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When speaking, I find it more difficult to express my thoughts and ideas. However, it's not only that. I'm usually more likely to be at a loss of words/not have much to say when speaking out loud compared to writing or just thinking in general. The internal mind is always active, always full of thoughts, then how is it possible that sometimes you just have nothing to say? Even things like being witty is a lot easier when in text or thought. It just doesn't come to me as easily when I am speaking. Like the thought never occurs, but the thought occurs when I am writing or just thinking. Why is that? Is it because my mind goes into external mode and maybe "skips" the normal internal processes (which are still partially there in text) or maybe because there is another person right there, so you switch focuses, or there might be some type of pressure involved where you have to take into account of 2+ people instead of just one?


Just some late night thoughts.
 

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That happens with me too. I don't know why though. Maybe it's to do with introversion/extraversion? Perhaps you're more comfortable on your own than with other people, so when you're more comfortable your thought processes are more structured? I'm theorising here, but could that be a possibility?

An INTP and Doctor Who/Harry Potter lover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That happens with me too. I don't know why though. Maybe it's to do with introversion/extraversion? Perhaps you're more comfortable on your own than with other people, so when you're more comfortable your thought processes are more structured? I'm theorising here, but could that be a possibility?

An INTP and Doctor Who/Harry Potter lover.
Yeah, comfort is definitely a factor, but it's still strange that there can be that much of a difference based on only comfort. Especially with people you are comfortable with (even if it doesn't compare to being alone) that you shouldn't really feel any discomfort with. There has to be something else too. That makes it so much easier for Es but not Is.
Es can feel uncomfortable too, but they also feel stimulated by speaking. But then so can Is, but just less compared to by yourself?

Idk what I'm trying to say here. Just throwing some ideas around (that probably don't even make much sense.)
 

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I like text based conversations because my memory is shitty when it comes to remembering a persons point. Otherwisr, I am quite hopeless in the arena of verbal debate.
 

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I think it has mainly to do with 'time'. When writing text, we have more time to think out our words. Also, because of putting them on paper is a memory helper, combined with the actual written text, our focus is stronger, because we don't have to remember the entire piece, while expressing.
Another point is, that in real conversation, I feel that certain words or thorough descriptions get lost simply due to not being able to say as much, or due to trying to keep it as simple as possible for the other ear.
 

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Writing definitely comes off easier although I do tend to write like I speak. The difference lies in the time factor...all precision, no speed. My natural conversational measure has too many long pauses for my liking as I cast about for that perfect word. I tend to blather a bit conversing with strangers...excessive wordiness and repetition seems to keep flow of words steady and that look off their faces. On the plus side, I've been able to curb umming and urring my way through spoken exchanges.
 

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Sometimes when I'm talking I can't think of the right words to say. Other times I can be very witty. Thankfully I have been able to increase my Extraversion so that I can pick out the right words when I need them, but more times than not I say the wrong thing or don't say anything at all.

(A little off topic, does anyone else roll their eyes or hate it when people are talking and they just sound so dumb and talk about the stupidest crap ever? Me, I personally want to punch them and I frequently say, "You are the dumbest person I know" or "That was the stupidest thing I've ever heard".)
 

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In text you can set your own pace without people jumping inside your thought process and never feel the pressure when the other side expects immediate response.
It is less problematic when speaking with introverts as they do not interrupt as much and usually wait patiently for you to finish your idea.
 

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I believe there are several reasons to this, the first being that when you are speaking you usually have to pay more attention to the social situation - that requires brain capacity, even more if you are an introvert. The second issue I think has to do with how the brain works: speaking and writing are processed in different brain areas, so practice and natural talent matter. Writing is also slower than speaking. You can pause whenever you like and change what you've already written. (Though I have noted that I do much better in chat situations vs. live talking, but I think it's because of the other two things I mentioned.)
 

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If your thinking tends to be abstract, converting those thoughts into language can create a delay between having the thought and expressing the thought. That delay is more obvious in verbal communication, where you have to do it on the fly, as opposed to written communication, where you can be a bit more leisurely about constructing your sentences.
 

