To speak or not speak

July 5, 2008

My mother tells me that I started to speak earlier than most infants. Everyone in my family attests to this fact actually, and my dad even has the audio tapes to prove how irritatingly loquacious I was as a child. My mom recalls how frustrated she was that I just would not shut up while she was pregnant with my younger brother and I would keep following her around, bombarding her with my annoying questions.

My parents took such great pride in my talkativeness that they would let me mingle with their adult friends all the time. Thus I grew up always having adult conversations with actual adults. At a tender young age, I already discovered how wonderful it was to engage in verbal calisthenics.

At some stage in my adolescent years though, I just decided to not talk. I thought it might be more fun to keep to myself and only really speak to friends I felt comfortable with. Once in high school, a teacher had to sit my mom down and informed her how I never spoke a word in class while I would hand in pretty decent written work. My mom then asked me how this could be possible when, growing up, I was such an irrepressible and argumentative kid.

In college, I reverted to my former self. I was still painfully shy but I did try to be as sociable as I can. I was the president of an organisation and this role involved lots and lots of talking, and I think I did fairly okay. I made plenty of acquaintances, but my real and true friends were just a handful. I always preferred to operate that way.

I’m in my mid-twenties now and I’m as silent as ever. Last year I think was my worst year in talking. As a result, I met less people, and the few people I did meet got to know me at a highly superficial level. I just lost faith in words and talking. But more than anything, I guess I just became overly wary of people.

I remember how I spent most of last year by myself, in my room. I was leading a loser lifestyle extraordinaire. I hardly spoke in class, but if it would make a huge difference in my grade, I would. I became very business-like with classmates. I would study in my room, go to class, run back home, stay in my room again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

One night while walking home from a late evening class, I was about to cross the street. The red pedestrian light was flashing and I attempted to make a run for it. I stopped in midstep though, and I realised that I was such a moron for wanting to rush home just so I could lock myself up in my room again.

Late in the second semester of last year, I began to have some semblance of normalcy again in my life. I started to slowly talk to people again and drum roll please…make new friends. It’s amazing how the few good friends that I have at the moment all made the heroic first move to befriend my pathetic self. A friend told me that I seemed like such a colossal snob and that I really gave off the vibe that I wanted to be left alone, but he still took it upon himself to try very hard to smash my wall of ice. I’m happy he did.

I still adopt a policy of silence when I hang out with people I barely know, but once I get comfy with someone, I surely can unleash a mouthful. I like being quiet and reserved. It gives me a chance to observe people more keenly and prevent myself from saying empty and stupid things. And isn’t listening so much more fun since it involves far less energy compared to talking?


6 Responses to “To speak or not speak”

  1. sparks Says:

    And isn’t listening so much more fun since it involves far less energy compared to talking?

    i so agree. i think the not talking part also has to do with my largely unconscious decision not to expend energy, as you say, unless i really care about the issue at hand. if i don’t have any strong opinions about it, then i’m happy to just let people have their say.

  2. nmanuson Says:

    yep. well said 🙂

    and i think that’s one of the reasons why you and i are friends…

  3. Marvin Says:

    you surely are talkative on:
    1. internet
    2. phone.

    but when we had a chance to talk personally, i believe it was two years ago, you played the colossal snob and opted not to talk to me at all. samantalang we just had a telebabad session the night before. hahaha!

    i hope that would change when you get back here.

  4. nmanuson Says:

    marv, pagbalik ko, kakausapin kita ng kakausapin hanggang makulitan ka na sakin…to make up for that one time that i supposedly was a snob to you :p can’t wait to eat at your resto!

  5. Rhoda Says:

    ako naman I went from passive to argumentative haha! I don’t know if it’s because I repressed all my ‘feelings” for so long…beinga very quiet child myself. I’m trying my best to revert to the same apathetic me.

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