Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Voices-Inside-My-Head


Dear Voices-Inside-My-Head,

You have been busy for the past few days, inundating me with your conversations in my mind.  Discussions, arguments, perhaps even debates.  And they went something like this...

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OMG, what will people think of me?

Why do you care so much about what other people think of you?

My imagination goes into overdrive whenever I do something unintentionally stupid.  Or worse, I do something stupid and don't even realize it.  I think I've spent my entire life trying to be aware of what I do so I won't come off as a clueless person.  So when I think I may have 'just been clueless', I become undone, because I cannot undo what I just did.

And who are these people?

Mostly people on the internet--Facebook, Twitter, blogs, social media in general.  Sometimes people in real life. 

But the social media peeps are just 'out there'--strangers, even--on the internet.  Why should what they think affect you?

That's a good question.  Because I care?  Because I fear being judged unfairly?  Because what I say or write on the Interwebz reflects who I am?  Because once it's out there, it's out there!  You can't take anything back on the Interwebz!  And just because I feel very strongly about certain things doesn't necessarily make me very articulate about them, and I end up with my foot in my mouth and that bothers me to no end.  So basically I feel trapped because I can't express what I want to say.  So I feel lost and frustrated and stumped and beaten. 

But you're not trying to make people change their minds or anything, right?

No, I'm not.  I just want to make myself clear, but I sometimes I can't.  And then sometimes I admit that I don't even know all the facts, which makes me even more of an ass.  I don't even mind admitting that, but it doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated about myself.

But nobody knows everything!  People live and learn, and are always adding to their life experiences.  You can't expect to always know it all or have an answer to everything!  

I know, I know.  One time I completely missed a crucial reference on a blog post and subsequently made a comment that clearly reflected my lack of knowledge.  I felt like such a schmuck.  No, actually, I'm sure that's happened many times.  I've had panic attacks over blog comments, Facebook posts, Twitter conversations, what have you.  It's definitely something I'm trying to get over, but it's hard.  I can't control what other people think of me, and that's a very hard thing to come to terms with.

Precisely.  Because you have no control over it, you should stop obsessing.  Why bother stressing out over something you have no control of?  You're just wasting your time!  You're not the only schmuck on the internet, you know.  Move on! 

Geez, thanks.  But if only I could...

No, no, no.  You can't.  That is not in your power.  People think whatever they want to think.  You think however you want to think.  People are different.  Embrace the differences.  You just have to trust that even if people think differently, people can still respect one another as human beings.  

That's having a lot of faith.

Yes, it is.  It's very tiring wondering about what other people think all the time, isn't it?

Yes.  Maybe I should just quit social media.  Kidding. 

So you'll just have to let it go to rest, add some New Ingredients to your Life Experience Recipe, and move on. 

Okay.  But that's easier said than done.

Yes, it is.  Didn't you recently write about your perfectionist tendencies and how in order to remedy that, you should follow the words you would preach to the people you love?  Well, perfect example RIGHT HERE.  Believe my words, and stop with your double standards.  

Oh, okay (*sheepish grin*).

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So, Dear Inner Voices, thank you for your conversations--albeit being ever so annoying since it carried on for days--to set me straight again.  I wavered between your two voices long enough.  (To be fair, one of the voices usually gets coached from Dear Husband or a Dear Friend--which is something we all need in times of uncertainty and fear.  It is often to their credit that I am ever sane once again.)  Please keep up the conversations during my times of need.

Because I'm insecure that way. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Me

27 comments:

  1. I'm a little jealous of how rational your inner voices seem to be. Usually I'm arguing with myself and if the inner voice wins it's THEN that I find myself in trouble, lol. I think I'm listening to the wrong one ;)

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    1. Days, Sean, it took days of them arguing with one another to set me straight. I think I'm finally over it now. It was a combination of their voices, time, and writing this post that made me let go of my hang up with this one. But you're not alone. My inner voices are not always this rational. Just ask my Dear Husband. (Remember he gets to coach some of them). Oh, he has stories. :)

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  2. Those inner voices can be TOUGH! I try to ignore them, but sometimes they take over for a bit too!

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    1. My Voice of Reason is always going head to head with my Voice of Doubt. Back and forth and back and forth. It's no wonder I can't have some peace and quiet even when no one is talking. Sigh.

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  3. LOL! I have inner voices too, but mine are not quite that articulate.

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    1. I don't think I'm articulate at all, Laura. I must give full credit to DH for the articulation. He is my Voice of Reason, and he always can't quite grasp why I don't just believe him and take his word for it. I always have to mull and brew his words over and over in my head for days until they finally convince me. I'm slow that way, too. :)

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  4. I agree with the previous commenters-your voices are much more logical than mine are!

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    1. Hi Rachel, thank you for stopping in! The logic only came at the end, believe me! I had days of illogical thoughts before this stuff came out--thanks to my DH. I'm glad to see you back in the blogging world!

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  5. It's nice to have Voices in Your Head to debate and discuss and it's even nicer to have a Voice of Reason on the outside. The way I figure it, whichever Voice the Voice of Reason sides with should win. It's hard though, isn't it, to let go and roll with it; to live and learn; to "forgive" yourself for being less than perfect. Keep on keeping on Sandra.

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    1. I'm so grateful for this comment, Cindy! It *is* so very hard to let go, to move on. One incident can cause days (sometimes weeks) of craziness in my head. The one final thing that made me 'not look back' was writing this post. Because I had finally internalized the Voice of Reason, and finally believed it myself. This process was incredibly therapeutic.

