When You Don’t Want to Talk About it, You Probably Should
March 1, 2013
The other day I didn’t feel much like singing. I was driving around, good music teasing my eardrums, but I wouldn’t take the bait. For some reason, moving my lips to sing along required more energy than I could muster.
I found this funny considering the last post in which I had trouble not singing. However, this has happened to me before and will likely happen again. It’s a phase my music loves and I go through from time to time. Hopefully they understand.
What I found more profound than this lack of desire to sing is the fact that I get that way about talking. Not all talking. Casual talking is usually fine, although I can certainly appreciate moments of complete silence. However, when it comes to serious conversations on weighty topics, I have noticed that there are occasions in which I stop talking altogether.
Lately I have heard myself say “I don’t want to talk about it” more times than I care to admit.
I dislike that phrase because I think it is difficult for the person on the receiving end not to take offense. However, it is never personal. It is instead a confession that the situation is emotionally draining and it would further exhaust me to discuss it. Oftentimes, I want the person to know everything that has happened and how I feel about it, but I just don’t want to be subjected to the excruciating task of telling them.
I suspect I am not alone in this. Sometimes the simple act of telling a story, of catching people up on significant events, is not so simple at all. It takes time, energy, and vulnerability. And after living it, sometimes the last thing you want to do is rehash it.
However, putting off these conversations is tricky business. The longer you delay, more events will transpire and more emotions will bottle up, meaning the more you ultimately have to share; thus, ironically, the more exhausting the final disclosure will be.
One thing that I appreciate most about my relationship with God is the fact that I don’t have to fill Him in on what happens in my daily life. Because He already knows, I can focus instead on how I feel about it or what I’m thinking. Just the ability to omit the details somehow makes the conversation less challenging.
Yet while this is one of the many reasons that God is my number one confidante, I can sense His displeasure every time I tell someone I don’t want to talk about it. After all, He said “it is not good for man to be alone.” And I don’t think that He meant “alone” just in the general sense of having people around. I think He also meant it in terms of the things and situations weighing heavy on our hearts. Perhaps it is not only bad for us to live life alone, but it is equally not good for us to endure any problem, trial, or setback alone either.
At some point during my quiet drive the other day, I began to sing. I did not make a conscious decision to do so. Maybe it originated with a hum. I don’t know. But seemingly out of the blue, I realized I was singing as I always do. Albeit less energetically, but singing nonetheless. Perhaps because it is so much a part of me that it took more effort to be quiet than it did to cave in and sing. And when I did, all was right with the world again.
I believe the same is true with talking. You can feel yourself suppressing things and after a while it becomes difficult to hold back. Take a little time to process your thoughts and emotions when life situations get complicated, but be conscious of how long you take. Eventually, you’ll have to let it out. And you’ll feel so much better when you do.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.