As an introvert and non-verbal (internal) processor, I find myself to be a walking contradiction, I love talking to people and seeing who they really are. I ask a lot of questions to gain information to create a blueprint of who this person is. I find it to be thrilling. The contradiction I find myself in is I have a hard time showing people who I really am with verbal communication. You know the mazes that grace the pages of children’s activity books? The ones with windy twist and turns, a few dead ends here and there, that eventually led to the desired destination. Well that’s pretty much how I communicate. Sounds like it would be frustrating to listen to right? Believe me it is, and it’s even more frustrating to be that way. My husband is an excellent verbal processor and can make a point quickly with clear cohesion. I can hardly answer a yes or no question with out adding a few paragraphs of back-story first. I really disliked this about myself for a long time. I had a hard time committing to an answer, and I would have to think about things for a long time before I could make a decision. I’m the kind of person who constantly thinks, Damnit! I wish I would have said this, or that — five days after the fact! My brain needs time to absorb an experience or a conversation before I can concisely communicate my thoughts in response. I have tried many a times to communicate before I had processed something fully and it comes out in the form of what I like to call “the first pancake” burnt on the outside and gooey on the inside. Basically it’s S**t. It’s frustrating for me and it’s frustrating for those I communicate with. Here are few things to consider if you happen to find yourself dating or in a relationship with a person like me.
1. It will take Us awhile to get to the point
Give them time and be patient, if you rush the process they will end up communicating something inaccurate. Try saying, take your time, I’m here to listen when you’re ready. This takes so much pressure off us and then we won’t serve up the s***ty first pancake. Imagine trying to find car keys in a very messy room, first we have to clean up and get organized before we find what we’re looking for. Believe me it’s in there somewhere we just need to time to find it.
2. Our world is so much bigger than meets the eye
I live 80% of the time in my mind, I create story lines, connections, daydreams and ideas all day long. There is so much going on up in there it gets a little foggy. This is why I write, it helps me to organize the aftermath of the frat party that constantly takes place in my head. However, on the outside, someone like me may appear to be quiet. If you allow yourself to be a safe space for a person like this, they will invite you into that world and show you truly fascinating things. If they do show you that means, they are pretty into you.
Doing something physical, like going for a walk, exercise or dancing really helps me get out of my head. Overthinking is common with internal processors and sometimes we really need a break from our own swirling tornado of thoughts because the weight of it can become quite a burden if we don’t have a physical outlet. Also too many choices can be overwhelming as well, so if you’re planning a date it’s ok to be decisive for us we’ll appreciate it, believe me.
4. We may not tell you, but we’ll show you
I can’t always communicate exactly how I’m feeling right away (unless I’ve had a few glasses of wine) but I will show you. Internal processors like me, are big with actions. If they cook you a nice dinner they are probably saying that they love the crap out of you. A fresh batch of cookies may mean, I had a great time with you on our date, so much so I thought about you all day and went to the store to buy the ingredients for your favorite cookies, baked them and brought them to you. If we stare at you while you talk, a.) you’re probably super hot and b.) we really care about what you’re saying because we really like you. Touch is important, for internal processors like me it’s the one language that we have mastered. Pay attention to it, hugs mean trust, and anything more than that means a lot more. If you know what I mean. Wink wink.
5. We’ll hang onto your words
I will replay certain conversations over and over in my mind until the day I die, so be careful to say what you mean. We will take your words to heart and dissect every inflection in your voice, every pause, every damn word. We may have an entire conversation in our heads in response to what you said but only give you a smile. And if you happen to say I love you first, more than likely we’ve been thinking it long before you did.
“We love the night and it’s quiet.” – Fitz James O’Brien