Thought Catalog

I Forgive You For Not Loving Me The Way I Loved You

Posted: 09 May 2016 08:00 PM PDT


From the very beginning, you were terrified you’d hurt me. In fact, it was one of the first things you ever said to me. A smarter heart would have heard that as a warning and fled. A smarter heart would have known that meant, eventually, you’d do exactly what you feared the most.

You would hurt me.

But you know, my heart has never been that smart. She’s a lot of things: reckless, hopeful, wild. She’s too impulsive to think first. She’s too caught up in wanting to give you everything. But it’s not her fault. She’s my heart. All she could do is beat a little bit faster each time you touched me.

I know you tried. And I don’t doubt that you loved me. In your way. In the almosts. In the quiet moments before the sunrise. It was always something. But never enough. Never the thing I could take home for Thanksgiving.

You loved me at a 50%, maybe 60% on a really good day. And I sat aching at 150%. Maybe I kept thinking I’d make up for what you lacked. Maybe I could love you more, for the both of us. Somehow, we would work. I didn’t need reciprocity. I just needed you with me. I would take you in whatever dose I was given.

Is that how addiction forms? I was willing to make any excuse. I was willing to swallow my own pride if it meant you’d spend the night in my bed. How could I ever explain? The thought of giving you up made me nauseous, made me want to break everything in sight. I couldn’t handle a world where I’d have to exist and you wouldn’t be there with me.

A week after we put our relationship to rest, you texted me, “I really do love you.”

At the time, I couldn’t hear it. I was ready to jump at any chance to make us work. I wanted you so badly. I wanted us so badly. I was blind to everything else. I deserved someone who fully wanted me. And you deserved to be with someone you fully wanted. But I couldn’t understand that. Not then.

I was so mad at you for that text. It felt cruel. I spent so many nights with a tear-stained pillow. I spent so many angry mornings when I woke up from a dream and realized you were not next to me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that you could love me, but it still wasn’t going to be enough.

We were never going to be enough. It couldn’t be a one-way street. It couldn’t depend on me.

I do believe you loved me. It would be a lie if I said I don’t occasionally imagine what would have happened if you were as invested in me. But the brutal truth? You weren’t. And I forgive you.

I forgive you for not loving me like I loved you. You did your best. My darling, we just weren’t meant to be. TC mark

I Believe In Loving Like You Give A Shit

Posted: 09 May 2016 07:00 PM PDT


I believe in loving like you give a shit.

I believe in being overly affectionate in public. Even if it means that those who are envious label you as 'that couple' or tell you to get a room.

I believe in flirting with someone you've been with for years.

I believe in seeking out our barriers to intimacy and working our way through them.

I believe in forgiveness, and acceptance, and our ability to move on when others have hurt us.

I believe in the healing power of listening. And empathy. And a well-timed, genuine "me too."

I believe in apologizing when we've done something wrong. And taking full ownership of our part of the relationship. And embracing total responsibility for ourselves and our behaviour in our lives in general.

I believe in the sexiness of self-care, because when we take care of ourselves, we can truly be there for others.

I believe in simple dates, extravagant dates, and playful dates that spawn inside jokes that last for decades.

I believe in verbal appreciation, and lots of it.

I believe in investing in "Fuck yes!" relationships. And authentic connections. And the kind of coincidences that can only come from our twin-flame connections.

I believe in leaning in to tough conversations. And showing ourselves as we are. And letting people know when we're hurting.

I believe in accepting ourselves today as we are, and simultaneously striving for growth at a healthy pace.

I believe in head scratches and foot rubs… nose kisses and holding hands.

I believe that people who are meant to be together will always, with time, find a way to be together.

I believe in transparency, and vulnerability, and deeply loving honesty.

I believe in relationships as a safe container for growth.

I believe in regular date nights, connecting on purpose, and romantic gestures.

I believe in nurturing the kind of love that brings you home to a more authentic version of yourself.

I believe that the people who put genuine work into themselves are the ones who end up with the kind of intimate relationships that most people only think exist in fairy tales.

I believe in long hugs and slow kisses.

I believe in loving someone who looks, smells, and feels like home.

I believe in multi-hour sexual play dates, quickies, and morning sex. Sometimes all on the same day.

