The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
Quotations for Sufferers
of Social Anxiety and
Other Anxiety Disorders
(HSP, INFJ, & Introverts too!)
Welcome to my page of quotations about social anxiety, other anxieties, introverts, highly sensitive people, etc. I've struggled with social anxiety since I was a little girl, and I can finally admit it. I've managed to develop enough courage through the years to finally be open about being an HSP so I've decided I need to put some quotes out there to help others troubled by such things. This page also covers worrywarts, just plain shyness, and the like. Note: I've tagged some of the quotes #infj and #hsp, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the author is classified as such, only that I think the quote applies particularly well to those personality types. If you fall into these categories of people, I sincerely hope you get some comfort from these quotes; I know how truly excruciating it can be to be knocked around in life by those who don't understand.
He dare not come in company, for here he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches or be sick; he thinks everyman observes him. ~Richard Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
He was of an impressible nature, and lived a great deal in other people's opinions and feelings concerning himself... ~George Eliot, Adam Bede
All too frequently, anxiety crushes not only your spirit and your potential, but your ability to take care of your mind and body. ~Jonathan Davidson and Henry Dreher, The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear
If you are physically sick, you can elicit the interest of a battery of physicians; but if you are mentally sick, you are lucky if the janitor comes around. ~Martin H. Fischer
The world is sad — and very complicated. I wish it wasn't. ~The Good Doctor, "Stories," 2018, written by Calleros, Rozeman, and Shin [S2, E8, Dr. Shaun Murphy]
If I could be always alone with God, entirely indifferent about the opinions of men... I should reach a state to which I aspire, but have not yet attained. ~Henry Martyn (1781–1812), journal, 1804 May 4th
...I have always felt separate... I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe... I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines... I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness.
It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
~Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot, 1997 #infj #hsp
When he is in the room with other persons, speech stops, as if there were a corpse in the apartment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1838 journal, about Jones Very
'Shut, shut the door, good John!' fatigu'd, I said,
'Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.'
~Alexander Pope #INFJ
Are you bashful? Nervous? Embarrassed? Shy? No wonder you are a "stay-at-home." ~Richard Blackstone, advertisement, 1920s
Ah! there is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort. ~Jane Austen
O, could I clamber to the frozen moon,
And cut away my ladder!
~George H. Boker, The Betrothal: A Play, 1850 (Pulti)
Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. ~Blanche Balain, as quoted by Albert Camus, c.1943, translated from French by Justin O'Brien, 1963 [quoteinvestigator.com]
You know those days when you've got the mean reds.... the blues are because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long. You're sad, that's all. But the mean reds are horrible. You're afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don't know what you're afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don't know what it is. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly
Oh the brain, the brain!... Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called Man! Oh the little that unhinges it: poor creatures that we are! ~Charles Dickens
Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire of appearing so. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)
Thy heart so sweetly sensitive,
Is like an April sky;
One moment sunshine, and the next
Dark shadows o'er it fly.
One little ray lights up thy soul
To gladness, joy and mirth;
One little cloud o'ershades the whole,
And bows it down to earth.
~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), "Sensibility," Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893 #hsp #infj [Carter's pseudonym was Bard of Souhegan. He was a nature-loving Emerson-fan Scorpio who lived in the woods. My kind of guy! –tg]
My anxieties have anxieties. ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1968 [Charlie Brown to Linus—tg]
...but people become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them... ~Bernard Shaw
[Y]ou don't know me—you don't understand me. There are little bits of my soul, little dark corners that you know nothing of. It's not good, it's not right that I should go about with them shut up in me. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896
...the storm-winds of the soul... ~Ebenezer Elliott, "Elegy on William Cobbett," 1835
...in a fever of anxiety... ~Mabel Collins, In the Flower of Her Youth, 1883
I am the self-accused, I moan in my sleep,
My restless couch is the broken bits of the sharp edge of the day.
