On Second Thought, Maybe I Don’t Talk Too Much

stock-photo-21400548-too-much-talk-in-the-man-s-head

I wrote a post before about how I talk too much.  I based this personal impression on two things: I felt I was betraying my privacy by feeling compelled at times to reveal more about myself than I would feel comfortable with, and also by feeling I need to fill in any gaps in what I’m saying to prevent being misunderstood.

Between the two I’m often afraid that I’ve come across as tiresome or “weird”, but I also notice that some people are quite chatty and that people just take that as their personality, not that they’re weird.  Maybe that’s how people saw me.  I actually didn’t know how I came across and, like most scapegoats, I tortured myself with assuming the worst by not properly being able to appraise my own behaviour and only seeing it through a “I don’t fit in” lens.

I have a neighbour that I sometimes go for a walk with, etc.  She was one person in particular where I kicked myself for talking too much every time I spent some time with her.  I apologized once after an extra talkative time when I was speaking on a subject I was passionate about.  She genuinely didn’t think anything about it, saying that I didn’t talk too much at all and that I spoke of things that day that she never thought of or knew before.  I thought to myself that if she didn’t think THAT was talking too much then I must be doing okay all the other times.

That was nice for me to hear and helped me to see how I come across to others.  I realized that I feel I talk too much because it’s actually ME that’s making that determination and not necessarily other people.  It’s me that doesn’t feel comfortable with feeling I need to fill in the gaps of my ideas with details,  and it’s me that doesn’t want to feel compelled to reveal too much about myself.

Now, that’s not to say that, since I’m given to fill in details without being prompted by the other person to do so, I’m not going to be considered talkative to some people.  That’s going to happen, for sure, because I’m a very easily articulate person.  Expressing ideas and recounting events is something that’s like breathing with me.  I would like to do it less often, though.  Especially when the subject is myself or something close to home.  It was just a relief to consider that maybe most people I speak to don’t think anything about it at all.

It’s funny how there are times in my life when I wouldn’t care about this specific trait of mine.  I had overthought it to a crippling level as of late.  It may be my being alone so much through my illness that made me not know how to see my interactions with others when I began to gently re-emerge into the world.

I rarely have a conversation in which I leave satisfied, though.  There are a few times lately that I thought I did well and that are significant and need mention.  This is because I’m slowly learning and practicing social behaviours that show me in the best possible light that anxiety tends to prevent me from.  I’ve entered the grocery store and other places in town where I’ve gone in with a relaxed open face even though I’m under tremendous stress.  This helps me feel that I’m keeping what’s my business to myself.  Others may not have interpreted a frowning, deep-in-thought face as that I’m going through stuff, but I want the comfort of controlling that anyway.

Entering a public place like this also did something else I didn’t expect – it actually changed how I viewed myself and my lot in life.  I go in and smile like everything is okay, and it makes everything seem okay.  It made me realize that maybe having stressors and fears in life are what a lot of people go through, I just have a more difficult time dealing with these things out of a feeling of being victimized by life’s stressors.  Learning to smile through it part of my learning to deal with these things.

People react differently because I must have looked relaxed and confident.  The usually awkward interactions at the cashier was easygoing, efficient, and friendly on both sides.  I’ve left a few times thinking, for the first time in my life, that it was enjoyable and relaxed.  I’m so tired of feeling awkward and nervous, and these little things are a breakthrough for me.

So, I don’t talk too much, and when I do, it’s probably more a matter of perspective, either mine or the other person’s.  It’s funny how at my age I’m learning such elementary things.  But how nice to be learning them.

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27 thoughts on “On Second Thought, Maybe I Don’t Talk Too Much

  1. I’m always learning things or recognizing them and naming then when you write. Your talk is valuable to me. A wordsmith’s instrument or their words. Can you say to a painter you paint too much? In my case I notice that I chatter when I’m nervous or when it has been a long time since I had a conversation when I am in public. In addition sometimes I walk into a place saying to myself “win an academy award today with your performance of being “normal”. Pretty soon after acting like I have a right to be some place I start to feel and its not acting anymore.

