Subscribe to Great Linguistic Expectations

what it's like to see the world through a language

Blank space or Ka-boom

Our brain is the most wonderful and intriguing thing in the world. It can handle lots of operations at the same time but sometimes it just goes totally blank and we can’t do anything about it.

Have you ever experienced such a feeling? Let’s imagine: you’re at an oral exam, you know the subject pretty well, it’s your turn to answer and then… You just stare at the professor and can’t say a word. For some weird reason, there’s nothing in your head at this moment as though all the processes have just stopped. It’s so frustrating – you have a lot to say on the subject but suddenly all information has just gone away. I find myself in such a situation from time to time and it’s annoying as hell (by the way, the example is from personal experience).

I can think of only one reason for this – people feeling nervous. It goes with all the exams and important events situations. However, this thing can also happen when you are in a casual atmosphere, for example, hanging out with friends. And I have no idea what the trigger for it is. It’s also applicable to the moments when you’re creating something. I guess in this case it’s called a creative crisis. Whichever the situations are, the main thing is that “Ka-boom” prevents you from being productive.

Throughout the years I’ve come up with some tricks that might help when numbness strikes. Here they are:

  1. When you feel that it has started, the first thing to do is not to panic. If you yield to this feeling of hopelessness, you may make the situation worse.
  2. Then try to concentrate on one thing. You need to activate the thinking process again and it’s easier to do with one thought. For example, if you’re at an exam, remember the last thing you were talking about, repeat it in other words and it will be a starting point of the following thoughts. Or, if it’s a casual situation, think about what you want to do or to eat right now. It’s not difficult and will launch a chain of thoughts.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If getting back to normal takes time, it’s totally fine. If you worry about what people might think, just tell them honestly that you’re stuck and need a moment – they’ll understand.

Hopefully, this piece of advice will be useful 🙂 I wish you never to experience “blank space” or, if it happens, to deal with it quickly and effortlessly.

What are your thoughts on this phenomenon? What do you think are the reasons for it? Tell me in the comments below 🙂



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *