for introverts who are nervous at what to say and how to respond to others and want to know the secret to forming meaningful relationships:
shed off your anxiety. when that ceases to be a visor in how you interact with people, you can truly understand how you are, how other people feel, and pleasantly and freely immerse yourself in the moment. when you’re socially anxious, you can’t fully be present in the interaction with another, you’re too focused on if you feel comfortable in front of this person and how to lessen the anxiety. you’re seeing everything tainted with your self-consciousness. it isn’t clear. when you are trying to pick up social cues on whether or not the person accepts you or if you feel welcome to be yourself, then you are not really hearing what the other is trying to tell you. you are hearing how much anxiety fills the air. people are often shy because they’re trying to avoid humiliation and because they care too much what others think. you must find a love from within so that you don’t need to seek external acceptance from others. if you are planning on how to respond, you aren’t really listening, taking in the nature of the interaction, because you’re too busy planning how to present yourself in a way that is deemed acceptable. anxiety does not guide you, anxiety hinders you. a little anxiety sprinkled here and there is good for you, but not when your whole perception is drenched with it. this isn’t about becoming extroverted, this isn’t about being loud. this is about knowing how to feel comfortable in your own skin. you are not what others think of you. you are what you think of you. you are the greatest critic. how you act around others is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. reflections are a wonderful way to seeing how we treat ourselves. in order to overcome anxiety, you must be open to exploration. just speak. that’s all you have to do. break that barrier that tells you to keep silent. just try it. once. twice. five million times. keep trying. it’s better to try than to stay within the borders of debilitating anxiety out of defeat. and for perspective’s sake, there is no defeat. never. ever. you are already a winner if you try. you are already a winner for surviving all of this anxiety. so what should you do? give eye contact. don’t be afraid to laugh. engage yourself in the conversation. push yourself to go beyond yourself. confidence goes a long way. everything is a little bit more fun when you’re confident. and last but not least, and if not the most important part, be open to embarrassment.
"Do you think people understand the extent to which we are dreamers? But do you also think we’re normal? I don’t think I’m different, I think I’m just aware"
"I think we’re normal. Do you think it’s normal for us to stay thinking the way we do?"
"I don’t think we have a choice"
you want to be
a wandering drunk
yes that sounds
with a coffee mug
and a pocketful of cash and wishes
lots of those”
i think both the extravagance and difficulty of living is that you have a choice. so, so many of them. part of awareness is realizing how many of these choices are at your disposal if only you would leave your room. when you care about freedom, about not only living but being alive, this becomes a double-edged sword kind of situation. you can do anything. and this is why i am indecisive, why long-term goals are out of my range of thinking. and still, the clock is ticking.
i love strangers. they’re nameless, faceless, but at the same time they’re so much more. we don’t assign labels to their behaviors because we don’t twist our emotions into their fabrics of being simply human. when we get to know someone, we have the chance to understand why they’re beautiful, but then there are moments when part of their character shows, part of yours. and then there are ugly moments. and a person like me doesn’t work well with ugly moments, this i am much too familiar with. there was once a time in my life when i did not have expectations of anyone, but times have changed since then and i don’t know how to feel that way anymore. maybe i keep my distance from people so they remain beautifully flawless, so that my sensitivity never shows. maybe distance doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, at least for someone like me, maybe the certain amount of distance dances the line between a meaningful and meaningless interaction, and i tiptoe around it just enough so that it does not cross to the meaningless side. maybe i just want to save everything from being meaningless. maybe that is why i find magic in small talk, because during small talk, expectations don’t have the chance to manifest themselves. relationships with anyone are always so messy when emotions are involved. i am so detached that i inadvertently attach myself. or is it the other way around?
and so this is how i unhinge myself from all these attachments, these expectations.
everything is always so perfect from afar.
i don’t think i’m happy nor sad, extroverted nor introverted, driven nor lazy. i think i’m just one huge blob of emotions and i fluctuate from one to the next. everything changes according to how i feel. the world is brighter when i feel imaginative and connected to my surroundings. the world is grey when i feel grey myself. and i used to hate this very aspect of myself, because there was never any certainty. i always thought it was only imminent until i met face-to-face with insanity. one day i seem to feel on top of the world and the next day there isn’t enough air to breathe. one day i am an endless scroll of apologies, the next full of inspiration. my emotions are an intense game of tennis, and in hand, my whole persona is thrown back and forth. i become so dizzy trying to think about who i am. and then yesterday after that period of elation, i plummeted into a pool of worthlessness. i tracked my thoughts and just stopped them and thought to myself, “this is silly. it’s 4am and you’re tired and you’re a little sick. go to bed and you’ll wake up feeling better.” and well, it didn’t start off like that today. this morning i didn’t wake up feeling worthless, but every thing i saw and every thing i read only made me well up in tears, and i wondered if my life had become one huge pms episode.
i think the best thing sensitive people can do is to love the ebb and flow of their emotions. it’s the only thing we can do so that we don’t rip our skin off and gnaw at our bones. some people identify with their career, others identify with their thoughts, their knowledge. i identify with my emotions. my emotions are who i am. and i need to let go of that image. because if i identify myself with what i feel, then i will only oscillate between all of this madness until i am only madness.
we must love the whole spectrum of emotions in us in order to fully accept ourselves, otherwise we struggle and struggle and throughout that struggle, we inevitably hold onto whatever emotion we’re feeling instead of just letting it go.
maybe that’s the point of everything, to find the balance between holding on and letting go with just the perfect amount.
sometimes when i’m listening to somebody tell a story and i look in their eyes and i happen to be in a complete state of relaxation (that’s when i’m most receptive), i become completely enveloped in their emotions. and when i look at them (someone once noticed i simultaneously quirk my head and smile with my mouth as curved as a crescent moon), i can feel their emotions as mine, and i begin to feel a synchronous sensation running down my cheekbones to my jawline, signaling to me that the story they’re telling is significant, meaningful, remembered. sometimes i lose myself in the way people express themselves through a story and a resonating image appears in my mind that corresponds to who they are. from that moment when i see that image, that’s how i view them. it stays with me, forever. and i travel through that image while they’re telling the story. and i travel through that image the next time i see them. sometimes the images change. my mind is like a picture book when it’s like this. i go page to page with every time i see someone.
today i was with my friend torie, and we always have extensively long dinners. tonight having been two and a half hours. she was telling a story about a boy she was recently seeing and then i imagined her as a black cut-out stencil, like the ones you see in pop-up crafts. and i thought it was beautiful, the way the cut out stencil was 2d but lived in a 3d world. the shadow of her stencil was always dancing, swaying, to be exact.
i don’t know what this means but i think it’s the land where you are always happy, where you are always free. it is the woman inside of you that has broken free of her depression, the one that has moved forward from her broken heart. i think that woman exists because of the boy that has magically appeared in your life.
you told me this is the first boy where you are unfiltered, where you can finally feel like yourself. i think he’s teaching you how to love who you are on the inside…and outside. i’m not sure. i don’t know many sides of you yet.
and these, these are the best kind of stories, the best kind of symbols.