Humans are chicken shits.

“Humans are chicken shits. That’s the only reason why we’re in these situations to begin with,” I say to one of my best friends over the phone. Let me explain why.

I was put in a rather uncomfortable situation recently, one that made me call up my friend rather late one evening to rant about the whole situation and ask for her advice. After dissecting every single detail, we both came to the disheartening conclusion: the situation could have easily been avoided if all people involved (myself included) had simply communicated more openly and up-front about… well, everything.

Yet reality draws up the opposite image: miscommunication left, right and center. And in some cases, no communication whatsoever. An endless spiral that is hard to break out of once set into motion. Had we simply been more open with each other, things could have turned out very differently.

Pride and fear

We – humans – have this infernal tendency to make our own lives (and those of the people surrounding us) so much more complicated. We hide behind our feelings, always driven by the same two motivators: pride and fear.

As a person who internalizes their feelings a lot and shies away from showing vulnerability of any kind, I have definitely been a chicken shit. One that would rather ignore a person altogether if it means that they can avoid the given problem or conflict. One that won’t voice the things that bother them in the moment but will rather hold onto them and carry them with them. One that is all about flaunting the I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude in the face of the people that hurt them the most.

Because admitting that you’re affected by something is admitting that you care more than just a little. And that level of vulnerability scares me. It also puts a dent in my pride. So I remain that little chicken shit, petrified of opening up, cowardly waiting for the situation to become even worse. Even though being more open about my feelings from the start would have most likely prevented the situation from happening in the first place. Even though I am a hypocrite for behaving this way as it drives me up the wall when others act the same.

It’s harder when there are personal feelings involved

Aside from in work environments, I have never been a particularly assertive person. The reason I think this comes easier to me in a professional environment is because it’s not personal. But when it comes to confronting people close to me or people that I care for… that’s personal.

So, when someone does something that hurts my feelings, I usually stay quiet. That’s not to say that I believe my feelings to be invalid, it’s more like my natural instinct is programmed to avoid uncomfortable situations at all costs. The fear of confrontation and that crippling fear of admitting to having hurt feelings get first priority while my own feelings are pushed to the side (by my fear & pride).

Yet my feelings still have to go somewhere, inducing long conversations and discussions about the issue with third parties. Never with a single person who is involved or should actually be hearing these things.

Why I am making an active effort to be more blunt

Quite recently, I tried being more direct. I had found myself in quite a misunderstanding with one of my best friends, a misunderstanding that went unsolved for over two years (!!!) because my awkward self couldn’t bring myself to clear it up; Fearful of hurting his feelings, confused at how this could have happened in the first place, scared of the uncomfortableness that was bound to ensue the second I brought it up.

What I realised was this: while I was trying to protect myself by keeping quiet, I wasn’t protecting him at all. My behavior wasn’t fair to him, it was selfish. All it did was let the misunderstanding dig its roots deeper. So, I decided that this was the time to be more blunt, to finally have that difficult conversation and clear it up once and for all. He handled it like a champ. He was so understanding about the whole thing, we both apologized and moved on. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better outcome.

That experience showed me that I have to start making an active effort to be more direct. That it is beneficial to be straight-forward. That there is nothing to be afraid of. And that I can’t always wait two years before addressing issues. I simply have to suck it up and confront it head-on.

Difficult conversations will hardly ever be comfortable, yet the longer you wait, the more uncomfortable they get. It is proven that putting our feelings into words helps us deal with them more effectively and can lead to more positive outcomes.

I don’t want to be a chicken shit anymore

Moving forward, I do not want to be a chicken shit anymore. This process will not be an easy one for me, that I am sure of. By being more open and honest up-front, I will be going against a lot of ingrained habits, ones that will be tough to unlearn. My UN-chicken-shitting myself will require me to push myself a lot more than I am used to; To willingly put myself in uncomfortable situations and to be more transparent about my feelings. I will have to accept that being vulnerable is necessary sometimes and that it is human.

I do not want to make decisions based on fear or pride. I want to make decisions that benefit both sides involved, that push us to learn, improve and become better people. And that starts today.

Also; random question BUT:

9 thoughts on “Humans are chicken shits.

  1. Fiona, I loved this post so, so much. I just saw the title, and my entire body gravitated towards clicking on it instinctively. And yes, humans are chicken shits. It doesn’t matter that we’re the protagonists of our own lives; we really are chicken shits.

    I don’t know how, but ever since I was 17, I made this radical decision to never ignore my feelings, and most things in my life seemed to magically fall into place. It was like I just bonked myself on the head and told myself that hiding my feelings to save other people wasn’t some huge act of martyrdom that would make me a saint. It was just me trying to disguise my fear of vulnerability, embarrassment, and ego destruction behind the mask of “protecting the feelings of involved parties”, and all that did was create confusion of the umpteenth degree and ruin friendships.

    Since then, I’ve been running rampant with my emotions, telling friends to get off when they need to, confessing feelings of love and admiration, and just being this elephant-sized hurricane of destruction that seems to break the ground it runs on, but actually ends up leaving behind a trail of upturned soil that helps the energy flow and the flowers grow. Obviously, there really is no end to the amount of work someone can put into being open and honest (not only with others, but also oneself), and I hope to always grow on this journey. I’m just really glad I started it in the first place because nothing has felt as freeing. And cheers to you for doing the same! (because you’ve used the phrase “chicken shits”, I can only think of us as different versions of Chicken Little, finally realising we aren’t cowards anymore)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this was such a great post. I think you should be exceptionally proud of yourself to share such a vulnerable and real story with us. I think it’s very inspiring that you’ve actively chosen to stick up for yourself and your loved ones in the situation, and not wait nor stay silent.

