Monday, June 16, 2014

To Share or Not To Share: Part 2

Wow.. Never promise that you're going to post something on your blog in x many days unless you've already written/edited said post and scheduled it to post automatically.. Because it just won't happen!

I promised my dear readers a Part 2 post to "To Share of Not To Share" within 3 days, and it's very possibly been 3 weeks!

And in the 3 weeks (or whatever it's been) that have passed, I've had a little bit of time to mull over my answer to, "Why is finding the balance between transparency and discretion important [when it comes to what we share with other people]?"

It's been a very, very busy 3 weeks. I've had so many experiences that I've wanted to share with other people. Funny things neighbor children say. Things Sperry did. Successes and disappointments.

But, I don't have permission from the parents to post to Facebook the embarrassing things their kids said.

And really, only David cares that much about Sperry being silly in the backyard.

My successes I share with the people who will appreciate them.

And my disappointments I choose the people who have offered to walk through them with me to confide in.

"Why is finding the balance between transparency and discretion important?"

I had one of the longest posts ever written out to explain the answer... But, as I've mulled over it, the answer can really be summed up into one word ... Respect.

Respect for ourselves.

Respect for those whom our situation involves.

And respect for the ears/hearts who are going to hear/read what we share.

Respect for Ourselves:

If we would just think before we spoke / texted / posted... We can make ourselves look very uneducated, ignorant, naive, and even disrespectful when we share too quickly.

And we say a lot about how much we respect ourselves and our reputation by what we post to social media.

(Side note, classy people do not post about their own bodily functions on social media... It's one thing to talk about it with a friend who understands bodily functions, or your doctor, but Facebook is not the place. Someone had to say it, so I might as well clue you in here while we're talking about discretion.)

Respect for Those Whom Our Situation Involves:

Can we not talk about ANYTHING that involves another person without their expressed / written permission? Of course not. That's ridiculous. But, we should do unto others as we would want them to do unto us, right? ... I mean, really, that sums it up. If I wouldn't want someone to bash me for some reason on social media, then I shouldn't do the same.

For example, I was at this thing one night recently in a nearby city with a bunch of "church people." (Disclaimer: These were not people who attend the church David and I are currently attending.) You would have thought I was one of Xavier's X-Men, and I had the super power of invisibility. I didn't get a returned smile, hello, even a nod! I wanted to leave, but I couldn't. It really hurt my feelings to be treated that way, and selfishly, I really wanted to call them all out. I could have posted on Facebook in great detail where I was and exactly who these people were that were hurting my feelings in such a hypocritical way... But, I didn't. I texted my sister instead. She knows my heart. She has my confidence.

What good would it have done to call them out on Facebook like that? None. I have friends on Facebook who don't go to church, so why would I remind them that if they decide to check this church or any other church out, there's a chance they'll be ignored... That wouldn't have done any good at all... I don't like it when people post things like that about church people or Christians, because I go to church and I am a Christ-follower, and I try really hard to be super welcoming to everyone. So, I just did unto others...

Respect for the Ears/Hearts That Are Going to Read/Hear What We Share:

Other people's ears/hearts... Sometimes that's easy. You don't mention that Santa isn't real in front of a 6 year old. But, other times it can be tricky... Like, you would never know my sweet friend was sexually abused as a teenager by looking at her or talking with her. But, discussing a recent violent incident in her presence will set her into a panic attack.

I tend to be more aware of stuff like this because I'm often the one in the panic attack chair. So, when I was having a causal conversation about domestic violence with another woman, and she froze like a popsicle when I mentioned a d.v. statistic, I realized the tables had been turned and made sure she knew that I was a safe confidant.

Learning to read body language is a skill that will better you and better other's until the day you die.

Unfortunately there are some people who aren't that considerate. They just like to hear themselves talk. After completely clamming up, fixing my eyes on the floor, and practically wringing my hands while a woman told me about a raping/murder that had happened just miles from my home, I finally interrupted her and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt you. But, I can't hear this." Those of us with traumatic histories have to learn when to speak up, when to just leave the room, and how to heal... We can't live in a bubble, and people can't be expected to walk on egg shells around us.

So, why is finding the balance important? It's better for everyone... It's really just that simple.