      Thank you so much for stopping by again, and giving me such encouraging words to thrive on. Like you said, Imma keep on keeping on!

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  6. I wish I knew you in 'real life' - I could imagine us debating over lunch about who was the biggest dork (supported by sharing the dumb things I've done, betting you couldn't top it).

    I have inner voices, too, but my conversations / rationalizations aren't that in-depth. When I start caring too much about what others think, I remember this awesome saying that Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way has written: "What others think about me is none of my business." (I may not have it word-for-word, but that's her message and I love it :))

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    1. Janna, I know you remember this: you came to my rescue when I admitted on a blog comment that I had never read a Stephen King book because I missed that 'dog' reference. That one made me feel horrible in the gut for hours. You've no idea how appreciative I was of your comment to make me feel better (and you really did)! And now, it seems kind of silly, but at the time, I was completely undone!

      Thank you for the tip, too, as I was hoping someone could tell me what to do when I panic about what others think of me. I will remember this.

      I would love to have lunch with you and have a 'dork contest'. We would both be so good at it! :)

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    2. I do remember the Stephen King response, vaguely, but I didn't remember that you didn't know the reference either. (See, nobody else cares as much about our goofs as we do :))

      BTW, I still haven't read a Stephen King book, or watched any of his movies :)

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    3. You're right, and I know it. Only we care *so* much about our own goofs! But you did come to my rescue (in my mind) and I really appreciated it. I am currently reading my very first Stephen King book (11/22/63) and I've been reading it since March. I don't know if it's me or the book (it's almost 900 pages long, for one thing), but I just can't seem to get through it. I like it, but I can put it down for long periods of time, too. Maybe SK is just not for everyone. :)

      I'm heading over to your blog now. It's been a super busy weekend--busy enough that I missed my second post last week!

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  7. This made me realize that as a culture, we have unwittingly - or not - arranged for a co-op paparazzi movement. Social media is flashing cameras and microphones in our faces 24/7 and we have only ourselves to blame for it. No, don't go luddite on social media, but know who you are and when to draw the line, my friend. ~ TLJ

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Jackalope! I have certainly learned my lesson; the *one time* I step out of my boundary and out of my norm, I end up tucking my head right back inside my turtle shell. There was a reason why that was my norm in the first place. I'm drawing the line to stay 'social' on social media, if you know what I mean. I appreciate your wise words and will remember where my line is!

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  8. New Ingredients to your Life Experience Recipe - I like that phrase!

    It's one thing to intentionally be ignorant and broadcast that on social media. It's another to just make a mistake. I once reprimanded a Twitter user for tweeting that my friend unfollowed her. My friend was kinda upset at that. Why does this user need to broadcast it? Well, it turns out that this user had a program that auto-tweeted whenever someone unfollowed her, which is lame. Anyways, this Twtiter user had some choice words for me. I just apologized and moved on and she never bothered me again.

    What I'm trying to say is, be your genuine self online. People make mistakes. Wise people realize it and learn from it. You've got this!

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes! Thank you for your faith in me. We do make mistakes, and my insecurities always gets the better of me.

      I've always questioned myself about this on social media: do I speak up for what I believe in, or don't, since it's not likely I'd change anyone's mind anyway? Well, I don't have a clear cut answer for that, still. I'm not super vocal on social media, and I'm okay with that.

      I also learned that people take offense when one unfollows others on Twitter. Well, when I first started, I followed and unfollowed tons of people when I didn't know how to use the darn thing yet! Oh well. I'm glad you came away from your Twitter experience wiser and unharmed! :) Thanks, Lisa!

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  9. I think we're all insecure that way to at least a degree. How we deal with it is telling. I do regularly go with the "when am I ever going to see these people again?" excuse when I do something dumb... but at the same time I often have to do it out loud because in my head isn't enough to get me past it :)

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    1. Thank you for understanding, Michelle. I should use your logic since in most of these incidents, I would probably never see them in my lifetime anyway! I don't really have this problem with people in real life--since real friends know me well--so I should really get my priorities straight, huh?

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  10. It's easy to fall into this trap. I try to take my mind off of it by doing something fun! Call a friend, read a book, watch a favorite show, go exercise, surf on the web, pretty much anything else!

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    1. Yes, it helps to take my mind off it, and even time passing helps a great deal. A few weeks later I'll probably think nothing of it. But getting to that part is really difficult. Thank you for your suggestions, Asianmommy!

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  11. The inner voices are good Sandra. In your case, they are quite logical and sensible. It pays to listen to them sometimes.

    You are not alone in feeling such a silly dumb person over comments made in the web. I feel that way too sometimes - especially when I post a comment in the wrong blog, or yeah! when I am being plain ignorant and does not know it. It's ok Sandra. You know you got friends when they stay with you even when you say the silliest thing. :-)

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  12. Tonight, I made a big booboo in my comment to one of the Trifecta entries. I feel so stupid and shallow and rude. Sigh!

    ~Imelda

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    1. Thank you, thank you! I'm replying to both of your comments via email--check there!

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  13. I can't believe you wrote that post. It sounds like we are kind of the same people! Scaaarrryy. LOL

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  14. When you stand before a mirror and talk to yourself you will know what your inner voice is. just try it, you will laugh to yourself.http://www.samplelettertemplates.com/admission-letters/recommendation-letter-for-admission.html/

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