Posts Tagged With: Thought

Focusing on the Z in the Equation

Some people think I am one of those quiet people.

You know the ones I’m talking about? The kind of people who rarely speak up, who mutter incomprehensibly under their breath and who, when they do talk, barely squeak out a whisper. If anyone notices the quiet person has attempted to speak they can’t hear what’s being said.

“Huh?” serves as the most frequent response a quiet person hears from any and everyone.

Contrast that with the loud people. People who can’t seem to stop talking. Ever. People who feign shock and surprise if told there are other people in the room who have opinions, thoughts, voices. People who find silences, even the briefest of silence required by the intake of a breath between sentences, uncomfortable and unnerving.

Loud people take up all the space in a room, they absorb all the oxygen and leave no room or air for anyone else, quiet or medium people to say anything at all.

I’ll tell you something. The loud people get heard the most, but the quiet ones have most of the real answers.

Deutsch: 100 Jahre Relativität - Atome - Quant...

Do quiet people end up with their photos on stamps more often than loud people do? (Photo credit © Fred Stein)

The trick is getting the words out of the quiet ones.

You can’t just say, “Hey (insert quiet person’s name here) what do YOU think?”  That won’t work. Nope. Quiet people need, crave, desire, must have a clear and open runway, a wide berth big enough to land a 747 coming in with a tail wind and ice on the tarmac. Quiet people don’t want  interruptions mid sentence. They figure if what they have to say has value, (and it does, believe me,) then patience and attention dang well better be duly paid for the entire span of the answer.

None of this is conscious of course. Observant by nature, quiet people spend their time taking in details, mulling over ideas, seeing the irony, debating the pros and cons and generally becoming wise. That, or they’re slowly drilling a deep mine shaft of too much introspection and self-analysis. But not usually.

Quiet people tend to be deep in a good way, most of the time. Depth of character, depth of knowledge, depth of humor and wit.

Get a quiet person in the right frame of mind, in a small group of listeners and you’ll have a rollicking good time and learn a ton of stuff doing so.

A quiet person will always think they’ve taken up too much time and disclosed way to much personal information. Over-sharing. Yes. That word. They worry about over-sharing, in short they avoid TMI and WTMI (Too Much Information and WAY To Much Information.) Loud people excel at WTMI.

Quiet people do want their voices heard and understood.. One on one is best, but rare. A small group might get a quiet person to peek out from under their force field of silence and observation to actually launch a sentence or two, maybe even let loose a full paragraph. Depends on the group and their willingness to listen.

Don’t confuse a quiet person with a shy person. That’s a common mistake. Shyness slinks about in the shadows and makes every effort to keep a distance, avoids social situations. A quiet person still dives into the center of things, just not verbally.

Albert Einstein, a quiet person, thoughtful and brilliant, said the following:

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”

For the mathematically  inclined that looks like this:

A= x + y + z

A= success; x=work; y=play; z = keeping your mouth shut

Einstein

Einstein (Photo credit: • Happy Batatinha •)

Einstein knew a thing or two about quiet people versus loud people. Loud ones don’t have time to think up things as brilliant as the theory of relativity . They’re too busy thinking up their next three sentences. Quiet ones will give you the world changing theories, the life altering insights, the unforgettable perspectives.

If you’re one of those quiet people, I’d encourage you to speak up a bit more. Maybe you need to write in a journal, practice spilling your thoughts onto a page. There’s a bunch of loud people out there who could benefit from what you’ve thought and observed. There’s a bunch of not so loud people who need your perspective and wit.

Be a little crazy. Get loud. Don’t mumble. Get your lungs behind those words and let them be heard.

You’ll be glad you did.

Categories: People, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Living Out Loud

I’ve often wondered what would happen if I just said what was really on my mind. Probably some major natural disaster, a combination hurricane/flood/earthquake/fire named Kami.  Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  Just a little though.

I know people who do speak their mind, with very little filter, in some instances with no filter at all, ever.  People are either afraid of them, avoid them, or talk poorly about them behind their back.  I’d prefer none of the above.

Not saying what’s on your mind, not being direct can have some serious consequences.  Beating around the bush is great if you’re a hunter looking for that lost quarry, but it’s not such a great thing if you’re trying to communicate with someone.

Is it possible to say, “THIS is what I want,” or “THIS is how I feel” without the listener misunderstanding or being offended by the directness?

Blackboards

Somewhere along the way I learned, or chose, to say things in a roundabout way.  The classic, “where do you want to go to dinner?” question is always answered with a “I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?”  That happens even if I know exactly what I want to eat and where I can find that meal.  That happens with every little thing that comes up.  Why would anyone do that? Overly concerned about how the other person feels?  Poor self-esteem?  Group dynamics?  A warped sense of self?  I don’t know.

I thought by now I’d have some of that sorted out.

Writing

Writing.

Maybe that’s where the writing thing in me comes from.  Writing is the way I say all those unspoken things.  My best writing, in my opinion, is when I simply let my hands do the work.  There’s no filter, no external voices saying, “you can’t say that!” or “what will people say?”  It’s just me and the pen and paper.  Simply me and the computer screen.

It’s just me.

Maybe that’s it.  When I’m writing, I’m really only trying to communicate with myself.

That’s how it started out when I was young.  My head was swirling with emotion and input from the weird world of teenage horrors.  Writing it down felt like the only way to make sense of everything.

I could pour out all these thoughts on to the paper like so much sand and dirt and grit caught in my shoes from walking.  Then later, I could look at the evidence, investigate the different kinds of detritus that made walking hurt, or uncomfortable or awkward.  A chunk of rock would explain a blister; sand caught in my toes would explain the itchy dryness.

Likewise, having my guts spilled out in ink or pencil on the page let me think in a slow methodical way, about what it all meant and how I would act or react to it all.

Sometimes my only conclusion was relief to not have all that stuff in my shoes, all that stuff in my head.

Have you ever felt like there was so much stuff in your head it might seep out, or ooze, or explode or leak?  That you might, actually, truly, be going crazy?  I did.  Sometimes, I still do.

I think some people cry and that takes care of that pent-up emotion.  Some people vent by running or being angry out loud. Some saturate themselves with sports, or television or volunteer work, or any of a thousand things.  Some simply say what’s on their mind, out loud and unfettered.  What an amazing thing to be able to do!

Typewriter

Me?  I simply write.

I write it all down.  And sometimes, I let someone read it.

Will they think I’m crazy?  Will they avoid me in the grocery store? Will they whisper behind my back?

Apparently, that doesn’t matter to me anymore, because here it is, my writing, being presented on a daily basis to the world, or to the twenty to forty people who “hit” my blog.

I can’t think too much about who reads my words and by extension, reads my soul, reads my mind.

It’s a frightening, thrilling ride.

This living out loud thing might be changing who I am.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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