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Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. Talking.

It’s really funny how I’ve been told that I am both super quiet and need to come out of my shell and how I also need to just stop talking. Usually you’re one or the other. Yet since it’s me, of course I can be both.

When something is new to me or I’m placed in a situation where I feel uncomfortable or it’s something new, I tend to clam up. I would much rather not draw attention to myself. In situations like this, I tend to be quieter because I want to get a feel of my surroundings before I start to open up. I also am the type of person that usually isn’t good at jumping into the conversation without prompting. Some folks are excellent with just bulldozing their way into a conversation and will talk over others. I seem to not have this ability so I’ll wait for the pause before I give my two cents.

It all adds up to me being seen as someone who is quieter.

And then there are times where I cannot seem to shut up. I notice this is when I start being more comfortable around you. I don’t say awkward SOAP moments. I just for some reason can’t seem to stop talking. It’s like if something happens to me and it’s usually either good news or something that makes me a bit anxious, I seem to want to tell everyone about it. Sometimes it’s to get an opinion on what to do, sometimes it is to brag, sometimes it is because I just want to tell anyone who will listen.

There are many times when I wish that I could just bottle it in and not feel the need to tell everything to people. And the thing is I can. There are some things in my life that I will never share. There are some things I only share with those I’m close to. There are some things where I am totally open to sharing but again, only if prompted. I really envy those of you who have things happen and instead of projecting it outward, you absorb it completely until it vanishes.

Working in customer service puts you in a place where people feel the need to tell you everything that’s going on in their lives and on their mind. When you apologize to someone, why do we feel the need to have to explain everything? I know some people aren’t good at reading social cues or faces to tell that the other person doesn’t want to hear more than what is necessary, but what excuse do the rest of us have? Why do we keep talking and have words keep pouring out of mouth when we can clearly see the other person just does not want to hear what we are saying?

The obvious thing is to just assume that no one else wants to hear your sh*t. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Or I could just go back to writing in my journal whenever those impulses hit and wait to share my news with the people who really do want to hear them. I’ll figure it out. I always do.

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SOAP Moments or When I Say Stupid Stuff

Two of the faults that people call me out on all the time is the fact that I overthink and that I can be too quiet sometimes. They tell me that I should talk more and not worry about how I come across to others.

But want to know why I’m so paranoid about the things I say?

I wish I was one of those people who say clever things all the time. Every word that comes out of their mouth is either witty or full of humor. They are the eloquent speakers who never need to write or practice beforehand because everything that comes out of their mouth is golden. You know who these people are and you know who you are. It’s a gift.

Instead I am someone who says awkward and stupid things if I don’t think carefully before I speak. I don’t know why it happens. I mean believe me, I really hate all the word vomit that just pours out. I say things that make no sense. I say things that could make people uncomfortable. I say unnecessary information. I sometimes hurt people.

Examples:

  • One of my best friends was having a mild allergic reaction from taking a sip of my strawberry margarita. While in my head I was genuinely concerned and wanted to help, because I was scared for him what came out of my mouth instead was some stupid remark about I hope he doesn’t choke to death. His response was appropriate in which he yelled at me for making him panic more and to which I felt like a horrible person and went to the bathroom and cried.
  • Someone can ask me a very vague question and then for reasons unbeknownst to me, I end up blabbing things I had no intention of bringing up earlier and I can totally see that the person doesn’t care and is only nodding out of politeness.
  • When I’m emotional, my filter seems to come down and I will say things that shouldn’t be said because they are mean and hurtful. Maybe it is true, but I should have either not said it at all or just used some tact. I hate it when I hurt someone because of how I was personally feeling at the moment.

When moments like these happen, I call them SOAP moments. SOAP moments refer to a time back when I was 18 and working a summer job. There was a guy working with me that I was trying to impress and one day we were all sitting around talking. And I was thinking too hard to try to say something clever. And then for whatever reason, the first thing to blurt out of my mouth was about how in Fight Club, they make soap using fat from liposuction clinics.

Why on earth, I thought this was a brilliant thing to say, I don’t know. I just remember the conversation coming to a halt and the guy looking at me like I had suddenly grown two heads. And it felt all kinds of awkward and horrible. Since then, any moment when I say something stupid is referred to a SOAP moment.

This is akin to my Dale Jr. incident about telling him he was better looking in person than on TV. I SAY STUPID THINGS WHEN I DON’T THINK.

I know some folks can brush it off immediately and don’t care. But for me, I hate it when I do. I hate the awkwardness I feel creeping on me. I hate the looks I get when people are tired of me yammering away and I can’t seem to stop. I hate feeling judged for saying the wrong things. I hate when I hurt people accidentally by saying something hurtful unintentionally.

The worst is when my intentions are trying to honestly be helpful or sympathetic and instead I make myself come across as uncaring or spiteful to someone who I care very much about. It’s funny when someone does this to me, I feel like it’s my fault. When I do this to someone else, it still feels like it’s my fault. CAN. NOT. WIN.

And because I would like to avoid all these situations, this is why I overthink and stay relatively quiet. Better to not say anything than speak without thinking and sound stupid or hurt everyone. So now you know!