Adrian Stobbe

Thinking out loud

2 minutes (551 words)

I’m not used to talking about feelings and raw thoughts. It’s how I grew up and it’s hard to undo. Feelings make you vulnerable and I saw them as a burden to others. So I mostly kept them to myself. I found ways to process them: by studying, listening to music, exercising and sleeping. Basically, disengaging from my feelings and letting time heal everything. Time alleviates strong emotions. But I think that this evasive way also disconnects myself from people. I blunt emotions, but don’t solve the root cause. It’s because talking about feelings and problems is sensitive. But I learnt that when approached tactfully, everything can be talked about. And I think there is much more to gain than to lose. You get to know someone else’s perspective and either discover that you both felt something was wrong and want to fix it, or you find that the other does not care that much. I think even the latter is so valuable to know!

It actually feels so bonding when you can talk about it and feel understood. I admit that it’s not easy to find your soul mate. Most people just don’t care so deeply. I feel grateful that I found my significant other, but you can actually rediscover deep connections in people you already know. Don’t assume that they don’t want it, just because it wasn’t like this before! When you start opening up, you might be surprised what you get back. I certainly reaped rewards.

One reason that deterred me from sharing was that raw thoughts and feelings are not stable. They might change tomorrow and what I said yesterday would feel like a lie. So I only used to share results and facts. This is a good thing with more distant acquaintances. You don’t want to confuse them with your wild mind. But with good friends and loved ones, it is so rewarding to think out loud. First, you get to understand each other much better. Second, you have much more interesting conversations and third you might discover something new. You get to learn different perspectives and can make better decisions!

Lately, I had been thinking about moving out from home again. Normally, I would only share the news with my family when I already made the decision and probably already found a flat. This time however, I shared the idea early with my aunt and it turns out that she is super supportive and actually knew of an awesome flat that will become available soon. Serendipity at it’s best! Soon, I’ll be moving in - thanks to thinking out loud.

It’s natural for thoughts and feelings to change. Sharing what we think in the moment is actually very honest, the exact opposite of what I believed. It’s honest to acknowledge that our thoughts are not always clear-cut and logical. Not every word needs to be taken literally. You are talking to a friend, not an interrogator. Over time we gain more information and more perspective, so it’s healthy to associate change with improvement instead of constantly fearing that we act inconsistently and worrying that we think differently tomorrow. It feels great to not be alone on this endless thought journey and it immensely enriches both experiences and learnings. As I’m writing this, I’m just thinking out loud. It needn’t be perfect, it’s just me.