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You say it best when you say nothing at all - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
You say it best when you say nothing at all
When I think things, I tend to say them. I used to think that this was a laudable thing, not being afraid to say what one thinks; but, more and more, I'm convinced it's a curse. I suppose it's always had some disadvantages; being unable to resist making jokes or witticisms even when they're potentially offensive, for a start, although usually I just go ahead and say them and then follow up with apologies and "I couldn't resist it"s. But in the last year or so it's turned into a kind of compulsive talkativeness, an unstoppable stream of consciousness. If I think something about a word or a turn of phrase as I'm saying it, I end up saying what I'm thinking about the word. I derail myself, pull my own sentences out from under my feet. It makes it very difficult to talk to people who don't follow that kind of rambling sentence structure easily.

Recently I've been trying to refrain from saying things. Call it a New Year's Resolution, if you will, though I started before New Year. Sometimes I've tried to keep quiet because I've believed it'd be better -- that conflict could be avoided, for example; sometimes I've tried to keep quiet just to see if I can -- as an exercise in self-control. If I don't need to say something, perhaps I'd be better saying nothing.

I've managed to resist saying a couple of moderately important things -- important to me, at any rate, in an emotional context -- and I've managed to resist saying lots of trivial things. I think resisting saying the important things helped, in a way; in at least one case I think it probably avoided some unpleasantness, though of course I don't know that the unpleasantness isn't still happening outside my earshot. The problem is, I don't seem to be quite able to resist saying that I haven't said things, if you see what I mean. Endless deferral.

In the last five months or so I've also been going places on my own a lot more than usual; this means I've been walking places without talking. This is unusual for me. Sometimes, if I've been walking around town on my own for a while, I find it's hard to start speaking again when I get back into human company. I can't think of anything for which it's worth breaking the silence. Or rather, I can think of a dozen equally-worthwhile things, and I end up saying none of them.

Sometimes, in the past, I've found that when I'm really badly depressed I feel as though my conversation-making circuits have been switched off. I think of things, and imagine saying them, and rehearse entire conversations in my head, but nothing actually passes my lips. People are probably already sniggering at the back of the virtual classroom now at the idea of me, the original motormouth, being unable to talk. But it's true. It happens. And usually it's a sign that things are Very Wrong.

No, I don't know where this is going, either.

Words, words, words.

Current Mood: silent

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imc From: imc Date: January 5th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
being unable to resist making jokes or witticisms even when they're potentially offensive

Many is the time I've got myself into trouble for that one. :-/
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: January 6th, 2004 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I rehearse conversations in my head, too. all the time. It's bad because I end up predicting what someone will say about something important (when they might not say that at all) and then not saying what I would have said about it because I'm worried about their response - which I simply made up myself!

rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: January 6th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I come to this from exactly the opposite direction, having spent most of my first twenty years being inculcated with "don't say anything that might upset anyone, your opinions are irrelevant" memes under the guise of compromise, and a large part of growing up for me has been learning to be OK saying stuff.

At this point, I am tactless by design, because I'd sooner have people not like me than like a person they think they see who isn't me.

j4 From: j4 Date: January 6th, 2004 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
You may be coming from the opposite direction, but I think we've converged -- "tactless by design" is exactly what I've been aiming for until recently. It's felt more natural than trying to be tactful -- I don't like tact. But ... I don't know. More and more I just feel that none of it matters. If I don't say something, the world carries on just as before. I could never utter another word in my life, and nothing dreadful would happen as a result.

Oh, I don't know. I feel like I'm contradicting myself left right and centre without ever saying anything that's actually untrue, and I'm getting more and more mixed up and hopeless, and I just want to go to sleep. :-(
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