I’ve been told that because of the fact that I am quiet and careful with my words (for the majority of the time, definitely not always, and sometimes I lose my shit…oops), people actually listen when I have something to say. I’ve always hated this about myself because often, once I’ve decided what I want to say, the moment is gone and the conversation has moved on. However, words mean a lot to me. They don’t come out of my mouth easily or beautifully, but when they do, they have usually been thought through…multiple times…sometimes too many times.
However, there many reasons for why I am this way. First of all, I have ADHD, which can cause my thoughts to go all over the place and I can’t quite catch them in time to put them into a sentence worth saying, or because of the ADHD I checked out halfway through the conversation and am now thinking about…birds…or something…not that what we are talking about is boring, it’s just what my brain does. I also have the INFJ (sometimes INFP) personality type, which can keep me in my head at times and to be observant of other people. I am an ambivert, so sometimes I can become overwhelmed or underwhelmed by someone’s energy and I find myself either in a bad mood, needing to introvert or just feeling exhausted.
Jane is an ENTJ, so we’re quite different, really. She’s loud at times, she’s a leader, she’s extremely blunt and is not afraid to speak her mind, as I wrote about in the post Fate with a Twist, she is willing to kick the guys out of her house. She will say without hesitation, “I am Queen!” And the guys know they have to listen and respect her. She has a “swear jar,” since she has a 5 year old girl. She started this swear jar when she was 2. Needless to say, her college fund has been growing over the past three years.
She often says that she wishes she could be like me, and sit and listen to people rather than just rambling and always feeling the need to speak up. I always tell her that I admire her ability to speak what is on her mind so clearly and beautifully. She is extremely intelligent and has a passionate way of speaking that can be very captivating. I love this and I try to encourage her in this. She speaks quickly and beautifully, while I mull over the words and ideas that I want to say before I say them.
Example: her husband Todd leads a Bible study, which is very interesting, because we’re all made up of people who get drunk from time to time, cuss a little, sometimes sleep with people we aren’t married to, etc. but I think that’s what makes for interesting, challenging and good conversations.
Rabbit Trails. Ugh. ADHD. Ugh.
Back to the point: often, Jane speaks up, shares her thoughts and feelings and is very open about her life and her struggles. She’ll call herself a “bitch,” and will give examples of why that is true in her mind. She’ll point out “controversial” issues, such as believing that abortion is not really what she prefers, but she sees the benefits of it, which is not something typically expressed at Bible studies. She’s willing to be different, to lead, to give knew and interesting ideas. She’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, even if later, she’s like, “damn it, why did I say all of that? Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut sometimes?” And I reassure her that giving her perspective on something is not wrong.
So this one time, we were reading 1 Tim. and there was a verse that stood out to me that no one was talking about. Everyone was discussing God’s grace and forgiveness and love, but the verses that stood out to me were where it basically said that if people who are not Christians are committing “sinful acts,” then God shows His grace; however, Christians do not see quite the same amount of grace. They are supposed to “know better and do better,” and if they do not, God could very easily allow them to go through some difficult times, and there were examples given on that. I mulled this thought over in my mind for quite some time because I wanted to say it in the “right way,” and almost missed the moment…but when we were asked if there was anything else anyone wanted to add, I brought that up…everyone just sat there like, well, shit. Sometimes, I think people would probably rather me not speak out about what is on my mind hah.
By the way, I definitely didn’t point these verses out because I was “condemning” others. I do soooo many things (I’ve written about quite a few of them, actually) that would be “sinful” and things that God would disapprove of. But people tend to only talk about the things like love and grace, and ignore the fact that, sometimes, God lets us go through some shit. I believe in God and have love for Him in my heart.
But anyways, this is just to be used as an example of the differences in our way of thinking/speaking. We are all different and that’s a beautiful thing. I can write my thoughts and feelings out all day, but sharing them verbally is a whole different story. Sometimes, it’s easy. Other times, it feels nearly impossible.
So no matter whether you are a person who can speak up and share your thoughts, ideas, perspectives, etc. very openly, or if you take a lot of time to listen to others and give your thoughts, ideas, perspectives, etc. sparingly, see that there is good in both. Can you imagine if everyone just sat there wanting to listen to other people or taking forever to think before speaking? The conversation could get very boring or awkward. Or if everyone was extremely outgoing and shared everything on their mind and didn’t take enough time to listen to one another? The conversation would always be one sided, no one listening to each other, everyone simply trying to get their opinions out.
We all have the ability to listen and speak. It’s important that you allow yourself to be different and share your differences openly, and also to listen to other people’s points of views as well.
Embrace who you are. Love yourself. You are beautifully and wonderfully made.