I’m not one to chat and talk about absolutely nothing. When I speak, I want it to mean something. I don’t want to talk to “fill in the silence.” That was the old Hope and I disliked her. I would just talk about the dumbest, stupidest things and make comments that no one cared to listen to. But, I must admit, if I were the receiver, I wouldn’t want to hear that either. It was nonsense and senseless blabber.
I was always a quiet, shy girl who barely spoke to anyone. Some people claimed never knowing how my voice sounded. In elementary school, I rarely raised my hand and hide behind other classmates. It took a special person to open up to, one who broke me out of my shell. I never had social problems, I was just an extremely quiet child.
In 5th grade, I met this girl Steph, who changed me a bit. Our friendship carried into 6th grade and I became a little rebel. I’m not talking about smoking and drinking. I’m speaking about lying to my parents from time to time about where we were, what we watched, what we were doing and who we were talking to. She bossed me around and I let her. I followed her like a little puppy dog and she knew it. She controlled me and I didn’t say a word. But, then, she changed.
She began to make fun of me and turn her back on me. She wasn’t my true friend and I found out the hard way. I couldn’t understand what I did wrong. She never discussed anything with me, instead she picked on me and again, I let her. I was too nice, too sweet to stick up for myself, too quiet, too stupid, dumb and not strong enough. Also, I didn’t have enough confidence to defend myself. What I should have done was spit in her face or questioned her actions, instead, I let her ridicule me. I was a damn fool and I knew it. If I wasn’t so damn quiet, I would have stopped it. Eventually, our friendship stopped and we never saw each other. Thank goodness, we didn’t have class together. But, I knew I had to change. I knew I had to speak up, talk more, say something, anything. I needed to stop being such a coward and grow a pair. Though, I never did.
I was never really able to stick up for myself because of my quietness. I was scared and intimidated by several people. I tried to talk myself out of that, but it was always so damn hard. I’ve never been the one to lead, rather I followed.
And, I never understood why I needed to learn how to have conversations. I couldn’t elaborate and it left an uncomfortable quietness. I was horrible and terrible at having conversations and talking in general. Whenever I saw someone I knew in the store, I would avoid them because I didn’t want to partake in another awkward conversation.
My then-boyfriend tried to get through to me. He tried to make me understand that I needed this skill in order to get through life. If I didn’t change, I would be screwed in the future. How would I speak with anyone? How would I go to an interview? How would I have another relationship? I was doomed if I wasn’t able to speak.
So, after that, I began talking more, asking more questions, wanting to know more, making the conversation last longer and progressing. I gained people skills and I was so proud of myself. But, even though I was talking more, it seemed to go along the lines of ‘talking to talk.’ There wasn’t too much meaning behind it though. It was a waste of breath and I knew it. I kept trying, but I felt like shit. I was either quiet or talked too much. I couldn’t find a medium.
I’m not this awkward in interviews I swear
Over the year, I’ve gotten much better. However, beginning this summer, I opted to only speak when something was important. Yes, I was still on the road to having long conversations, but I always wanted it to be important. I began to hanging out with my friend, Jess more and that side of me began to develop even more. I believe that was me. As I got older, my ways began to change. I was trying to find out who I was, searching for the real Hope instead of a fake, false perception of myself. I wanted to be true to myself and be who I really was instead of hiding.
I’m truly beginning to be myself, but I can’t easily walk up to someone and just have a conversation. It depends on how the person is. If he or she is friendly, nice and open then it’s easy, but if he or she is rude, unfriendly and selfish, I have a problem.
Talking has never been easy for me. I’ve always had issues with it. I’ve tried to overcome them, but it’s not simple. It will take a while for me to feel comfortable speaking with just anyone. As I’ve said, it depends on the situation, atmosphere, people and my state of mind, mood and mindset. I’ll just need to continue working on it!
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