I’ve been thinking about feelings a lot lately. Not about my feelings. But more like, how I feel about my lack thereof. Or at least, my lack of expression of. Does that even make sense? It feels a little feeling-ception to me. There it is again! “Feeling.” Geez, why is it everywhere around me nowadays??
A very dear friend of mine from Korea gushed to me online about her new long-distance relationship. Her past long-distance relationships didn’t end very well, but this new one seems promising, spanning the distance floating on this thing called ‘feelings’ that they keep sharing. I imagine a can telephone through which they whisper their thoughts back and forth. It’s cute, but at the same time, somewhat foreign. She tells me that they can talk for hours on end about their feelings, and that’s really strengthened their trust and relationship.
This conversation was followed shortly after by another conversation, this time in person, in which another good friend of mine revealed that interactions with me can feel very casual, even when they’re one-on-one, because I don’t share my feelings and deep thoughts.
My first thought was, “What deep thoughts am I supposed to be having?” followed closely by, “What deep thoughts are other people sharing that I’m supposed to?”
I guess I’m a private person. I like to control the flow of information about me so that people don’t know more than I think they ought to know. I wouldn’t want for an opinion of me to be changed in a way I’m not comfortable with, then for that to spread to my other friends. Chalk it up to trust and insecurity issues; I probably instilled them in myself. Heck, ask that same friend and he’ll tell you that my blabbermouth drowned one of his closest relationships and endangered another. So that I don’t trust others not to blab as I have isn’t that mind-blowing, I suppose.
But that’s really a lesser concern. I can get over that easily enough. How does it go… “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Yeeeeep, don’t worry, I know my friends aren’t so easily swayed by an unsavory piece of information or two. The real challenge, though, is in figuring out what in the world people even share about that bonds them to others. And how the heck do these things come up in conversation?? I imagine that the “deep” stuff is generally more somber, and you can’t exactly whip that out in the middle of a conversation: “So I was playing with my cat the other day-” “You know, I used to have real issues, growing up. Damn that was a tough time.” HUH??!
Don’t even get me started on the feelings about someone that you’re supposed to share with them. If it’s a good feeling, I get self-conscious of sounding sappy. If it’s a bad one, there’s literally NEVER a good time! Can’t downer a good mood, or worsen a bad one, and it’s just weird to bring it up out of the blue in a quiet setting. It’s awkward no matter how it goes!
Maybe I’m just an awkward-phobe (awkwaphobe?) and avoid all instances of awkwardness that I can conceive of. Unfortunately, that usually ends up in long-term awkwardness at the forced unawkwardness. Awkward.
In my first step toward unawkward-deep-thought-sharing, I feel that my feelings about these unexpressed feelings should pacify themselves over time, just so long as I trust my friends to be a safe place for me to express anything I’d like, and accept the awkward turtle as my friend who will help me towards more closely-bonded friendships.
There. I did it.