Random Musings

The Silence of Meekness

I’m self-described as meek. Or perhaps timid is more apt, because looking at some of the definitions of meek, a lot of people seem to associate it with the idea that you are humble, gentle and kind, rather than being prone to violence or aggression. That definition reads being meek in a very position way–and you can label yourself meek and not take it negatively.

In my case, however, being meek is something I want to change, because I think that quality–the way that I exhibit meekness, also known as timidness or being shy–actually inhibits me from becoming the kind of woman I actually want to be. And I’m tired of being the only one standing in my way.

An example, if you will.

I got a new tattoo two weeks ago. A couple people knew about it beforehand, including my group of friends. When I went to play D&D with them last Friday, I really wanted to show them my tattoo, even though I was slightly embarrassed it was still in the healing stages (and my skin hates tattoos, so my healing process always looks worse than everyone else’s), so it didn’t look exactly great. Yet I never spoke up about it. I never said, “Hey guys, remember that ink I went to get last Saturday? Check it out.” I just stayed quiet throughout the evening and still, none of them have seen it.

Let’s do another example.

Family wants to go out to dinner and they suggest going to X restaurant. Yet I either a) don’t like said restaurant or b) really don’t feel like eating there. Yet instead of speaking up and saying anything, I kept my mouth shut. Same case when we’re trying to figure out what to cook at home.

Or I want to text my best friend and tell her a story, but I haven’t heard from her in a while, so I don’t want to interrupt her day, so I don’t say anything. Or I want to hang out with her but I don’t bring it up.

Or I really want to tell my love interest about how my day was, yet I don’t say anything until he asks. Or I’m really horny, but I won’t say or do anything unless he makes the first move.

Or.
Or.
Or.

Writing this out, I’ve discovered a trend, the aspect of my meekness that I don’t like and want to change. Because I’m meek and timid, it makes me quiet. It silences my voice, pushes back my wants, sacrifices my needs.

And I don’t like it.

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I’m not saying that I suddenly want to become outspoken or the center of attention. I like being quiet, more reserved. I just want to stop being so scared to use my voice, because I think that’s what fuels my timidness, my meek-mindedness. Fear, complemented by me being a people pleaser and perhaps just a dash of introvertedness.

When I didn’t say anything about my tattoo to my friends, it was because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, even if it was an important subject to me. When it comes to making decisions, I stay quiet because I never want to suggest the wrong one and then, in doing so, upset the other persons involved. When it comes to reaching out to friends and talking with them, I become timid in not wanting to interrupt their day or feel like I’m being needy. With my love interest, sometimes I don’t tell him my desires because I don’t want to come off as pushy or sex-crazed, so instead, I let him take the lead. I think I also fear getting rejected by him.

Obviously, this isn’t okay.

I may be introverted and I may be meek, but one of my most basic needs–that I really wish could be fulfilled daily–is communication, talking. I’m a storyteller. I really love to talk with the people I care about, whether it’s giving over-detailed stories about my day, ranting about something that’s bothering me, obsessing over the latest epic love or just trading stories. I need that communication to be happy, plain and simple. And it can come in different forms. In person is the best, but texting or emails are just as great, especially with people I don’t get to see daily.

And then there’s the opinion stuff, which can be as simple as telling someone what I want to eat for dinner to how I felt about a particular movie to how I feel about a certain topic I’m actually passionate about. So many times, I’ll hold back what I’m actually feeling or thinking, instead of speaking my mind and speaking candidly. I’ll submit to the other person’s desires or opinions.

Why? Why do I rob myself of not only the conversations that I need daily, but even the opportunity to have them? Why do I hesitate to be the person who actively starts a conversation or initiates an invite, instead waiting for someone else to take charge and follow suit? Why do I hold back my opinions, even when they aren’t controversial? Because I’m scared of rejection? Because I’m scared of interrupting someone else’s day and being labeled as a burden or needy or invasive?

Yeah, that’s not a worthy excuse.

I think this all stems from me hating myself for so long. I don’t hate myself any more, but old habits are hard to break, apparently. And I’m not saying I want to become this rambunctious, loud individual who always fights to get her way. Because I am genuinely happiest when those around me are happiest, so if that means eating a place that isn’t my favorite and sneaking in a bowl of cereal later, then by all means, of course I’m willing to do that. But I shouldn’t be afraid to at least offer my opinion. I shouldn’t be afraid to tell those I care about most what I’m thinking or how I feel about a certain subject or asking them to hang out. I shouldn’t be afraid to, hell, talk to those I love, whether it’s just about my day, my writing, the weather, whathaveyou.

I know this is a work-in-progress, for me. I know I’m not suddenly going to become confident overnight and find my voice where it’s always been lacking. But I’d like to promise to try. And for a first step, I think that’s a pretty damn good one.

Cheers.

12 thoughts on “The Silence of Meekness”

  1. Definitely feeling this. Any time I do things, I’m so used to working in the shadows that calling attention to my work/being triggers an “Oh lords, it me” response. Granted, for me, it comes from a toxic wasteland of “If you’re not being recognized organically, you’re probably not worth noticing or not actually xyz” (YAY imposter syndrome). Nice to see this feel represented from a non-toxic place. ❤

    1. Oh gosh, Jo, that sucks that you experience imposter syndrome like that (I hope you know that is *definitely* not the case, because you are worth noticing and being heard in every sense of the word). But maybe we can both work on this, if that is something we want to work on. 🙂

  2. The part about needed to tell overly detailed stories? Uh, party of two please!!! If I go too long without talking to someone about anything I’ll be an uncontrollable chatter box to the poor soul who sees me next.

