Tuesday, 6 October 2015

I prefer to talk directly

When it comes to personal matters and feelings, especially when there's a conflict, I prefer talking to people face-to-face to messaging.
There was a time when I chose the opposite. It was easy to express myself that way. It was easy to put things down on paper, or send words across the screen. I had time and I had a flow and my flow wouldn't be interrupted. Speaking to people in person, I would mumble, I would stutter, I would be cut short, I would stop to find words, I would lose the flow, I would lose my train of thought, I would forget what to say, I would fail to say what needs to be said and later would imagine the whole scene with witty comebacks and other things that should have been uttered. In writing I could have expressed everything, and did. Because it's easy, I forgot that it was for a human being, with feelings and pride and vulnerability and an ego. Because it's easy, I underestimated the impact of my words. Because it's easy, I released my anger or bitterness without thinking that it wasn't gone, only transferred to the other person. Because it's easy, I went as far as I could have gone. Too far. 
Today I choose the hard way. Directness. Facing the person to whom I need to talk. Then I can see the reactions, the facial expressions and gestures. Then I can see the effect of my words and know when to stop and whether to change the tone or rephrase my lines. A guy thinks because I read literature, I'm capable of expressing myself clearly and well in writing. Yet because I read literature, I interpret things in multiple ways, see various possibilities, construct several plots in my head, attach perhaps more meaning to words than the writer themselves, assume, guess, get obsessed with my own ideas, get carried away, turn excited, let my thoughts run around uncontrolled all the way over a cliff like Gabriel Oak's sheep... 
Of course it's not good to generalise, there are times when writing is the better option. You get more things said that way, unless the other person tears up the letter before reading it. But when there's a conflict that needs to be sorted out, perhaps it's better to talk to people about it face-to-face. My preference after several tough lessons, anyway. 

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