Friday, July 24, 2009

Biting My Tongue

There's a internal conflict that I frequently encounter: I have something on mind that I don't vocalize--even though it chews me up--because I know the long-term consequences of saying something are worse than just getting it off my chest.

It's two parts of my personality colliding. I'm a bit of a ruminator, so thoughts don't simply enter and exit my brain as they normally should...especially when they trigger something in me emotionally. In other words, I have trouble letting shit go.

On the other hand, I'm (usually) sensitive to a fault about how my words could affect others. I can be honest with someone as long as I don't think my honesty would affect my relationship with them. If I feel like it would lead to a grudge on their part, I'd just as soon let it chew me up.

The problem with this, of course, goes back to the first issue--things tend to chew me up, but never spit me out. It leaves me in this perpetual state of unresolved annoyance.

The irony is that I never hold a grudge against someone if they're honest with me. I'd rather hear that they don't like working with me because ____ or even that they don't like me because ____ than for me to be under the wrong impression.

Why the hell can't I just give people a measured but honest version of my thoughts? What the hell am I afraid of?


kcimprovgeek said...

I think about 75% of my company's management training deals with this exact issue. I'm exactly the same way—and if I do manage to spit out what I think, then I worry about how someone might have taken it.

My take: We don't give people enough credit for dealing with things the same way we would. We know we want to hear the truth—even if it hurts. But I know I tend to worry about hurting others' feelings...even when I know that, 9 times out of 10, the people I run with feel the same way.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Is there a certain topic that this post is referencing or are you just speaking generally?