Why You’re Not Getting Your Ideas Out There

As the world succumbs to great leaders such as Obama, Margaret Thatcher, and even Hitler alike, it has been shown through out the years that confidence and their ability to effectively assert their messages to mass audiences were the key to move people and even change the course of history. For people like them — yes, obviously the notion of bringing about change in society is what they have for breakfast. But what about people you and me, the very people who barely think much of ourselves and much less our place in society, how do we make change? How can our ideas move people? No, the idea is never to leave out our portion of ideas when it comes to making a communal change. It would be such a shame for all of us if we were to leave those great ideas to be tangled up in our heads. Noted that many of those ideas are crazy, unrealistic, and down-right unimportant, it’s still nice to have other people listen to what crazy ideas you have up there. Just for the fun of it.

It is a common perception that confidence and great communication skills arise naturally to those who have extroverted personalities and vice versa. First, let me correct that note by saying that extroverts aren’t always those who are always confident. Rather, extroverts are people who gain energy from the people around them whilst introverts tend to gain energy from themselves. Second, as an introvert myself, I tend to lay low, get my daily dose of fun from being around books, watching movies, and just wandering about my own mind. Implicitly, I express my thoughts and ideas on the books I read, the music I listen to, and the random daily activities I do. Yhaa, ngode lah ya istilah Indonesia gaulnya mah. I’ve always thought I had a weird mind, so finding a way to express my ideas has been quite a task. I've always sucked at making stories at school (and was even worse at making poems). So as far as primal instinct on threat and possible danger goes, I've always hated writing. However, much as I hate it — and this — it beats my verbal communication skills any day.

Noted that many of those ideas are crazy, unrealistic, and down-right unimportant, it’s still nice to have other people listen to what crazy ideas you have up there. Just for the fun of it.

Like many of you introverted-people-who-want-to-express-yourselves-and-be-part-of-society, I, too, want (my ideas) to be heard even if I lack the communication skills needed to accomplish that. Over the years, I have made my own hypothesis on why I have so much trouble in expressing my ideas and thoughts. Below are 10 reasons why many people struggle with self expression. (Based on the 10 listed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.)

1. Conflict Phobia

You are afraid of angry feelings or conflicts with people. You may believe that people with good relationships should not engage in verbal “fights” or intense arguments. In addition, you may believe that disclosing your thoughts and feelings to those you care about would result in their rejection of you. This is sometimes referred to as the “ostrich phenomenon” — burying your head in the sand instead of addressing relationship problems.

2. Emotional Perfectionism

You believe that you should not have feelings such as anger, jealousy, depression, or anxiety. You think you should always be rational and in control of your emotions. You are afraid of being exposed as weak and vulnerable. You believe that people will belittle or reject you if they know how you really feel.

3. Fear of Disapproval and Rejection

You are so terrified by rejection and ending up alone that you would rather swallow your feelings and put up with some abuse than take the chance of making anyone mad at you. You feel an excessive need to please people and to meet what you perceive to be their expectations. You are afraid that people would not like you if you expressed your thoughts and feelings.

4. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

You pout and hold your hurt or angry feelings inside instead of disclosing what you feel. You give others the silent treatment, which is inappropriate, and a common strategy to elicit feelings of guilt (on their part).

5. Hopelessness

You are convinced that your relationship cannot improve no matter what you do. You may feel that you have already tried everything and nothing works. You may believe that your spouse (or partner) is just too stubborn and insensitive to be able to change. These positions represent a self-fulfilling prophecy–once you give up, an established position of hopelessness supports your predicted outcome.

6. Low Self-Esteem

You believe that you are not entitled to express your feelings or to ask others for what you want. You think you should always please other people and meet their expectations.

7. Spontaneity

You believe that you have the right to say what you think and feel when you are upset. (Generally, feelings are best expressed during a calm and structured or semi-structured exchange.) Structuring your communication does not result in a perception that you are “faking” or attempting to inappropriately manipulate others.

8. Mind Reading

You believe that others should know how you feel and what you need (although you have not disclosed what you need). The position that individuals close to you can “divine” what you need provides an excuse to engage in non-disclosure, and thereafter, to feel resentful because people do not appear to care about your needs.

9. Martyrdom

You are afraid to admit that you are angry, hurt, or resentful because you do not want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing that her or his behavior is unacceptable. Taking pride in controlling your emotions and experiencing hurt or resentment does not support clear and functional communication.

10. Need to Solve Problems

When you have a conflict with an individual (i.e., your needs are not being met), avoiding the associated issues is not a functional solution. Disclosing your feelings and being willing to listen without judgment to the other is constructive.

When reading the list above for the first time, being the introvert that I am, I automatically categorized myself in all of the 10 reasons. As much as I would love to be extroverted and confident, to the extent of whether I can change my personality or not, I am quite doubtful at this age. The reason why I posted this was; 1. as a form of me finally attempting to master the art of communication (big yay!), 2. for others to understand that there are many people, alike myself, who have a hard time in expressing what they want to say. No matter how wild or petty your ideas are, or how much of an extrovert-introvert you (or society) think you are, it’s always nice to be heard.

May, 16th. The year of the Goat/Sheep.

For the love of crazy and down-right unimportant ideas,

P.s : Keeping all that in mind, please don’t forget to also listen!


List cited from http://psychcentral.com/lib/10-reasons-you-cant-say-how-you-feel/0002167

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