Risk Talking

Introverts lack social tact on what to say and when to say it. That’s a benefit. Introverts gain the advantage over those who can’t stop talking: We surprise and shock others when we do talk.

When I feel it’s time to express myself, sometimes I give it a second thought, but that’s where I draw the line. Then I just do it and live with the fun or consequences. These are the things that make life exciting.

After waiting more than a year, I expressed something to someone because I wanted an answer. It wasn’t gentle and I got that answer, even if it wasn’t what I had hoped to hear. I may have awoken something in her. I may have shaken a monkey off my back: that I have been holding myself back from taking risks.

It’s a challenge for introverts to gauge timing, which is a big part of social tact. Saying something you feel is important, and others feel shocked, can hurt a lot. It often makes you not want to express yourself anymore. You feel misunderstood, not important, and all that depressive crap.

I won’t drag on with all that. What I will do is go into how not having tact is a blessing.

By not having all that social tact, you are actually more free to express yourself than people who adhere to the unwritten, unexplained rules of communication. You’re free because you’re not holding your thoughts and timing to a standard, situation, or method of delivery.

Often people like to ask me why I don’t talk often. I just don’t. It’s not something I practice, so therefore, it’s not something I do. It’s not that I’m not a good communicator: it’s that I don’t inhibit my communication when I do talk.

Then they say, well, that’s not polite to just say what you want. Truth is, it’s more polite to be honest, because honesty builds trust. Even if it hurts. Changing what you say and how you say it is along the same lines as lying. The risk here is that you’re slowly building up walls of dishonesty, waiting to crumble down at a later date.

I’d rather be honest, shocking, and have people resent that, than to be surrounded with fake people who can’t express themselves.

You don’t have to be nice about it. Sometimes, people need to know you’re not feeling happy with something. Enough of this nonsense of everyone hiding their bad feelings so everyone has a good time, and everything is just fucking fine.

I want to love a woman I know. I want to support her and make love to her every day. I want her to be strong and independent, and still be loved by someone. If I didn’t say anything, if I didn’t take the risks, she would still only have a few clues as to how I feel.

So, the other day, I said screw it, and told her exactly how I felt. Yes, it hurt, and yes, it may have caused some friction that perhaps wasn’t there to begin with. Or maybe it gave light to that friction, and made her finally express what she wants and doesn’t want to me. Maybe she needed that.

I’ll never know, unless she’s willing to take those risks with talking with me. In my experience, women don’t do that, cause they’re just as afraid as I’ve been. It’d be a real surprise, and would restore my faith in people if she did.

Expressing Yourself

I spent some time last night across the stroke of midnight and wrote nine and 1/4 pages by hand of some thoughts about my childhood. It taught me that, expressing myself was something I haven’t done much of. Without writing the full pages here, this is a summary:

Holding my emotions, thoughts, and actions in, to avoid ridicule and criticism. I never had the kind of environment that was healthy for expressing myself. Teachers, my eldest brother, kids and adults in the neighborhood, and almost anywhere else. Anxiety has been a long part of my life.

And so I’ve realized, in the past nine years I’ve worked in offices, and other jobs before that, is you can’t express your true self there. For the most part in nearly any job, even the creative ones — that I’ve tried, such as Graphic Design — you’re not projecting an extension of yourself. You’re told what to do, what to create, and even how to create it; it’s sad, and inhuman.

I think it’s important to live a healthy happy life to express yourself, especially in places and ways you won’t be attacked with harsh criticism and vitriol. As we go through adolescence we gain some self-consciousness, and if we don’t fight this and get rid of it, we can, like I have for pretty much all my 27 years, can’t truly he happy.

I’ve always been afraid of living a life wherein I was never known for anything but being a cog in the wheel. Lost in the race. What happened though is I ran myself into this race without taking time away from everything. Bombarded with constant work and constantly trying to improve my work, I never learned I have to blow it all off. And yet, this is what I’ve done time and time again; with the six jobs I’ve quit.

Each time, though, I was immediately jumping back in based on the fear that I wouldn’t have anything; a place to sleep, something to eat, and so on. Some of you may know, or not, but my mother spends much time with the youthful homeless. She takes them to the hospital, doctors, grocery shopping, and other places, to help them out.

Their spirit is strong; they have nothing, but they’re happy. They’re free from the bondage of being employed in a place wherein they can’t express themselves. Some may say this type of life is horrible; but let’s not forget how many people were free during the summer of love. True freedom, I believe, and happiness, only comes from ridding ourselves of the binds that make us an extension of someone else.

It’s making it difficult to want to return to work, and contemplating just giving up all these material goods. I have a library of more than 100 books; movies and video games. This pressure to jump back in, just doesn’t seem like something I want to do anymore so easily. I need to be able to express myself, and be listened to. I think we all do.