I fancy that I often think of clever and witty things to say. The problem is that when I open my mouth they never come out. Instead I say nothing, or offer up a quiet, stuttered, uninspired response. Or I stare with wide, frightened eyes like a rabbit facing a headlight.
I used to work for an Orchestra. Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead wrote a new piece of music and toured it with them. It was weird knowing that one of the most famous musicians on the planet was in the Studio next to my office. Like, actual Jonny Greenwood was in the next room. Cray.
It was only a matter of time before I’d pass him in the hallway and have to say something. Of course, in my head I kept repeating “say something cool, say something cool.” He came into the staff kitchen one day as I was making tea. All I could manage was a brief glance with the frightened rabbit eyes, a girly “hi” followed by an awkward laugh, before I rushed out of the room, adrenaline pumping. Face scarlet.
I find the following quote from Thom Yorke rings true (I’m pretty sure it was Thom, if not, sue me!). I find it applies to me on almost all occasions that I have to speak (which is quite often) in the workplace, to family, to friends, and (excruciatingly) to guys.
“I had so much to say. When I finally had the chance to say it I stood there silently like a dumb motherfucker.”