#1
Old 07-25-2008, 04:26 PM
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Are you a private person?

In other words, how comfortable are you sharing personal information with others? Where are your boundaries? Is there any information that you won't share with anyone, no matter how close you are to them? If not, is there any one person in your life with whom you share everything?

I'm also interested in how you feel when you share something private with someone. Is it comforting to have it out in the open, or does it make you feel uneasy? Also, what effect do you feel your level of openness (or lack thereof) has had on your ability to form relationships with others?

I'll post my own answers later; I want to wait for others to respond so that this will stay a poll-type thing instead of turning into an advice thread.
#2
Old 07-25-2008, 04:34 PM
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I don't have many people I hang out with and talk to, but I am pretty open with information with the people I do talk to. I wouldn't want other people to feel like they couldn't tell me things so I try to break the ice by being forthcoming. I try to be pretty tuned in to others' feelings though so I act however I think they will be most comfortable.

One of the few things I won't talk about is salary info -- I've mentioned it here but in real life I wouldn't.

However, I wouldn't have an opinion about people who don't want to share as much--people should be comfortable doing what they want in relation to others.

Last edited by gigi; 07-25-2008 at 04:35 PM.
#3
Old 07-25-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amygdala
In other words, how comfortable are you sharing personal information with others? Where are your boundaries? Is there any information that you won't share with anyone, no matter how close you are to them? If not, is there any one person in your life with whom you share everything?
Naturally or not I share everything with my wife...However, there are certain things that I simply don't talk to her about. She has no desire to hear a play-by-play of how my weekend fishing with the guys went...all she cares about is if I had fun or not. So if I had fun, that's all she needs to know, that's just the way she is.

I'm a very private person, I share andecdotal information with most people, but in all I'm quite a private guy, so is Mrs.P. Give us a big Log Home up in Montana with nothing but our books and a computer with internet and we're in heaven.

Boundaries are very important. They regulate who you talk to and for how long and the content of what you tell them. There are certain people I have high boundaries for, they are toxic. Most people I don't need to have boundaries for, I'm a decent judge of charactor, if I feel like sharing something with someone I use discretion but I'm not anal about it.
#4
Old 07-25-2008, 05:00 PM
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Ask the people in my office about the relationship between me and my cat's nutsack.
#5
Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM
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None of your business!
#6
Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM
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There is a handful of people I'll bare all to... I keep things very private. When I *do* start divulging information, it's usually after a few cocktails, and I kick myself the next day over and over. I feel very vulnerable sharing personal things about myself.
#7
Old 07-25-2008, 06:26 PM
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Many many years ago I was going through (yet another) depression and this time, for the first time, I started delving into a childhood and adolescence filled with sexual molestation and rapes (I must have had the words "CHOICE VICTIM" tattooed on my forehead, because I sure was a pervert/asshole magnet). I'd never equated the depressions and problems I'd had with my childhood and teenage years before, but it seemed worth a try. I wrote down all the things that had happened to me in an effort to "get it all out" and was very detailed and specific, both about the events and my emotions (then and now) regarding the things that happened to me. I was constantly reading in various forms that "secret" things have power that "public" things don't, so one way to stop things from being secret is to share them with other people. I took that to heart and shared my past with family (who knew nothing about the most awful events), friends, the (then very helpful and non-spammy) newsgroup alt.sexual.abuse.recovery, and a private mailing list I was on.

Did I feel better after all that sharing? Hell no. It just made me more depressed and to this day I wish I'd kept my mouth shut tight. It wasn't that people weren't sympathetic, but I was expecting this big release, expecting to feel better, like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. Didn't happen. In my case, talk therapy didn't help me, pharmaceuticals (after many many tries with different brands and dosages) did. Desipramine saved my life, and worked almost immediately. It was like I'd been in a dank tunnel for years and then all of a sudden I was out of it and back in normal daylight. If I'd tried that first it would have saved me years of being in a horrible black hole, and lots of embarrassment from sharing things that no one wanted to hear.
#8
Old 07-25-2008, 06:39 PM
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I'm an insanely private person. I hate sharing things with people; it always makes me feel really vulnerable and icky--even when I have no logical reason to feel that way. I don't share everything with anyone, not even my SO (the person I trust more than anyone else). With him, it's partially because I think he wouldn't understand certain things (or why I care about them), and partially that I just don't think he'd be interested. Sometimes we'll have a long conversation about something I've been thinking about, and at the end of it I'll feel like I must have bored him to death, even though I know that's probably not the case.