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I'm much better at writing/texting than speaking, which have been noted by many teachers of mine, I usually do very well in dissertations, but I don't keep up to well in dynamic discussions. I usually intuitively understand something or define a concept/idea in my mind to the point I can understand it very well, but I'm not as good as expressing it. Be it loss of words, lack of skill in extroversion, or even believing that such person I'm having a conversation with will even understand it.
 

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If your thinking tends to be abstract, converting those thoughts into language can create a delay between having the thought and expressing the thought. That delay is more obvious in verbal communication, where you have to do it on the fly, as opposed to written communication, where you can be a bit more leisurely about constructing your sentences.
I have to say, regrettably, that even if I'm thinking something extremely mundane and need to say it out loud, I can still express myself in a very unclear manner. I'm capable of such rambling that it would make anyone (myself included) believe there isn't one single intelligent thought in my head.
 

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Most people mentioned the "time factor". While 'writing' we get more time to arrange our thoughts and then put them into words. We can also edit whatever we have written as opposed to while 'speaking'.

While thinking? 'Thinking' is generally less verbal or more abstract (as anarchitectur hints at). For example- when we find something funny we might have noticed the irony within a situation. But to express it to others we need 'words'. Rather its funniness to others largely depends on how well it is packaged into words. 'Writing' gives us that freedom to arrange/re-arrange.

Another important reason (as lighbox mentioned) is- in social situations, our brain energy is also expended on the things apart from our speech, for example on the people present. Not only that, I think speaking also requires attention to voice modulation, facial expressions, gauging moods of others which an introvert may not find very easy!

Also, being a perfectionist that we INTPs generally are makes it difficult! We don't want to express something until we ourselves are convinced that it is worth expressing, intelligent, original and correct. With this filter, we hardly express anything!
 

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There's a concept in poker known as tilt. It's usually loosely defined as a situation where your emotions take over and "your flippers stop working", i.e., your emotions shut down your ability to think and make rational decisions.

There are also more subtle forms of "tilt" caused by things like time pressure, peer pressure, and being out of one's comfort zone. For the most part all of these things and more are in effect for the average INTP in a situation where we feel we are "on the spot" to talk.

When this happens it shuts down are virtual "flippers" and we can't function as we would like or as others expect in many cases. Is this a permanent condition and are we forced to eternally be social pariahs?

No. Does it go against how we were "wired" and will it be harder for us to learn the necessary skills for these situations? Fuck yeah. Is it impossible? Nope. Not with the right training, dedication, and motivation.
 
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Not sure why, but I have gotten much better at explaining things recently. As some tips: coffee and a relaxed atmosphere do wonders for thinking and understanding, and no matter how good it looks in your head, it will make much more sense when diagrammed. Obviously this means you need a thorough understanding of the actual topic, but honestly why should someone else care about it if you cant be bothered to fully invest in it?

As well, you can think about how you would explain something beforehand using analogies and such, and then when you start the conversation introducing your idea, you can steer it towards the things you have pre-cooked.
 

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Very very rarely when I'm in the company of someone who doesn't make be one bit socially aware of myself, I can be entirely relaxed and get into a state of a "flow". Then speaking becomes part of my thinking process the way it does when I'm writing - I formulate new arguments as I speak instead of pausing to think before saying anything. It's as if the speaking part of my brain is finally accessible for the... I can't say "thinking part of my brain", but you probably understand what I mean. Usually it doesn't happen if I'm facing the person I'm discussing with, but rather when it's dark and we are lying in bed or walking.
 

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I have this problem too.

I've noticed a few things that may be a contributor:
- focus (it's distracting trying to read somebody's body language and keep my thoughts in order)
- fear/self-censoring (I'm more afraid of negative reactions in person and thus am more likely to hold back stream of consciousness, quick wit, etc... i.e. thoughts get killed before they make it out of my mouth)
- lack of practice (I don't socialize nearly as much as I write and think, so it's harder to find things to say)
 

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Writing is definitely easier for me. It is very hard to convey my thoughts exactly the way I want it, because it's a mess up there. If I have the time to write to someone, I can spell out what I'm trying to say and at least somewhat organize my thoughts - and if need to, I can erase/delete any incoherent sentences. :frustrating:
 
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