I chose this title because a lot of my conversations start out this way. It typically (always) means that whatever topic I’m about to discuss is something I’ve thought about very deeply. The ones closest to me now know that they better sit back and relax because whatever is about to come out of my mouth is probably (always) going to be pretty long winded. (Shout of to the amazingly patient people in my life)
So everyone wants to feel understood, I think this is a universal truth. No one wants to feel like they don’t belong, or that their family, friends or significant others cannot relate to them. But there’s nothing like trying to express yourself and feeling like you’re speaking another language. It’s extremely isolating to think you are alone in your thoughts and feelings. It can be something as simple as expressing a thought that quickly passed through your head, or something you cannot get off your mind. To me, no matter how big or small, what you think about and what you feel is important, and it’s vital to your health to have someone in your corner to listen to you. To me a negative or intense feeling is like poison in our body. The more we let it stay within us, the more sick with the poison we become. It’s always been a deeply important endeavor for me to aid in giving those around me the space to express themselves openly so that they feel like at least one person gets them. Sometimes we just need to get things out, no matter how silly or irrational they are. Half the time, they aren’t even based in actual reality, just the shit version the insecure part of us is telling ourselves it is because the situation makes us feel something that we aren’t completely comfortable with.
Although I love to be the soft place to land to those around me, sometimes I have a really tough time verbally expressing myself. Writing has always been a much easier way for me to get things out. There’s no pressure, no need for a quick response. The time that it takes me to type out words gives me the time to process my thoughts into an answer. Typically when I’m venting, there is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not a steady stream of thoughts, it’s all over the place, with emotional rants and random side notes, sometimes completely irrelevant facts and it’s not until I notice the glazed over look in the eyes of the poor souls who are listening to me that I am able to finally get to the gosh-forsaking point. After it’s over, I regret it immensely, and then go over and over in my head all the things I should have said. It was beyond frustrating not only for myself, but also for the people who are trying to help.
As I stated in my last post, losing my ex best friend is what brought so many of these things to the forefront of my mind. I realized I saved all my random, intense, or not fully realized thoughts for her and once I didn’t have that person to vent to, I went to other people in my life and bless their hearts, they didn’t know what to do with me. I had never felt so all over the place and unable to express myself properly. It ended up being a really wonderful learning curve for me though because I was forced to focus on trying to express my thoughts in a more clear precise way, while asking those I am closest to, to be patient and not rush me to my point and give me the solution that they think I may be asking for. Which I can totally appreciate, everyone wants to help out. That is the normal reaction when someone you love comes to you to talk, right? We don’t want them suffering, we want to ease their pain. And I understand how hard it is to just sit back and listen, but if it’s what someone needs, then it’s just what they need. I started to say, “I just need to get this out, okay?” before I’d get going on something I needed to vent about and it usually helped. Don’t get me wrong, I do want the advice, and I’ll definietly take it, I don’t want to just word vomit on them and then leave. But at the moment, I’m just trying to get out the continuous loop of thoughts spinning around my head before I’m distracted or sidetracked by something they are saying. Some people think in a straight line, point A to point B, and gosh, that sounds nice, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I will eventually get from point A to point B, and usually I do know what the solution is, it just takes me longer because I am constantly sifting through both the emotional and analytical parts of the brain trying to determine my actual feelings on the situation as a whole.
Learning more about my personality type (INFJ) And reading more about being an Introvert has helped me to understand that my brain literally is wired differently than the Extroverts that I surround myself with and it helped me tremendously to feel less misunderstood and frustrated. It was an invaluable gift to find out how to communicate effectively with those around me so that we all can get the best out of our interactions and know that no one is left feeling like they didn’t get their point across or their needs met. I implore anyone who feels like they struggle to express themselves to keep trying and be open to learning different positive ways to vent. It’s so easy to get frustrated and give up, but keeping things bottled up is not healthy for you or your relationships. Trying different avenues like writing in a journal, making a blog, texting a friend, calling someone on the phone, going to therapy, or simply asking a loved one for their undivided attention while you try to figure it out will benefit you in all aspects of your life. It may not feel like the most comfortable thing to do at first, but once you get it out, you’ll see that it’s so worth it. And hey, maybe you’ll learn something new about yourself too.