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What? Speak up.

I’m hearing voices again. Actually, I always hear voices, but this time specific words have returned, words I hadn’t heard for some time and they got me thinking. Whose voice is this? How do I know if it is my own voice or the voice of the outside world? Should I listen?
For a lot of my teenage and adult life my internal voices told me that I was too quiet and not assertive enough. I spent a lot of time wishing to be different; that voice didn’t like being quiet. But one night many years ago I was seated around a table with ten people, most of them were, well, loud, and assertive. One exception was an Italian accountant who played the drums in a rock band; he was cool and relatively quiet. I didn’t enjoy the company of the others. They may not have enjoyed mine either, but that no longer mattered to me.
I suddenly realised that I didn’t ever feel happy spending time with loud, overly assertive people and I wondered why I would want a personality that actually turned me off. But who came…

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