Anyone who knows me personally can tell you in an instant that the personality I project through writing is completely different from the one I project through actual conversation. On paper, or in this case, screen, I can confidently say things I would never say in person.
It’s relatively easy for me to write what I’m thinking. However, in conversation, the constant measures I take to edit and censor myself make me seem aloof, at best, and painfully awkward and shy at worst.
The reasons why I censor my speaking so much are numerous, but it really mostly comes down to how I was in my childhood.
When I was between the ages of 7 and 10 I often said things that most people wouldn’t. And while this behavior is sometimes perceived as cut before the age of five, after that cutoff, it just comes off as offensive an annoying. Often, after people discovered this little “quirk” of mine, they would stop talking to me altogether. So I developed a way to censor myself around the age of 10. This unfortunately, caused people to withdraw even further from me, an most kids saw me as oddly quiet.
After a few years of this, I decided to start writing, which, as I said before, helped my confidence immensely. When I found myself thinking something I thought would illicit a negative reaction from someone, I would write it down.
Soon, I started writing everything in a journal. My journal entries turned to poetry and stories, and thus, my love of writing was cemented.
But my increased interest in writing was detrimental to my social skills. I became increasingly more withdrawn as a teenager than I was as a child. This was something that kept me with only a select few friends, and with quite a few people seeing me as rude and off-putting.
Thankfully, these days, I’m seeing my social skills start to improve as I meet more people like me, and I’ve reconnected with some people from my past, especially since I started this little blog of mine.
My anxiety has gone down within the past year, and, while I wouldn’t say I have a thriving social life, I’m miles ahead of where I was just a few years ago. I’ve found that having someone listen to my weird little rants and thoughts every once in a while has helped me grow as a person.
And even if no one reads this, at least I’ve written it. This has the potential to reach a lot of people, and if I tried this in person, say through a vlog, I wouldn’t even be half as verbose a this. But that’s something that I’m working on. People respond well to me when I appear confident, and I’m slowly getting more sure of myself everyday. Which, like most things in life, is easier said than done.