A tad too demonstrative and open at times

open zipped mouth

In many of the posts I write, I try to acknowledge that some characteristics of people with bipolar disorder (or other mental illnesses) are not totally absent in those without such diagnoses. For example, a symptom of bipolar hypomania or mania is rapid speech, but we all know that there are non-mentally ill people out there that speak very quickly and voluminously.  In this post I want to discuss my tendency to be a tad too demonstrative and open at times. I’d like to explore if that tendency is related to my bipolar disorder, or just me, and if just me, why I’m like this.

facial expressionNon-verbal communication

I could never be an effective actress. It’s just too difficult for me to fake emotion. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wear emotions on my face frequently. Actually, I know I do, pretty much all the time in front of people, and even when I’m alone. I believe some of what is going on in my mind shows clearly on my face (frown, clenching teeth, smile, shock, etc.) People have told me that just by looking at me they receive strong vibes, sometimes positive and sometimes negative. I think usually my inner feelings are clear, but in the case of anxiety when I try to stuff the emotion some quizzical look appears. Probably still of fear, but in a weird way. Even if most of the pain seems like two fists rolling in my stomach, the pain can’t help but show at least in my eyes.

typing on computerWritten communication

When I write (usually typing), my fingers fly across the keyboard. Everything in my mind just dumps out in a fast continuous flow. Unless I’m writing some formal letter or e-mail, most other written pieces have no holds barred. Part of the reason, I think, is because I get so excited when I’m writing. Believe me. When I write in a place where I feel free and safe, I just want to dance around with the words, and tell everyone what I’m thinking.

I am rather lonely at home, especially now since my pet parrot died. I yearn for interactions with people, and yet I can only manage to push myself out of my comfort zone (my bedroom nook) once or twice per day, if that. I guess I want to introduce myself to people quickly to establish connections with no delay. I also enjoy reading about others, and communicating to them in response, too. It is especially satisfying when I can relate to another, or if I learn something new from them. When they respond back I feel less lonely.

Someone close to me very recently asked me to delete one of my blog posts. This person said that I revealed something they thought was too private. They thought I shared it in a way that was disrespectful of its importance. That made me sad, because I meant no disrespect at all. On the contrary, I felt I was celebrating the thing. Now I must be more mindful of what I share. I know that others close to me do read my blog posts, and they may have different feelings and reasons for reluctance about sharing certain things than I do. I do respect that, but I guess it means putting on some breaks occasionally. I have mixed feelings about this, to a degree, but I deep down know that’s right.

stage frightSpoken communication

Just as I can be quite demonstrative and open in non-verbal ways and writing, I am also often free with what comes out of my mouth. Once here on WordPress I mentioned that a man called me “gabby” as a young girl. Well, there are times when I’m still plenty gabby as a middle-aged woman. But it’s funny, I can be quite extroverted and free speaking at times, or with certain people, and yet almost introverted at others. This occasional introversion is clearly more obvious when I speak. I have far more confidence and feeling of freedom writing. Sometimes, with some people, I have what my therapist says is a “performance anxiety”, so you know I’m not a very enthusiastic public speaker. I’m much more confident one-on-one, or with small familiar groups.

When I meet new people, particularly women, I can sometimes (not always) be very measured in my speech. This does depend, of course, on my mood state. When I’m hypomanic or manic anything goes. I’m the star of the show. When I’m stable, anxious, and/or depressed, I can be shy/quiet. But if I get to know someone and feel some trust for them I open up fully. I think that even when I’m stable I’m enthusiastic and outgoing in these cases. With them you might hear me telling jokes, teasing, flirting, and giving hugs and kisses freely.

My personal analysis

So why the difference sometimes between my openness in writing vs. speaking? Maybe because when I write, I have a barrier that separates me from the person(s). A figurative wall to hide behind. The ability to turn off the computer. The ability to delete what was said, or send another communication that is far more measured to counteract any damage done. That’s my guess. Also, when face to face with someone you immediately see their reactions. The pain of a rejection hits you in a millisecond and you’re forced to respond immediately. Knowing that my non-verbal communication can’t hide my fear or discomfort can be disconcerting. Fear of an awkward silence while thinking how to repair damage is intimidating. So is freezing up. This is something that is mostly only an issue when stable, anxious or depressed. When hypomanic or manic, fear, embarrassment, and regret are either non-existent or quite delayed.

My conclusion is that when writing I am always quite open, no matter what mood state. Otherwise it varies by mood state.

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18 thoughts on “A tad too demonstrative and open at times

  1. Nel June 1, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Although I don’t personally suffer from a mental illness, I can understand where you’re coming from. Writing from behind a screen does make it a lot easier to be open because you can actually think about what you want to say and reread what you say before actually sending it whereas in real life, once it’s out, its out and you deal with whatever the aftermath may be. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I think, because people’s true colors come out better that way. Its a trade off either way, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight June 1, 2017 / 6:09 pm

      That’s so true.