I moan when the moon falls across my pillow,
It is my heart that breaks, that weeps when the birds spill their songs over the world, and sobs in the roses.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: XXVI," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
I am every struggler there is. I am every heart that breaks. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Well, you know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs and then you lean too far and you almost fall over but just at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com
oxygen, brain, soul
a dim mind, crushing mind
dark skyline of nothing
barely breathing, frenzy
out of control heart
~Terri Guillemets, "Panic attack," 2019, blackout poetry created from Cliff McNish, The Scent of Magic, 2001, pages 420–422
Dr. Zachary T. Bercovitz told me: “Some people are actually draining into their bodies the diseased thoughts of their minds.” Asked to specify these diseased thoughts, he replied, “Oh, the usual — fear, guilt, worry, frustration, tension, resentment, gloominess, despondency. In fact, if fear and resentment were eliminated from people's minds I believe our hospital population would be reduced by maybe fifty per cent. Certainly by a lot anyway.” ~Norman Vincent Peale
Many things pain me that only vex other people. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Introverts are not failed extroverts. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
Introversion is often treated as the space where extroversion is not. It's treated as a vacuum. An absence rather than a presence. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
Introverts are no more or less open with our feelings than extroverts, as long as we're with people who take the time to listen. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
There is nothing wrong with introversion, yet living in an extrovert-dominated culture can make you question your strengths as an introvert. You may find yourself out of balance trying to keep up with the extroverted pace of life. You may have lost touch with your values of quiet, solitude, and depth.... The time has come for this culture to embrace the quiet strengths of introverts. ~Arnie Kozak, The Awakened Introvert, 2015
A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. ~John Lubbock, "Industry," The Use of Life, 1894
Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963
When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968 #infj
We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives... ~Lewis Thomas
~Terri Guillemets, "Agony of anxious," 1996
When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don't go. I'm too worried to go. I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951
I love mankind… it's people I can't stand!! ~Charles M. Schulz, "Peanuts," 1959 #infj
I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox-cart with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Economy," Walden, 1854
When I do not walk in the clouds I walk as though I were lost. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968
The conversation at dinner had been so heated that by the end of it Mrs. Miniver had developed mental, moral, and physical indigestion..... [F]rom that moment on she resigned herself to a headache, and got it. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s
Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist. ~E. W. Howe
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997
The word phobic has its place when properly used, but lately it's been declawed by the pompous insistence that most animosity is based upon fear rather than loathing. No credit is given for distinguishing between these two very different emotions. ~David Sedaris, "Nutcracker.com," Me Talk Pretty One Day, 2000, davidsedarisbooks.com
We of the tribe of the unquiet heart.
We tread the stony path with tender feet,
A song upon our lips because we will.
—Yet—pity us not—ye who love the sweet small things—
Ye of the untroubled lives, ye of the quiet heart!
~Jean Wright, "The Unquiet Heart"
The peril for you is that you live too much in the world of your own dreams. You're not enough in contact with reality—with the toiling, striving, suffering, I may even say sinning, world that surrounds you. You're too fastidious; you've too many graceful illusions....
[Y]ou think you can lead a romantic life, that you can live by pleasing yourself and pleasing others. You'll find you're mistaken. Whatever life you lead you must put your soul in it — to make any sort of success of it; and from the moment you do that it ceases to be a romance, I assure you; it becomes grim reality! And you can't always please yourself; you must sometimes please other people. That, I admit, you're very ready to do; but there's another thing that's still more important — you must often displease others. You must always be ready for that — you must never shrink from it. That doesn't suit you at all — you're too fond of admiration, you like to be thought well of. You think we can escape disagreeable duties by taking romantic views — that's your great illusion, my dear. But we can't. You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all — not even yourself. ~Henry James (1843–1916), The Portrait of a Lady [Originally published 1880, quoted from the 1908 revised edition. Henrietta Stackpole to Isabel Archer. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g] #infj
But to fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved, 1980
I like people. I just prefer it when they're not around. ~Zoo, "First Blood" (season 1, episode 1), original airdate 2015 June 30th, spoken by Mitch Morgan [writing credits: Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Patterson, Ledwidge]
Only weak, caterpillar- and hedgehog-like souls curl and crumple up into themselves at every touch... ~Jean Paul, Titan, translated by Charles T. Brooks [Not nice, Richter. —tg]
Every fragile thing shall rust... ~Dorothy Parker, "Rainy Night," 1925
You're a little upset by your troubles, and that's natural enough, but don't let your mind run on them any more than you can help; drag your thoughts away from your troubles—by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you manage it; it's the healthiest thing a body can do; dwelling on troubles is deadly, just deadly—and that's the softest name there is for it. You must keep your mind amused—you must, indeed. ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1891
One of the most remarkable traits of my character is without doubt the extraordinary superstition which makes me see signs in every conceivable affair, and in a single day turn hundreds of things into an oracle.... Every crawling insect provides me with an answer to some question or other concerning my fate.... But the tendency is perhaps rooted in human nature, and has only in my case taken a monstrous form... ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963
I'm scared of it all, God's truth! so I am;
It's too big and brutal for me.
