Overthinging "What I should have said"s

Started by goblinchild, March 16, 2021, 05:33:47 PM

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There are small little micro-confrontations in everyday situations, and I have no idea how to do them well. I always peace-keep, I stay quiet and I listen to other's perspectives even if I can see they're wrong or if I disagree. If they have viewpoints or behaviors that disregard me I always default on "well they don't know better, I will listen to where they're coming from and try to understand them first." I wait for the right time to say something in a way that people may be able to consider calmly, maybe because I understood them first I can explain my side in a way that's palatable. Maybe just baybe I can be diplomatic without stepping on toes and completely ruining our relationship.

This bites me in the rear every time though. The only people it ever works with are abusive, explosive people. And even then, bottling up my own thoughts makes me crazy! I just walk around secretly angry all the time! Thinking about what I want to say to them if I could, intrusively! I don't want to daydream telling-off scenarios, they interrupt my life.  I HAVE to start speaking my mind. But I have no idea how this works.

I can only assume step one is don't let it get to the point where you're seething with anger because I feel like if I tried to speak my mind now, I would just explode at worst or sound really passive aggressive at best and that would be super off putting. It's no one else's fault that I bottle things up. They're behavior/opinions can be naive or obtuse to my realities sometimes but I don't want to explode at them, I just want to have a voice. 


I experience this too - part of my nature is diplomatic, part of me needs a ton of time to process what to say, and I am highly aware that I don't know everything.  However, because of years of abuse and being told to keep quiet or that what I think doesn't matter I have the tendency to give up my power and control even when I am the expert in the situation. 

I'm still navigating this especially in dynamics that are highly triggering for me.  I am finding that the following things sometimes work:

I did a few trainings for yoga and meditation where participation from all participants is encouraged.  During those times I had got to practice using my voice and it was evidence to my brain "hey, you do have good things to say and people listen."

I have identified a few people that I know I can I talk to one to one about things.  I find I need to "catch" them in the right time and mood but having these one to one conversations can help. 

I have accepted that it is ok to write my ideas - at work I put out a newsletter for my work and I also email people my ideas or needs.  This area is a little more dicey as writing is easy to ignore or misinterpret but it can be right for some situations.

I am still working out how uncomfortable I feel I feel speaking up and not staying triggered all the time.  Sometimes the interactions don't go well and I am working to not take that on because it often isn't about me. I think for me the empowerment comes not so much from getting a response I like but from using my voice. 


This is such a huge topic, and I'm not really thinking/feeling clearly today to give it a really good reply. I also haven't figured it all out or got the magic solution, by any means, but I have made progress in this area I believe, so I'll just share what I think in my own situation.

I think the main thing I want to say is that it is such a large thing that touches on so much of my past. It's been a really long journey trying to improve this, and there have been a lot of difficulty and set backs. With patience and practice though, it has gotten a bit easier.

They key point is, I need to learn to respect myself more, not just the other person involved. If someone is disrespectful to me, maybe they don't know any better, but I need to tell them how their behaviour is making me feel, and that it is not acceptable to repeat / continue. Then, they will know. Of course, it is important to do this in a polite and respectful way. If they continue to be disrespectful, then it is an unhealthy, damaging relationship. It is difficult to say, and harder to accept, but it is most often better not to remain stuck in a relationship like that.

Anger management is something I still have a long way to go with, but yes, I believe it is better not to let things get to a point where the anger is seething. If it does get too bad, it is probably best to leave and come back to it later... although, I know that all is easy to say and really difficult, sometimes impossible to actually do. But, success is built upon a string of set backs and temporary failures.

Sorry this post isn't better. I'm not sure why, but I feel really disconnected right now. Maybe it's hitting too close to home.


The best solution to this comes from Stoical thinking. I can really recommend Derren Brown's book "happy" for this, his section on hurt and anger is transforming.