not an open book

When people know that I blog, they usually ask about the topics I write about. I usually just say, ‘Ah, you know, bits and pieces. Here and there. Life, relationship, studies, anything in between.’

Then they’ll go to my blog and read some of my posts. The next time we meet, they’ll ask, ‘I don’t know how you are able to share private details about your life on the internet. I won’t be able to do that.’

Funnily, I’m already used to this comment by now. But it just gets me thinking: do I really share stuff that are that private on the internet? Should I cut back on the stories of my life?

It’s interesting, really, because to be honest, I don’t think what I share on my blog is private. They are things that I would be comfortable to share with my friends, so I’m comfortable in sharing the stories here too. Of course, you wouldn’t know about the details of my family problems or the fights that I have with my partner. Those are private.

I’m not an open book. But I’d say I’m more open with my life compared to many others.

The other day, my close friend told me that I have a very low threshold on the things I deem private. That means I tell stuff about myself easily. Thinking of it, I do choose to be open to others consciously. Why?

So people can trust me. So you can tell me your stories too. Sometimes I get friends or acquaintances reaching out for me, making small talk, while I know they really want to talk about something. If I tell them my stories first, that would make them more comfortable in telling their concerns to me too. Being open is my way to say that you can trust me. That I’ve been there. That I won’t judge whatever you’re telling me (or at least I’d try my best not to). That I will listen.

Say we’re having coffee for the first time. Say you want to talk about relationship (because after all these years and not even one relationship article in the last 25 posts, people still refer me as the girl who talks about relationship – not that I complain, it’s good to be acknowledged in something). You don’t know how to start the conversation. You don’t want to sound awkward. So I’d start. I’d tell you my story. I don’t mind. And by the end of that first coffee, perhaps you’d tell me yours.

Sure, some people choose to not talk. That’s fine. But telling my stories somehow open the possibility of that exchange.

Yeah, I’m not sure if being open is good. I’m not sure if it’s wise to tell the things that I’ve written here on my blog. Because it’s on the internet, and internet never dies. But I’ve received emails and comments saying that people can relate with what I’m writing. I’ve gotten acquaintances reaching out to me, saying that they are happy to know that they are not the only ones undergoing the same life crisis.

I think that makes it worth it.


Photo by Vincent_AF, Creative Commons