I believe in saying, "Fuck you society. I'm going to have sex and I'm going to LOVE it."

I believe in kissing your partner passionately even when they're sick. Especially when they're sick.

I believe in doubling down on the kind of love that expands you… develops you… bursts you wide open.

Whether you label it as intentionality, or effort, or loving on purpose, or any other phrase, it's really all the same thing.

It all comes down to loving like you give a shit.

Putting in the work. Showing your partner that you care. Creating the love you desire through your thoughts, words, and actions on a daily basis.

Aka… loving like you give a shit.

If you're someone who loves like they give a shit, I salute you.

The world needs more of you. TC mark

This Is What It’s Like To Be A Socially Awkward Girl In Your Twenties

Posted: 09 May 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Lyubomir Ignatov
Lyubomir Ignatov

1. You overthink everything. Everything. You overthink statements made by your friends, you overthink texts, you overthink food orders, you overthink what to say to people at parties, you over think how much your overthink. You are in a constant battle with your brain, and your thoughts are always convincing you that you are the weirdest person alive even when you aren't.

2. You never know what to do with yourself in social situations. You have mastered the skill of looking like you're texting someone important when you're really just looking at photos of dogs on your phone. Speaking of dogs, when you walk into a social gathering you usually look for the resident animal as to ensure that you have someone to hang out with all night.

3. You have your own language with yourself. Whenever you are caught talking to yourself in said language, you are always left wishing that the floor would open up and swallow you whole so you can escape as quickly as possible.

4. You don't understand social cues. You think high-fives are still cool, and you genuinely celebrate yourself when you finally get someone to participate in one.

5. You cannot stand silence. Due to your overthinking, you always assume that silence means those around you aren't enjoying your presence. Silence is your own personal hell, and you would rather ask someone if they like cheese, or tell them about your favourite stray cat, than sit in it for more than thirty seconds.

6. You are 'that' girl who ghosts people. If a social situation gets too overwhelming, or if you lose your friends, instead of standing there thinking that every single person is staring at you wondering why you're alone, you'll simply just leave. Social situations are really just spent counting down the minutes to the moment you have a clear getaway.

7. You have no middle ground, and you are bred from extremes. You either like someone so much you want to be around them all the time, or you want them to move halfway across the world so you don't have to see them in the hallway or interact with them anymore.

8. You cannot flirt. Most people believe that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, some sexy lingerie, and fiery charisma. To you, it's through the fifth left intercostal space at the midclavicular line.

9. You have a tendency to trip over anything that happens to come into your path. You also have a tendency to trip over air. You have probably fallen up the stairs many times in your life, and you often look around trying to assure yourself that no one has just seen you wipeout, when in fact, they always have. They always have.

10. There is no such thing as a good photo for you. Pictures amplify your awkwardness as if it were a giant elephant in a small room. You don't ever know where to put your hands, you're that person who is still on the ground in the group jump shot, and you always look scared due to the anticipation of the photo and your sheer determination not to look weird. Which you fail at. Every. Single. Time.

11. Whenever you meet someone new, you pray that they are just as awkward as you. Nothing feels better than finding someone who can relate to you, and you appreciate being able to be exactly who you are without holding back your dad jokes. True freedom is found in finding friends who enjoy your differences, and can laugh with you when you do something silly or embarrassing. TC mark

I Can’t Wait Until The Day I Finally Stop Texting You Back

Posted: 09 May 2016 05:47 PM PDT


There was a time when I thought we might be something real. I thought that maybe you’d be a nice person to spend some time with. I thought that maybe we could cuddle, laugh, and watch movies together. I thought that we could go on cute dates, holding hands while walking past closing storefronts on mild summer nights.

But now I know better. I know that I’m not good enough for you, not cool enough, not strong enough, not casual enough. I wanted to define our relationship, I wanted you — I wanted “us.” You didn’t. You wanted to fuck. You fucked my body, and then my mind. And now you just want more. Sliding into my DMs, sliding into my texts, trying to slide back into my life.

But I guess I don’t know better. Because I respond. Because I flirt. Because I let you tempt me with your games. I respond to your texts with sassy, flirty responses. I enable it all.

And then I wonder why I’m unhappy. I wonder why I don’t find the “nice guys.” I wonder why I am trapped in this vortex of insanity, and why you keep contacting me, pushing yourself back into my life. But the answer is pretty obvious, staring up at me from my bright iPhone screen.

