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Friday, March 18, 2011

Fight or Flight

Yesterday, I went to a Toastmaster's meeting for the second time. This is an organization that my husband has been a part of for a while and, as I found out yesterday, he is apparently pretty good at it. He's been learning to give speeches and have clear interpersonal communication through table topics, etc. This organization's meetings really force you to think on the spot and respond quickly. Quite frankly, that scares the heck out of me. I think the reason it scares me is because I'm not good at it. Yesterday, they made me stand up and introduce myself and briefly share about whether I prefer St. Patrick's Day or the Final Four. My son, David, was eager to tell his name and all about himself. In fact, I had to remind him not to speak out of turn (he's almost 3). But I wanted to hide behind David. Oh, I should add that the group has a grammarian that counts how many times you use filler words, including umm's and uh's. I should also add that I was sitting right next to the grammarian... who was my husband. As I tried to introduce myself and find something witty and funny to say, I couldn't think about what to say for fear of saying "umm." Add that to the fact that I was nervous... it was pretty sad. I stammered and struggled for something to say, while laughingly telling Mike to stop counting my umms. It was pretty embarrassing. When I left, I had mixed emotions. I am a hopeless perfectionist, so to stand in front of others without preparation and talk is dreadful. I guess I'm not sure whether to run and hide or stand up and face it head on. The question really is: If you're not good at something, is it better to face it and get better at it? Or just pretend it doesn't exist and hope you never have to use it? I think we all know the answer to that question.

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