Okay, that’s clearly a lie, but… it’s also sort of the truth. What’s really going on is that I have a lot to say, but I never express it so I have, over the years, trained myself out of even thinking of saying anything. Which amounts to having nothing to say.
It didn’t happen overnight, of course. Like so many bad habits, it happened gradually, day by day, in a wide variety of situations. My family of politically active intellectuals has been debating politics (even when they agree with each other it’s a debate,) since my infancy, and even as wonderful as they all are with children it was a fight to get my voice heard. (It probably didn’t help that I was one of the youngest cousins for a long time…) In school, I learned quickly that nobody much liked it when you spoke up in class., except the teacher and even then it could go either way but they were required to encourage it. I wasn’t athletic enough to save myself at recess, either, and books don’t talk back to you very well. At least not out loud.
I tried on a few different personalities to try to get myself heard but none of them were very effective or felt very natural: the social butterfly, the near bully, the coolly rational Voice of Reason… all the way through college I tried on different hats. Some good stuff did come from all the searching. I discovered a few things about myself along the way. I figured out what an introvert was and that I most definitely qualified. I learned that I do best with small groups, but can do well in a large group as long as there are a few people I know very well there. On the flip side, I don’t have a lot of patience for stupid people, or mean people, or people who argue just for the sake of arguing.
And let’s face it, that pretty much covers most of the internet these days.
So, over time, I stopped expressing myself outside of the entirely impossible scenarios of vampires and shifters and mages who run around cities saving the day. And that’s something I need to work on. So I am trying to be better about that. I hope to spark some discussions— here and on Facebook— and avoid nasty arguments, but we’re all human (I presume!) and feelings happen. I just have to be better about not internalizing it all.
What do you think? Do you like a good debate, or are you more like me and stay quiet for the most part?