You do not have to tell everyone everything that you do, some people will use it against you when you least expect it. — Mom
Throughout my teenage years, my mother made it her task to engrave this message on the back of my head. At every moment, she reminded me the importance of protecting my privacy. In fact, I now understand why she did it; I am the type of person that can never see the bad in other people. As a mother, who seeks to protect their children she understood that not everyone out there was supportive, kind, and friendly.
As humans, we ache to share with other’s our ideas, feelings, and experiences. We always hold the idea that they care as much as us, if not more. We think that we will find that support group, that person that will push us forward. But in reality, most people do not care.
According to an article in Psychology Today, there are multiple reasons that lead for us to overshare information:
The fact that someone is near your personal space does not mean that you should expose your privacy. Especially, if we are talking about a stranger. How many times have you been told something by a stranger in a public space? How much did you care about the story? Was it fulfilling to your life? Would you do the same?
Everything comes down to this: only share the things that you want people to know. Once you tell something, it has the chance to spread; sometimes we wonder why our relatives know something that we only told our cousin. It starts with you.
You have to be aware of what you are saying, you must know whether it is impactful to your own life and well being. You cannot go around and talk about the intimacy of your relationship, that is something that stays in between 2 people.
You must know what to say, when, and how. Otherwise, you are welcoming others to come in and criticize your life and choices.
I am guilty of this myself, I had to learn the hard way. In life, we always want those around us to feel comfortable, and when that happens we tend to share things that are too personal to us.
One time, I was chatting with a friend who was undergoing serious personal problems. In an attempt to make her feel good, I shared with that person some of my problems. This is a big no, no. Soon, we both became total strangers and I just palmed by face realizing what I had done.
Now that you know the 3 situations for over-sharing; there are 3 things that you must not tell anyone.
On one of his research articles, Professor of psychology Peter Gollwitzer noted that revealing to others the goals that you have will make you less likely to achieve them. Now, this is important as we enter 2021.
When you tell people your goals, some support you while others tell you to look for something else.
How many times have you had this great idea that you were going to implement? Many times right? Then someone tells you: “I don’t think you should do that, it won’t work.” Now you are left with a doubt and feeling unmotivated; soon that idea will be a thing of the past.
Now, don’t tell people your goals, do this instead: work on your goals, once you accomplish them you are welcome to share it. With this people will see what you have accomplished, instead of what you could have done.
2. Your relationships
This one is a perfect example of boundaries.
You must not divulge every time that you and your partner fight, the things that you guys do or a problem that your partner might be facing. Remember that people are not certified psychologists, they will not keep this as a secret.
It is important to know, that the more privacy there is in a relationship the better it will evolve. You do not want people telling you what to do with your partner, especially when you are unsure.
Some people are not good at giving advise, don’t be misguided.
3. Your family troubles
I know how frustrating it can be when you are mad with your sister or brother. I have been there. However, you do not want to bring other people into the feud, specifically if they know your family member.
This happened to me and it did not go good. Let me provide some context.
One time, I had an argument with my sister. It was pretty serious, I think it was something over politics. I forgot. I thought that it was a good idea to express my concerns to my mom as a form of airing my emotions. Yet, it made things worst.
My mom went to my sister, to tell her I said that she said…the rest is history. The lesson that I got from this is that it’s better to fix things yourself, instead of someone telling you how to fix them.
Life teaches us many lessons, and one of those is that sometimes it is better if you keep certain stuff to yourself. Remember, your goals, relationships, and family are personal; not up for public discussion.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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