Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Toe Stepping

I'm not the argumentative monster I was as a teenager...yet I still feel like I've been stepping on a lot of toes lately. I have a very matter-of-fact attitude towards life and conversation, I'm admittedly opinionated and am less than shy when it comes to giving one, an opinion that is. I've been accused of having chronic verbal-diarrhea, no filter between my brain and mouth and of not thinking before I speak. Perhaps all of the above is true...I really think it might have something more to do with the fact that I am just about as extroverted as possible in a human and so it feels natural to me to verbalize most things as I think them. Not every thing as I think it (what a scary world that would be!) But I am often guilty of saying anything and everything that I deem safe and harmless without considering what I find inoffensive might actually be offensive to someone else. I would NEVER intentionally be rude or hurtful (except in cases where I feel someone else is being rude or hurtful and I deem it necessary for them to swallow a taste of their own medicine.)

What’s worse is that Australians are, on average, more passive than Americans. So if I step on someone’s toes here, rather than them just calling B.S. they will make an ever so subtly passive aggressive comment and laugh at the end of it as if something’s funny. I stand there confused….are they trying to be funny or are they trying to say something else?? I want to ask “is there something you aren’t saying?” But then, if they really were only making an attempt at humor, I’d only make things awkward for both of us instead of just for me. But half the time I think that I really, truly, possibly could have offended a friend or acquaintance and they are just too passive to spit it out and say so. I want to apologize but don’t know if there’s anything to apologize for. Asking if I was rude would only be insensitive as my faux pas would seem bleedingly obvious to them and asking about it would either make me extremely ignorant or even ruder than they’d previously thought.


Truthfully, I am extremely ignorant in these cases. Especially any time I make a comparison between America and Australia in front of Australians, and some Aussies get REALLY defensive. I only compare because I find it interesting, not because I’m trying to explain why America’s better than Australia. There are heaps of things that Australia is better at than Americans and vice versa, I’m not trying to start an argument when I say those things. Sometimes I feel like putting my hands in the air and just letting everyone else do all the talking. This could prove to make me a much more likeable and less controversial person overall don’t you think? It’s probably annoying for some people to hear me comparing all the time anyways….but that’s what’s going on in my head. It’s a coping mechanism of sorts; cataloging the differences so I might better understand them. It helps me to learn about myself and learn about Australians. I’m going to try to keep my mouth shut from now on. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed or looking back on a conversation and cringing because I said the wrong thing. I could be like Other Wybie from Coraline, you know the one that doesn't talk? Ha!

It honestly feels like the first day of high school every day. You know when you walk through the doors and are floored by the hugeness of it all and are searching the thousands of faces for one that your recognize? And then you spend the whole of your freshman year jumping from group to group trying to find where you belong, that if you say the right things they’ll give you their phone number and we’ll all go to the movies Saturday night. Only it’s worse because I feel like I’m the only freshman in a school of juniors and seniors, where everyone’s older than me and knows more and has done it before. Where everyone has their friends and their routines and doesn’t really need or have time for another face. It’s exhausting. Where do I fit in? I feel a bit lost. Maybe I try too hard. I want to belong.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's your Stephens blood. I have to hold my tongue and more often than not - end up with my foot in my mouth. I don't even realize I've over stated my point.


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