Please don’t tell me to calm down. Or, the problem with being intense

I’m a passionate person. In case you weren’t aware, the definition of passionate is:

– having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid
– expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling
– intense or vehement, as emotions or feelings

In other words, being a passionate person means that you pretty much talk intensely and excitedly all the time about the things that you love. I can’t help it. It’s part of who I am. I know that sometimes my excitement and intensity can scare some people. Or annoy them. Or even make them uncomfortable. But I don’t do this on purpose. I don’t do it to get on anyone’s nerves or to annoy you. It’s just that when I love something or when I think something is interesting, I have to tell people about it. It feels like something is bubbling up inside of me and I have to let it out or I’ll implode. I have to tell people about these things so that they can love them too.

It feels a little like this

Excited gif 1

With some of this

Excited gif 2

And a lot of this

Excited gif 3

And if I don’t let it out, this will happen

Excited gif 4

If you knew me, you’d probably know that. That I don’t get intense to get on your nerves. You’d know I’m passionate (hello, I have a blog dedicated to one of those passions) and you’d know I love things intensely. I don’t do anything half-assed. That’s me. Just be glad I don’t actually act like those GIFs.

Amy Poehler says something in her book Yes Please that she is able to stomach people who can’t stomach her (I’m paraphrasing. Problems with listening to audiobooks). This is true for me too. I put on my confident face and just do me all day long. But sometimes that doesn’t work. This is usually the case when people tell me to calm down. If I get too excited but you don’t want to listen to it, please don’t tell me to calm down. Telling me to calm down is one of the biggest insults, in my opinion. It’s like you telling me you don’t care or that I’m annoying you or that it’s okay when you talk about the things you love because you don’t get as into it as me, but it’s not okay when I talk about it because I get too excited. It feels like you’re telling me to shut up and that’s not fair. I don’t know if this makes sense but I hate it. I always have.

This probably stems from the fact that I’ve been told to calm down or shut up or tamp down my excitement my entire life. Not necessarily by my family or my closest friends because they sort of understand. But by strangers, acquaintances, people who think they know me, or, yes, even by my family or friends. It’s probably because I’ve never met a lot of people who share the same passion as I do, which sucks. I think everyone should have at least one person who understands them and their passions. They don’t necessarily have to love or enjoy the same things, but finding someone who shares your level of passion for things and for life.

And that’s why I love this blog. I don’t have just one person but many. Many who share my passion for books. For authors. For characters. For words. And I sincerely hope that none of you will ever be told to calm down or to turn down your excitement. I hope you can share your passion for whatever it is you love and not be judged for it. Because no one should ever be told to not let that passion shine. Just know that you will never be told to calm down here.

Love you all.


Sorry for the little rant, but I’ve been told to calm down by a few people recently and (I never say this out loud) it hurt my feelings. I was hoping some of you would understand.

15 thoughts on “Please don’t tell me to calm down. Or, the problem with being intense

  1. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves & Wrappin’ It Up January 2015 |

  2. I enjoy your book excitement! I imagine being told to calm down on the excitement feels similar to when someone with high anxiety is told “don’t worry about it”. I want to throat punch people when they say that to me. 🙂

  3. But people without passion are so BORING! I get that it isn’t always the right place or the right time to bubble over about things (inside voice is important, as I’m sure your librarian self is aware :)), but to never do it? To never want to share your excitement? To get ANNOYED when other people are too interested in something? It just doesn’t make sense to me, and it seems like life would be awfully dull without anything like that.

    You be you! We all love you for it. So sorry you had your feelings hurt by people who clearly aren’t that into anything in life.

    • RIGHT? Life without passion is super boring. Haha. I completely understand the inside voice and it’s not like I yell or anything. I just get excited. Lol.
      I love you all too. Thank you! I honestly don’t understand people who don’t have something they get excited about.

  4. This is a wonderful post, and thank you for putting yourself out there! I feel like I’m always being judged for being passionate about things, including books. I’m enthusiastic and that shouldn’t be something to be ashamed about. But I tend to tone myself done a lot around certain people because I’m a people pleaser, and I don’t want them thinking less of me. That should never be the case, and it saddens me to think I do that! This world would be a much better place is people showed their passion for things! It’s hard enough putting yourself out there, then to have people judge and belittle you.

    You are awesome! And you shouldn’t have to hold back for anyone. I totally agree and sometimes I wish I were a stronger person to follow that same advice once in awhile!

    • Yes, exactly! Being enthusiastic should not be something to be ashamed about. I completely agree. I have found that I tone myself down around some people too, and I HATE that I have to do that. It sucks. I wish more people would show their passion for whatever it is they love. You have to love SOMETHING, right? I don’t get people who don’t get excited for anything. It makes no sense to me.
      Aw! Thank you, Brandie! I’m so glad I have all of the awesome people in the book blogging world to appreciate where I’m coming from! 🙂

  5. Thanks for writing this, I’m sure it isn’t easy to put out there! I can talk quite quickly when I get excited, and I’m often told I’m “full-on” – I have quite a big personality, so I definitely get a lot of what you’re saying. In some contexts, I appreciate the feedback, because professionally I know I sometimes have to reign it in a little, talk slower, encourage cooperation from other Depts who may see my passion as overbearing etc. But in my personal life? In my personal passions? Sit the fuck down and don’t tell me to contain myself. Pardon the french. I don’t get overly hyped up about lots of things, because I’m also quite a serious person (I’m a walking Oxymoron, what can you do?), so when I “get” something, when I’m 110% dedicated to something, do not get in my way and insult my ability to get excited by something! Some people just don’t get these feelings we get, and that’s OK too, but unless I’m trying to work with you peacefully in a professional context, then I disregard your dislike for my passions, at least I HAVE passions. Interesting sidenote – this has also been brought up in the context of dating, I’ve had fully grown men tell me I’m too intimidating or too successful to date because of my passions… hmmm… R x

      • I politely informed the one who thought I was intimidating that he clearly wasn’t what I was after, as I need someone with confidence and a strong sense of themselves. As for the other one (who was a teacher) I was a little more intoxicated with that poor chap and he may have been on the receiving end of said “intimidating” behaviour when I launched into feminist ranting for half an hour about how women who push themselves to get an education and work in male driven industries shouldn’t be penalised when it comes to the world of dating by men who are themselves intimidated by success…oops LOL R x

    • Hahahaha. YES! THANK YOU. I just want to tell these people to get out of my face and go be boring somewhere else. But I have to be nice. I think I’m too nice sometimes. I don’t get those people who don’t get passionate about something. But it’s okay. I guess some people are just lame. Lol.
      As for dating, we obviously just haven’t met a guy who’s confident/brave/man enough to date us. I’ve also been told I’m intimidating. Losers.

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