the subtle art of shutting the f*ck up

By Kirby;

I remember when I came across the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and like you should do to the many books that proport to revolutionarily change your outlook on life by forcing theirs on you, I took it with a pinch of salt.

Although, there was one statement that stood out to me in an extraordinary way:

you’re not special”

Whilst it would rightfully constitute as a harsh thing to say to someone, it was one of the things I saw that changed my outlook on the way I saw myself.

I was not special, but in a good way.

Consider this example, if you’re someone who has terrible social anxiety you’ve a 100% had this thought in your head – You know someone who is totally obnoxious, rude, annoying, any other negative adjective you can think of, but yet you wonder why people still like them.

And you think to yourself, its precisely because I’m scared to be like them I have social anxiety, I’m envious that they don’t care how obnoxious they are.

I tend to overtalk especially about my special interests and my conversation transtitions are terrible to other people [even though I think it makes perfect sense to go from talking about She-Ra to a rant about Steven Universe but thats besides the point]

I thought I was cursed to be this way so the only way I could avoid it was by shutting up.

I counted my words the same way one would count calories – obsessively.

I would think to myself – “okay they laughed at what I said, let me keep quiet now so the last memory they had of me was a funny one”

The other person and I would sit in uncomfortable silence and more often than not they would probably think I didn’t want to speak to them anymore because of my sudden mute.

Hearing I wasn’t special was an eye opener for me because I wasn’t. Why should I, more than anyone else, count the things I say when there are other people that don’t? What makes me so special that I need to do it.

I didn’t think I was special in an egoistical way, I thought I was special in the sense that I was specially worse than everyone else. Personality wise.

Hearing that changed my outlook and pushed me to being one step closer to being more comfortable about myself.

Of course, I still have social anxiety and some of it has been made worse due to me choosing the wrong person(s) to be friends with and I tend to ‘count my words’ especially on text for fear of people seeing me as self-centred.

But I know that the right friend would not and should not make you feel that way, if you know you truly care about your friends and the mere fact that you’re scared to be that way means that you are doing everything in your power to make sure you aren’t.

If you care about being obnoxious, annoying, self-centred, that’s precisely what makes you not that. If you were all those things you wouldn’t care.

Which is why if you imagine the worst person you could think of right now, they sure as hell don’t care if that’s what you think of them, because someone likes them.

Even someone as problematic as Trisha Paytas has friends [although makes and loses them often], so what makes you so horrible and detestable that you have none?

Its precisely the fear that hinders you from going out there and just living – social self-sabotage is what I call it.

So yeah, I’m not special in the sense that I’m not worse of than everyone else. But I do believe that I’m smart, talented and funny and just because I took that phrase doesn’t make those things about me any less true.

It just means I won’t do everything in my power to hide it anymore

11 Dec, 2021

Kirby; UK

Author: Workers' Archive

Covering sensitivity at work and beyond on my website:

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