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If you don’t ask for it, the answer will always be no.

If you don’t speak up, you won’t be heard.

If you can’t convey what you want, you’ll never get it.

Most of my life, I was very quiet about my wants, my needs, and in general.

I’m pretty quiet in general, but I’m not quiet about my comfort zone anymore.

Drunk people make me uncomfortable. The dating scene makes me uncomfortable. Pseudo formalities make me uncomfortable.

Business suits make me extremely uncomfortable.

I don’t like to be around people who aren’t in control of their words, emotions, or selves. I don’t like watching girls pretend to be interested in each other’s stories while they’re scoping the guys nearby. I don’t like small talk with anyone.

I hate the feeling I get when I put on a business suit (whether that’s a dress or a suit jacket).

Because of this, you will never catch me uncomfortable, because I don’t hang around people who drink too much or out of societal pressures. I usually leave any place where the dating scene feels a bit too Discovery Channel for me. I answer a small talk question, but I no longer reciprocate to diffuse the awkwardness; I am content in silence.

I’m donating all of my suits.

I have been uncomfortable in my life, and it wasn’t until this year (I know, how sad), that I decided to put my foot down.

Here’s how and why:

I give everyone a fair chance (sometimes more than they deserve, but I have a hard time grasping that some people are no-good people. How can that be? Wouldn’t you want to change? What is wrong with you? Please see a therapist or something. What the heck.) I know you’re not supposed to expect anything, but I expect the same in return.

Treat others as you would like to be treated. Is this a selfish thing or is it considerate? When I was seventeen, I thought it was selfish, and maybe then it was.

It’s not selfish anymore. If it was a selfish thing, believe me, I wouldn’t be considerate anymore. Not to get all “woe is me,” but if I had a penny for every time I gave considerable thought (and action) to inconsiderate people—I would probably have $924,238.

That’s a lot.

So, I’ve always been considerate, but I’ve never really voiced my desires or my needs.

Growing up, I was always passive-aggressive.

This year, I quit that act. Did I get anything with passive-aggression? Sure, but it took a heck of a lot longer, and I was pretty miserable. The trouble with me is my sensitivity. I take things personally (I know, nothing is personal—I get it, in theory).

So, this year, I opened my mouth, because I had nothing to lose. I was the most vocal I have ever been in my life. I thought fireworks would go off. I thought the moon would come down and shake my hand. I was well-versed. I was calm. I was collected. I was concise. I expected big things to happen. I expected good things to happen.

Nothing happened.

Nothing.

Here’s the thing: nothing happening is something happening (I know, but please stick with me). If I had been full of thoughts, full of ideas—I’d have never gotten nothing. I would have been sitting in something that meant nothing. I would be clueless.

You can’t get what you want if you don’t vocalize it.

Ever.

No one can read your mind. Even if they could read your mind (huge assumption), they could feign ignorance. Unless you say “I want this” or “I don’t want that,” you will never get anything.

The beauty of vocalization is that it doesn’t have to be in the form of a question. No one likes the black and white as much as I do, but questions don’t have to be asked. Sometimes, you just have to tell someone how you feel about something.

You can’t expect (and you shouldn’t) someone to do something FOR you or BECAUSE of you. I say this, because I wouldn’t want someone to expect anything of me. If I give you something, it’s of my own freewill (or perhaps I was held at gunpoint, but that’s doubtful).

This is where comfort and consideration come into play.

Sometimes, (and I wish I could say ALL THE TIMES EVER) people are incredibly receptive and responsive to your feelings. Other times (a couple more than I care to relive), people aren’t responsive.

Now, whether it’s because they don’t care (they probably don’t, sorry), or because they genuinely are clueless (I don’t believe this one exists), I can’t tell you.

It also doesn’t matter which one.

If after vocalization, your comfort zone isn’t where you feel it should be—you have your answer.

It’s probably not the answer you wanted, and you can beat the horse to death (it’s dead, though—trust me, it’s dead. I can go ask Florence, but I assure you–it’s dead, and I’m so sorry. I can make you a bangin’ playlist if you’d like, though), or you can move on.

This is in respects to many aspects of life.

To list a few:
-asking for a raise, vocalizing your worth
-respect in friendships
-boundaries with certain people
-significant others (or not so significant [whatever the case may be])
-situations with coworkers
-anything ever (because your comfort zone surrounds you)

What you choose to do with your responses (or lack thereof) is solely up to you. I’m one of those people who hates regrets. My life is too long to stay up at night and wonder “what if” about anything.

Anything.

If I have a question about something, I take my time, but once I’m concrete on my feelings (this can take a few…days, weeks—months), you can’t shake me. I don’t like the gray area. I don’t want to wonder about something, when I could just know for a fact.

Of course, people can also lie straight to your face about things (people, you are such a glorious thing—truly, I love you), but that’s another story for another time.

I can make up a thousand reasons for why things are the way they are, but I’ll probably miss the truth. So, unless you vocalize something, you’re never going to know.

Finally, if it isn’t addressed, go to where it is addressed. It may be a lonely existence occasionally (I took up knitting on a whim, and I’m super happy that I did), but you won’t make yourself uncomfortable. You should love you. You should work at that. Be the best you that you can be.

If you feel uncomfortable–that feeling in your gut–cut your losses. I say vocalize things, but you can’t beat a dead horse. See, once I learned to vocalize, I wanted to learn why my issues weren’t met head on. I’m the kind of person that needs answers, though, and this is also something I’ve learned is moot. If you “need an answer,” it’s nothing good.

Trust me.

If it was good, you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I’m still learning this, and yes, many of my realizations aren’t as pleasant as I thought they’d be, but they’re reality. I can live in a world of my own making, but why give people credit for things they’re incapable of (they’re capable but unwilling)? I’m still new to this, but I will say that it’s refreshing to see things as they are and not how I’d like them to be (I write novels, because people are never as good as I think they should be).

It isn’t a competition, either. I’m not saying I’ve always been the most receptive person (sometimes, I’ve intentionally been the opposite).

I feel like this is vague, but I’ll make it less vague with this:

“Say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

**and those who don’t mind-—hang on to them, because they are hard to find. That’s something I know for sure.

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