Sure, I always had opinions I wanted to share, but I learned early on that doing so could get me into trouble.
I was a precocious kid. A super nerd, who always thought he was right, and didn’t have nearly enough social skills to realize people didn’t like a know it all.
Apparently, sharing my Deep Thoughts rubbed people the wrong way. Especially those older than me, who didn’t appreciate being shown up by some geeky little kid.
I finally got it through my thick skull that I wasn’t making any friends by showing off how smart I was.
My stepmother was also fond of the quote:
Children should be seen and not heard.
I eventually got the message, and retreated into my shell. That was probably the first major step to my becoming an introvert. So rather than sharing my bright ideas with a world that just didn’t understand me, I put them into my stories.
Writing became my escape, not only from the tedium of the outside world, but also from the eye rolls and confused looks of those somehow trapped in a conversation with me.
And I was cool with it.
I wasn’t fond of being the super smart outcast that no one wanted to take the time to get to know, so it was easier to just hide in my room and let my characters banter.
As I got older, it became harder to hide out and fill five subject notebooks with stories that I would never show another soul.
Eventually, I wanted to mingle with other people. The opposite sex caught my attention, and I quickly deduced that no one was going to date the silent recluse.
As awkward as that was.
I just had to learn to curb my enthusiasm for showing off how much I knew about certain subjects, and try to focus on being charming rather than a treasure trove of useless trivia that no teenage girl cared about.
So maybe now you understand why I never had a girlfriend until college.
When I finally got into a serious relationship, I couldn’t help but put my untapped Debate Team skills on display.
J and I would argue a lot.
We were both very intelligent, very opinionated, and very stubborn.
As a writer, I felt it was my responsibility to my chosen profession to show off my command of words every time J and I got into an argument.
In other words, I thought I had had to win every fight.
I always had to get in the last word.
How stupid can someone so bright be?
Well, I was an idiot. My marriage fell apart for many reasons, but my refusal to back away from an argument was near the top.
I’ve made an effort to shove my Inner Debater into a locker in the darkest corner of the abandoned gymnasium in my mind.
He does get out every now and then. The Sweet Irish Girl certainlyknew how to lure him out of hiding. I think it was her brogue that did it.
Nevertheless, that relationship didn’t work out in the end, either.
Now, when I express my opinions, I do so mainly on my blog. That way, it’s all one sided and I’m not pissing off someone face to face. And technically, I always get the last word.
But debating isn’t always wrong, Modern Philosophers.
This morning, in fact, I texted one of my closest friends and told her how much I’ve been enjoying debating her about a certain topic.
It’s all done in fun, of course, and I enjoy the witty verbal sparring. She’s going through a hard time at the moment, so I’m hoping that our little debate is distracting her and making her smile. And giving her something to think about when she feels lost or alone.
Debating can be fun with the right partner. One doesn’t need to be a Disney Princess to know when it’s time to let it go…