    Thank you for sharing this story. I wish you the best of luck and a lovely summer 🌞🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is wonderful. It speaks to much growth happening in your life. Well done! And I agree with you. Communication solves many things and saves us from so much drama. But it is hard to be vulnerable, yet it is what we must do to create more understanding and connections. I hope that the awareness you and your friend crated here will lead to many good things for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this so much! I feel like between pride and fear, I’m definitely on the fear side. Unless I pretty much don’t care about what you think of me (e.g. if you’re racist, sexist and just a general piece of shit I’m not afraid to call you out on it and I don’t care if you hate me) but other than that, I care. I care so much and I swear I tiptoe around everybody because I hate conflict, drama, ill feelings etc. I just want to be friends and on good terms with everybody because my anxiety and my conscience can’t take it otherwise. I’m someone who also needs to start being more direct and I think as I’m getting older and finding my voice more I’m definitely improving on that, but there’s still a way to go. I remember whenever I’d fall out with one of my best friends back in school it was always “my fault” (even though it wasn’t) and I just felt like their little psychic that used to run around after them treading on eggshells because any little thing would set them off and it would always end up being my fault even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’d always apologise anyway just because I wanted to keep the peace and stay friends with them, and I remember the last time it happened I’d absolutely had enough and thought you know what, I’m gonna stand up for myself this time. What happened the first and only time I ever stood up to them? I lost them as a friend. I think that says it all really. Took me a long time to convince myself that I’d done the right thing but still, I’m scared of what might happen if I’m direct with people just in case. There’s this stupid stereotype that if women are blunt and direct then we’re bitches, and I tried so hard to stay away from that for so long but then I realised that actually, I’m just feeding into and growing that stereotype by adhering to it when the whole thing is a bunch of rubbish anyway (learned a lot of that in Everyday Sexism). Trying to be more direct, open and communicative with my emotions and feelings for myself but also other people, because I’m an adult now and when it comes to those kinds of situations, I should be acting that way. Sorry for that rant. This was a great post, Fiona .xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I also hate confrontations but one thing I take pride on my self is being frank on my close friends, I’m not afraid to tell them what I dislike even if it means that they’ll hate me for it and they kind of accepted me for it lol. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a big different between being frank and being tactless, I still consider their feelings of course. I just hate it when there’s unsolved issues within my group of friends.

    But when it comes to other people, I also just keep quiet and just let it pass. I don’t keep grudges and most of the time it’ll be just like nothing ever happened lol. There are times not speaking about the problem is easier especially when the other person is closed-minded. I guess you have to know what kind of person is on the receiving end 😆

    What you did was great because solving problems really starts with a good communication. It’s a common problem with us girl not talking about our feelings and just leave the issue in the past but it’s like a ghost just lurking in the corner waiting for you to remember that it’s still there. (I don’t know where I’m coming from lol)

    As always this is a great post Fiona. Thanks for sharing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great blog post Fiona! A friend said to me recently, it’s better to be honest up front to help the other person out so they know where they stand. And I try to remember that whenever I have to be awkward and confrontational about something.
    I use to internalise and hide everything in as well. The worst was when I chose to quit a job – I was literally shaking, barely able to hand in my resignation to my boss. And I even waited a few days to hand it in, so I kept having to change the date on the letter.
    It works out so much better when people are direct and just express how they feel without trying to tip-toe around a situation. It’s still something I’m working to improve on, to hopefully be less of a chicken shit xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I genuinely saw the titled and laughed right out loud Fiona. This post sat so well with me, because as much as I felt you were kinda directly calling me out on my own shit through your words, I was super glad that you and clearly a lot of other people feel the same way! Pride and fear used to be pretty equal in terms of what held me back, but as I got older I lost a bit of my pride and it was quite mainly just fear. As much as it’s been a universally horrible experience for the world, the huge thing quarantine and lockdown has taught me over the last couple of months is that we genuinely don’t have time to waste being little shits!!!

    I’ve had a few heart to heart’s with my close group of friends about this, but I think I’ve become so deeply entrenched in my pessimism and frustration with the place we’re in right now, that I know for a fact once we reach a new form of normal and get to socialise ourselves again, I really won’t give a fuck. It’s so stressful!! I used to be the young girl who was desperate to have everyone like her or be friends with everyone and I simply don’t care for it now, I’ll say what I want, as kindly or as honestly as I can, and I’m definitely done beating around the bush. Living under the constant stress of being fearful of what other people think about me nearly made me mad, and isolation gave me the opportunity to understand how human (???) we all are?? Excuse me for being morbid, but at the end of the day, we all end up…dead??? What we doing in our lifetime makes us no better than anyone else, and vice versa, because we all ultimately end up the same way, so stressing about other people, and putting them on a pedestal is slowing becoming less of a priority for me, thank fuck.

    As always, thank you for taking a dig around my brain and dumping it on the page far more eloquently than I ever could gal, love you lots, look after yourself x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Humans are chicken shits. I love the title- it really couldn’t be better!

    This is something I’ve been thinking about lately- It’s easy not to care when something doesn’t matter to you. When you care so deeply though, it’s almost impossible not to make noise. Why is it that we hurt the ones closest to us so often?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fiona, this is honestly why you’re one of my favourite blogs to read on the internet. You manage to meld being heartfelt and authentic with entertaining and relatable and… yes, we are all chickenshits.

    I’d like to say that’s something that’s faded (a little lol) with age – I used to be the MOST passive, try to keep everyone happy person. But I realised that actually hurts people (and yourself!) in the end. Not communicating clearly just ends up in resentment and hurt xx

    (Oh also – do you want to be my penpal? I’ve got really into it recently and I feel like you’d be a fabulous letter writer!)

    Like

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