Saturday, November 24, 2012

Talking Responsibility (L intended)

I know a lot of people, myself included, who sometimes feel like they are ailed by some condition that makes them unable to speak their opinions and thoughts to people. They often compare themselves to "the others" who can say what they want when they need to. They (we) play the victim, and when not careful, they snowball into acting as if the world is actively not letting them say what they want to say. As if some force is deliberately misunderstanding them, disrespecting them, misjudging them.

Now if there's one thing that these past few weeks have taught me, it's that you can never take too much control over how you appear to the world. Not in a creepy, dual-persona kind of way, but in how you showcase your thoughts, opinions, and what you have to offer. Some people are born as introverts, but not all of them play the victim because of it. If you are an introvert who feels that people should take you into consideration more than they do, here's some food for thought:

Think about your regular thought process when dealing with a bunch of people. Do you always look for the most quiet person and imagine all of the possible things that could be going on in their head right now? Chances are you have you own things going on in your head. Everyone has things going on in their head. What makes us able to share these things with each other? Communication. How could you really hear someone unless that person speaks? As the wise John Green simply puts it: Use your words. 

There is too much of an air of martyrdom placed upon the person who chooses to be silent. Now, there are times that silence is better than saying anything at all. But when it comes to a point where something needs to be said, and you have it in you, but you're all like, listen to what I'm not saying (some quote I found on Tumblr or something) you have to understand that if people don't, it's not their fault. Your head is your territory and unless someone's psychic or whatever, you have exclusive access to it. Your thoughts and how to deport them are your responsibility. Take that responsibility. Use your words.

Quiet, loud, or wherever in between, everyone needs to be understood. Even some people who are "loud" aren't necessarily good at making themselves understood. In fact, a lot of outspoken people suffer from saying the wrong thing, or saying the right thing the wrong way, no matter how good their intentions are. All of us need to practice this thing called communication. We all desire, and therefore need to learn how to relate to each other. It's not just us shy people who have communication problems.

You don't need to have politician-swagger, a loud voice, or some subliminal messaging tricks in your back pocket to sway people. You don't even really have to "sway" people. You just have to make sure that when you can speak, you either speak or take responsibility for your silence. And not blame everyone for not letting you speak. You're always allowed by your surroundings until actively stifled. Try it. Use your words.

It always surprises me how well things get fixed when, instead of wallowing in my inability to gather courage to say what's in my head and feeling defeated, I use the time to formulate the best way to say it instead. A moment always comes along where it would then feel natural to say it, and sometimes it even comes out better than I formed it in my head. It's certainly better than blurting things out in a moment of passion and sounding angry when I'm just shy, a blooper I've done way too many times in the past (also possibly the reason why I'm quieter now).

If this hits too close to home, don't feel bad. This is not about blame. This is about something else entirely. This about the silent, shy, soft spoken person recognizing that he/she has the power to change his/her circumstances by saying something. That everyone has a license to speak in an equal society, and people who live in these societies are lucky. Some people out there are actually not allowed to speak for themselves in everyday life.

This is just a culmination of what I've been learning about myself (and other people) lately. I'm glad that I'm finally seeing the healthy middle ground of things. I'm in a place where I'm trying to break the connection between being outspoken and being aggressive. I like learning how to say things better, and more importantly, to just say things when I need to. So much time is wasted with feeling bad when all we have to do is to speak of our discomfort.

There. A big ol wordfart. Sorry bout that, just had to use my words.

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