I've been dialoging with a reader about self-disclosure. Thought I'd share a bit on this blog.
I totally relate to your article.I often don’t want to share my REAL feelings, because I’m uncomfortable about what they are. Although, as a trainer, when I do self disclose, the most positive feedback I receive is when participants say that they really related to what I have said, and they appreciate my honesty.
Almost always, people say that they don’t tell their true feelings (particularly at work) because they will be vulnerable and they fear it will be used against them. I have never found a satisfactory reply to this comment. Because people do make fun of us and put us down for being open and vulnerable. What can I say to people when they ask me about this?
Laura Lewis-Barr Says: September 23rd, 2009 at 5:43 am
Thanks for your reply Ute. I also appreciate your honesty!My thoughts to your question: For me, part of EI is working to understand when a situation is truly unsafe, and when it is only my exaggerated fears (based on unrealistic thoughts) that create feelings of vulnerability. Learning to discriminate between my subjective inner world and the outer world is a lifelong process for me. Through practice and observation, I do believe we can learn to recognize when a situation is truly unsafe. That doesn’t mean that we don’t disclose at all, but we can be careful. We can also learn to withstand aggression from others and not take their words to heart. But it is very difficult!If we are able to stay in dialogue with the aggressors, we can possibly change the situation through our clarity, strength and courage. But it is hard!!!
What are your thoughts and concerns about self-disclosure?
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