Robert's Random Ravings

The Daily Struggle

I often wonder, when I look at the people around me, what is really going on in their heads.  That is not meant to be a snarky comment.  See, I struggle with self-esteem issues and a monumental lack of any social grace.  I am also very reserved and even shy, though most people would probably be amazed to hear that.  I cover it up well, I guess.  But what people can never hear is the never-ending internal dialogue I have running through my head.  “You should have done this,” or “Why did you do that?” and such.

It’s a difficult battle.  You always are second guessing yourself.  Of course, sometimes other people are second guessing you as well, contributing to the feeling.

We think we know each other, but I would say that no one truly knows another human being.  We have filters, shields, defense mechanisms, etc. that we place between ourselves and others.  Some have trust issues too.  Some of us are paranoid (I am).

Perhaps, though, part of the problem is that we don’t really understand ourselves.  Our whole life is spent trying to figure out who we are.  We have so many outside influences giving us input on the subject.  Our parents try to teach us and shape us.  We have teachers at school and rabbis, priests or ministers at our various houses of worship.  All this and more shapes us and how we look at the world and at ourselves.

I had a good childhood.  I was not beaten, abused or anything like that.  But that does not mean that I don’t have “scars” from my childhood.  When I was very young, my parents became very religious.  I grew up in a strict environment that to some extent resulted in my being removed from some normal socialization.  For a long time, I was only allowed to “fraternize” with like-minded people, and there just weren’t that many around.  So I ended up being more introverted.

I have struggled ever since with difficulties in getting along with other people and with tact and grace in social settings.  I am not trying to blame my parents, so please do not misunderstand.  But we are products of our environment.

Sometimes that filter that belongs between what we think and what comes out of our mouths doesn’t work so well for me.  I also have a lot of trouble when it comes to not showing through body language or other cues what I am actually thinking.  It’s not that I want to lie – that is not what I am saying.  But I wish that I had more control over my body language at times.  I have worked on this and tried very hard, but it is a difficult, ongoing issue for me.  As a result, I tend to put people off and drive people away.  It is not what I mean to do, but it is what happens.  I don’t know if anyone else can relate to that.

I just hope that if anyone reads this that is dealing with similar issues, it might give them a little encouragement to know that they are not the only ones.


05/13/2010 - Posted by | General | , ,


  1. Comment by jamie siever | 05/13/2010 | Reply

  2. I think more people struggle with these issues than we know, to the point that it concerns me when someone seems perfectly comfortable in any situation. I often wonder about the people who seemingly float through life, letting everything roll off their backs like nothing really bothers them. Inside there has to be something more going on. Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just shallow!

    Comment by Devon Pearse | 05/16/2010 | Reply

    • I don’t know about shallow. We are supposed to “grin and bear it.” Sharing true feelings is such a no-no in our society. So it is easier to just bury everything.

      Comment by rkurzweil | 05/16/2010 | Reply

  3. I too have struggled with some of these issues—especially, “why did I say that?” or “I should have done this.” Many times, if I don’t guard my mouth, I might inadvertantly come out with something that causes another person discomfort…which is the LAST thing that I want.

    I guess we all have doubts, fears, walls, and masks. Thank you for sharing what you did. It makes us want to be a little more open and transparent and that’s a GOOD thing.

    Comment by Shoshana | 05/24/2010 | Reply

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