Matter of the heart and mind (i think)

  1. Had a few people tell me recently that i don't talk about anything at all personal. (Not coworkers)

    The one, for example, is someone i'm just friends with. We never did date because he's the kind of person (it seems) who wants everything out on the table, i mean no-holds-barred, talk about anything and everything all the time. And he does, to a point, but he said that it was hard to have a conversation with me.

    For example, we'd both seen a controversial movie, and while he expressed what he'd though about it, i couldn't say anything. And i don't know why really! It deeply affected me, but i couldn't even verbalize that, and i find it hard to verbalize things to someone who's so open and honest about anything. But i want to


    I want to be like that. Not for his sake, but for my own. It's hard to describe, but i always wanted to be so free with my opinions and thoughts and feelings one-on-one with someone, but i don't even know how to begin.

    I noticed one of the anesthesiologists at work having lunch with his wife, and in 30 minutes, they'd managed to dissect the political section of the newspaper, wound up disagreeing on everything, but what i'd noticed (and noticed about them since) was that they always talk to each other like they hadn'tseen each other in a long time, yet i've seen them several days in a row like that. And even when they're on opposite sides of the room, they engage in conversation with other people in the same way.

    I'm just trying to figure out how to open up on a personal level with those that are close to me. I realize that's why even the people i'm close to don't know me so well, but it's like i don't even know where to begin.

    Any suggestions? (anything?)
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would start small. You don't have to reveal your whole innermost thoughts to anyone. Talk about hobbies, weather, news ( staying away from controversial items of course), your pets, an interesting book you are reading....anything. Restaurants you like...or ask where the best Sushi in town may be, that can get a conversation rolling. Where is the best place to groom my pet? etc. There are a million trivial things you can start with and move from there, to your own personal level of comfort. It's not hard once you get the hang of it.....
  4. by   Saved_by_Grace
    I wish I could be more like you...I get ridiculed for revealing too many personal things...friends tell me I'm too much of an open book. I have one friend that tells me that she doesn't think I'm capable of opening a can of soup w/o giving her a report of it.*rolls eyes* And anymore I notice people, especially my inlaws rolling their eyes any time I say anything or just cutting me off and talking about something else to others in the room..like I wasn't even speaking...so I'm trying to find a way to just shut up....and keep to myself..but it's HARD for me because I always thought that I was just being friendly and trying to be on an intimate level with friends and family. I guess I yearn for a close relationship and they just don't reciprocate in turn, and I overcompensate by gabbing all the time....
    Maybe I can give you some of my too openness, and you can give me some of your un-openness...and we'll balance out!
  5. by   Energizer Bunny
    Melanie....I am much like you as well. I am trying very hard not to share too much with new friends because it bothers many. I guess I am TOO friendly! LOL!

    Marie....all I can tell you is when you are trying this out, don't go to the opposite end of the spectrum like my friend melanie and me! People don't want to hear too much either.
  6. by   nurseygrrl
    Marie~ My husband is that way and I can tell you from my point of view that it's difficult to deal with him at times because I mistake his inability to verbalize things as disinterest.

    If we go see an unbelievable movie and I ask how it is, he'll say 'It was great' and I'm really looking for more. Sometimes you can trace things back to how you were with your parents. I know my husband never talked about things with his, because they were so very different. I guess he became used to keeping things in. I, on the other hand, was used to debating all kinds of issues with my father and talking to my parents about my feelings all the time. My advice to you is to think about how you really feel inside when in a conversation and verbalize those feelings. It may take a little practice, but it's worth it!

    I am famous for telling my husband how he feels and he can't stand it. I tell him that if he would tell me himself, then I wouldn't have to do that! :chuckle
    Last edit by nurseygrrl on Jul 10, '04
  7. by   dianah
    Depends on one's temperament and mood, IMO. On Meyers-Briggs, I test as halfway between Introvert and Extrovert, which is true: sometimes I feel very outgoing, can talk comfortably with ppl. Other times I just can't think of a thing to say and it's a REAL effort to make small talk. Then there are times I do well for 20 min or so and then my brain just freezes up - like it's used up its social skills allotment for the day and needs to re-charge in order to continue (really, it feels just like that). I'm trying to do better, honest! I'm a better listener than talker, I think. Oh, except for when I'm with my long-time friends (there are half a dozen), and I can be any way at all and they love me anyway, lol! We even have affirmed to each other: let's go to such-and-such place, and it'll be fun, but if you want to go one way and I want to go another, it's OK, we'll split up and meet again later. We recognize that we have different interests and tastes and aren't offended when we each want to do our thing, then come back to share the experience. I have some good friends, I must say. Gotta tell 'em that more often.
  8. by   leslie :-D
    wow dianah.....you seem like such a natural conversationist; and very warm and approachable. gosh it's funny the way people perceive themselves sometimes....

    there are times that i could talk a dog from a meat wagon (aka, babbling) but i stink at 'small talk, chit chat'.....always hated it. always. a social butterfly i am not.
  9. by   dianah
    But Leslie, I can choose to participate here or not - depending on my mood, lol! Face-to-face, I kinda have no choice (and I'm one of those who doesn't want to hurt another's feelings). Thanks for the kind words.
  10. by   maureeno
    when you say you find it "hard to verbalize":
    are you shy at school and work or only with friends?
    do you feel anxious?
    does your mind go blank or your mouth get dry?
    do you fear disapproval and rejection?


