I wrote this way back July 16, haha. And I’m not going to bother editing or reading through it, so:
Debate has drilled in me some things that I knew before, several things I never knew, and one thing I didn’t really want to hear.
For the first two –trying out for UPMDC has and is an enriching experience. I meet new people and make new friends; I refine the skills I once had showcased and subsequently buried. I frustrate myself with the knowledge that I’m not yet as good as I could be, but comfort myself with the idea that I am getting better.
But one thing I didn’t really want to hear.
Earlier today I received a familiar comment as part of a drill feedback. The comment reads “lacks emotional impact”, or “too controlled”. It”s the fourth –maybe fifth– time I’m receiving that same comment. The criticism goes along the line of my lack of emphasis, of emotion, of stress and intonation. I am too controlled. I am too calm. I am uninteresting and not empathic.
How irritating, to be told repeatedly what I already knew and what I already really, really hate in myself. No one understands better than I how ineffective life as an “emotionless” person can be; I compartmentalize too easily and I care too little on the outside. But I do care, and I do want to be included, but I never really gained the necessary skills to show it. It’s like I am incapable of connecting to people on some level. I believed once that I’ll never find a true friend, or someone to love.
But it’s still a problem. There’s a lot of things I want to share with the world but I can only ever share them with my family, for some reason. I find myself closed off and aloof-seeming when it’s other people in the mix. Why? I don’t know. I’m so noisy and lively and exuberant, but put me in some other setting and I become more insecure and indecisive.
My thoughts in conversational situations go like this: would this person care about what I’m saying? Is it relevant? Is it worth it? And while I know intellectually that it doesn’t matter, for some reason my mouth makes the judgment for me and closes off. It all goes from there. I feel so awkward talking out loud in a spontaneous manner. I have to write everything if I want to really say it, or, as I think I do in debate, I follow “safe” conventions. Lines and tracts of speaking I’ve gone through before.
I am this close to asking someone for help. Like, how do you become more approachable and less stand-offish? How do you become less tense and more empathic?
Basically, I suck and I am working on it. Somehow ??