Because I keep texting back.

And my friends think I’m masochistic, and they may be right — but there is more to it than that. When my phone lights up with a new text from you, my brain lights up with what I imagined could have been. I am not texting the boy who led me on and made my heartstrings into puppet strings, I am texting the boy I thought cared about my future. The boy who walked with a cocky swagger, and talked cheerfully about his day. The boy who I seduced myself into believing would see me differently than everyone else — would see me as someone special. That boy wasn’t real, instead, you were real.

Like falling for someone, sometimes falling away from someone takes time. And I think that’s okay.

But slowly, too slowly, I will convince myself that I deserve better. Slowly, I will pick up myself and move on. Slowly, I will look forward to the day when I finally ignore your texts, your tweets, and you. TC mark

I Think It’s Time To Begin Loving Life Again

Posted: 09 May 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Seth Doyle
Seth Doyle

I think it's time to start over, it's never too late to begin doing things differently, doing them the right way.

It's time to begin waking up in the morning feeling energetic rather than grumpy. Because each day is a chance to erase the mistakes of the day before or fix them.

It's time to begin taking more risks without the fear of looking stupid because you only get one life to live.

It's time to begin changing the way you think about yourself and your limitations, it's time to start believing in your capabilities and your determination.

It's time to begin smiling for no reason; smiling because you are alive, smiling because you have a future that's full of amazing surprises.

It's time to begin going out again just to have a good time, it's time to explore new places, make new friends and fall in love with your city all over again.

It's time to begin trusting that the universe is on your side. That the universe is waiting for you to ask for things so you can receive them. It's time to stop being scared of the universe.

It's time to begin believing in love, to stop the past from interfering with the present, to stop your previous heartbreak from breaking your heart again, it's time to let love seep through the open cracks in your heart.

It's time to begin loving again, get your heart out of the cage you built around it and see how far it wanders, it's time to let your heart take you outside the walls of your prison.

It's time to begin finding hope again, finding hope in your life, in your dreams, in people and finding hope in yourself. It's time to look for the stars when it's dark and let them guide you.

It's time to begin telling people who matter to you that they matter, it's time to tell them that you appreciate them, that you love them, that you forgive them and that you will always be there for them.

It's time to begin making unforgettable memories with unforgettable people. It's time to create a life worth remembering.

And it's time to remember that this is your life and you can shape it any way you want to.

It's time to let bygones be bygones and redefine your happiness.

It's time to let go of all the lies you told yourself that led you to despair.

It's time to let go of the crutches that held you back from reaching your destination.

It's time to begin walking and running towards your dreams and your happiness.

It's time to simply begin loving life because it’s your choice. It’s your choice to love your life because you were not born to be miserable. God is not that cruel.  TC mark

Commitment Is Freedom: How To Love One Woman Fully

Posted: 09 May 2016 04:30 PM PDT

Mark Kupasrimonkol
Mark Kupasrimonkol

Men want freedom.

At the core of our being is an untamed, primal man that simply wants to be free. We want freedom so badly that we will fight to the death, and are deeply afraid of anything that we consider a threat to it. We're afraid of getting locked in, having no way out and being stuck for life.

We also want deep love and connection.

As frustrating and unfathomable to women as this may sound, given the choice between deep connection and freedom, many men will choose freedom. While there are men for whom this is not true, this statement will help you understand men.

We have a profound desire for freedom.

Since we often see deep love connection as a threat to our freedom, we end up having to make a choice. On one hand we can have a life where we fully express our purpose and live what's true for us moment by moment but don't engage on the deepest level with our romantic partners. On the other hand we have a life of deep connection and fulfillment in relationships yet we will be limited by not being free to fully live out our purpose in life. Both of these options aren't great, yet this is the reality for many men.

Here is a common scenario, and for the sake of simplicity I'm going to generalize, however the gender roles in this example could easily be reversed.

  • Boy meets girl.
  • Boy and girl start to have feelings for each other that indicate there may be something special about this relationship.
  • Boy holds back and the relationship doesn't get deeper.
  • Girl feels this, gets upset and pressures boy into commitment.
  • Boy resists, protecting his freedom.
  • Boy and girl break up, she is resentful that he wasted her time and he doesn't understand why she needed commitment.

