Bick. I'm proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my gosh, you just described me! Maybe not off the charts on the GMAT, but definitely verbose, in writing and speech.

    My manager use to always tell me, could you shorten up the emails. I really don't need all details. I always feel like my emails to her are abrupt, but that's how she likes it. Drives me nuts.

    I always have to give all the details, all the history, and of course, the funny story to go with it. My husband use to often say, is there a point to this story? Which of course, made me angry. He doesn't say that anymore. He knows better (although there is some eye rolling here and there).

    Your writing is spectacular, which is part of the reason I love your blog.

    Can't wait to meet you in just a few weeks! :)

    ReplyDelete

We'll try this for a while.