To be honest, what I’m trying to express here is something that is difficult to put into words. But let me start with the bigger idea and then we’ll break it down.
Someone once told me this: not everybody needs to know everything.
My young high school self was like…
“ummmmmmm no. I’m the worlds biggest extravert and talkative little human and I must tell everyone anything and everything because I just love story telling and verbal processing.”
I quickly rethought this statement though, and came around to agree. And today, at this point in my life, I so deeply agree. Truly, not everyone in our lives needs to know everything about us. Largely, because thats just how we get spread thin.
Which brings me to my main thought on this all; vulnerability.
Vulnerability is exhausting. When we over share and over tell because we’re in need of someone to hear us out, or to get things off our chest…sometimes it leads to trouble. Or am I the only one who’s experienced this? You know, those moments where you “just need to vent” and then all of a sudden you realize you’ve gone way to far, or over stepped, or spread gossip? Yeah. Those moments.
I wonder what it would look like for us as women (and the men who may be tuning in - shout out to you) to truly practice the act of thinking before we speak. I know we all do this to an extent. You think before you speak in front of children, so you remember not to drop the F bomb. You think before you speak when you’re in front of you parents as to not mis-speak about what you were doing Friday night. You think before you speak with the thought of not sharing a detail that could hurt someone’s feelings. We all think before we speak. To an extent.
But what I’m trying to get at here, is the idea of thinking before we speak just to share something; to start conversation, fill the silence, tell about our days.
I’ll be honest with you - I still probably over share. I have people in my life who get a bit concerned with how much I share on my instagram stories at times. Little do they know the extent of the information I hold back, even the personal stuff.
I will admit I can be the queen at over sharing. And at the same time, in the midst of that method being my inherit go-to, I work daily to change that, to put a guard over my mouth. I think half the solution is having the right people to share things with, and to set clear boundaries with yourself and with those around you.
Back to the vulnerability thing. I truly believe we must be careful with how and what we share so that we protect others as well as ourselves. Like I said, vulnerability is exhausting and can be exposing. If we jump to quickly to fill this need of “getting it off our chest” we may go to the first person we see, who may end up being the wrong person to share that information with. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Know who your people are that you feel comfortable sharing the deep, tough things with. Identify people in your life that you see transparency in, people you know you can trust to walk with you through the things you face. Its important to have these people who know you and can keep you accountable too. That way, when you do over step, gossip arises, “processing” goes too far…they can catch you on it - rather than engage.
Over the years I have learned through trial and error what its like to over share, to misspeak, and to engage with someone that I probably shouldn’t have. I’ve learned to hold my tongue at times, and when to call up the right person when I need to talk. As I reflect on past years, it being 6 years since I began learning this, I can see healthy relationships that are still intact because of the way I’ve chosen to process and share. AND I am a much healthier person when I’m processing with the people who know me best, and respecting others I don’t know as well.