Of all the insults in the world, one that gets me easily irritated is “shut up” or “keep quiet” especially in the middle of an argument or when I’m trying to proof a point. You just do not tell me to keep shut or keep quiet.
You do not tell me that I’m taking things personal too! Of course, it’s personal to me; if it’s not, I’d have kept quiet and watch things unfold. Why would I form an opinion about something and even set up a defense of the said opinion if the subject matter wasn’t important to me? I’m sorry but i don’t do half-hearted causes, I’m either in or out and when I’m in, I’m in for real with boxing gloves, helmets and shield.
‘Shut up’ ranks high on my insult list because I am opinionated. I like to think that a lot of thought and careful considerations have gone into an opinion that I’ve formed on something, so like a mother hen i set out to fiercely defend my stand when such issues come up. I rarely argue about things I can’t elaborately defend. Being opinionated means I am rigid and it is difficult to change my opinion about something but certainly not impossible, change is the only constant thing after all.
One thing that will however not get you close to changing my mind is telling me to keep shut. I consider it an intellectual insult. I see it as though you’re implying that my carefully strung together words and catch phrases have zero intellectual depth, they make absolutely no difference and so, I can as well keep quiet because I’m making a meaningless or intellectually unappealing sound that might as well be coming from a goat or a cow. Of course, I know I’m making sense (proud much uhn) and I will not allow you talk me down or use me to up your mediocre self-esteem, I’ll just be irritated and look the other way or call you out depending on who you are.
Now, this is not to say that I’m always right or I cannot be wrong. Anybody can be wrong and one thing I consider to be the greatest character trait for a millennial (isn’t that the cool term they call us now?) to have is the ability to admit that you can be wrong (obviously, I’m a work in progress). The truth however is that, when people tell you to shut up or keep quiet in the middle of an argument or when they annoyingly tell you it’s okay, relax or you’re taking it personal, they actually mean well and are trying to calm you down but this never works (at least not for me, maybe I love to rant too much). I’ll appreciate this kind of admonition later after the argument because then I can rationally listen to you and see clearly how and where a little calm could have changed things up.
There is this thing about me when I’m arguing or should I say when I’m talking, I’m a passionate arguer/talker. A lot of passion and energy go into my arguments; my hands shoot up and they start making rhythmical movements, my eyes can either be fixed or look at you in a patronizing or fiercely adamant way. Communication, I’ve been told, goes beyond words, so my affectations, mannerisms and words all come together to pass my message of disagreement with you along.
For some time now, I have found myself in the midst of total strangers and like it’s always the case when you meet new people, especially when you have to spend five months with them, everyone is trying to figure out the person next to them. Now, one of the most difficult tasks in the world is trying to figure out or to put it more succinctly, trying to make a perfect diagnosis of someone’s character or personality (even married couples are often shocked by their spouses). The fact that the average human being is a fantastic actor makes this task even more difficult because then you can have people consciously projecting a preferred personality type. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING!
I am just as guilty of manipulating people’s impression of me by carefully choosing my actions and all but then I cannot consciously pick my words, actions and expressions every time, or can I? I probably need to take more acting classes.