    Lastly, if I assume that being listened to is a favor to me because I’m too unimportant to be heard it makes me analyze every sentence and then beat myself up “you talk to much” Its also a phrase abusers in my life have used. Shut up, you talk to much. I”m learning not to repeat abusive phrases to myself but that is quite the battle since it is so habitual. God grant me the wisdom to recognize when I’m cursing myself!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m so grateful that you gave me this feedback about my writing – thank you. And I never thought of my use of words as being an art in expression that could be put in the same category as, say, painting. But of course! How freeing to think of it that way. It makes me realize that, if I keep thinking of it that way, it will help me control how I express myself verbally in a way that I feel comfortable with and that may be more helpful to others rather than feel like I’m burdening them. Maybe it’ll help me be more selective.

    I’m so relieved that you can go through the same thing with feeling like you got chatty with nervousness or with being with people after being alone for awhile. It helps me put it in the “normal” category. I may be embarrassed about it, but I can see better also that it’s perhaps a common experience.

    I like your advice about ‘going in normal’. And I know that feeling all too well when I pipe up but I’m inwardly cringing because I think I’m going to get a familiar look from way back that says, “And what do YOU want”. I therefore rush my words to make sure my point is given before I may be cut off or something if I’m feeling extra nervous.

    I’m going to work on not cursing myself, too. Linda Lee gave the advice of saying two good things about oneself for every negative thing. I think I may have to force and shove it out of myself sometimes, but I’m going to give it a try. I think my hesitation is the feeling that I may say good things to myself that maybe aren’t true or other people wouldn’t necessarily agree with. But then I have to realize that the “other people” I’m thinking of is family members, and I don’t value their opinion anymore as they’ve been horribly and abusively wrong in their estimation of me. Also, I figure that if I’ve been so good at making up bad things to repeat about myself for so long, if I end up making up something good about myself then it’ll just even things out. lol

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I LOVE this post. I tend to say that a lot on your blog, don’t I? But it’s true.

    I have beat myself up for talking too much — I am sure you have no trouble believing that after my chatty commodities, lol — and I have also beat myself up for not talking enough! I was a shy child, and very often people would tease me by saying “what’s the matter, the cat’s got your tongue?”

    But in first grade, I was so thrilled to have a roomful of kids to talk to, that the teacher lost her mind and put my desk out in the hall to stop me from talking! I was so ashamed!!

    Shame is the yuckiest emotion, isn’t it? Feeling that you are inherently, fundamentally, irrevocably wrong.

    Here is something that helped me enormously to stop feeling like everything about me, particularly the way I speak, is All Wrong. When I was going through my last divorce, I was seeing a therapist who advised me to journal my thoughts and feelings every day. I tried, but I was too emotionally distraught at the time to write. So I got a voice recorder and, when I was feeling very emotionally upset or overwhelmed, I would talk into my recorder, telling the little machine everything I was feeling. Then, a day or a week or two later, I would listen to what I had recorded.

    Here is the amazing thing: I did not ever hear a crazy lady. I did not ever hear anything bad. On the contrary, I heard a woman who had a lot of depth and character to her. I heard a kind, caring, compassionate, thoughtful woman. In short, I heard a woman that I would like to have for a friend! Wow! How awesome is that?!!

    It amazed me that I sounded so sane and normal, especially considering that I had made those recordings when I was feeling very upset and “crazy”. When I made the recordings, I felt like a babbling idiot. I was glad no one but me could hear me. Days later, after I calmed down, when I decided to listen to my recordings, I expected to be embarrassed by what I heard. On the contrary, I liked what I heard!!

    Later I had a similar experience with seeing, as well as hearing, myself on a video tape. I did not look, behave, or sound looney at all. I actually had poise… it was a huge eye opener!!

    That was when I fully realized that the people who have put me down over the years for talking too much, or for being weird or crazy, really were just being mean. They are bullies. And now, like I have told you, I refuse to bully myself in my self talk. I like myself, today. Because God made me likable.

    And God made you likable, too! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I LOVE this comment! lol I really do.

      You said, “Shame is the yuckiest emotion, isn’t it? Feeling that you are inherently, fundamentally, irrevocably wrong.” Perfectly put. I walk in shame, it’s like the cloak I wear or the tunnel I walk through.

      I’ve had in the last two years two separate people say that I’m charming. Me! Hahaha. I still don’t quite know what is meant when people say charming, especially with me as the subject, but it does make me stop and wonder. What a nice and feminine way to be described. I would like to know what gives me this descriptor so I can keep doing it! It made me realize that being told I was annoying, something to be sneered at, saying things no one cares about, seeing things in the way no one else would (crazy) and being described as charming are not even in the same stratosphere. Someone was lying and I want to be on the side of the people who would say something nice like “charming”. That still makes me chuckle because the word makes me think of Audrey Hepburn for some reason.

