Have you ever been around someone who talked too much? Too fast? Too detailed? Too private? Too ___________ (fill in your own experience)?
I have. And I don't really like it. Sometimes it's funny for a bit or interesting at first. But usually, at some point during their one-sided conversation, I start thinking about how it's humanly possible for one person to talk so much or so fast, or about how I wish they would just stop because this is something that I so do not need to know.
Where is their stop button, or a slow-down option, or their filter, for heaven's sake?! Why don't they have one?!
It's funny because I have spent most of my life wishing that I was more outgoing. Too shy to speak up in class or to say hi to someone who could have been my friend. And I am now amazing myself by how I've grown and been able to function better in a group or speak up when I felt I needed too. I am shocked that I am able to stand up in front of an adult audience and present, and even more astonished that I look forward to those opportunities.
But oftentimes, I remain silent. The times that I should speak up, I don't. Things I want to say stay left unsaid. Sometimes I bottle them inside and verbal fizz spews out if I get shaken too hard. Usually my husband is the one left soaking in spilled sentences and pent-up paragraphs. I have gotten better about that over the years too, but I know it's still an issue I have to constantly work on avoiding.
Tonight was a night that got me thinking about it again. Jason and I are attending a marriage class/Bible study at our church. In my usual form, I stay silent through the whole thing. I just soak it in and fight back too much expression. I can joke, but I don't get too emotional or serious. Never in front of that large of a group.
Jason, on the other hand, leads the prayer session, speaks up, and shares a lot. He is the verbal to my nonverbal, the chatter to the box I hide inside. But he's not any of the types that I named above. He is just friendly, outgoing, approachable, and sincere.
He knows the way I am and loves me anyway. He doesn't pester me about participating more. And I am happy about that. But we did talk tonight about how I don't talk to him enough. I do the same thing to my husband that I do with everyone else.
One of my greatest fears is, that as a wife, I would nag too much. That I would become critical or whiny. It makes me shudder to think of my voice becoming as nails on a chalkboard to the ones I love. I think of the Proverbs about the nagging wife. Ugghh. So, I stay silent. Even when I should speak. Even when my husband feels like our relationship is backwards and that he has a wife who acts "more like a man" (to use a huge, but widely recognized, overgeneralization) when it comes to talking and sharing feelings. He shares way more than I do. I use my counseling skills and listen. I occasionally give advice, but I rarely reciprocate. I told him tonight that I would rather type a million words to strangers about the emotional, blubbering mess that I am than ever share with or cry with anyone in person. I think he sniggered.
I'm going to work on that this month. Whether or not, I share more with friends or acquaintances, I am going to share more with my husband. Whew. Lets hope my sharing doesn't turn to whining and my speaking up doesn't turn to nagging!!