Does that sound familiar? It does in my life. I've seen friends go through this as well. The good news is it doesn't have to be this way. Let's break this down and see what's really going on.

They start to have feelings for each other that indicate there may be something special about this relationship.

  • At this point there is no holding back, both parties are happy and there isn't much (if any) fear about what will happen in the future.

Boy holds back and the relationship doesn't get deeper.

  • The reason he is holding back is because he is associating a deep relationship with entrapment. If he allows himself to love her fully, he can't control the outcome. We all do this, men and women. We don't give ourselves fully to relationships because we're afraid we won't like the outcome in the future.

Girl feels this, gets upset and pressures boy into commitment.

  • This is her best attempt at getting what she really wants: a deep connection. I'm convinced that all women have ever wanted was a deep connection, and their best attempt is often to corner a man into being with them exclusively. What's interesting here is that we as men often associate deep relationships with exclusivity, and if we're with a woman but it's not exclusive, we don't treat her with the same respect. It's us as men shooting ourselves in the foot.

Boy resists, protecting his freedom.

  • This makes sense, since the girl isn't really telling him what she wants (although she's doing her best). She is saying she wants commitment, when what she really wants is closeness. She wants him to stop holding back his love.

Boy and girl break up, she is resentful that he wasted her time and he doesn't understand why she needed commitment.

A Lesson Learned

After going through this last scenario myself, my life was changed by three words I read in a book from Deepak Chopra called "A Path to Love".

Love is unpredictable.

That's it. If it's love, it's unpredictable. I realized that if I wanted to have deep, loving relationships, I had to give up a particular outcome. I had to let it be out of my control. I could hold back and have the life I thought I wanted or I could love fully and roll the universal dice. Only if I was willing to roll the dice and give up control would it be possible for me to fully experience a deep relationship.

But what was I really giving up? Having the life I thought I wanted?

When I looked back over my life I realized I've never really known what was best for me. Whether it's where I want to end up living, what kind of work I will want to do or what my relationships will look like, I've never been able to accurately predict my own future. Can you say the same about yourself?

If that's true, than me trying to make my life fit into a certain box in the future is crazy, stressful, and takes a lot of energy. It's also a great way to have a boring, predictable love life. Is that what you really want? A love life that's exactly what you thought it would be?

What Happened When I Let Go

Something amazing happened when I finally let go and started loving women fully, without holding back. I actually felt for the first time that my partner was enhancing my whole life, and I was enhancing her's as well.

I was sharing everything, being as honest as I could and showing her the parts of me I used to hide. When I formed deep romantic relationships with women, a funny thing happened…

I stopped being afraid of losing my freedom.

I realized that my fear of being with one woman forever was based on a faulty assumption of what's possible in relationships. Of course I wouldn't want a life-long relationship if all I had to compare with were the relationships in my past where I was holding back to try and control the outcome. No one would want that.

When I actually felt what it was like to be in a deep, loving relationship, I realized my life would be far better with this person than without them.

While I can't speak for all men, the peculiar reason I resisted deep relationships was that I never really experienced a great one, and it was because I never let myself fall in love. It wasn't the fault of the women I was with, it was me holding back, trying to control the outcome.

A New Definition of Commitment

For most of my love life, commitment was the scariest word in the dictionary. I couldn't get on board with the idea that I would be giving a guarantee on how things would be in the future. For that reason, I decided to redefine commitment in a way that worked for me.

Commitment is not about an outcome the future, it's about how deeply I'm involved in the present. It may speak to how I relate to the future, but it is not a guarantee of what will happen in the future.

This brought me a lot of peace of mind. I saw that anything other than being deeply committed would be a waste, since I wouldn't be fully experiencing the relationship that was happening right now. Four months after I met my wife, I finally got clear on what commitment meant to me in a relationship. It meant playing full-out. The shift for me happened after a conversation I had with a friend from Vancouver named Meeka.

Meeka is totally obsessed with her business and she will become one of the most successful network marketers in Vancouver (if she's not already). She is working with a company called Vemma and one of their products is a healthy energy drink called "Verve". As I looked around her house, I couldn't help but notice that it was covered with Verve products. Her Christmas tree was even decorated with Verve cans. The way she spoke about this company and the people in it was inspiring. Clearly, she was fully committed to this business.

