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.

Where I Was, Where I Am

Five years ago, I was different than I am today. I’ve changed on the outside, and on the inside a whole lot more. Most of what I’ve learned I learned on my own, which is a recurring theme in my life.

Five years ago, I felt neurotic. I had a negative view brought on by how I viewed life and how life was talked about from those before me. Today, that type of thinking is like a sneeze: there for a moment, but quickly gone.

Five years ago, I hated working. I felt surrounded by people who didn’t care, didn’t get what I was capable of. Today, regardless of the attitude of others, I am the one that must care for me, and understand what I am capable of.

Five years ago, I wasn’t open about myself. I feared hurtful criticism because of a bully in the home, and the bad attitudes of peers and adults in school. Today, I’m open to people who are happy to hear from me; I’m open to anyone, even strangers. When others just want to be critical, unsupportive, destructive, I ignore their disgruntled ramblings.

Five years ago, I wasn’t creative. I didn’t express myself through writing or illustrating. I didn’t care because nobody else cared. Today, I write, illustrate, bake, and program software to be creative. My wish is to have more experience with being creative socializing, while remaining honest, which works best for me (and can be entertaining to others).

Five years ago, I didn’t want to date. Ten years ago, I didn’t want to date. I didn’t care, because I didn’t believe anyone would be interested in me, and I don’t blame them. Today, I want to experience those things in life that people say is “no big deal,” but means a lot to me. “No big deal” to me says they don’t really care about their relationships. I don’t think that way.

Five years ago, I was emotionally wired like a Griswald Christmas tree. Bad examples and experience taught me to hold things in; to hide them because all people would do is say, “get over it,” like I shouldn’t care about how I felt. Today, I am better. I have improved that part of myself and aligned my thoughts, behavior, and emotions, in a compelling harmony. Emotions do matter in life; I know I am human, and others are, too.

Five years ago, I was different. Today, I’m still different. The only difference is, I’m happy to be different.

Five years ago, I was an introvert and unhappy about most things. Today, I’m happy, even if I’m not fluttering around like a social butterfly.

Five years from now, I will be better.

Five years from now, I’ll have known what it’s like to love someone.

Five years from now, I’ll think about this day, and be proud of myself, for I have truly something to be proud of.