My nerve's on the raw and I don't give a damn
For all the "hoorah" that I see.
I'm pinned between the subway and overhead train,
Where automobiles swoop down:
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again —
I'm scared of the terrible town.
~Robert W. Service, "I'm Scared of It All," 1912
The social scene, awkward
Party, wine, and dinner—
Gone to bed instead
~Terri Guillemets, "Cocoon," 2018, blackout poetry created from Danielle Steel, Fairy Tale, 2017, page 36 #infj
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Religion," 1836
Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963
Writer. Recluse. Old Man. Little Kid. ~Adam Stanley, iamadamstanley.tumblr.com #oldsoul #innerchild #infj
I'm not a recluse — I'm just playing hard-to-get with society. ~Author unknown #infj
I become daily more and more convinced that my nerve-trouble is to a great extent nurtured, if not entirely caused, by my solitary habits. I have practically no other pleasure now than through my own head, which is continually busy. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. ~Olin Miller (1893–1981)
The shy and the extroverted have this in common — that they both fancy they are the center of attention. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Panic — a trap of darkness. ~Terri Guillemets, 2019, blackout poetry created from Cliff McNish, The Scent of Magic, 2001, pages 167-168
God bless your tender heart. ~Thomas M'Combie, 1845
Deep in the greenwood of my heart
Is my abiding-place:
I cloak my soul at feast and mart;
I mask my face.
Outlawed, but not alone, for Truth
Is outlawed, too.
You cannot banish us, proud world:
We banish you.
~Alfred Noyes, "The Outlaw," The Century Magazine, January 1912
I'm a dandelion in a harsh wind. ~Terri Guillemets #infj #hsp
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, journal, age 39
Some days, we're just looking for a soft place to land. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com #hsp #infj
Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
In solitude, where we are least alone...
For those uneasy with the world, solitude is the only guarantee of confidence. ~Terri Guillemets
My imagination shied, as horses do, and ran away with me. This best expresses my condition in the way of sentiment. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The snake, crushed of the heel, crawls wearily, over to me.
The lark with the broken wing knows that I know why it cannot sing.
I hear the plaint of the shattered wheel, bemoaning the load it cannot bear.
I know what the gate is saying on its broken hinge.
I speak a common language with defeat and contumely —
The Mother Tongue of Pain.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: XVII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Only I am unstable. The sun does not hesitate in its shining, the dawn presents in assurance. Only I vacillate, am ill at ease.
Only I come forth in weakness, in unaccented action and performance, in the unfaith of life, in wavering unbelief and insecurity, doubting the time, the placement, and the reason for being.
Only I am unpoised. God is going His equable way, the great law of cosmos has not been disturbed, the universe remains serene, the stars have not missed a night in the sky. Day and night continue to alternate. They have not been confused.
All these are not perturbed — why then I?
It is only I who am shouting and waving my hands, only I who am shrieking to space, who disclaim my security, who have not peace. The stars are quiet, the moon is serene, the earth is rhythmic. Only I am out of harmony and ill at ease.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921 #infj
Some people are so sensitive that they feel snubbed if an epidemic overlooks 'em. ~Kin Hubbard
I'm a butterfly that's hurt its wings against a hard world to-night. ~F. E. Baily, Dolf, 1921
"I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully. "He is so very sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked — he seemed to like it. I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
"You're both queer enough, if that's what you mean by kindred spirits," said Marilla with a sniff.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
...her mind astir with pictures and emotions. ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897 #infj
My heart is glass, daily shattered... ~Terri Guillemets #hsp
We undervalue, I think, the courage of simple, everyday civility. What do we know of another person's day, of their worries and anxieties, of how deep into their innermost resources they had to reach for that gracious smile, that pleasant hello. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. ~Author unknown
Don't shoulder the burdens of others!...