I said to her, "Meeka, I love how committed you are" and her response startled me. She said "yeah, it's just like being married".


What I saw was that I could commit fully to a business, yet I didn't know how to commit to a relationship.

I looked at my relationship and one thing was very clear. I didn't want to look back and regret anything. I was done holding back. That was the day I decided to play full out, and be two feet in my relationship.

The next day I proposed to my wife, exactly four months after we met.

What's really important to not mistake here is the order that went in. Marriage was a by-product of my commitment, it wasn't the catalyst. My decision to get married came after the decision to play the relationship full-out.

The Freedom of Commitment

99% commitment is hard as hell, 100% is a breeze.

You know this to be true in some areas of your life, but is it true for you in romantic relationships? I'm not making a pitch for you to get married, but I am making a pitch for you to stop holding back.

The most counter-intuitive thing I discovered in this journey was that the freedom I was seeking was only found through being 100% in.

Life is too short to not experience the full depth of love with people, whether it's your family, friends or romantic partners. You know the ways in which you're holding back right now, and if you don't, consider that you only have one month to live. That's it, then you're gone.

How would you live?

How would you love? TC mark

I Don’t Want A Meaningless Love With You

Posted: 09 May 2016 04:00 PM PDT


I don't want to be your temporary, your 'just fooling around,' your casual, your 'we're talking,' or your only-for-a-summer type of love.

I don't want to be the girl you mention in passing, the girl you think about when you're lonely, the girl whose attention and affection is merely a convenience.

I don't want something that's fleeting, something that's quick, something with a start and end date, something that's meaningless.

That's not love.

No. Love is passion. Love is commitment. Love is not being able to get enough of you, pulling you into a hug and holding you there just so I can feel your heart pulsing in your chest. Love is kissing you and feeling like I'm dizzy, like I'm melting into your lips as if the two of us were searching blindly our entire lives and finally found where our souls belong.

That's the kind of love I desire.

I want a love that stretches across the sky, that overflows from the two of us and spills over everyone we know, everyone we encounter, gently yet passionately like rain. I want a love that warms like the California sun, that dances around us, that fills and blesses wherever we go and whomever we touch.

I want a love that's all-consuming, that I can get lost in.

A love that builds me into something even stronger, a love that helps me discover even more of who I am and who I can become with someone else.

I want a love that's written in my heart, in my smile, in my every action and decision and thought. I want a love with someone who is wrapped up in me as much as I am in him. A love that intertwines our beautiful, independent selves into a connected, powerful unit.

I don't want meaningless. I don't have time for meaningless.

I don't have time for a fling that won't last, a kiss that will fade, a smile that's smiling the same way to everyone else, yet we’re all believing in and searching for the same things.

I'm not in this for the temporary.

I'm in this for the head-over-heels, for the 'finding the one,' for the forever.
I'm in this for the arguments, for the decisions, for the long-term, long haul.

I can't promise that I'll be perfect and I know you can't promise me this either. Neither of us can guarantee forever, or know for certain that our flaws will play nicely with one another.

But I don't want a meaningless love with you.

And if you can promise that this is the real-deal, that you're in it and you're just as excited and scared, too, then let's do this. Let's believe in love. Let's give all of ourselves and lean into one another. Let's jump and not be afraid to free fall.

Let's catch each other on the way down. TC mark

Find The Person You Want To Write A Life With

Posted: 09 May 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Leo Hidalgo
Leo Hidalgo

They’re not here to take over your story. They’re not here to strip you of the individuality that you worked so hard for. They are not the thing that is finally going to make you whole, the thing that is finally going to make you good enough, the thing that is finally going to give you purpose. They are not here to turn you into a shadow, to swallow you into their orbit instead of letting you spin around your own universe.

It makes sense to be wary of opening up your life completely to another person. We put so much work into understanding ourselves, to figuring out who we are and what kind of lens we want to use to look at the world, that the idea of committing ourselves fully to another person sometimes feels like we’re being forced to give up the very sense of self that we fought so hard to get.

