Not a Good Talker

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I think one reason I am jealous is because I am insecure of myself. I don't talk very well...I am not a good talker. Whenever my boyfriend talks to me, I will think in my mind "oh my god, am I going to answer him right, am I going to be witty enough for him?" That's why I am jealous when he talks to his friends, because they're so much better at talking and is much more wittier than me.

My boyfriend said that couples don't need to talk all the time and he prefers it when I massage and do nice things to him. Still, this is a problem in all my relationships. I am scared I am not a good talker. Is there something I can do? Advice
There are two things here. First, your boyfriend is completely right. Being a couple isn't about being witty and charming and impressive. It is about being COMFORTABLE with each other, just being happy together. Some of the best couple moments are just when you sit together watching a sunset, when you walk down a beach hand in hand, saying *nothing at all*. That may be the ultimate sign that you two are a great couple, when you can be perfectly happy without saying a word.

But OK. Let's say that you accept that and get to the point where you ARE really happy just being together. But let's say you'd also like to occasionally hang out at a party and be able to talk with people. Talking, like anything else in life, is a skill that you need to practice. Yes, some people are good at it. But it probably is because they grew up in a very talkative household and have been practicing all your life.

If you want to get comfortable with talking, then you need to ... talk! The only way you ever get better at something is to practice it. The first thing that helps is having something you ENJOY talking about. So think about your favorite hobby. Now get a book on it and learn some cool facts. Lets say you love horses. You get a book on horses and learn all about how the indians trained horses, and how horses are taught to do cool tricks. Now you have all sorts of interesting things in your brain on a topic you love.

The next time you hook up with someone, tell them an interesting fact or two. Ask them, "Did you know XXXX?" Most times people really do like to learn new things - we are all curious creatures - and you can then tell them even more. There you go - you're talking!

The more you know about things, and the more you learn, the easier it is to talk about things, because you now have things you can say about the topics. So start small, on something you really enjoy. But you'll find that the more you talk, the better you'll get at it, and the more you'll enjoy it.

Still, don't stress about it! Some people love to talk. Some people just don't. So you should enjoy what YOU are good at, and if talking just isn't it, leave that to others. It sounds like your boyfriend doesn't mind at all. To really stress about something like that is sort of silly - it's like worrying that you aren't a good golf player, when your friends love you because you're great at tennis.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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