I grew up being called “Mouth” and have a tendency to speak before thinking. As a result, all too often, I’ve put my foot (or left leg) in my mouth.
As you can imagine, I’ve found solace in the blogging community — where I have had free reign to say whatever comes to mind (for the most part).
One could argue blogging is a self-indulgent activity: putting your thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see.
But the truth is, I didn’t begin blogging to cultivate an audience. Rather, in the beginning, I used blogotherapy as a personal outlet — a one-way street (which, I should note, goes against absolutely everything I know today about how successful social media strategies work).
In time, it morphed into much, much more and became very much a two-way street. Sure there were road-blocks and sometimes it felt more like I was looping endlessly around a cul-de-sac or careening down a four-lane highway at other points … but today my blog is a living, breathing entity and I’m really, really proud of how it has matured since June 2008 when I began blogging.
I love the friends I’ve made offline as a result — and appreciate the friendships in real life that have been strengthened by my “coming out” of sorts. (I’m always surprised to find out who is reading! Even if you’re just lurking, your emails and calls have meant the world to me).
And as I’ve journeyed through my recovery, I’ve experienced more self-awareness than I could ever have imagined. You see, as a first-born who often gives off the vibe that the world should revolve around me, my dad has often teasingly/ lovingly dubbed me “Copernicus”.
I laugh about it most of the time, but there is always some truth to a joke. I do tend to be one of those people where what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG, that’s for you S.A.!) and the truth is, I enjoy talking about myself — not because I think I’m so great or anything, but because that’s simply how I relate to people — it’s my way; through sharing my own experiences and relating it to yours, we connect (or so I think).
It’s annoying to some people, I’m sure, that I often find a way to turn the conversation back to myself … but maybe others admire that this is how I connect with people. Who knows.
Either way, through my self-awareness journey over the past two years, I’ve recognized that it’s who I am and I have come to accept that not everyone will like that about me — and that’s perfectly OK.
Yet I think there’s a big distinction between being self-aware and being narcissistic. Self-awareness isn’t inherently bad; it usually helps make us better people, as we see our flaws and work to improve them.
But narcissism is unbecoming .. and sometimes I fear I’m crossing the lines when I blog … After all, where else do you have a platform and a proverbial megaphone?
Throughout this self-awareness journey, one of the things I’ve realized — which has very little to do with disordered eating recovery but everything to do with having an anxious personality — is that I always have to get in the last word.
It’s certainly not deliberate … and it’s something that really, really bothers me lately. I feel it’s a turn-off, in fact. I’ve become increasingly more aware of it, as I listen to (and incessantly replay) my own phone conversations or in-person discussions or follow my own e-mail, Facebook or Twitter trails …
What’s funny is when I was little, my dad used to tell me I always had to get in the last word in a fight … I didn’t understood it then, but I’m realizing now that it’s an inherent, unbecoming part of my personality. It’s almost as though I don’t know how to end conversations … how to just “let it go.”
If someone calls me, I’m usually the one to say goodbye last. If you email me, chances are I’ll write back last. If you tweet me, I’ll tweet you back.
I try to be cognizant of external cues, but often, it’s an epic fail.
Everyone else seems to know where to cut the communication off, where to stop … everyone but me.
This might seem like a minor offense to some people — but I am realizing it is pretty annoying, and would love some advice on how to overcome this. A significant chunk of my professional life revolves around communication, and being a good communicator is crucial.
While I recognize it’s part of who I am, I don’t want to piss people off if I can avoid it, either. So I’m reaching out today. I welcome your input, blogosphere.
Please, be honest … hold nothing back. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think I had the stomach to handle the (constructive) criticism. Thank you in advance; I’m really curious as to your thoughts.
How about you? Do you experience this similar “last word” syndrome? Does it bother you when others always seem to have to get the last word? (though I guarantee they’re not doing it on purpose!)