Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS – and that’s why I’m going to highlight them for you in RED!

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. Welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog and tonight I’m going to record a video as a video response to one of my YouTube commentators. But just before that, allow me to take a sip of my evening decaf coffee, right? Cheers my friends!

So this person, Triple H and he is as a matter of fact, one of the most prolific commentators on my channel and I really hope that you don’t mind Triple H me reading out your comment because it’s going to help everybody, the whole audience for that matter.

So Triple H shares a very embarrassing moment that happened to him at the embassy. So basically the woman or personnel asked him who was going to collect his passport. And basically he didn’t get her accent, her pronunciation so she had to say it 4 times over and he couldn’t get it. And she pronounced basically the word “when” as “wha” and “who” as “he”.

Yeah, well, there are certain distinct accents whereby native English speakers pronounce words completely differently to what you would have expected, right? So after that incident his fluency went down the drain, out the window and afterwards he couldn’t say one word. So the question is do you think it’s common?

Such Fluency Issues Are Very Common!

Triple H, don’t worry, right? You’re not the only one. This is the typical English fluency issue manifesting itself. Basically you are experiencing this embarrassing moment when somebody doesn’t get you or you find it hard to get someone and then you just can’t speak, you know. And it’s all because you are kind of trying to say something to fix the previous problem. So you’re trying to speak better.

So basically here’s the level of the communication, right? So something goes wrong so in your mind it’s like okay, now I’ve got to really show that I can speak really well so you’re immediately increasing the standards for yourself, right?

You’re raising the bar really, really high, super high, and you’re aiming for that but you can’t even say a word because your mind is full of the different things you could say and the different grammar structures and whatnot and eventually you can’t say a thing because you’re overthinking. You’re like “Well, I need to save the day, rectify the situation.” But what happens in real life is quite the opposite. You’re aiming so high that you can’t say a word!

And as a matter of fact, I’m noticing this kind of phenomenon every day. Even in my workplace where there’s plenty of foreigners. As a matter of fact, there’s probably only a handful of Irish at my work. I apologize guys, there’s something in my eye, I’ve got to get it out. I’m sorry.

So yeah, there’s all sorts of different nationalities: Germans, Italians, Spanish people, you name it, from all over the world and we all obviously communicate in English and we use the English language to communicate with our customers and our managers and so on and so forth.

So oftentimes I’m witnessing guys that are super fluent when talking to each other or with me or whatever and then when I see them speak with the manager which is somewhat a more formal form of communication or when they have to get on the phone with a customer, their  English becomes worse, you know.

And even today, as a matter of fact, I noticed one guy, he had to take over my case because I’m the level 1 technician and he is a level 2 technician, so basically I couldn’t deal with the issue so I had to engage him and when he started speaking with the customer I noticed that he was a little bit nervous, a little bit on the edge and he was saying things wrong. He was trying to speak quite fast which is another mistake that we all make, right? When we’re trying to match the native speaker in terms of the speed of the speech, right?

So he started speaking too fast and he was kind of finding it difficult to pronounce words because the faster you’re trying to say something, the more difficult it actually becomes after a certain speed, you know what I mean? You have to find the right speed for you that’s comfortable with you. And even if it’s slower than average, so what? No big deal, you know!

But obviously the pride kicks in, you’re comparing yourself automatically with the native English speaker, you’re trying to match their level of fluency and your fluency deteriorates drastically. And as a matter of fact, in the most critical situations, such as the one that Tripe H described, you might be able to – quite the opposite, you might not be able to say a word, you know.

Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations of Your Own Speech!

And it has happened to me in the past. I’ve been getting myself into loads of different situations and it’s all due to my own fault, you know what I mean? Because of myself. Because of my unrealistic expectations. I didn’t have the concept of saying something simple in mind. I always wanted to sound sophisticated. I was trying to say the right thing. You know, something that would have been expected from me. And when you’re speaking like that immediately this phenomenon kicks in whereby you actually can’t say a thing!

So simplicity is the key if you find yourself in a situation like that. Obviously you’re going to be stressing out, when you can’t even expect yourself to perform at a normal level so you have to lower your standards. It’s quite the opposite, right? So you have to start saying like very simple things. Speak like a baby, you know. Two word sentences and you will be understood and you will get out of the situation. Whereas if you’re trying to kind of say it all at once, eventually you can’t say a thing.

So yeah, to answer the question, it’s very common and it’s not that easy to deal with. And I dealt with that and after a long time having figured out all those fluency management techniques and strategies and if you’re interested in that, then you may want to click on this link here:

It’s going to take you to the page on my blog where I’ve listed a number of those strategies and they will come in indeed very handy when dealing with situations like Triple H just described!

All right. So thanks for watching this video, my friends. Chat to you soon. Bye-bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!


English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System