      I might try what you said about recording my thoughts when angry. I felt that way today after a short phone call to my parents (my dad answered) and, although I liked my end of the phone call, there was something he said that had me pacing and feeling buzzy in my head with pent up panicky anger. I didn’t write it down but it would have been something I could’ve spoken about. I do have a little booklet that I get my intense emotions out in because it helps calm me, but I tear out and throw away the pages after a day or so as they’re not meant to ever be seen – just in case I get in an accident or something and I don’t want anyone in the family to see them. Sometimes even those rantings don’t seem as bad as I thought they were when I first wrote them. (Although sometimes they do!) Recording them on my phone would probably give me a different angle on things.

      And you’re right, you are very likeable!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I accidentally trashed your comment! 😦 I’m so sorry. I went to delete my reply to it because I was going to go to another page and then come back to it, but it turns out that garbage can icon trashed your comment and not my reply to it.

        In it you were saying that I don’t say too much and that being honest makes it more personal, at least in writings. I was going to thank you for your feedback on that, so please take my thank you here. And here’s a note to myself not to be so finger-happy with icons where I’m assuming what they mean.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I found Pastor Dave’s blog through you, Lauren. Thanks so much!

        By the way, I decided a few days ago to follow a very few blogs. Yours is one, of course. I’m hoping I don’t go back to spending most of my free time on blogs, like I was doing before. So far it is working for me to meet my daily writing goal first thing in the morning, and after that is done, I can read blogs.However, I do like to read while I am having breakfast. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          • Isn’t his blog great? I need to do a post about Pastor Dave and his very helpful blog. Several months ago I sent him an email with questions I had about whether it is right, as a ChrIstian, to write a book containing the story about being horribly scapegoated and abused by one’s parents. In the email I explained my history, and my reasons for wanting to write a book — to encourage and help others who have had similar traumatizing experiences.

            But, I said, more than anything, I don’t want to get outside of the will of God. And the Bible does say that we are to honor our father and mother, to forgive those who have sinned against us, to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, and think about good things. Although I am writing under a pen name, and changing all of the names and identifying details of those who were abusive to me, even so, is it un-Christian to write about these things?

            Pastor Dave replied with a long detailed email that was so good, I asked his permission to share his email in a post on my blog. He very graciously told me to feel free to do so. I really need to write that post. I am sure there are many of us who could benefit from his answers to my questions. Maybe after my medical appointment today, I will get that done. (Procrastination should be my middle name!)

            I hope you are having a good day today. Or a good night, whichever the case may be where you are. ((HUG))

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ok, that should light a fire under me to get that post written! But first, I need to rest. I just drove through semi flooded streets to have an MRI test done on my right shoulder, which may have a torn rotator cuff. The test lasted almost an hour and I had to hold absolutely still the whole time, in a painfully awkward position. The good part is that I got a lot of praying done. I prayed for people I have never prayed for before! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Prarie Girl, in my opinion, you don’t talk too much, you are allowing people to get to know you which is a beautiful thing, you make yourself vulnerable because when we do that, we could be rejected, but, this seems to be a good group of ladies we have here who are safe to be ourselves with. I love reading your posts. They let me know that I’m more ok than I thought. When out in public, yes, put on that smile, I believe it projects a normalcy and that things are ok which is what you want when in public. I think you worry because of the family rejection you’ve experienced. You don’t want more of that when you are out and about. And even if you’re not having your best day, I try to put on an all is well smile myself as a protective defense because when there is family rejection we are more alone in the world and others become more important.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great way to put all that, and you’ve encouraged me that my instinct to just smile as a defense was a good one.

      When I speak of talking too much, it was a concern in the real world and not here on the blog. Here I want to be open for the sake of my healing and for our blogging friends. It helps us all gauge where we’re at and know they’re going through things others are too. It’s anonymous so I’m very comfortable with that. In a small town I really want some privacy when talking to people, though, and I’m hoping to learn that I’m allowed to be a closed book to those that I choose to be a closed book with. I’m setting up boundaries for myself that will better serve me.

      Your comment was very helpful, thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, I don’t think it’s a good idea that the townspeople know too much. I wouldn’t let on that you’re a family scapegoat, that makes you vulnerable to them. Say like you’re big loving family is not far away. You’ll be safer for it.

    Liked by 2 people

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