Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Don't Want to Talk About It

Sometimes Nana and I would talk about religion. Her faith, she said, is God's greatest gift to her. I mostly listened. I enjoyed hearing about her experience visiting my parents' church, full of young people worshiping, singing, and even speaking in tongue. I mostly listened. I nodded. I said, "Oh?"

But I didn't like talking about my own beliefs. I'd rather her assume the best in me (as I know she'd never assume the worst). When she started challenging me directly about those beliefs--and "challenging" is too strong a word, but it's how I felt--instead of standing up for them, engaging in a debate, I started to say, "I don't want to talk about it." I was rather snippy and left no room for argument.

I've used this line a few times with her, regarding religion, politics, and other "controversial" subjects: "I don't want to talk about this." I've used it with others, as well, from my mom to friends: I shut down conversations because I'm uncomfortable. In my mind, I'm protecting people I care about. I don't think they want to hear what I have to say, so I don't say it. I'd rather withhold than lie or create an awkward situation.

This can't be healthy. In fact, it drives my grandmother crazy; she said she's even spoken to my dad about this! This habit of mine--withholding to "protect"--may have cost me a friendship.

Now that I'm aware of this, maybe I can do better. Back to the Reds' game. As for the Bengals, I don't want to talk about it.

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