I believe that the most suitable form to be is to be average. When you’re average you fit in perfectly. People around you don’t have much problems understanding you. You use basic words and sentencesn so expressing yourself is quite usual and others perceive you in a range totally understandable to themselves without cutting your parts of own expression off and partially getting what you just said. Simplified – you fit precisely in other people’s frame.
When I was a kid my mother brought me up pretty strictly. I was always forbidden to speak. Whenever I tried to comment something or to express my own opinion I would be criticized and immediately quieten. I understood it as “everything you say is wrong”.
My parents signed me in kindergarten at very young age, I think I was about 4. I didn’t get along good with all those children. Most of them were uninteresting to me, even intrusive.
During elementary school I’ve had a communication issue. I wouldn’t talk. When teacher asked me something in front of the whole class I would answer in a silent tone. In other situations when no one asked me anything I’d be just quiet. Why should I speak if I had nothing to say? So I was recognized in class as someone who can’t speak. “There’s that girl who can’t speak.” “She’s clumsy that’s why she has nothing to say” “She’s stupid, stupid kids don’t speak” etc. So my teacher recognized the problem and talked to my mother about it, so “they two could fix it (me)”. That teacher was “not-for-people person”. Even her adult colleagues jibed at her and her older son tried to commit a suicide some years after. So yes, they built up my self esteem. Somehow I got over social anxiety and managed those speaking skills, although it was still present. And still is. I’m kind of afraid of people and their reaction, even in older age.
I lived through elementary school and somehow got a bit used on it, but it was soon over. The new challenge was high school. In the beginning it was of course awful. I lightly knew only three persons in my new class. And of course some people didn’t like me. At that time I was a boy. I didn’t put any make up. I wore comfy clothes. I lived trough people issues again. It was better than elementary school experience.
As I’ve said in my earlier posts, the highest recognition I felt in Capitol. During that part of my life I’ve met all kinds of people, but the most valuable thing was understanding I found. It is completely fine to think and say and do that in front of people who’ll listen to you and (try) to get your point instead of exclude you as some weirdie.
The thing about social phobias is that they are partially inherited and partially shaped by surrounding you’re in. At least one of your parents is constantly convincing you that you shouldn’t speak because you’ll: offend someone, be rude, represent yourself in a bad manner by whatever you say. That is because someone taught THEM the same thing and now they’re doing it to you with an addition of sharp criticism. Being silent isn’t equal being polite. And continuously showing that pattern in front of strangers you communicate to you send one clear message: “it doesn’t matter what I say, all that matters is what you say, I’ll say nothing” and they accept it and accept you as someone transparent so your phobia is even more intense.
People live their whole lives with it. Can that kill you?
My mother has the same problem. She does people related job. She never speaks out but keeps it in herself. She suffered severe autoimmune disease last year. She’s better now but her lifestyle changed. Except personal expression and communication. She kept that unchanged in order, again, not to offend anyone. She taught me that. Never say anything to anyone but stand quiet. And one major phenomenon that shaped my mother’s personality was also her mother and her sisters. Most of the time they criticize her and they have lack of understanding for her although she’s their closest relative. And on the other hand, she never countered.
I’ve had troubles with getting rid of that standard. So my aunts now often call me rude and impolite.
Which one is worse – saying nothing and letting it kill you or say all the stuff that’s on your mind and letting that kill you?
It is normal and humane to be kind to others and respect their thoughts and emotions. In order with that you must find a suitable way and the right words to express yourself and by that not to offend the other one. So nothing is black and white. The trouble is that, by my personal statistics only a small percentage of people respect others and treat them in a neutral, really socially acceptable way. And you must find a way to talk with that kind of people also. And of course not offending them either.
Communication is a challenge. It is even more challenging when you have an inner struggle. Finding yourself and finding your own place is the only solution to get yourself together and consolidate your own ideas and attitudes. Others will get along with it or they don’t, but either way it is pointless winking at the blind man.
Don’t hesitate, speak out. As an introvert you observed and saw lots of things that others couldn’t. You have so much to say. Even more brilliant stuff than other louder people would ever shout about.