Learning to talk – the caveman analogy
I recently read a book, a new habit I’m forming to stop my mind from wandering through all the streets with potholes, but this isn’t about streets or books, so I’ll get back to what this is about – Learning to talk – the caveman analogy. This book explained what I’ve always suspected – the simple truth that nothing is strictly black and white, and in addition, I’ve heard in the past week this favorite quote that ‘something outside of the norm doesn’t mean it’s bad.’ Every way I’ve pondered on each line has made me conclude that what we experience at any age, particularly our early age, affects how we grow, react, or behave in later years.
Learning to talk isn’t just about conquering a fear of public speaking or crowd fright. On the contrary, I’m referring to learning to express our most authentic emotions. The bigger question is how to learn to tell something you’re unaware of. Learning to talk is a dialect on its own, much like learning a foreign language, some type that involves twisted tongues and strange chords – imagine the level of difficulty, but yes, learning to talk isn’t easy.
Some people have become strangers to self-revelation and not entirely by their own will. Maybe they’ve grown up in homes where it was a crime to make a fuss about a toy you loved because it’ll be met with lectures about the economy and how ungrateful you are as a child to want something so in essence that kills ‘desire’ and now you learn not to express your desires. Another example might have been showing frustration, crying about something, or being angry, so you’re chastised for it with harsh words and condemnation. Hence, you learn that expressing angry feelings is not appropriate.
It could have been expressing disappointment for not going with your mom to visit that uncle you like, and you’re made to feel so guilty for expressing disappointment, so you shut it off completely. The list is endless on how feelings and expressions of thoughts have been crushed and discouraged in many homes while growing up, and the consequence is growing older and completely denying your feelings. A friend called it ‘the caveman analogy.’ It’s not gender specific, so I’m very right that cavewomen exist – All who are no longer in touch with their emotional selves, those who may want to learn to talk but without the slightest clue how that begins.
I had this discussion with a colleague some days back, and she asked, ‘How do I even know I need to learn to talk because if you’re correct, then they’re chances I’m in the cave without knowing I’m in the cave.’ Now I’m no psychologist, but I asked her how she felt about an agency that had treated her wrong, and her response was, ‘I think they’re unprofessional,’ but she wasn’t communicating her feelings, merely her thoughts. Think about it for a second, when someone wrongs you, the feeling is disappointment, anger, or pain because she had every right to feel that way, but because she maybe has lived too long in the world of thought, it has become unnatural to acknowledge her feelings.
This isn’t some pro-hack psychology hint cause I wouldn’t know jack about that, but if you ponder the subject a little longer, you might grasp it. It’s happening to a lot of people, some we know and some we hear about, and the thing about this is all the ways learning how to talk isn’t conventional because, after all, ‘if it’s so important to you, then you would’ so if I needed you to discuss how your heart skipped last week, and you couldn’t express anything about specific colors of butterflies then you’re just wasting my time and mean pure evil – that’s how woke culture defines it.
Jumping to the bigger question, is there a solution? How can I learn to talk if I’m a caveman or cavewoman? What would learning how to talk sound like? I think the first step is deciding to learn this foreign language. What follows is awareness and getting in touch – becoming aware that you’re an emotional creature despite denying this part of your life. Take a personal notepad or small sheets of paper, or best case, in modern times, the notepad on your phone would be perfect! No one sees you, so you can begin by noting how you feel when you’re away from home or your personal space.
Quietly ask yourself, what emotion did I feel when my car got stuck? What emotion did I feel when I realized the project I was working on had an impossible deadline? What emotion did I feel in the last 3 hours? Ask! Ask yourself three times each day and keep your note updated.
You don’t need long essays; an example would be grouping them like – events (e) and feelings (f)
Events (E)- Car got stuck.
Feeling (F)- Frustrated and upset
Doing this three times daily would develop an awareness of your emotional nature. Hopefully, someday you’ll find (if you haven’t yet) with whom to start slowly communicating as many times as possible, first briefly about these events and emotions. Eventually, you’ll feel comfortable discussing your feelings.
Someone once said that emotions are neither good nor bad. They are our psychological responses to the events of life. It’s possible you felt like telling your boss to go to hell when they set an unrealistic deadline, and maybe you had this feeling of taking the entire file and throwing it in their face or maybe walking boldly to yell that you quit, but you didn’t. Instead, you assured the team that you would do everything possible to meet the deadline. Expressing that the entire process is ‘self-revelation.’ This is the road to ‘learning to talk.’ This is the road you should follow.
No one should say that this learning road is easy to follow. No one should say that getting out of the cave is easy, but can a person learn to talk? Yes, all cavemen are wisemen, and whatever the mind is set to do will be achieved by awareness, willingness, and practice.
P:S: Not all of us are cavemen or out of touch with our emotions; some are primarily affected by our personality type. Our personality might influence us but remember that we’re not controlled by it. Cavemen or personality-influenced, we can all learn to talk.