“The silent people are the ones who have the most to say but can’t find the words.”
Hi friends. The quote above was something I wrote on a day when I was trying to figure out what I was feeling inside my chaotic mind. Usually when I am feeling a lot, I use writing as my outlet. But there are just some days that no matter what I try to write, I just can’t find the words.
Everyone at some point in their life has probably felt so much and so many different emotions that they don’t even know where to start. We try to pick one feeling that we’re experiencing and find the reason behind it, and then move on to the next one, just to make sense out of everything. But sometimes so many emotions are maneuvering around each other and intertwining, that we can’t decipher them. That’s when we become silent.
Sometimes when people are silent, others automatically assume it’s because they are sad. As that can be true, that’s not always the case. I have had experiences where I just had a lot on my mind or was too consumed by my thoughts that I couldn’t focus on a conversation. I do understand from someone else’s point of view, how I probably seem like I am down or feeling sad when I get like this. And some days, I am sad, but silence doesn’t always mean that.
It’s hard when we get in moods like this because we may not know what we need, and others may not know how to respond or help us. Everyone handles things differently and has different needs and that’s okay. We always learn more about ourselves when we have times like this. We learn how to decipher our emotions, we learn what we need, and how to communicate that to other people. In my own experiences, I have learned that my needs can differ depending on how I’m feeling at the time. It can go one of two ways…..
1) If my mind is going in too many different directions and I truly can’t decipher what is going on, I like to stay silent and hope that the other person I am with is understanding of that. What I have learned from this, is that I need to be better at communicating this to people. I need to remember that it’s okay to just say, “I am quieter today because I have a lot on my mind and may stay silent while I try to decipher the thoughts I am having”. It’s okay to be transparent with those close to you. This helps me because I don’t feel this elephant in the room that I am causing by being silent, and it helps the other person understand why I may be more quiet than usual. Communication is key in every situation.
2) If I have a lot on my mind, but I may have a better handle on my thoughts, it helps me to talk out loud about it with someone. I’m not necessarily looking for advice or someone’s opinion, but more so just looking for an ear to listen while I try to figure out my thoughts. This is also something I am learning to communicate with others. I have to remember that it’s okay to say “I have a lot on my mind. Do you mind listening while I try to figure out my thoughts?” This helps me by having an ear to listen to while I figure stuff out, but also gives others the knowledge of what I am needing. Again, communication is everything.
I am very thankful that I have friends and family that I can go to when I need to vent or figure out things and I hope everyone out there has that person they can go to. Sometimes when we get stuck inside our own heads, we get so consumed by it that we might actually feel alone. We have all these thoughts swimming around and we can’t explain it enough for others to understand it, so we may feel alone with all the chaos. Honestly, sometimes trying to think of ways to explain what’s going on inside our minds is so frustrating, that it feels easier to be silent and keep it to ourselves. I have often wished there was a way for me to have a video or a hologram of what is going inside my mind, so that I would show my family instead of trying to explain it. I don’t want them to feel what I am going through, but I want them to see it and understand, so that I don’t have to try and explain it. Something I may work on in the future ;)
Even though we may be silent, having someone notice that we are quiet means a lot in itself, even if they can’t fully understand it. If you are someone that notices others when they aren’t themselves, you are already being a great friend. Having someone notice something is wrong without you saying anything is wonderful in itself. It means that someone cares enough to notice when you aren’t your usual self. Even if that person has their own life to worry about and still notices, well that means you are important to them. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of my sad phases and someone notices that I’m not myself, I get frustrated realizing I can’t explain what’s going on, but honestly, I forget that them asking means they notice and that I have someone on my side. So, to everyone who notices, thank you.
Some things I have done to help with the continuous thoughts is to write it out. I am an external processer, which means I have to either talk out loud or write down my thoughts in order to understand them. Some people are able to internally pack away their thoughts into boxes, which I admire, but I get too overwhelmed keeping it inside. Writing helps me separate my feelings and emotions and helps me understand why I have them or what they relate to. This helps me process them and move on. Everyone has their own way of processing things and I would be very interested to hear about them!
All in all, there are so many ways that someone could be silent and since each person’s reason is different, that means we each have to learn how to process and communicate differently what we need. If you need to stay silent and have people leave you alone, communicate that. If you want to try to talk about what you’re feeling, communicate that. Communication goes a long way in every aspect of our life, but especially when we are trying to discuss something as personal as our mental health. If you have any ideas about how to communicate or how you process your emotions and you want to share, I am always happy to read or listen. Let’s continue on this journey together. Stay tuned, friends.
Photo credit: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-joy-of-companionable-silence/