Saturday, November 26, 2011

Discretion

In case it isn't obvious from my blogging, I like to talk. I like to communicate all my thoughts and feelings and I'm really not too worried about who hears them. I am often surprised by others' reticence or privacy concerns, and if I cause offense to other people it is most likely because of saying too much, too openly. Every once in a while I receive a little slap on the wrist, from someone telling me I should watch what I say... and I remember for a little while, until it fades and something flares up again.

This week, I've had two instances of these sorts of flare-ups - both from people, not friends of mine, telling me that I need to learn to shut my mouth sometimes. In the first situation I was accused of pushiness - in the second, gossiping. I think I'm guilty of both. A good deal of both scenarios, right now, can be explained by sheer boredom. I simply don't have much to do - so, a personal project, or a juicy story, become an elixir for me, something for me to feast my energies on temporarily. Which I suppose is fine until it crosses someone else's comfort threshold, and that's not always apparent to me.

I worry that boredom doesn't fully explain it, though, because even in my busy working life I was not famous for discretion. I just say what I think, as soon as I think it. And my worry is that this quality is going to limit my success in life; the most successful people, I think, master the skill of when to speak and when to remain silent. Not just successful in work - but also in interpersonal relationships.

All I can do is to try to be better. I can try to listen more and talk less; stay out of other people's business; think before I speak. I would like to ask, to all of the blog readers out there who are friends of mine, for you to help me in this quest by letting me know if I have overstepped a boundary, or if I have spoken when silence would have been wiser. Somewhere in my brain, a particular sensitivity gene is not well-tuned, and I know of no other way to shape it, other than to solicit your constructive criticism.

P.S. I held off on posting this for a while, as I contemplated that saying, "Well-behaved women seldom make history". Seriously considered a whole alternate attitude. Then decided that "Life is a long lesson in humility" is a better quote for today.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Shana...if I had a nickel for every time I've felt as though perhaps I should have zipped my lips! However, I've come to realize the true joy that comes with having friends and family that not only know you will speak your mind freely, but appreciate it and welcome it. You will always find someone to offend, someone whose feelings will be hurt, etc...sometimes that happens to me when I was specifically trying NOT to offend! As long as you are not being malicious (which of course you are not), I say forever speak on!

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