Communication Breakdown

I’m a fan of irony.

I remember my internal chuckling when, before I came out, I listened to friends or family talk about transgender people in less-than-kind ways. A particular highlight was a staff meeting at the school where I used to work. We were discussing some school policy, and someone asked what process would be followed if a student came out as transgender. The school is conservative Christian, you see, and since Colombian law is harsh against people who discriminate LGBT people, they were trying to figure out a way to discriminate against transgender kids without being legally prosecuted. I felt nearly as sad by the way my coworkers talked about me (unknowingly,) as I was amused that they had no idea there was a transgender person in the room at that very moment.

I bring this up because I’m being plagued by an ironic situation at the moment. I studied Graphic Design in college, and graduated with honours. I’m instinctively talented at visual communication, and have developed that talent with college classes designated to do just that.

I’m also a naturally talented writer. In a previous article I mentioned that a particular joy of mine used to be the praise I got from teachers in middle and high school for my essays and writing. Heck, I get compliments for this blog, even though I don’t spend more than an hour or two writing most posts.

In addition to all of that, I work at a call centre. It’s literally my job to communicate verbally in an effective manner. In fact, I excel at this as well. Despite being at the company for less than a year, I’m among the 5 best employees in the whole floor. My strength is particularly in providing information to customers in a way they understand and agree with.

All this is to highlight just how frustrating it is that I suck so thoroughly at communicating in all kinds of relationships.

If something bothers me about someone, I feel a natural inclination to keep it in and let it build up, dropping passive aggressive hints, until I explode at the person in a confused mess of anger and hurtful words. I realised this a few years back and started working towards communicating more when something bothers me. Unfortunately, I was a bad judge of when too much was too much, and I ruined a friendship by constant bickering and arguing about everything.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the crippling loneliness I’ve been feeling lately. Part of it has been caused by my introversion, partly by me being transgender and people having weird reactions to that, and partly by life happening and things changing. However, talking to a few friends lately I’ve realised it’s mostly down to my miserable lack of ability when it comes to interpersonal communication with people close to me.

This happens to me every now and then. As much as I try to be aware of it, I constantly slip back into not saying anything when something is bothering me. If I haven’t seen someone for months and months, if someone I messaged never replied, if someone did something that hurt me… unless I’m watching for it, I end up not doing or saying anything about it only making the problem worse.

Thinking back to the last few months, it’s not all down to me, but I see several situations that have only got so bad as they are for me because I find myself incapable of actually using my words and talking to people like an adult.

It’s frustrating.

I don’t have much else to write about today, except to say that now that I’m aware of it, I’ve been working to fix it. It’s difficult for me, though. I wish I had a better natural sense of how to handle this sort of thing. Ah well.

Hope your week has been going well! I’ve been fairly busy lately, but I’m looking forward to Friday’s post! As the last Friday of the month, I’ll be doing my review post of the books I’ve read this month. They have been excellent and I’m really excited to finally finish reviewing the Dresden Files series (up to the last published book, anyway.) Depending on how quickly I finish it, I might also cover a book from another series. We’ll see!







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