Thursday, April 26, 2012

My defenses

I want people to talk to me, so I stay quiet.
I want to keep my emotions to myself, so I wear a blank expression.
I want to be thought of as interesting, so I share only the thoughts that interest me.
I want people to think I'm happy, so I smile.
I want to make people feel comfortable around me, so I avoid direct eye contact.
I want to be easygoing, so I act bored.
I want to seem like I understand, so I laugh.
I want to be heard, so I speak too loudly.
I want to hide my nervousness, so I stay perfectly still.

These are my defenses. If they have offended you, I apologize. They have nothing to do with anybody but me.


Austin said...

in my humble opinion the guard you set up can also act as a filter to only let worthwhile people through.

It's no secret that I didn't care for you when I first met you, but after getting to know you I found you were one of the coolest people I know, one of the best people to talk to and one of the most fun.

that being said, a guard you set up is still a guard, and it's very brave of you to acknowledge and even apologize for it.

Jacob I. McMillan said...

See, that opinion may have some truth to it, but it's still a character flaw. As if I'm so elitist I will only deign to behave like myself if I deem the person "worthy". I think it's more of a trust issue for me. I don't like trusting people because of the position of vulnerability it puts me in, and I need to work on that.

Thanks for saying those things. I think you know I regard you as one of the better friends I've ever made, and that's saying something. I don't get close to many people. Even right now I'm thinking about deleting this comment and starting over for fear of revealing too much. But I won't, because it'll give you some idea of the state I'm in.

Tracie said...

I think many of us set up defenses to one degree or another. Austin uses humor. Whether it's a good thing or not probably depends. I try to set up defenses but I'm terrible at it. I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to be more open than I should. This leads to me being let down and hurt by others. I guess I'd rather risk that than feel like I can't be myself.

It took me awhile to see past a lot of these guards you put up and realize that who you appear to be is not who you really are.

You're a kinder, more loyal, and accepting person than you allow others to perceive you as.

I agree with Austin that it's brave for you to put this out here. I hope you can come to realize that you can trust others. Some will not be worth the time, but on the other hand, the greatest rewards don't come without their risks or effort. (Except for those random flukes of nature.)

And in my experience, being vulnerable has a major upside. True the risk of getting hurt is higher, but so are the benefits of experiencing intimacy and closeness with others. Because I derive a lot of joy in life from my connection to others, to me it is worth the risk. Life is too short for surface relationships. I want to love and be loved. To hell with the risks. And those are my thoughts.