    And the not wanting to interrupt people’s day? Yeah, same-sies.

    1. When I read “party of two, please,” I absolutely loved that line. Because, YES. Sorry you feel the same way, sometimes, but I hope you don’t let those thoughts stop you, because I, personally, love your stories, regardless of their length, and you’re never an interruption to my day, but instead, a highlight.

      1. Awww! Thanks girl! And I totally want to see the new ink – fingers crossed I’m getting new ink tomorrow. I’ll send you a pic of mine and then you can send me one of yours!

      2. I’ll try and get a good picture of it for you! It’s my entire left arm and it’s still healing, hence no pics yet. What are you planning on getting!?!

  3. Well putting these thoughts into writing is a good step forward! And I totally understand where you’re coming from. I was and still, to a considerable degree, am the same as I was when I was younger. If there’s something good or bad going on in my life, I tend to not bring it up. I prefer other people to make the minor decisions rather than being the decision maker. If I say something and someone doesn’t hear, I let them keep talking and don’t bring it up again. If someone asks me what’s new, my mind goes blank. And, of course, everything I’d have liked to have said comes tumbling back into my mind an hour later post-conversation/opportunity.

    I’m 31, and it sucks.

    BUT. You are the sweet one, the kind one, and your friends know that.

    And through these years passing, I’ve come to accept that while I internally want to be the extrovert, the excited one, the one people love talking to, my scales just lean toward being an introvert. Sure, different friends equal different dynamics. Most of the time, I’m the one being entertained by my friends. And with some friends, everyone has equal airtime. But oftentimes, 90% of the conversation is about them, and 10% of the conversation is about me. And I’m okay with that. And that dynamic is okay.

    Confidence and self-esteem takes a long time coming. There’s a difference between being quiet and letting people take advantage of you. The first is okay, the second is definitely not okay. And like hubby has often said to me: what’s the worst that can happen by speaking up? At least you’ll discover the answer/effect rather than being stuck at step one. Just go for it. Small steps. The spotlight isn’t on everyone but you — there is no spotlight! You’re all in the spotlight, and your opinions and your life and thoughts mean just as much as the friend beside you.

    And if things go awry or someone cops an attitude toward you, you still have many friends here an email or blog post away that cares and will listen to you always! ❤ ❤

    ps. Being meek and shy isn't a bad thing. You are charming just the way you are. It's a personality trait — not a negative! ❤

    1. You bring up some great points, Jess, especially with the fact that being meek and shy isn’t a bad thing. Which I actually agree with, even though I labeled it as such in this post. It’s not that I mind being meek or shy. I actually really love the reserved aspects of me, especially because so many people I know and care about are so theatrical, so we complement well.

      What I *don’t* like about my meekness is that I use that part of my personality as a way to justify my own silence in so many situations and I’d like to have a bit stronger voice than I do now. Like when I’m talking to my parents and they stop listening halfway through, I want to have the courage to say, “Hold on, I’m almost done with this story, but it’s important to me and I’d love for you to hear the rest,” as one example.

      Which I think you totally understand and hopefully was clear through this post, because I definitely don’t want to come off as claiming that being meek is a horrible quality, because I don’t think that. I think it’s just a quality that I, personally, am letting turn into a negative one when I should be embracing the more positive aspects of it.

      Thanks for always being one of the most enjoyable people to talk with and trade emails with. Your insight, thoughts and careful attention to both listening and responding is a rare thing, these days, and always means the world. ❤ ❤

      1. The nice thing is that there is always room to grow! You will absolutely possess the courage you’re seeking one day, sooner rather than later. Every situation calls for different approaches, and I’m more than positive you’re an excellent judge of vibes. It’s definitely frustrating when you’re halfway through your story/discussion, only to find that no one’s really interested. That’s no reflection of you as a person, or your story for that matter. Still happens to me! It sucks, and I make excuses like ‘maybe I was mumbling, half my friends are deaf anyway, etc. etc.’ but yeah, it hurts. I’m able to brush it off most of the time; I kind of just accept it as an inevitability, though sometimes it does dampen my enthusiasm for talking or bringing something up. So I just bitch about it in my journal and move on lol! It is what it is. More often than not, the listener has something else on their mind… I’ve seen that bored look in my dad’s eyes too, but he’s always stressed out about something or other. Bottom line, though, is that whether it’s your friend or family, they still love you and will listen when it really counts!

        And no need for thank yous, you’re special to me and happy to call you my friend! ❤ ❤

      2. Yeah, I used to take it really personal when I could tell someone was zoning out of my stories, but honestly, my stories are really long-winded (even the ones with the simplest premise) and you’re right, I don’t always know what their frame of mind is, so it isn’t something I should take personally, necessarily. But I have gotten a bit better of trying to tell my story again, if it was something important I wanted them to know, instead of just letting it fade away and then not say anything.

        Thank you for the reminder, though, Jess. You’re fantastic. ❤

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