I’m not the best at opening up to people.
Like I’ve said before, I try, but just can’t seem to. I don’t know when a good time is to talk about myself, and sometimes I feel as if interjecting makes me a conversation hijacker. I feel also sometimes that people don’t care. It’s harsh, but true. Even with my closest friends, sometimes I feel like they really don’t care to hear things about me. I know that’s not the case, but it’s how I feel regardless. And this feeling is one of the main reasons why I don’t open up to people often; because if they are dismissive, then I will feel justified in being my normal, closed-off self. And I really don’t want that.
Another reason why I suppose it’s easier to just shut up, even about things I’m optimistic about, is that in the event the opposite happens (for example, wishing for a good outcome), I was, for a very long time, unsure if I was emotionally capable of dealing with the aftermath. Not only the rejection, but the questions. “Did you get the job?” “Did she end up calling?” “Did you hear back from them?” Quite dramatically, I guess I just thought it would be as if I’d be reliving the rejection with every question. I’d rather have just not told anyone anything, and then when the news ended up being positive, I could announce once and for all that, yes, I applied to this position downtown and I got it.
I was thinking recently, though, that I really want to break out of this habit. I want to anticipate things with people and then deal with the good outcomes. I don’t want to have to close myself off and keep my worries and hopes inside, because then I think the problem becomes that everything just becomes a worry. I can’t be positive on my own. I try, but I can’t.
I want to give an example that is at least closely related. I applied for a job that I really want, and that I also really believe I’ll get. I’ve told some people of this, as I’m trying to become the kind of person who tells people things. I’ve found that by talking so positively about it, it’s actually helped me keep the faith a little bit more. Usually, I would’ve somehow talked myself into some sort of depression, where I’d convinced myself that they’d probably go with someone else and I’m not necessarily worthy of this kind of job; that I should essentially be happy with any level of employment, because life isn’t fair all the time for everyone and why should I get this one job that I really want? Very involved, yes, but it’s always how I spoke about things.
By opening up a little bit more than usual, it’s at least allowed me to not fall into that kind of destructive pattern. Like, I’m very optimistic. I believe I deserve good things (as we all do), and if this is a job that I’m both qualified for and would genuinely enjoy, then I deserve it as much as the next person. I am likable (though that doesn’t matter — more on that in the future!), I am well-spoken, and I am a diligent worker. Why shouldn’t they hire me, you know? I actively want this job and I deserve a job that I’m interested in. It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I can comfortably say that and not feel as though I’m bragging or boosting myself too much, and I think that’s in part owed to opening up a bit. Because when I tell people now, they only have good words for me, and it’s cool to hear someone else’s voice in your head say nice things about you.
The title is a quote from “The Catcher in the Rye”, and it’s one of my favourites — the quote and the book. I read the book in high school and it easily became a defining piece of literature for me. Holden is cynical and while I’m not like that, I do appreciate his honesty. Authenticity is really important to me, after all. It had me thinking: is not opening up dishonest? I don’t think so anymore. I beat myself up a lot about it before, but I realized sometimes there are just some things you can’t change about yourself. We are born with personalities and they’re all different. We all have good and bad qualities. I might not be the best at opening up with people (and, maybe as a result, I feel I lie a bit too often), but I don’t think I need to wholly become a person who is an open book. I think in small ways I can open up to friends and still reap the benefits of the levelheadedness that comes with it.
So in the spirit of openness: I had an interview for a job this past Monday that I really, really feel is mine. I should hear back by the end of this week. Similarly, I might be reconnecting with an old friend soon, if the stars align. I believe they will. I am nervous about this, but nervousness is not a bad thing, so I’ll live.