I read this blog post yesterday, and it perfectly described some of the issues I still tend to struggle with, even though the person who wrote it is still in college:
I think I am too private. I think I hold too much in. Inside my mind is searching with ideas and speculations more complex than you would imagine, but when someone asks me a question, I say things like ”I don’t know.”
Because to say what I am thinking would be too much. How could they understand all that goes on in my head? That I hesitate because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, that I am afraid of asking for things because I feel like I am bothering people.
Someone told me I was considerate today, but they also said I was too considerate, and I think they’re right. I think too much. I hesitate too much. But is it a confidence issue? Because when I am alone I like who I am. I don’t stand by any of the pressures around me that tell me who I should try to be. I know who I am when it is just me. But when I have to share that with others, it’s like all those convictions fade away as I wrestle with what to admit and what to keep to myself.
Sometimes I just wish it was easier. Sometimes I just wish I could write everything out instead. But life’s not that simple. I have to break out of this box if I want people to see me, even if it feels like I’ll never be able to climb these walls.
But I have to try.
In person, when people ask me to voice my opinions there’s just this complete disconnect between what’s in my head and what I can make come out of my mouth. Some of it is because I often don’t know what I’m thinking before I can talk it out – explore it out loud – and you can’t do that in conversation like you can in writing because of time constraints and not being able to pour out a load of junk and then edit it down to something that makes sense to yourself and the person you’re talking to. People just don’t have the patience to listen to you as you try to reach your point, and often get upset at/misunderstand something you’ve thrown out randomly in mid-thought-process and focus on judging that and you never get to the end of your line of thought. Some of it is being overly considerate of my audience and not knowing how to put my very personal perspective on things in a way I know that they will properly understand. And some of it is just because so much of what is inside of me is purely abstract and/or a variety of feeling tones that it’s pretty much impossible to put into words that properly convey it anyway. How do you verbalise the invisible connections/relationships between things and the meanings behind things in concrete terms? There’s a reason I think and write in metaphors. It doesn’t really work when speaking.
So it’s far easier just to say something like “I dunno, stuff” when someone asks me what I’m thinking or throw out a few (to them) seemingly unrelated keywords in their direction and hope that they get the gist. To be honest that kind of generalisation is often more accurate than any full concrete explanation I’d be able to give anyway. When you’re trying to express what is ultimately inexpressible in all it’s intricacy, where the chuffing hell do you even start?