Monday, October 4, 2010

Break the Need to Maintain Secrecy

Secrecy is a funny thing.  Perhaps we should call it selective information sharing.  Either way, what you tell people obviously has an affect on them, on how they view you, that is, on how they think of you, and therefore, in a way, how you think about yourself.  Even if you were the source of flattering information in the first place, when it comes back to you from a believing mouth, it is helpful and seems believed and that, I think, bolsters one's ego, or self-esteem, or whatever.  But, and here's the big caveat: when you control that information to such an extent that other people cannot seem to locate other pieces of you, then you do a bit of a disservice to yourself and to your friends.  To yourself because you're setting up a persona of who you are, and not acting like who you are.  To be clear, acting like who you are doesn't mean that you have to be rude, or that you have no civility.  It doesn't mean that you produce loud flatulence, for instance: it simply doesn't mean you go around unedited or without respect for other people.  Instead, though, consider absolute transparency.  If someone asks a question, you answer it without regard to creating a favorable image of yourself.  You answer it honestly, in other words, with thoughts similar to the thoughts you say to yourself, edited out, in this sense, for sake of efficiency -- you'll have to summarize a little bit.  Consider, for a second, the freedom that this allows without at the same time thinking about the restrictions it may bring.  Now you won't need to provide pieces of yourself to certain people to maintain the illusion that you are in line with their viewpoints or that you fit a particular role.  You're freer to act in contradictory ways, even, in that you don't have to maintain an image of what you think that they think they want.  That doesn't mean, of course, that you aren't internally consistent. What it means is that you're more likely to find people that you actually get along with and share common interests, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems that you're ignoring the fact that a lot of strategic projecting of their image that people do is done unconsciously. Just because you answer a question without (conscious) regard to creating a favorable image of yourself doesn't mean you're answering honestly and without regard to your image. Self-deception is very powerful.