Aug 31, 2007

The upside and the downside

I'm not really a fearful person, truthfully. I mean, I have my quirks. The ocean is not my friend. My dad loves rock climbing and I pretended to, growing up but truthfully, I never got over the heights thing. And airplanes terrify me, though I do my best to hide this fact from my five year old, who I have managed to convince that airplanes are great fun.

I'm not afraid to say what needs to be said, when there's a compelling reason to say it. I try to stay very friendly and upbeat if the conversation is a controversial one, but I don't cave. I'm someone who feels a need to speak up. Not all the time, but when someone is being hurt, for instance, or something isn't quite right and might lead some people astray, that sort of thing.

But I never like the aftermath. I don't like when a conversation descends into bickering. If someone gets upset at me for something I say, I do my best to de-escalate...

but I don't apologize. Not if I feel that something needed to be said.

The upside of being a person who thinks about things a little too hard, who is articulate for the most part, and who speaks up when necessary= I feel like I can be an instrument for good. I feel powerful.

The downside= people either love what you say, or they hate what you say. There is no moderation, no in- between, and people tend to be intimidated by you after you say it, no matter if they agree or not.

Sigh. But what can you do?

2 comments:

Lucy Stern said...

You better be willing to stand up to what you say. Don't say it if you can't do it... Sometimes it's better to shut up and listen than jump in an say something that you will regret later....I guess what I am trying to say is, think before you talk.

NoSurfGirl said...

absolutely agreed.

There are times to speak and times to remain silent.

I just wish, sometimes, that all times were times to remain silent, then I wouldn't have to say anything.