The Balancing Act Between Words and Feelings

The Balancing Act Between Words and Feelings

Dr. Seuss summed it up best. "So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!.........I meant what I said and I said what I meant........The people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind........So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life is a great balancing act."

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When did the world become so sensitive and unsympathetic at the same time? Don't get me wrong, I am probably one of the most sensitive people you could ever meet. I cry for everything, including those sappy commercials where family comes home and manages to put the coffee pot on (without waking a soul) and as they are just taking that first sip, they are greeted by someone who was carried in by the aroma. Then instantly, they share a smile and yes, I know you're singing it, "the best part of waking up….", go ahead finish it. Not the coffee..., the jingle.

Being hypersensitive is not such a bad thing. Hypersensitivity or being a "highly sensitive person" (HSP) is not a disorder. According to psychologist and psychotherapist Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., people like me can not only "read" the mood of a room quickly, but we can pick up on cues that others can not in order to weigh in on decisions we make. The author of The Highly Sensitive Person says "It's good in some situations and not in others". I remember being told that I was overly sensitive when I was growing up. I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my face, I still do.

The world seems to have lost something though. While there are many others like me, not all know how to channel that sensitivity, instead they find offense and react defensively to people and situations around them. On the flip side, we now have a new generation that feels brutal honesty is best with little or no regard as to how those on the receiving end will accept or feel about their “honesty". I realize I'm generalizing. This is not the case for all, but this seems to be the ones we hear about more frequently. There has been a shift in sentiment with a higher regard for self these days. On the opposite extreme, there are those that see everything as an indication of being slighted in some way. In fact, these days you're fortunate enough to be able to get through traffic without receiving a barrage of insults or expletives, getting flipped off, or run off the road. Worst-case scenario, as per headlines lately, a slighted driver retaliates with a high-speed chase or attaching themselves to the hood of a car banging and screaming only to end with guns, bats, or fists to demonstrate the futility of road rage.

Whatever end of the spectrum one might be, there seems to be a need to dole out more effective communication skills. A new line must be drawn allowing every color, race, gender, and religion of people to speak freely, honestly, without fear of retaliation while still having words guided by some strain of sensitivity. It has been lost in translation somehow that the spoken word may not always be received or heard in the same way by everyone who hears it. Voices DO need to be heard in order to continue progress when it comes to #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, and every other hashtag you can think of. In the end, we all have a voice but we all have feelings too. At least, I should hope we do. When we begin to lose empathy in our society, destruction is inevitable.

We learn to communicate from birth and keep learning as we grow. Our culture, upbringing, and education guide us through what's acceptable. While there should never be a need to "hold your tongue", learning and teaching common sense and sensitivity in communication ultimately begins at the beginning. My theory for most things is that most issues can lead back to the family unit. However, that's a much wider undertaking and dynamic to understand. I guess the best advice to give is what my mother always told me, “ think before you speak", and “if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all". I think I would include, “if your words don't add value to others or the world around you, keep them to yourself!"

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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Thanks To The Jonas Brothers, I Never Regret Not Dating A Teenage Boy

Ya'll made it drama free.

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All thanks to three guys from New Jersey, I never regret not having a boyfriend in Middle or High School. I started listening to the Jonas Brothers when I was in 6th grade. I was awkward, I wanted to fit in simply because I was the minority in my mostly white school district. I also wanted to feel more independent since I was reaching the ripe age of 13.

Eventually, certain things came to me where I was able to gain that independence. I had no problem talking to certain adults simply because I would just be myself, and they would have absolutely no issue with it. Then came Nick, Kevin, and Joe. They already had one album out called 'It's About Time', and too contrary belief became a classic for them to date. Eventually, as they made their approach to the Disney Channel, their popularity increased more and more. Soon enough, everyone knew of them. Even if they didn't even listen to their music, they still knew about them.

I was what you called the stereotypical 'fangirl.' I was overly protective of them whenever I would hear any guy in school call them 'gay' 'ugly' or 'untalented'. In fact, I'm very thankful that social media was not as big yet. I could not imagine going off as much as I would imagine. But there were other ways to vent. I still had some of my friends relate, but even with that, a good portion of them would tell me to stop being obsessed with them. But that only allowed my obsession to grow.

Everything that they did was a news update for me. I had to keep up with them ALL the time, no matter what the condition was. I had to know what they were doing every single day. Okay, not to a point of stalking but you get the picture. My point is that no other boy mattered at the time other than them. Joe was my favorite one so I had to keep up with him the most. Especially when he was dating someone. Yes, I will admit that some of Joe's exes were not my favorite, yet I shipped the hell out of the other ones. But I will say now that as a grown woman I am no longer interfering with his relationship. I was always wondering what it would be like to even go on a date around that age.

I never went on one considering how weird teenage boys truly are. Some of them want a girlfriend simply just to have one, and others just had their hormones go all nuts. The reason why I wasn't heavy on dating during that time was simply that I was trying to focus on myself and who I truly was. I did not want to deal with any of the drama that came with a relationship because I had a lot more than I needed to worry about.

Yes, did I want a guy that I thought was hot to date me of course! But it turns out looking back on it, I'm grateful that I decided to not give him the time of day. Considering that nowadays he's not exactly the right person to be with anyway. Even in general, I'm glad I never had to worry about fighting with another girl about another guy. A total complete waste of time, and not worth sacrificing anything.

I realized that there was so much more to life than just having a guy like you. Even if you did get those weird feelings every time he was around. Also if it was the other way around where a guy liked you, and you just didn't like him back. What a complicated web the teenage years hold. But back to the Jo-Bros. I'm grateful that these guys were in my life because it distracted me from the realities of how teenage boys truly are. You know, the ones that don't sing to you and tell you-you're beautiful every five seconds.

I'm grateful for all the memories that I had with these guys, especially making endless books and PowerPoint presentations on why I loved them so much. Although I'll still keep up with them once in a blue moon, it doesn't mean that I'll forget my first love. Just because I'm not in a room where they've plastered all over the walls anymore, doesn't mean that I didn't cherish those times when I would beg my mom to get me the latest teen magazine. If they were not in it, I didn't want it! Plain and simple everyone remembers their first teen crush. But I'm grateful that these three brothers allowed me to not get distracted by the teen dating scene. Also, I think it helped out my father as well.

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