Confessions of a Big Mouth
Since I was old enough to talk, I’ve never been shy about expressing my feelings or opinions. I was the kid that told you that you talk to much (hypocritically of course), or that I didn’t like your shirt. I was often told to leave the room when adults were conversing because I would either attempt to join the conversation or repeat it later, which lead to some awkward interactions for my family members. I was told over and over to be a lawyer, because I could argue with anyone about anything — and I would. My ability and willingness to call someone on their bull crap was something my mom always told me I’d end up getting my ass beat for (I never did), but nevertheless — she told me never to filter myself and always stand up for my convictions. What doesn’t kill you……, right?
I grew up at a kitchen table where healthy heated debates were common. As a result, I’ve never felt bad for having or communicating strong opinions. Whether it be political, personal, or religious; my family didn’t have any “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies. We “yelled” (spoke loudly: anyone who isn’t Italian or Irish Catholic wouldn’t know the difference) and pounded our fists on the table expressing ourselves, openly — not worried about hurting feelings (because it was way less common back then) and get this everyone still got a hug and kiss goodnight.
I started thinking about this last night while getting ready for my Monday. My husband was unhappy with a political conversation I was having online because he read a lot of the conversation as anger, when in reality it was just a healthy squabble between two different sides of an opinion. I wasn’t bothered, but he was. His perception was that someone was being rude to his wife. I was frustrated, but then realized that not everyone gets a “debate,” some only see it as an argument rather than an outward expression of passionate opinion. He wanted me to shush, to avoid conflict. His least favorite thing in life is confrontation of any kind. The trouble is, this is something I literally don’t know HOW to do. I don’t know how to shut up, and attempts to teach me were/are largely unsuccessful. I’m passionate and hot headed, whether it be about whose running for president or a silly awards ceremony. I am who I am, and who I’ve always been (without apology).
I guess the real point of this blog is that because of technology, social media is the new “kitchen table” and if you’re going to be passionate, remember to stay tactile (I sometimes need to take my own advice). The people you’re talking to are on your “friends” list after all and if you want to keep them there, argue the opinion but don’t take it to a level where your friendship becomes compromised. Remind yourself that some don’t “get” debates and will think you are attacking them personally and that typing will rarely come across the same way as speaking your opinion does, it will be misconstrued as anger from time to time — and that is just because everyone reads things differently.
Debate is healthy and it’s okay to get heated — just remember “everyone still got a hug and kiss goodnight.”