Keeping it to Myself [en]

[fr] Partager, c'est bien, mais tout partager, trop partager, tout raconter, tout vérifier, cela nous fait faire l'économie de vérifier qu'on peut tenir debout sur ses deux pieds par soi-même.

I’m a pretty open person. Too open, sometimes. Clearly, a lot of my life is on display online, though there are parts of it I keep completely offline.

In person, I talk about myself easily. I’m not very good at hiding what I think, so I tend to be in “all cards on the table” mode. It works pretty well for me. I think one of the things my clients appreciate is my honesty (and maybe my friends do, too).

But I realized over the last two years that being too open about my personal issues (this is in private/offline spaces, so you’ll be disappointed if you go hunting for stuff in this blog) does have some negative effects.

For example, I realized that once you have started telling somebody about something, it’s hard to stop in the middle of the story. Sometimes you don’t know where the story is taking you, and you might come to a point where you don’t feel like sharing it anymore.

More importantly, talking about certain emotionally charged things over and over and over and over again simply helps me stay wound up about them — whether they are good or bad things.

I spend a lot of time ruminating. Too much time. I self-analyze pretty much everything to death (and when I don’t, it’s stuff I’m pretty good at keeping myself from seeing, even in a conversation with a friend). I’m the kind of person who needs to “talk less, think less, and do more”.

So, I started not telling all my friends every single thing that was happening to me. The first step was delaying — waiting for 24 hours, for example. And I noticed that I was processing things differently. In a way, I was owning those moments and feelings more.

Another thing I did differently is I held back from asking for everybody’s opinion before every single decision I had to make. And when I did start experiencing being the sole stake-holder in some of my decisions, something interesting started to happen: my self-confidence grew.

It makes perfect sense: if you never experience dealing with something or making a choice on your own, then clearly you are sustaining a belief system (about yourself) where you are not capable of standing on your own two feet.

I’m not advocating clamming up or shutting people out. Sharing is great. I still share a lot.

I’ve just realized that systematic oversharing has its drawbacks, and that the most important drawback is not the risk of public exposure. It’s the damage it can do to your belief in yourself, by sparing you from experiencing that you actually can deal with stuff on your own.

One thought on “Keeping it to Myself [en]

  1. Si longue est la route vers une forme d’équilibre et de sérénité, merci de mettre en mots un des virages en épingle. 😉 amitiés

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