I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, but I don’t do it just for the laughs. It turns out that comedians are incredibly insightful, and are bothered or narcissistic or self-aware enough to work through a lot of their issues. I find that kind of talk more interesting than just about anything. Feelings, people!
When someone works up the courage to tell you something, that’s only the tip of the iceberg for them. They have been thinking about it for a long time, and there is a lot that led up to that moment, so don’t just brush it off. –Tig Notaro (paraphrased), Professor Blastoff #53
I tend to think things to death before vocalizing them, so I know all about being the person who finally finds the courage to say what she’s thinking only to have those feelings dismissed. But, I don’t know that I always assume the same when someone brings up something difficult with me. There is something to taking people seriously and really listening, even if you immediately disagree or want to reassure them that everything is okay.
“We have to deal with those feelings no matter what the truth is.” –Paul Gilmartin, Mental Illness Happy Hour #66
I spend entirely too much time trying to justify my feelings, and it’s not like those are unimportant questions to ask (Is this helpful? Am I overreacting? Am I seeing things clearly?), but at a certain point, you have to just deal with how you feel instead of debating whether you have the right to feel that way.
“You want the person you’re with to be the most interesting person you’ve ever met on an airplane–not the most interesting person anyone has ever met on an airplane.” –Michaela Watkins quoting a friend, Mental Illness Happy Hour #66
I just like this.
“When people don’t have the personal courage to honor their feelings . . . everything becomes a manipulation–that you’re going to manipulate someone else into speaking for you, into making the decision for you.” –Marc Maron, WTF #291
I’m still unpacking this one, but damn it made me stop in my tracks.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned as an adult is . . . how great it is to admit you were wrong about something . . . [it's not as if admitting you are wrong means] you will never be right forever.” –Paul F. Tompkins, You Made It Weird #25
I can admit when I’m wrong, but the embarrassing truth is that even at 28 it often takes me half a second too long to do it. I realize I’m wrong, immediately get defensive and start to BS my way out of it, and then realize it doesn’t matter. It is always such a relief to just admit I was wrong, and as PFT says, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be right again.
“Fortunately, I’m not that smart, so I could never outwit myself . . . in avoiding dealing with my shit . . . you know a lot of people who are too clever for their own good and they never hit the wall.” –Dana Gould, WTF #93
So I wrote a whole post about this several months ago; you don’t want to be so clever that you never deal with yourself.
“Figure out why you’re being honest.” –Marc Maron, Nerdist (4/2/12)
Sometimes the truth is just hurtful and not constructive. My instinct saves me here, but often it goes too far and prevents me from telling the truth when the truth may be hurtful and important to say out loud. There’s a line I’m always struggling to define. (I also wrote a full post about this one.)
“If the people in your life aren’t uncomfortable, then you aren’t really writing.” –Chris Rock quoting Quentin Tarantino, Here’s The Thing (12/5/11)
This is one of those things I heard at the exact right time, because I was finding myself not being as honest (or, really, forthcoming) as I want to on this blog, but the truth is that I am less worried about making other people uncomfortable and far more worried about making myself uncomfortable.