…to love you too much?
Would it be possible to be overly expressive? Am I? Am I annoying about it? Am I too much?
I have recently recognized this thing, this fear, and I don’t know if it’s valid or not. I have been told that I am overly expressive, that it’s too much, that I don’t need to say it all the time.
I wasn’t always this way but a thing happened with a friend and I realized that I could have avoided a whole lot of negative stuff if I’d only been more open about my own feelings. I decided then that I should be more expressive with how I feel, in all the ways. It was how I first learned about boundaries and how to set them. You can’t set boundaries if you don’t tell people when something hurts you or upsets you. At the same time, I realized I needed to be more forthcoming with gratitude, too.
I always struggled with expressing my feelings because feelings were unimportant in my conservative family. Sometimes it seemed like any expression of humanity was distasteful. There was a lot of, “We don’t talk about those things.” It got me to the point where expressing any emotion out loud was incredibly difficult, even when it was a positive emotion like gratitude. Expression of any kind made me uncomfortable.
But, nearly 20 years ago now, I was in therapy and I’d started an online journal and I was dealing with a lot of things, and the thing happened that made me realize I’d created my own sort of repressive hell. I was able to overcome the idea that expressing any emotion other than anger (the only one I was really, really comfortable with) was wrong or bad. I started with gratitude. I started telling the people who really mattered to me just how much they mattered. And wow, it made a tremendous difference in my quality of life, it really did. Over the years, it led me to this point, right now, where I can far more easily express a full range of emotions without feeling extreme anxiety.
But I feel like I’m still just learning. I still worry constantly that I’m doing it wrong, or I’m doing it too much, making people uncomfortable, overwhelming and/or annoying them. And sometimes setting boundaries feels like building walls to keep people out and isn’t that the point, really? Why does it feel both good and bad at the same time?
I fear that I will scare people away. The shiny always wears off, you know? I’m recognizing that I still very much fear being too much in all the wrong ways and not enough in the right ones. I feel undeveloped. Behind the curve.
I don’t even know what “too much” and “enough” mean. I have no frame of reference other than being told that I am both too much and not enough by various people throughout life.