Filters are now the average normal. Anything else can be considered as… weird.
We all hopefully know what kind of filters I’m talking about, right? That’s ok if you don’t but just to clear any confusion up I’m not talking about the paper or metal filters that you find in a coffee machine or a tea strainer, I mean the mental filter.
We all have one. It’s kind of been trained into us. It could be as simple as not telling a person that they are a ‘bleepin’ dumbo because they came to school with their shirt on backwards or can be to the point of not telling your boss off when they are getting mad at you for no real apparent reason. (Or reasons that you didn’t commit or wasn’t even aware of). Either way, it’s that little filter in the mind that basically tells you to say one thing and hold back another.
Everyone to some degree has a filter, some less than others, and vice versa. Most of the time you can tell who has more of a filter by just talking to the person. It can be quite obvious that what they think is what they immediately say. There’s not quite something wrong with this, but in reality, this kind of filter (ie not having one) can get you into boatloads of trouble.
The same can be true with having too much of a filter, which I think a lot of us really do, especially introverts. I was talking to a friend just the other day and he actually brought up this topic. Filters can be both useful and detrimental, in both positive and negative ways, and this is very true. As an outgoing introvert, personally I have two kinds of mainstream thoughts, the one that is basically uncomfortable silence verbal randomness, which has a looser filter while my other mainstream thinking process is so narrowly filtered that it can be rare to even let a drop of anything out.
I’ve found this so difficult, however, holding back the more important mainstream thoughts, for I am the type of person who will feel explosive and want to be understood if I don’t tell anyone. So I have started to slowly open the more tightly knit filter up allowing a bit more out.
Still, however it can be very difficult deciding what should or shouldn’t be filtered, I was once even told that in some cases it might be better for no one to know. But in my opinion there really needs to be a balance. If you’re too open, you are going to say a lot of things you are going to regret saying and if you don’t say any of your main thoughts you are going to feel very alone and misunderstood. This is where I currently am, but I’m trying to find a happy middle ground as well.
It really also depends on the people you are confiding to. Friends that have been flaky probably shouldn’t be the people you would chat to about your most condensed thoughts.
A judge of character can also help decide if you want to filter some things with them. Don’t get me wrong, filtering constantly is not good but telling everyone your deepest darkest thoughts may also not be the best thing for you as a person. Really I would recommend just starting ‘unfiltering’ with a close friend or two and see how that goes.
It can be very difficult to change habits and states of mind, and in most cases what you are currently doing has been working for you, and I’m not telling you to go rethink everything you’ve ever thought, but it never hurts to try to see if this may work for you. Again, in my opinion, a happy medium is ideal, for both sanity and support but in the end, it’s really up to how you want to live your life.
Stay real. Try life. Be yourself.
Sonja P. 🙂