April 12, 2017 3:22am CST
The thing about being a genuinely quiet person is that I have learned a lot about others despite never having really talked to them. I observe people. I can tell when something is off about them. I know when there's more to a story than what they're telling me. Most of my siblings don't really know me but I know about them than what they realize I know. I can tell when something is wrong. They really know almost next to nothing about me. I'm not an open person. There are just some things I don't like talking about and will avoid those subjects like the plague. In my 30 years of life, I've learned to listen and most of the listening happens when I am quiet and people are talking around me not realizing I'm there. I was always the type of person that just kind of blended into the background. People figured I wasn't listening but that's when I learned the most. Meanwhile very few people know anything about me or what I'm thinking or feeling because I don't talk much. I have always been uneasy with emotions and feelings. I have never been good at expressing my feelings. It's just not part of who I am and hasn't been since I was a kid. I think somewhere along the way I was taught that showing emotions lets people walk all over you. It shows weakness. I'm not saying this is a good thing but this is what ultimately happened along the way. I learned that if people don't know what you're feeling they won't know how much some things bother you. They won't be able to hurt you the way they do when they know you care. That doesn't mean I don't care. It just means that it's difficult for me to show it, at least to some people. I can show my boyfriend and son but that's about it. I understand feelings and I can understand when things are off about people. By being this way I've learned a lot about other people. I've learned to notice what's typical behavior for someone and what's not. They often think they do well with hiding it but I know different. I've found when you stop talking and start listening you learn more about people. Most of my siblings don't really know how to take me because I'm not open. I close myself off but they all try to figure me out or so it feels. They have mostly learned to take what I'll give. Since I've had my son I do show more emotion than I once did because it's near impossible not to. I would never close myself off to my son. It's difficult for me to get close to most people but some definitely know me better than others. Part of the reasoning I'm going to therapy (apart from anxiety) is to maybe get an idea of why I am so closed off and if it might be possible for me to show more emotions and open myself up more. I am not willing to completely change myself because I feel some barriers are not a bad thing but when I have a difficult time hugging my siblings and telling them I love them I know I have some issues that need to be addressed. The issue is talking to my therapist about it because I'd have to open up to her and I'm not sure that I'm ready for that, so I guess there will be baby steps for now. I think I'll probably always be a listener and an observer because I don't really like talking especially not about myself. I use places like this to get my thoughts out but actually physically talking about them is difficult for me. Even here I only share maybe a small percent of my feelings. I will never be fully open. I can tell people my favorite color or about my son or my family until they start digging deeper. There are just things I will always be uncomfortable talking about. I don't like having my feelings and relationships analyzed which is something I guess I'll have to get used to in therapy. I am not physically observant. I can pass by a house for years and not notice it's there, but I observe people and their behavior and I listen and I've learned a lot about people. I mean I don't know their deepest darkest secrets but you'd be amazed what you can learn about someone by simply watching and listening. Eventually, you can examine it next to someone else and start to get an idea of how people as a whole react to certain things. I used to want to be a therapist and part of me would still like that but as of right now I need too much help myself to help others. I know more than I often let on and I can normally read people fairly well but despite all of that I am not very good at figuring my own issues out, which is something I'm working on.
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I could have written this. I had counselling, but gave it up because I just couldn't talk about myself. Or anything, really. I've reached the point in life where I realise it's okay to be quiet. We don't have to justify ourselves to others. If we want to let them in, we will. The only issue I have is that when I do offer a little bit of myself to other people, they don't believe me. So, although I'm highly anxious, suffer from depression, hate social situations, spend my life living with an anxious knot in my belly, they don't equate that to me because they never see those bits of me.
• United States
Yeah, and it's less about justifying myself and more about making myself less anxious and figure out exactly what my issues are. I mean it's OK to be quiet but to have issues with emotions is something else entirely. I don't react well to emotional situations and I'm just awkward.
I think it's a good step that you're going to therapy - I hope it will help you more than anything else. You know I've been following your writing and I have always thought you express yourself and your thoughts so well through your writing. I don't know, even if you feel that you close yourself from those around you offline (like your siblings), but if they read your writing, I have a feeling they will get to know you much better. And hey, you changed your avatar, didn't you?
@sissy15 I understand. I'm the same as you, actually. No one I know offline knows me online. And I intend to keep it that way. That's probably why I'm never interested in social medias like Facebook and such, I'm not really interested to mix offline and online interactions.
• United States
@sishy7 I use FB for family, which I originally didn't intend to but decided to use it as a platform to share photos and things so the family I don't see often can still see my son and be updated about things. Now places like this are simply me being me without the judgment of my family. It's why I don't let people know about this and don't use my full name. I'm really easy to find if I go by my full name as I'm the only one with it that I've been able to find.
@sissy15 I'm glad you have places like this as your outlet. At the same time, you give your readers some insights of your thoughts and feelings. I can only speak for myself, but your writing always give me something to think about as I often find things I can relate to but, unlike you, I cannot express them well in writing. I'm very closed off in real life too. And I can see it in at least one of my sons who, people would say, is a loner. He does his own things. But I have to admit that I'm more concerned about him than I am with his brothers.