Each man has his own special troubles,
His worries and problems and woes;
Give aid when you can to each mortal,
But try not to feel all his blows!
For you, too, have burdens to carry;
And, if you just wear yourself out
In agony over all others,
How can you, your own troubles, rout?
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "Good Advice"
At the age of thirty or forty — at any age — there may develop, with irresistible power, and seemingly for no reason, a paralysing, appalling fear of doing some trivial every-day act, or of coming into contact with some familiar and entirely harmless object. When fear becomes as extreme as this it amounts to a disease, and is recognised as such by the medical profession, being technically known as a "phobia." ~H. Addington Bruce, Psychology and Parenthood, 1915
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by nothing. ~Terri Guillemets, "Overwhelmed by Nothing," 1987
When what I express to another isn't felt or wanted or understood, the feeling goes back into myself and stabs me. ~Olivia Dresher #infj
The autopsy will find coloured flowers in my grey matter, still-beating poetry in my heart, unspent ink in every organ, blood saturated with love, bones mineral'd by life's rough days, muscles fiber'd by courage and fear intertwined, and a slightly crushed but glittering soul. ~Terri Guillemets, "INFj autopsy," 1995
If you could eavesdrop on everything said about you, you'd spend most of your time waiting for the subject to come up. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
My generation is not strong. My grandfather fought in World War II. I had a panic attack during the series finale of Breaking Bad. ~Matt Donaher
For the INFJ, all of reality is surreal. ~Terri Guillemets
Yep, I'm an INFJ — an antisocial butterfly and the most hugging, loving people-hater you'll ever meet. ~Terri Guillemets, "Unsocial butterfly," 1992
eternally restless minds
lifelong soul searchers
~Terri Guillemets, "Internal wanderlust," 1993
i vomit confusion & butterflies
i sweat fear and i bleed dread
i fall deaf from society’s lies
i gag on metallic tastes of pain
i run from the reek of regret
i save my minutes & lose my hours
i dance on the minefield of mind
i freeze my worries for later...
She was surely one of the race of Sensitives. ~Clement Wood, 1925 [of Emily Dickinson —tg]
For sensitive human beings... a hole in the ego can be worse than a hole in the heart. ~Norman Mailer, address at Hopwood Awards, University of Michigan, April 1984 #criticism #hsp #infj
If any man or woman knows more about worrying than I do, that man or woman is sincerely to be pitied. To begin with, I come of honorable generations of worriers, all of whom seemed to be deeply sensible of their responsibility for the carrying on of a world which they did not create. My grandfather used to worry about the weather and crops. My mother worried with an elaboration and finish which really lent distinction to her performance. She could worry harder and longer on less provocation than anybody else I ever knew. When it became my turn to take up the burden of the universe I was quite as successful as she.
As a child, I worried about the end of the world, and the Unpardonable Sin, which I knew I had committed, if I could only find out what it was. I worried my way through school and into college, where my course in worry was so complete that I came out with nervous prostration and two deep furrows between my eyebrows which I shall wear, like the scars of battle they really are, to my dying day. And then I worried about the furrows!
I began to see the light through reading Menticulture by Horace Fletcher which put a vague old Buddhist doctrine into a modern, concrete formula — "Anger and worry are bad habits of the mind. They are not necessary ingredients." Worry not necessary! I had always supposed it was as much my business to worry as it was to breathe, and I looked upon people who did not worry as the shirks and cowards of creation, who were easy in their minds simply because they were criminally indifferent to their duties.
~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899 [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g] #infj
Every room is a panic room when you have anxiety. ~Tony Delgrosso, @Tony_D, tweet, 2017
I have been so hunted from corner to corner, so plagued with polite invitations, similar to those given by a farmer's wife to her ducks, "Dilly, dilly, dilly, come and be killed!" ~Edward Lytton Bulwer, Paul Clifford, 1830 [I feel that same sense of dread for party invitations! —tg]
How beautiful and ugly is this world,
producer of patchwork hearts —
torn by civilized days,
mended in nature and solitude —
some weaker at the seams than others.
