I was having a conversation earlier this week about word vomit. You know, the thing that happens when someone asks how we are doing and we respond with a nervous rundown of our worries, fears, joys, etc. it goes a bit like this…
Me: Hey there! I just had an impossible breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. It’s so good! I have been trying to ween off of meat because I have Crohn’s Disease. Oh, that’s a chronic gut issue I have forever now because I had this terrible job that caused me so much stress. Yea! I really didn’t do well at managing my anxiety…
This is a legit conversation I seemed to be having alone when a stranger simply nodded my way (as most Southerners do on a fine mornin’). Sheesh. Pouring out these personal details can be embarrassing!
Some people wonder why they just let these words fall out of their mouths. This common habit is a result of a few things. I’m here to explain on behalf of those of us who have this, seemingly, uncontrollable urge to tell our life stories.
1. To test the trust factor
I’ll keep it simple. Sometimes, we want to know if we can share space and feel safe. It doesn’t matter the degree of closeness, whether it is a physical safety or otherwise...we just need to know we can trust that you won’t hurt us. I had a conversation with someone who was able to validate this conclusion. She was starting a new job where she was about to engage with a lot of new people. Of course, she knew her baggage and where it’s gotten her before in relationships. She figured by telling all her business it would allow her to gauge whether this person could “handle” them at their Britney Spears when she isn’t presenting as Sasha Fierce (if you know what I mean). Simply put, sometimes our trauma brains kick in and tell us we need to haze any newcomers in our space so we can know what to do next. So explore this: what do you need to feel safe? Do you trust yourself? Why or why not? Projection (the defense mechanism we have to defend our own junk by throwing it in the faces of others) has us taking a deeper look into our lack of something and assuming the other person has the responsibility to fix it. Aht, Aht! Stop that, Sis. Take accountability: feel, deal, then heal. I wonder what would happen if you led with a bit more trust than usual to test the waters...
2. To beat the other party to the punch
If we consider the previous point, it makes sense that we are trying to head off any rejection. I find that women who are still addressing Daddy Issues Symptoms (IE abandonment, rejection, low-self worth, etc.), find it easy to put up the wall, assuming they’re not wanted in the first place. It’s a twisted, yet important, protective factor that seems to help avoid any pain the person may inflict. It’s more crucial to make sure we don’t feel the hurt our fathers made us feel at one point. Sis, if this is you, understand you don’t have to be stuck in that trauma response of fleeing from the discomfort. I invite you to lean into it. There is such a thing as safe relationships with others. I wonder what you will need to allow yourself to let the guard down without sabotaging a potential loving connection. You may have been able to keep that job, that internship, that car if you hadn’t tried to avoid the lesson in the discomfort. So again: What do you need? Could it be a conversation with a safe friend? A trusted professional? You deserve to feel supported while figuring out what the next step is.
3. To manage our insecurities
The last free (smile) point I’ll leave you with is that word vomit helps us release everything that’s wrong with us because it’s a narrative that’s so large, it has to come out somewhere! This negative self-talk will overflow whether you like it or not. You may say things like “Thank you, but I just threw this together; I’m not normally this stylish”. Ever wondered why you can’t take a compliment for just that? Maybe you’ve heard about how useless you are, that you’re a nobody, or not a soul would want you. First of all, that’s not true. However, you will not be ready to receive a safe, loving relationship if you continue to believe you are every negative thing you’ve heard about yourself over your life. It’s time to start inputting more positive thoughts and practicing self-talk that will encourage you. It’s true what they say: garbage in, garbage out.
There you have it. These are only a few things that come to mind when you wonder, why do I talk so much? It’s a trauma response designed to protect you from the embarrassment, shock, disappointment, etc. you assume is coming. Need to know how to address this? Check out the rest of the blog posts here and engage with me. There are plenty of resources available to you right here.
Share your thoughts with us. I look forward to your responses!