    SmilingBluEyes gives a great suggestion to start small
    you could start real tiny with mental practice
    rehearsing...

    I did this many years back to be brave enough to talk to boys
  11. by   smk1
    is part of the problem , that you fear judgement? I know this is a big one for a lot of people! Do you find yourself extra upset over disagreements or find that you censor your true thoughts so that you will appear to fit in? I guess i always try to look for the whys behind our actions. If you can determine why (or at least a good portion of why) you feel that you can't share yourself with others, then you may be able to take steps to improve that aspect of your life.
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Well, i've said in a few other threads that my personal life is something i leave out of work, which helps in keeping the two separated, but the problem lies within opening up in personal relationships with friends and/or significant other. And it's the dumbest crap, too, that i do this with.

    For example: "Fahrenheit 9/11" someone asked what i thought of it. Had a one-word reply at the time for the most controversial film of the year, but i also now realized that due to a flood of emotions where this was concern caused my silence on that.

    Another example: The simple question "What are you thinking?" Typical reply is "Nothing", and clamming up. Heck if i know why this is.

    I realize that a lot of my replies to any questions are also not invitations to a longer conversations as well.
  13. by   maureeno
    if it is you are wanting to express yourself to familiar people
    but are instead being flooded with feelings or drawing a blank
    perhaps this will help:

    >>

    ==> What cognitive distortions are commonly associated with shyness?

    [ Taken from "Feeling Good" by David Burns
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...810336/basecom ]

    1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white
    extremes. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see
    yourself as a total failure.

    2. OVER-GENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a
    never-ending patter n of defeat.

    3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell
    on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes
    darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of
    water.

    4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences,
    insisting that they "don't count" for some reason or other. In
    this way you maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by
    your everyday experiences.

    5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even
    though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your
    conclusion: (A) MIND READING: You arbitrarily conclude that
    someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don't bother to
    check this out. (B) THE FORTUNE TELLER ERROR: You anticipate that
    things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your
    future prediction is an already-established fact.

    6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate
    the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's
    achievements), or you inappropriately shrink things until they
    appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or another person's
    imperfections). This is also called the "binocular trick."

    7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions
    necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it,
    therefore it must be true."

    8. "SHOULD" STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with should's
    and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before
    you could be expected to do anything. "Musts" and "oughts" are
    also offenders. The emotional consequences are guilt. When you
    direct should statements toward others, you feel anger,
    frustration, and resentment.

    9. LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of
    overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a
    negative label to yourself. "I'm a loser." When someone else's
    behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to
    him: "He's a ******* louse."islabeling involves describing an
    event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

    10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the root cause of some
    negative external event, which in fact you were not primarily
    responsible for. <<<<
    http://www.base.com/shy/shy-faq.txt
  14. by   Sadie04
    Quote from HerEyes73
    Marie~ My husband is that way and I can tell you from my point of view that it's difficult to deal with him at times because I mistake his inability to verbalize things as disinterest.

    If we go see an unbelievable movie and I ask how it is, he'll say 'It was great' and I'm really looking for more. Sometimes you can trace things back to how you were with your parents. I know my husband never talked about things with his, because they were so very different. I guess he became used to keeping things in. I, on the other hand, was used to debating all kinds of issues with my father and talking to my parents about my feelings all the time. My advice to you is to think about how you really feel inside when in a conversation and verbalize those feelings. It may take a little practice, but it's worth it!

    I am famous for telling my husband how he feels and he can't stand it. I tell him that if he would tell me himself, then I wouldn't have to do that! :chuckle
    Wow, sounds exactly like my husband and I! He also came from a family who didn't share their feelings often. I on the other hand, grew up in a family where we discussed everything! I also get frustrated when I ask my hubby for his opinion and he gives me a one-word answer
    :angryfire Usually what I'm looking for is a lively discussion, and what I get is a one or two word answer.
    All I can say is that we're all different and unique individuals, some more open than others. Marie, it sounds like you're a thoughful individual and choose your words wisely, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of people who give way TMI, usually uncecessarily!

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