~Terri Guillemets #hsp
Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. ~Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, 1977
There are nervous patients and nervous patients. ~H. Addington Bruce, Nerve Control and How to Gain It, 1918
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1993
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990
To lead by example is difficult when you're a follower of fear. ~Terri Guillemets
Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, c.1604 [I, 4, Lucio]
It's no fun to be yellow. Maybe I'm not all yellow. I don't know. I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn if they lose their gloves. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951
Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963
It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, "Me," This Fire
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by [@$$höles]. ~Notorious d.e.b., @debihope
Her wide, vacant eyes saw nothing, but her mental vision, grown suddenly acute, was confronted by a thronging array of images.... She went over mentally almost every incident in her intercourse with Reuben.... The conventions, the disguises, which she had been taught to regard as the only realities, fell down suddenly before the living reality....
Opposite was a mirror... and suddenly Judith caught sight of her own reflected face with its wild eyes and flushed cheeks; her face was usually so calm. Calm? Had she ever been calm, save with the false calmness which narcotic drugs bestow? She was frightened of herself, of her own daring, of the wild, strange thoughts and feelings which struggled for mastery within her. There is nothing more terrible, more tragic than this ignorance of a woman of her own nature, her own possibilities, her own passions.
She covered her face with her hands, and in the darkness the thoughts came crowding (was it thought, or vision, or feeling?). The inexorable realities of her world, those realities of which she had so rarely allowed herself to lose sight, came pressing back upon her with renewed insistence. That momentary glow of exultation, of self-vindication faded before the hard daylight which rushed in upon her soul. She saw not only how it had all been, but how it would all be to the end....
[S]he lived over again that near, far-off, wonderful moment.... Baffled, vanquished, she lay there, crushing out the sound of unresisted sobs....
Nothing had happened; everything had happened. Judith felt that she had grown older in the night.... That brief moment of clear vision, of courage, had faded, as we know, even as it came....
Before the great mysteries of life her soul grew frozen and appalled. It seemed to her, as she sat there in the fading light, that this is the bitter lesson of existence: that the sacred serves only to teach the full meaning of sacrilege; the beautiful of the hideous; modesty of outrage; joy of sorrow; life of death.
~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888 [Though I don't typically post such long excerpts, this series of passages struck me as an amazingly accurate descriptive account of the sudden and quick yet lingering, ceaseless ebb and flow of the emotions and thoughts, the ever-fluctuating self-confidence and humiliation, neverending war amongst doubt and tenacity, fear and nerve, of an INFJ personality. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
If you surrender to the wind you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison, quoted in Laura B. Randolph, "The Magic of Toni Morrison," Ebony, July 1988
You must finish... every day, & be done with it. For manners, & for wise living, it is a vice to remember. You have done what you could — some blunders & absurdities no doubt crept in forget them as fast as you can tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well & serenely, & with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day for all that is good & fair. It is too dear with its hopes & invitations to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1854
Shutting yourself in the wardrobe until the window cleaner has finished and left. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish, tweet, 2013, verybritishproblems.com
Panicking in a sandwich shop and allowing a distressingly bizarre combination of fillings to occur. ~Rob Temple, 2013, verybritishproblems.com
Saying your meal was lovely, despite a slight fear it might kill you in the night. ~Rob Temple, 2013, verybritishproblems.com
Suspecting you've been overcharged, so making sure to frown as you insert your debit card and pay in full. ~Rob Temple, 2013, verybritishproblems.com
Concentrating to within an inch of your life on the pre-flight safety briefing, to compensate for those ignoring it. ~Rob Temple, 2013, verybritishproblems.com
Four-word horror stories:
Team building away day
Rail Replacement Bus Service
Tell us about yourself
We're out of milk
Someone's at the door
~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish, tweet, 2016, verybritishproblems.com
Spare a thought for those poor VBP sufferers living abroad, surrounded by relaxed, uninhibited extroverts, going about their daily life with barely a single unnecessary apology passing their lips. ~Rob Temple, Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013, verybritishproblems.com #introvert #infj
You've got a very tender little heart, haven't you? ~May Sinclair, The Belfry, 1916
published 2004 Aug 9
last saved 2023 Mar 1