I guess what I'm most reluctant to share with people I don't know well is anything that reveals my lack of life experience. I always think people are going to think I'm naive and/or boring when they find out that I've never seen X movie, or that I've never been to a concert or smoked pot or whatever. Or what my hobbies are, since I don't really have any. For some reason that's really embarrassing for me to admit. I feel like most people aren't going to "get" my approach to life. That sounds really pretentious, but I'm just trying to explain my thought process (i.e., it's not necessarily rational).

I tend to push people away with my unwillingness to share, especially since I'm most petrified of sharing really superficial stuff! I don't know how I feel about that. I used to think I should force myself to share more, but eh. It's so much effort to play the game, and I do occasionally meet people with whom I can have interesting philosophical conversations right away, bypassing the superficial crap (my SO, for example). Plus I generally prefer to observe than participate in conversations with people I don't know well. So I don't thinking branching out of my comfort zone is worth it in this case.

Last edited by Amygdala; 07-25-2008 at 06:39 PM.
#9
Old 07-25-2008, 07:08 PM
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There is very little personal information that I will refuse to tell someone not close to me, but there is also very little personal information that I'll volunteer.
__________________
"I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others." -Socrates
#10
Old 07-25-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skammer
None of your business!
Heh - maybe this is a bit of a self-selecting poll.

Yes, I am a private person. I'll talk easily and be friendly with just about anyone, anywhere, but I'm the same as Strinka - I'm not hiding anything from people, but I'm not volunteering, either. Now you've got me wondering why that is; I think it's just a self-reliance thing. I don't depend on other people for my happiness, including telling them every little thing about me.
#11
Old 07-25-2008, 07:54 PM
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Intensely private. I don't even like when people ask, "How are you doing?" I have a low tolerance for nosiness, busy-bodiness, and over familiarity. Despite my easy-going mein, it doesn't take that long for people to realize that I'm aloof and inaccessible. I think I'm a friendly enough person, but it's superficial friendliness. I've bared my soul before to people, but I've always regretted it. So I've decided to keep my problems to myself.

Yet, despite my very prominent personal boundaries, I have a very hard time defending them without feeling very guilty. So instead of telling a nosy person to butt out, I tend to lie or obsfucate.
#12
Old 07-25-2008, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherlou
Now you've got me wondering why that is; I think it's just a self-reliance thing. I don't depend on other people for my happiness, including telling them every little thing about me.

I think for me, I don't want to be perceived as a histrionic drama queen. Why should someone care what I did over the weekend or what crazy dream I had last night or what my last dump looked like? My life just isn't that interesting. And anyone who's interested in the minor details of my life needs to get one of their own.

When people that I've known only for a short time tell me very personal information about themselves, I automatically discount their trustworthiness. Such a person is a gossip who lives to "dish", and they will trade my secrets just as easily as they do their own.
#13
Old 07-25-2008, 09:26 PM
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For the most part, I think I'm pretty open. There are some things I don't discuss with anyone. For instance...I have a friend who had a habit of describing the prior evening's sexual adventures in minute detail. And she's not even that close of a friend! That's not my style. However, I don't have hang ups about discussing money, death, inheritance-type stuff...things that others often consider to be off-limits.
#14
Old 07-25-2008, 09:47 PM
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I'm *intensely* private, introspective, and antisocial, most private people have a "wall" they keep between them and others, I have a granite fortress surrounding my "wall", and a shield surrounding the granite fortress, nobody gets in unless I *let* them in, and, aside from my immediate family, I can count on one hand the number of people who I've dropped my defenses in front of (my three longtime friends I first met back in college, and my parents)

it's nobody's business but my own how I feel, and how I react to people, and my default reaction is *avoidance*, I would make a quite effective hermit

part of it stems from work, dealing with morons, pissed off morons too stupid to work a toaster, let alone a sophisticated computer system, an incessantly ringing phone (more morons and stupid questions), and obstinate repairs tends to put me in a sour mood myself, it's no wonder that at the end of the workday, I just want to be left alone, turn off the ringer on the phone and just be alone with my thoughts
#15
Old 07-26-2008, 12:30 AM
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I used to be a very open person, always sharing my thoughts and feelings. I felt relationships weren't real unless everything was mutually known between two people.

