When to speak up

00001Sometimes I say everything wrong.

There’s something wrong with my brain.  I am pretty sure there’s a little voice in there telling me that what I am saying sounds ok, but really.. he’s out to just screw with me.

Thoughts and emotions suck. You try to hold them back, try to play it cool, but sometimes you just have to let loose.  When that dam breaks there is one heck of an outburst that threatens every living soul in its path.

Sometimes I want to say exactly what’s bothering me.  I try. I try to let those I love know and understand how I feel, but that little voice that is supposed to warn you when you are on the edge of screwing up usually just cheers me on to the next level.  It usually starts off with something like “ I am really hurt because I feel like you didn’t support me in…”  However, this was about as good as it was going to get.  Dr. Phil then would be telling me to sit down a minute because as soon as I clearly state what my problem is, the other person then gets a chance to criticize me.  Noooooo… I am not so good at taking critiques about my feelings.   Why ask me what’s bothering me if you are going to tell me that it’s not how I should feel or tell me I am wrong for being upset? Honestly, this always confuses me. Even though I suppose if someone opened up about something I did that hurt them, I would want a chance to explain that I didn’t mean to hurt them but I am sorry for how they feel.

So what’s the guideline for knowing when to say something and when to keep it to yourself?  Honestly, I am not sure anyone really knows.

00001I know a few people who have NO edit button at all.  They live their lives happily telling people when they look fat, telling you how unpleased they are that you didn’t cater your party to their wishes, and anything else that pops into their brains. They don’t see anything wrong with saying exactly what they want because they are “telling the truth” and you should be happy that someone will say it.

00001Then there are others who just talk to talk, regardless of who is listening or how they might take it.  These people just like hearing their own voices and won’t shut up until they have exhausted themselves. They pompously go on about their glory days of high school (Even though they passed several decades before.) or ramble on about anything they please.  Polite people don’t know how to get away from these talkers but the only thing to do is just to walk away.

I try to keep my outbursts down.  Really I do!  People think that I am the one who outspokenly just says what she thinks. But truthfully, I have a lot more to say then I usually share. There are a few people that I trust and I will talk to them about how I feel about this and that, but when it comes to sensitive issues I try to be polite and hold back. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  I don’t want to say something wrong and have people think I am just a bitch.

Holding back is really hard!  There are often times when I want to ask people, “What the heck is wrong with you?” or say to them “You are really creating a monster there, and if you don’t do something about it… there’s going to be a mob of towns people heading towards your castle pretty soon with fire and pitchforks and only you are to blame for it.”  People don’t really want to know what you think! They want you to tell them they are wonderful and everything they are doing is great.  They don’t want you to point out anything or try to offer advice.  People don’t like you when you don’t agree with them.

My husband says that I don’t do a good enough job sometimes masking how I really feel. He’s probably right. I really can’t control the look on my face because I just can’t see how it looks! When I think about it later I am usually confused as to what he was talking about, sometimes I will argue that I didn’t actually say anything.  But he usually rebuttals that I don’t need to say anything.  It’s then that I think to myself that if I was going to get into hot water for my thoughts, I should have just said at the moment what I was thinking and get it off my chest!

But then it goes back to my original statement.  Sometimes I say everything wrong.

I hate it when someone asks me what’s wrong.  If I say “Nothing” when obviously there is SOMETHING then I am lying.  At this point I risk starting an argument about why I won’t open up or share what’s on my mind. At the same time I am trying to protect the moment from going down the toilet because I know that anything I say is going to come out wrong.

Then there is the issue that if you say “I don’t want to talk about it” that you are again withholding and there’s negative feelings from the other person to add to your weighted mind already.  Seriously, can’t people see already that you are upset about something and instead of trying to light that match, couldn’t they try to find something that lightens up the situation or helps you to feel better?

So where’s the instruction manual for knowing when to open up about what you think and when it’s ok to keep it to yourself? Are there appropriate times for saying “Hey, I know we are family, but you are an asshole and I really wish we could just agree that it would be better if we didn’t make eye contact.”  When is it wrong for someone to say “ I like kids, babies are awesome, but I am getting older now and I just want to have some grown up time without kids screaming and running around.”  I don’t want to be one of those jerks that just blasts out whatever comes to mind first. But I am also really frustrated that when I do speak up about things that upset me or needs to be said because nobody else wants to point it out, I am the one everyone looks at and shakes their head.  Perhaps yes, sometimes I say things the wrong way.  But if there were classes about when to say something and how to say it, I would be signing up!

There doesn’t seem to be good answer to when to say something and when to shut up. There are always going to be people who are unhappy with you for something you said or didn’t say.  You can’t please everyone, and not everyone is going to understand when you just need some time to let things go in your own head.  For some it is easy to say how they feel because nobody will cross them to challenge their views.  But for some, like me, I just need to think it out a bit… sometimes before blogging.

 

 

9 comments

  1. I’m just the same, if it’s any consolation. I say things before I’ve thought about it. I’m always being told ‘put your brain in gear before it exits your mouth’ I don’t mean to it just slips out. Also my face tells a story so everyone knows what I’m thinking so I can’t win. If there are any classes for training yourself to stop then please let me know too. I empathise with you. Great post! 🙂

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  2. First, no one should ever try to make you feel “bad” or “wrong” for how you feel about something. Your feelings/emotions are uniquely yours, and don’t require a reason that makes sense to someone else.
    Second, you should be able to express your feelings to the people in your life without receiving a combative or defensive response. No one likes to hear that they have done something to upset someone else, but still should be receptive to hearing what is going on(emotionally and otherwise) with someone they care for, be it friend or family.
    Third, sometimes, people are just miserable, self-centered sociopaths who thrive on the misery of others.
    “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”

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