Do you talk too much?
Do I talk too much?
Um - yeah, I do. Hell yes even! Jeez - that was an easy one to answer.
You? I can't say - but please read on to see if you've been swinging on a conversational pendulum like me.
I've talked to a shipload of self-professed Square-Pegs over the years (you can read some of the Square-Peg People interviews I've had with folks at this link)...
one thing that stands out from those talks is that many folks who resonate with the term Square-Peg acknowledge having had periods of deep aloneness.
And who do you talk to when you're feeling deeply alone? Often (obviously) no one.
For me that meant years of holding a lot in (hard to believe now, isn't it?) - holding my thoughts and emotions heart-clenchingly close to my chest.
Enter (stage right) many seasons of growth, therapy, healing, positive relationships and Voila! - I could freely share my thoughts and emotions.
What freedom, what joy, what a lot of release (mental picture of dam breaking)! What a lot of talking!!
Which worked - and was lovely. Until it didn't - and wasn't.
Life handed me one of those funny-after-the-fact lessons. I talked about it in the post Be Here Now - which says, basically, that I came to a place where my usual go-to folks were gone.
Wow! I immediately noticed an uncomfortable feeling when I wasn't able to talk with friends about whatever was going on in my life at the moment.
Paying attention to the uncomfortable feeling led me to notice that I'd been swinging on a pendulum: off to one side when I was younger, holding pretty much everything close to my chest; off to the other side more recently, sharing pretty much everything as it occurred.
Swinging on a conversational (Square-Peg, of course) pendulum. Interesting!
But this isn't really about talking too much - or about shutting up & holding things in. It's about noticing what's helpful - and what isn't.
When I noticed the uncomfortable feeling cropping up if I couldn't share my thoughts or feelings right away, I knew that something wasn't helpful - something wanted adjustment.
What to do? What to do?? No way did I want to go back to holding everything in, to being mousey quiet again. That surely wasn't the road to anything healthy...
So where could I go with good news - or yucky news - or whatever pushes my "I wanna tell somebody" button?
The answer was right there in front of behind my nose: go home - to me - to myself!
Running instantly to someone else with thoughts and feelings about what was going on in my life had become dissociative. It took me out of myself. It started slowly - when I first felt free to share feelings and thoughts I wasn't dissociating, just sharing (and glad to do so).
But gradually (I'm picturing the frog in hot water here) I began to share too quickly, too often. And that was dissociative. Which is why I felt uncomfortable when my go-tos were gone.
I wasn't giving myself time with my thoughts or feelings before I shared them with others. I wasn't connecting with myself as much as with others.
So now I'm relearning the process of coming home to self first - holding those thoughts and emotions that come up around everyday events for awhile (finding a resting place, a peaceful spot inside) before sharing with friends.
And finding that the frantic urge to tell someone else is often gone once I sit with myself for awhile.
Sometimes it's tricky - because my default is set to RUN. TELL. SOMEONE. ELSE. - forgetting that I am my own closest friend first. But relearning to stop and connect with myself before sharing with others feels healthy - for me and my friendships!
How about YOU? Have you felt the conversational pendulum swing? What's your experience been?