Then I went through a rough time where boundaries between me and others became very blurred. I had moments where I would tell people I'd just met personal things. I look back on that time with embarrassment -- but also with a little resentment, because I for the life of me don't understand why some issues have to be considered personal. Humanity is full of hurt and weakness, why bother to hide it? It seems disingenuous to me. If anything I'm just willing to comply with a social norm. It doesn't mean I sanction it.

For some reason even though I've now marked out a private life in reality, I still have these boundary issues online. I don't know why. Maybe the anonymity of the thing. I have a weird cycle when it comes to divulging information about my life, especially painful stuff.

Anxiety ---> Divulging -----> Relief -----> Guilt ------> Depression

It really sucks. I don't know why. Now I even feel guilty when I tell personal things to people close to me. I don't know what's appropriate to talk about anymore, so I just play it safe and talk about nothing negative.

So in real life I guess I am the opposite extreme of what I used to be. I'm quite a guarded person. In fact, I don't even really talk to my friends much when I'm going through hard times. I am embarrassed to admit emotional weakness because I don't view it as socially acceptable. I try to keep things positive. I want people to think I am happy and okay all the time. I don't want to worry my loved ones; they were holding their breath for years while I was openly miserable and I don't want to put them through it again.

My husband, I can tell anything. I have told him things I've never told anyone else; I have been incredibly vulnerable before him and it's okay. There are a few things I never share with him -- not things that would hurt him or damage our relationship, just things that would result in no goodness. For example, we have a mutual friend I don't really care for. I never see the person anymore and I don't even have a rational reason for my dislike. So I keep it to myself. It wouldn't do any good to tell him. That's just one example. So my point is, I feel safe telling him everything, there is no sense of danger, there are just practical implications to consider, like how unnecessarily conflicted he would feel whenever said friend's name was mentioned.
#16
Old 07-26-2008, 01:32 AM
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I don't tell people about my feelings. I'm very private on that point. You can have all my opinions, I'll tell you about what's going on in my life, but I hate talking about feelings. My husband is the only one who hears about them, and even so I sometimes have a hard time talking.
#17
Old 07-26-2008, 03:24 AM
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I consider myself a private person. At work, I tend to either relate (I'm a mom & grandmom, so we all share stories & laugh or sympathize) or reflect (I enjoy hearing why my fellow associates like/hate their jobs &/or life experiences).

It's the same way with my friends outside of work.

Dopers know another side of me, though. The relatively anonymous advantage to being a doper is that I can share parts of my past, such as my battles with cervical cancer and finding out years after the fact that my daughters were molested by caregivers. I'll probably never meet any of you, but it's like a form of therapy to be able to admit these things. Thanks, you all, for listening.

Love, Phil
#18
Old 07-26-2008, 03:36 AM
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Personally I am a very,very private person .

In personality I am genuinlly an outgoing sociable extrovert and can fend off peoples enquiries without answering a single question if I so choose to .
Without them even being aware that they haven't had a single answer let alone think that I've been rude to them.

This of course does not apply to officials questoning me as a part of their work.

There are some things that I have kept to myself for many years and will most probably take with me to the grave .

If Iever am a little worried that I might have let something slip thenI give out misinformation or undermine my own credibility.

An old saying is that the best way to mislead is to tell the truth unconvincingly.


So can I say that I have been shagging Jennifer, whats her name ?Allison, rigid ever since Friends finished.


And what ARE my dark secrets I hear you pondering?

Well put it this way,you will never EVER find out in what year that I last bought a round of drinks.

And as to the mysterious disappearance of next doors yappy little dog with a penchant for ankles..............That too will forever remain unexplained my friends.........

Being serious I tell things about myself on these boards that I would never do in real life because of the anonymity,if ever I went to a Dopefest I'd have to go as a lurker and its unlikely that I'd ever make a real life friend from the boards,sad though that sounds.

That said a Doper who is/was a very good mate of mine IRL even before I became a Doper knows a lot about my past and present but he knows that if he ever says too much the Gerbil gets it...................

And now into the night just like a slightly darker shadow L4L flits into the darkness.
Who knows where?

