As a psychological experiment, a friend challenged me to dialogue to him about anything that came to mind for 10 minutes straight. The catch? He would not react or reply. It would be just me and essentially dead silence as he listened. Then, we would swap places and he would dialogue for 10 minutes in like fashion.
In under 10 minutes, insecurity takes over.
Insecurity manifested itself in different ways in each of us. For me, I stumbled through a lot of filler-words (um, uh, so, etc…). Then once I got into the dialogue process, everything I presently felt uncertain of surfaced. My speech turned to spilling forth anything in the past week that had been weighing on me in the back of my mind.
For him, he suddenly felt entirely mentally opposed to the exercise. He feared what would come out of his mouth when left to his thoughts. In the end, it took a few weeks for him to take his turn. When he did, the result was similar to mine: an outpouring of his internal worries.
Why are we this way?
It fascinates me. We both have lives full of interesting events. Both of us have unique interests that would be great conversation topics. We have many common interests. There are so many tales we could tell and cool things we could say! So why is it that our insecurities are instantly what poured from our moths?
Negatives seem to weigh heavily in the human mind.
It takes so many compliments for us to heal from an insult (and sometimes not even then). It takes so many good memories to even begin dull the bad ones. Our brains latch on to the negatives and the difficulties. When left to our own thoughts, it can be hard to escape these. It’s no wonder we seek excitement, fun, and distraction in every form!
Our brains are driven by stories.
Our lives are like one giant story. The events therein are the chapters. When we are facing a chapter that remains unresolved, this is bothersome. My theory is that we instinctively like resolution, and until we get it, our brains will be stuck on whatever is left unresolved.
Is there anything we can do?
Well, look at that. I added a third header because this blog post felt wrong without a resolution. Unfortunately, the above header is about as close to a resolution as this post is going to get because I really don’t know the answer. I really just wrote this post because I found it interesting to observe this experiment. If you have any further thoughts on this phenomenon, drop a comment! I’d love to see your thoughts on the matter.