Stop telling me not to think so much. Stop telling me to ask more questions. Stop telling me to smile more.

August 19th, 2014, 9pm

My well-meaning friends often tell me to stop over-thinking things, over-analyzing situations, and thinking myself into a hole. They’re not wrong. Sometimes it is easier to just jump in and do something, instead of thinking endlessly to nowhere.

My well-meaning colleagues and managers tell me to ask more questions so that I can learn faster. To make myself a part of the conversation. That’s good advice, and I am grateful. If there’s anything I learned from college, it’s that sometimes I should just ask instead of stubbornly trying to figure things out myself.

Probably well-meaning acquaintances and strangers sometime tell me to smile more. That I am too intimidating, or unfriendly-looking. I think they’re right (though I don’t really get it), and I’m working on it.

… But there’s a part of me that wonders, why do I have to do things everyone else’s way? Why is “friendly, proactive, but not overly cerebral” some kind of ideal? What’s wrong with sometimes taking a few long moments to mull over something? Why can’t I over-think the meaning of life and sometimes let myself be a little blue? What if I just want to absorb and process first, before I jump to any question-asking? Do I really need to look happy and friendly all the time?

Sometimes, I’m just slow. I like to gather my thoughts, go thorough, cover all my bases before I start shooting out questions. Maybe I don’t like to ask that many questions because any unprepared question would get shot down with a “Well, please go check that first then before asking!” response. Or maybe because I don’t want to ask because I don’t think you have the answer.

Maybe I just don’t feel like smiling at you today.

Maybe sometimes I am just stubborn, grumpy, and a little bit introverted.

What’s wrong with that?

Sometimes we should learn to appreciate the quiet, the slow, the more passive. (And that goes for me too.)

Shu, Sanna, Christine, Vivien and 4 others said thanks.

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Yiling Ding

Think too much. Write too little.

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