      I do think that more and more people, especially the young, are becoming freer in their written communications even over spoken with the heavy usage of Twitter and Facebook. I’ve even read an article about that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nel June 1, 2017 / 6:35 pm

        I did too! I mean just look at our President. He’s a prime example of being real free with what he says. I always wonder though if he didn’t have such a prominent position because I’m sure that also plays a role in communications these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight June 1, 2017 / 6:44 pm

        President Trump would surely serve himself better if he used his Twitter account just to wish people Merry Christmas or Happy Thanksgiving. Past presidents I believe spent a lot more time carefully considering communications to the public. What he communicates makes a huge impact in many ways. It’s not like me, a fairly anonymous blogger being too open. I get the feeling that most of his Tweets are done on the toilet during a particularly difficult bowel movement.

        I hope that if future presidents do use things like Twitter and Facebook, too, the messages will be more informational about real and significant issues, and inspiring and showing real caring about ALL people in the country and around the world. I would hope that for Donald Trump, too, but he hasn’t given us much indication of that. It’s SAD!

        I write the above not to pick on any political party, just to comment on one man’s communications and attitudes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nel June 1, 2017 / 6:55 pm

        Hahahaha! You are too right! And yes they did; probably talked sent their correspondence through multiple people to pick apart and revise before it ever hit social media.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hussein Allam June 1, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Thanks to share this about your personal issues, this is something very beautiful to share about. However, writing is an excellent asset to release the pressure of one’s. So I believe also that writing is not something that we hide ourselves behind the curtain, Because all people who have passion with writing have more values to things in life, as they have such unique characteristics, so it could not be counted as introvert or something relates to any mental issue. But we sometimes need to interact one on one conversation which I feel that it is very important thing we should have. Sometimes, if I don’t find someone to speak with, I prefer to walk alone to discover the nature. As it is a good place to relieve soul from the pain, although there are a lot of people who are nice, but we still find brutal people, as a result we want to keep ourselves away. As they are instead of standing right next to us, I feel that they are against us, instead of relieving us, they make things to worse. Hope my comment is on the right place, up down flight. It is such a great post🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dapo OBEMBE - Sir_Phren June 1, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Communication is such a powerful tool, in either of the forms, with which things can be destroyed, heart can be won, life can be ruined. In verbal communication which is done face to face, i try as much as i can to know the mood of the person am talking to so as not to cause damage. Things i look for in communication are; the questions, information, mood of the speaker and how the speaker treat it.
    As for me, am not much of a talker, I write more than I talk. But, if the topic interests me, I can forgo other things for it. Just like now. I used to talk fast too but, am controlling myself now.
    Its cool to be here with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight June 1, 2017 / 10:40 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Dapo OBEMBE. You seem to be quite in tune with the people with whom you speak. That is a great skill. Being able to carefully regulate your speak patterns is certainly a challenge for some of us. I, like you, have made headway in slowing my speech.

      I’m so happy you visited my blog. I’ll look forward to reading yours and receiving your feedback in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dapo OBEMBE - Sir_Phren June 1, 2017 / 10:48 pm

        You are welcome! Yeah, just to make sure havocs are not caused. Like my granny do say, “words are like egg, when it breaks you can’t gather it again.”
        I have already bookmarked your site. The topics interest me. I love stuffs on Psychology and Psychiatry.
        Stay cool Ma’am!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight June 2, 2017 / 11:21 am

        I like your granny’s saying! Thanks so much, Dapo OBEMBE. You stay cool, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. gregoryjosephs June 2, 2017 / 4:46 am

    I really appreciate our comment exchanges, and I’m especially pleased if they help you to feel less lonely. 😊

    I don’t know if I am more or less open writing/speaking. . . I think I’m about the same with both, but I definitely prefer writing. I enjoy the ability to edit and carefully order my thoughts. I’ll choose email over a phone call every single time, especially when communicating with strangers. The only people I’ll really enjoy speaking with on the phone are my husband and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight June 2, 2017 / 11:26 am

      Oh, I so appreciate our exchanges. I’m glad I met you here at WordPress, Gregory.

      I do like writing better than speaking because of the ability to edit and carefully order thoughts. That’s a great point.

      Like

  5. Joanna Maguire June 8, 2017 / 11:39 am

    I too am much more confident and comfortable writing rather than speaking. Having that time to think things through is so much better for me. When I am talking face to face with people, my mind just goes blank and I feel so stupid.
    Glad our responses make you feel less lonely – I shall make sure I leave replies more often ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight June 8, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      That’s kind of you, Joanna! And thanks for sharing. It seems like most of us prefer writing for the reasons you stated.

      Liked by 1 person

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