Shut the EFF UP
I had many conversations with myself that weekend. The other people were having conversations around me, so I retreated within myself. I am an introvert so retreating within myself is a very comfortable place for me. But I do like conversing with other people. It is essential for me to move outside of my head and interact.
But that particular weekend, I had been frustrated by my inability to interject my thoughts into the conversation. At the end of the weekend, we were in the car heading home, and I was at my boiling point. I was done having conversations about the topic with myself. I wanted to share what I had been thinking about, but I wasn’t able to. I was being interrupted before I could finish my thought. And then it happened.
My frustration exploded outward like Fourth of July fireworks, definitely colorful but not as awesome to witness. Amid a conversation that I couldn’t finish my thought, I turned on my husband, “will you shut the eff up??!” My annoyance with not being heard for most of the weekend just left me beyond frustrated, and I don’t know what to do with that at times.
Conversations with Myself
I talk to myself all of the time. Sometimes it is within my head, and no one knows that I am talking to myself. Sometimes it is out loud, and still, no one knows because I usually am alone, in the shower, getting ready in the bathroom, etc. My husband has busted me for talking to myself.
Talking to myself is an integral part of my process. I have to get the thoughts out of my head to ponder them on a deeper level. And it is entirely normal! I have done the research. Dr. Lynn Somerstein, in her blog, Good Therapy, writes that it is not a sign of mental illness. It can actually help. So there.
Even though I am quiet, thoughtful, and it takes me a long to decide when to talk, and what I want to say, that shouldn’t mean that I don’t have anything to say. I am polite, and also that is my mode of communication. I don’t speak simply to speak. I try to ensure that what I say is valuable in some way.
Shyness and Conversations with Myself
I didn’t start with that as a thought process at all. I used to be so shy that I literally could not talk. My brain would freeze, and I would not know what I wanted to say. I started out being paralyzingly introverted and shy. I remember how frustrating it was.
Over time I learned how to decrease my anxiety by thinking about what I want to say. It helps that I turn inwardly first, prepare what I am going to say, and then say it. But that doesn’t always work out for me. Having those conversations with myself helped me immensely growing up.
It’s Not Me
What I have noticed, from my million-foot-high observational tower, it’s not me; it’s other people. Yes, I struggle to participate in conversations because I think a lot about something speaking. But have you sat back and observed the pattern of communication in a group recently? It is difficult for anyone to break into a conversation.
It depends on the people who are having the conversation, but I often observe people talking over one another. During discussions, I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. Because if I want to participate in the conversation, I have to be rude and break into the conversation like everyone else. If not, then I don’t get to share my thoughts. Should I be rude?
The only problem with doing that is that I don’t want to. I want to hear what the person has to say. It may be something that I haven’t thought of yet, and I can incorporate that into what I am going to say.
Why am I Changing?
To change my style of communication or not is something that I have struggled with my entire existence. When is it time to modify your preferences to be able to do something? In this case, I have to change my conversational etiquette to get a word edgewise. Why do I have to change how I do things?
When you talk over another person, it shows that you don’t respect them and care more for what you are about to say than for what that person says. I don’t want to be that person. Does that mean that others won’t hear me? Well, except in my writing. And would that be so bad? Probably not.
I think I am going to try something new. I have been attempting to say that I have something to say to prep the speaker that I would like the floor. But that didn’t work. Now I am not going to say anything at all. I will take notes so that if there comes a time that I do get an opportunity to break in without it being rude, I will do that.
Continue Conversations with Myself
Yup that is my plan. I am going to continue the conversations with myself. If that means that I don’t get to participate in the discussion, then I won’t. Who exactly is losing out if I do that? Not me; I know what I have in my mind. It is other people that lose out on that.
But they will never know because I am going to break into the conversation again. I am not going to be rude. I am going to live by example. Show people how to converse respectfully. The worse thing is I get to hang out in my mind for a while. I like it there. It’s a pretty cool place.