I’m in my head a lot. A lot. I do tend to think about what I’d like to say to someone but usually don’t. I think about how I would explain my position, how I would enlighten them, how I would tell them off, how I would put them in their place. But at the end of the day I’m pretty non-confrontational (unless I really, really like you- then I have no problem telling you what I think) and I never really say all of those things. I used to think that meant I wasn’t strong enough to say what I thought. Then for a while I thought I was wasting too much time thinking about people who’d upset me but weren’t really there in the present moment. But now I think that perhaps these imaginary conversations have their place.
The truth is that I’m not non-confrontational out of fear or weakness; I’m non-confrontational because I choose not to spend my time arguing with people who are probably not going to change their mind anyway. I’m not going to cower and hide my true feelings but I’m also not going to badger someone with my ideas- that’s just not who I am. But it does feel really good to think about what I would say if I had a captive audience who would respond exactly as I wanted them to. An audience that would listen to all of my stellar points and suddenly see the error of their ways. But I have enough experience from the days when I always felt compelled to speak up, no matter the situation to know that this isn’t the response we usually get when we blast our opinions at people. In fact, doing so would often leave me feeling even more frustrated. But yelling at someone in my head helps me purge all the frustration I’m feeling at a given situation without creating an even more frustrating situation.
As for not being present and worrying about people who aren’t really there at the moment- the fact is that the situation is obviously occupying my mind at the moment so I need to sort out how I really feel. It’s not really about the other person, they are just there to personify my frustration. Through these imaginary conversations I can play devil’s advocate to my own opinions and tease out my true feelings about a situation.
So, I suppose I’ll keep talking to myself. I’ll let you know if I start answering so someone can intervene…