But that’s not what real love is. It’s not about saying goodbye to yourself and becoming a couple instead of a person. It doesn’t mean that your only identity now is wife or husband or girlfriend or boyfriend. It is not a farewell to the exciting and adventurous life you once had and a hello to your new, stale, domestic existence. It is not an end to your search for the reason why you are on this earth – it doesn’t even have to be a pause in the search at all.

What real love is is a chance to write someone into your story, for them to write you into theirs, and for the two of you to work on something together that will be a beautiful combination of your individual parts. Real love is your chance to continue to find yourself, to continue to explore the world you’ve been placed into, to figure out why you’re here and what you can do to make everything a little better before you leave – but with someone standing next to you, always wanting more for you and always doing everything they can to keep you safe and happy. Someone who will hold you when things are dark, someone who will make your smile a little brighter, someone who loves you enough to tell you when you’re holding yourself back or chickening out or failing to go after what you know you truly want. Someone who takes you outside of yourself and shows you exactly how capable your heart is of loving another person, how instinctive it is to put someone else’s life and safety above your own. Someone who shows you how much more love matters to you at the end of the day, more than your job or your bank account or your social standing. Someone who will lead you to some very hard choices down the line, but who will ultimately show you how little power that wealth and status actually have over you, if it ever comes down to a choice between one of those things and love.

Find this person. The one who will be all of this for you. The one who you want to be all of this for. Be more you than you’ve ever been in your life. Open up to them. Show them your scars and the sides of yourself that you find ugly. Tell them what scares you, tell them what intimidates you, tell them what it is about you that makes you feel the most insecure. Do the same for them. Love them endlessly, unconditionally – always in the beautiful moments but especially in the ugly ones.

You’ll soon realize that they are not shrinking you at all. They are not taking away from you, or erasing your sense of who you are, or turning you into a soul that only exists as part of a relationship instead of on its own. Rather, they are only making everything brighter, easier to see. Grabbing your hand while you’re taking huge leaps, steadying you as you trudge through unfamiliar territory. They are not writing your story for you. They are writing it with you, giving you the chance to twine your path with theirs, so that everything is twice as interesting, twice as thrilling, twice as challenging, twice as incredible. Twice as everything. TC mark

This Is What Happens When You Stop Giving A Fuck What Other People Think

Posted: 09 May 2016 02:26 PM PDT

Mike Monaghan
Mike Monaghan

I've wanted this piece of writing to be about us and how sorry I am. I've wanted to convince you how much I understand you but today – no, in fact, after weeks of working out, spending time at the gym, basically tiring myself out so that I don't think too much – I don't give a fuck anymore about what you think of me.

I don't care if you think I'm needy, clingy, pushy, aggressive, spoilt or bitchy. I don't care if you think I'm into you more than you do. I don't care what you think of me when you read my lengthy text, or when I stopped talking to you because I simply had nothing to say.

I don't care.

Like now as I write this, it's me that I give a whole damn about. It's my sanity I'm thinking of.

It's for me.

The stupid girl who trusted you…way too much.

The Disney girl who thought we actually had a connection.

The insecure girl who wanted to be validated by you, who actually did not give a fuck.

Yes, I'm writing this for me.

I'm not sorry anymore for the things I've said. I'm not sorry for showing you how much I cared. I'm not sorry for loving you more than you think you deserved. I'm not sorry for trying to convince you that I'd be there. I'm not sorry for feeling sorry for you.

I'm not.

I don't give a fuck anymore if you think I'm needy, desperate, foolish and just an idiot. I'm not going to Google, "the Art of Texting" (Yes I did that) and find the best words to text you.

I don't give a fuck about this whole relationship game.

I will text you if I feel like it. I will write about you all I want. I will stop talking to you when I have nothing to say…

Because from the day we met until yesterday – where I finally had this epiphany – I've been a people pleaser. I was that girl who wanted you to like her for who she wasn't. I was that girl who wanted to be your ideal partner by compromising the things she likes.

But right now, I don't give a fuck anymore. I'm too tired trying to please you, trying to accommodate to your needs, to put your happiness first before mine, and to accept your bullshit.

I'm too tired trying to be someone I'm not.

