Tuesday, May 31, 2011

shut up

ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife...

Somewhat ironic to be using a blog - the home of opinion and freedom to express - to pontificate on the benefits of shutting up, but there it is...

I often joke, semi-seriously, that my maxim for life is that it is easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.  I have to say, that mostly, that works for me.  Mainly because I have this annoying habit - oops, I mean underdeveloped skill - of saying or doing what comes to me, rather than spending a whole lot of time planning and thinking before acting.  On the other hand, I truly excel at looking back in retrospect and agonising with great embarrassment over why I did or said something!  (this is usually followed by afore mentioned seeking of forgiveness, or even more rash act as vain attempt to assuage guilt for first rash act!).

And I talk for a living, pretty much, so I've well and truly got in the habit of sharing what's in my head and heart. (Although don't be decieved..I might be noisy but I am still a pretty private person).

So, what's to be done about it.  I think the realisation I've come to is that rather than jumping in boots and all - and consequently coming across as scary redhead girl, I probably just need to learn to shut up more.

Which brings me to the second irony...people tell me stuff.  I delight in sharing peoples trials and tribulations.  And I know things that I wish I didn't.  There are husbands of friends that I can't look in the eye.  Damn, there are FRIENDS I sometimes can't look in the eye!!! That said,  I love that people feel safe to tell me things. And know that they won't go any further than me.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  So, I figure that at least some of the time I must be good at listening - ergo, good at shutting up.

So how come, when zipping it is most crucial, I can't help but share?  Yep, I can wear my heart on my sleeve - it will probably be to my eternal detriment that I'm not a game player...I'm told that this is the way of the world and most people like a little challenge, especially in the male/female relationship arena.  I also have a loathing of broken relationship - I truly cannot bear being on the wrong side of a friend, or having unresolved conflict - hence my tendency to over analyse and often be the first to seek restitution (sometimes before the dust is even settled).  

What's the right course of action here?  Should we be honest...transparent...and forthright...or is it sometimes better to be reticent and even taciturn at times?

Should I just learn to shut up?


Anonymous said...

My 2 cents - if someone shares something in confidence, it needs to stay in confidence. Otherwise "loose lips sink ships" and ruin friendships!

Anonymous said...

Take two:
My general approach is to listen (and listen and listen ...) until the speaker actually asks for my advice (which they occasionally do!). Otherwise opinions generally fall on deaf ears.

mighty acorns said...

i didn't mean to suggest i shared the 'stuff' i got told...what i was meaning, was, is it always a good idea to be upfront and share what's on one's mind?

Dave. said...

I think there are times to shut up and leave things unsaid. Like you, I tend to blurt out my past history and sometimes it goes down like a cup of cold sick, particularly if that person is a romantic prospect.
I like to be open and honest, but you dont have to tell everything, particularly if it is not asked for or relevant. Let the past stay in the past?