This year I have heard the words “stop hiding” said to me a lot of situations that had to do with my views on things. I never saw it as hiding, but I do know I have fears regarding it. So I have made it a mission to be a little less fearful. This will be difficult on one side because my personality is an ISFJ, and I’m quite terrible at confrontation. So when I’ve talked about hard things, it’s usually through internet or texting. You don’t need to tell me how “pathetic” that may sound to some. But it’s the only way I could get myself to speak my mind about anything because I’m still learning to open my mouth when needed at the age of 23. I don’t intend to ever be someone who never stops talking once I find my voice. I’m a listener at heart. But when asked or when necessary, I’d like to find some small piece of confidence in the cramped spaces of my mind to speak what I know.
I’ve been told to stop hiding behind Christianity, to stop hiding behind my phone. But in a world that looks down upon you for having a different viewpoint than the person standing before you, or even the majority in general, it can be hard to want to speak up. Criticism and deep frowns either tend to cause more deep frowns or, in most of my cases, a caving in on oneself by feeling slightly ashamed while simultaneously not really swaying on what I believed to be true. The tone of one’s voice and the posture of one’s stance means a great deal. I am alert to emotion, and when some form relating to anger or irritation pull ahead, it becomes hard for me to find my words because I’d rather focus on calming the situation than answer the question.
There would be more discussion if the important topics were more approachable than they are now. There are the occasional few who may be set in their ways, but are willing to listen to what you have to say. But there are also those who are more interested in telling you what they have to say. Then there are others who would rather not talk about it at all and revert to changing the subject to surface level subjects. I “hid” behind the texts of my thoughts instead of using my voice because when I answer a text or after I’m done reading a text, I have time to catch my breath, to get a grip on my thoughts. My way of coping and of figuring out what I even have to say in the first place is through writing. So it looks like I’m hiding. And I think part of me was hiding. But the other part truly needs to write things out. This introverted mind of mine takes longer than the normal extrovert to answer questions or ideas through speech because my voice is not where my answers are. They are in my hands.
That does not mean I will never voice my opinions, thoughts, or views. It simply means I’m still learning how to answer in a way other than through forms of text. I don’t easily converse with people in general unless I know them, so conversing about deeper subjects takes even more effort.
This is a harsh world sometimes, and I don’t expect to be craddled. I just know that it is taking me time to step onto the battlefield. So have some patience with those who may be similar to me. Frown a little less, and maybe we will be more willing to answer you. Use a few less harsh words, and maybe you will help us find the confidence we need.