Re-defining ‘Quiet’ – exploring the depth and abilities of the quiet ones

When I was young I developed a severe dislike for the word 'quiet'. To me, this word felt hugely suffocating; needlessly smothering me over and over again each time it was spoken. For every person who has ever described me in this way (and there have been many), I'm not even sure anyone realised how insulting and damaging it felt. Each time, it was as if my true self was being pushed … [Read more...]

Have you heard of selective mutism?

I grew up believing I was shy and quiet. I didn't like it, but I didn't know how to be anything else - because no matter how hard I tried, there were often situations I would find myself in where I was unable to say a word. I had a head full of questions, opinions and desires, but somewhere between their swirling around my brain and the sharing them with others, they often got stuck. I figured … [Read more...]

When you’ve had enough of being ‘the quiet one’

When I was sixteen I had had enough. I felt like I was trapped inside of my personality - and I was sick of being quiet. For as long as I could remember, I had struggled to fit in. Everywhere I went, I longed to be able to say more, to stand out more, to make more of an impact ... but I was terrified of the new expectations people would have of me if I became that person. I felt trapped by the … [Read more...]

Is it possible to grow out of selective mutism?

When I was young I had no idea that Selective Mutism existed. I assumed I was 'just shy' and I also assumed that one day I would simply grow out of my shyness, and find it easy to share my voice with others just like everybody else. I dreamed of the day I would cross that magical threshold - and of the ideas, questions and opinions I would be able to share when I got there. Many times … [Read more...]

Being vulnerable – the most rewarding and most difficult thing we can ever do

According to Brene Brown, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity." Apparently to be vulnerable takes great strength and is strewn with rewards. To be vulnerable does not make us weak like many people believe - it is instead the key to living a full life. Regardless of the … [Read more...]

Quiet and proud – making peace with selective mutism

For a long time I felt like the word 'quiet' haunted me. Everywhere I went - no matter who I met, or how far I ran - the adjective would be there, waiting for me. I never knew when it might pounce ... sometimes I would think I had escaped, but ultimately it would find a way in. Just as I thought I'd left my 'quiet' nature behind and become the confident, self-assured, friendly, bubbly girl of my … [Read more...]

Three benefits of writing lists to add more clarity, purpose and productivity into your day

Every year there is a morning when the routine must change. The clear windscreens of summer are replaced by condensation - and if you are to make it to the bus stop / work / somewhere else important on time, then it is important to give the car a few minutes of defrosting time before you leave. This morning I was unprepared. The kids were running late. We drove out with the heater blasting, the … [Read more...]

Three healthy ways to approach anxiety

Anxiety has been a bit of a theme in my blog this week ... I have explored what causes anxiety and three unhealthy ways some of us avoid anxiety. To wrap it up, I figured it makes sense to find some healthy ways of approaching anxiety. I was thinking about this last night, and I found myself amazed that something that we all possess to protect us (the amygdala and its fight or flight response) … [Read more...]

Three unhealthy strategies you might be using to avoid anxiety

Following Monday's post about what causes anxiety, I have been reflecting a little bit and looking at my own behaviour patterns and the way that they probably contribute to creating further anxiety. I have been able to understand lately that anxiety is a perfectly normal part of life; it is something that we all need to keep us safe. Depending on the kind of events that trigger anxiety for us, … [Read more...]

Making sense of anxiety

Last week I read a wonderful article over at Hey Sigmund, called 'Anxiety in Kids: How to turn it around and protect them for Life'. It has only been a few months now that I have really been able to admit to myself that I suffer from anxiety - before that I mostly denied my symptoms, both to myself and others. It is a bit like shoving stuff into a dark corner, and then shining a light on … [Read more...]