So I'm going to be myself now. And you can’t stop me. TC mark

12 Everyday Struggles Only Unapologetic Extroverts Will Understand

Posted: 09 May 2016 02:20 PM PDT

Paolo Raeli
Paolo Raeli

1. Not talking over people is a huge struggle for you.

You don’t do it to be rude, that’s never the intent. You just have so many ideas and so much to say that sometimes everything just comes out. You’re probably the person who makes random notes in margins or crosses your fingers to remember something. It’s not that you think your ideas are better or what you have to say is more important, you just HAVE to say it.

2. You constantly worry about ‘over-stepping’ or ‘talking out of turn’ — even as an adult.

You probably grew up being told to use your “inside voice” all of the time and that’s stuck with you until now, in many different ways. Your brain is always going and you always have so many thoughts that you feel the need to express. But with wanting to express them comes the fear that you’re talking out of turn or saying something you shouldn’t. You’ve made the mistake MANY times and so the worry lingers, even as you grow up.

3. There’s nothing you hate more than being told to ‘tone it down’.

It’s the equivalent of “dulling your sparkle” and it’s just a sucky thing to say to someone. Every now and then you come across people who can’t handle your big personality and the way you fill up a room, and it’s awkward and uncomfortable for both parties. You know that you don’t need those people in your life, but it still stings when someone tells you to be quiet or “chill” every time.

4. Your biggest fear is if someone is mad at you.

You love your friends and your co-workers and the people who are close to you so the thought that one of them might not want you around? Devastating. Like so devastating that it has the potential to send you into a tailspin if you think about it for too long.

5. You have ‘last word’ syndrome.

Arguing, discussing, or even getting into fights is hard for you because you always have something more to say. Even if it’s just a sarcastic, “Omg you’re SO right” you always have to have the last word. And if you don’t? It totally eats at you.

6. You find yourself obsessing over conversations hours, days, even weeks after they’ve happened.

Because your brain is so wired towards connection and conversation, you find yourself analyzing every little piece of it. You obsess over punctuation in texts, the way someone said “I mean…” when opposing an idea of yours in a meeting, why your significant other called you by your first name instead of babe like normal. There are times when you let conversations that are since over fester and you obsess over them way longer than you should.

7. You worry about what others think about you maybe a little too much.

You want to be liked, you want people to be drawn to you. You always want people to talk about you with an, “I want to hang out with them again” kind of vibe around your name. So you worry all the time that someone thinks you’re too much or you’ve come off wrong. Even though you know logically that not everyone is going to like you and you are not for everyone, it still bothers you when it happens.

8. You repeatedly have to assure people that you’re all right on days where you’re more quiet.

Extroverts have quiet days too. Even the loudest, most bubbly, friendliest life of the party will have a day where all the want to do is listen to Ingrid Michaelson with headphones and not speak to anyone. And that’s totally okay. It doesn’t mean you’re depressed or sick; you’re just having a quiet day. BUT people don’t seem to get it, and that’s really annoying and it takes away some of the “just being quiet” when you have to keep explaining that you’re just fine.

9. You feel like people expect you to like and be friends with everyone.

Sure, you want to be liked, you want people to be around you. But just because you are usually inclined to be likable, doesn’t mean you’re going to want to be around just any person, any time, any place. Sometimes you won’t like someone for no reason at all. But because of your natural inclination to be social and with people, it can be easy for people to assume you just like everyone. Not the case. And super awkward to explain when you say you don’t want to go hang out with someone.

10. You compare yourself to others more than people would think.

You get in your own head a lot about your own behavior more than people would assume. You look at people you admire, and you try to figure out what they do that makes you so drawn to them, and then you try to emulate it. Or you see someone who people like and who people talk about all the time, and you worry that they have some sort of “it factor” that you don’t. It can get pretty exhausting.

11. You’re always worried about being annoying.

You’re loud, you’re out there, you always have something to say. But that rubs some people the wrong way. You always want to be on someone’s good side, have them think fondly about you and want you around. So the idea that your personality, by simply being who you are might annoy or bother them? It’s awful. And you think about it a lot.

12. You feel an enormous pressure to keep everyone around you entertained.

When you’re the social butterfly, or the life of the party, or just “the fun one” it can be a lot of pressure to make sure everyone’s having a good time. While you know that it’s really NOT your responsibility to be the keeper of the fun, it just feels like something that comes with the territory of being the token extroverted friend. Still, you love your friends and you would do anything for them. So keeping everyone smiling? It’s not that big of a deal. TC mark