On what strange esoteric mission is he bound?

Does anyone really give a flying fuck?

When will he just shut the fuck up for fucks sake instead of wittering on and on and on ......

I'll get my coat.
#19
Old 07-26-2008, 03:41 AM
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I am an exceedingly private person, yes. I have my sister and one or two close friends I'll share some stuff with, but even then, it's some only. They are all private people too, so it usually never comes up anyway. We tend not to ask one another stuff. If one of us needs to call on the friendship because of some bad stuff in their life, they'll volunteer the information. I'll listen, give advice if I can, then we move on.
#20
Old 07-26-2008, 03:59 AM
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I have a few categories of people/privacy. A cursory glance at my posting history shows that I own up to being a drugged-out petty criminal and high school dropout during my teen years. I make no secret of it, but in real life I don't exactly flaunt it, either. I don't take pains to conceal it now, but probably will to some degree when I go to law school. I'm pretty proud of having accomplished what I have in light of my past, but I don't feel the need to belt it out unless it's relevant somehow (ex: trying to make a point, writing a personal statement). ETA: I got pretty mad at an ex-bf that wanted me to lie about my past when faced with his parents' inquiries. It kind of pissed me off, actually.

Then, there is a small cadre of close friends and family that hear some things. Mostly these things are on a need to know basis: large events in my life that are very personal but give a lot of insight into who I am as a person and what motivates me in life. This is a small and very select group, less than a dozen. Honestly these things are only divulged because I think it is relevant for some reason, or someone asked (and I trust them). I don't call someone my friend very readily, just because I need a certain level of understanding and trustworthiness before I am comfortable applying that label (for lack of a better term).

Next is my SO, who is slightly more privileged than the last group. Poor man! He has to hear all the terrible crap. I'd say my closest female friend is somewhere between my SO and the general friends group.

Unfortunately, the last and largest category is me, myself, and I. A lot of things inside my skull never escape. So I suppose yes, I am pretty private.

Last edited by Queen Bruin; 07-26-2008 at 04:03 AM.
#21
Old 07-26-2008, 04:23 AM
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I tend to share a lot with people, because to me, everything is fodder for conversation, and I'm really curious about other people. If you tell other people lots about you, they'll more often respond in kind and you can learn new things. And if someone's reaction to my honesty and openness is to be all creeped out or mad, then I know not to be friends with them anymore.
#22
Old 07-26-2008, 05:50 AM
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Can I just say without ruffling any feathers,that its my perception that many of you are not so much private people as just rather shy and embarassed about the emotions you feel.

People who bottle up their emotions to the outside world most of the time tend to when they finally reveal them to others make up for it by going on a little longer about it then normal which after a while causes a negative reaction in the listener and makes the person baring their soul feel bad about unloading.

So they make a resolution that they wont do that again,hold it all in again and then in the end eventually get it off their chest to someone continuing the cycle.

Also ninety nine times out of a hundred when an aquaintance asks "How are you","Where have you been "or "What are you doing at the moment" they are not been inquisative,they are simply following conventional politeness and making a little conversation to show that they recognise you as a person who is more then a stranger.

Its more polite then "How Do You Do"but just as meaningless as far as any serious intentions about information gathering are concerned.

In all probability,galling though it may sound,they most likely couldn't care less what you've been doing and have forgotten the content of the conversation five minutes afterwards.

People think that Brits are obsessed with the weather because we always seem to be talking about it.

But the fact is its our way of having a short conversation with a colleague or aquaintance to recognise that they are a person without involving any personal content.
(That said,a week of heavy showers followed by a week of blistering sunshine !I mean what the hell is going on ?)

It is ridiculous to pretend that you dont react emotionally to any given event and people dont think any the less of you for doing so.
If for example I've just split up with an SO and am feeling down about it and an aquaintance asks "How are You doing""I answer "Not bad mate"because thats all they are expecting in reply.

If somebody quite close to me asks the same thing"I'll say "Oh I split up with Jenny last night and I feel pretty gutted "but thats it, theres no reason to go on and on about it and give it the Big Boo Hoo.


I am habitually secretive about factual information about myself because of my past life and the dangers to my health it could have had and still could have in the future.
We all know just how easy it is to put a few pieces of apparently unconnected information together and arrive at a pretty full and accurate picture.
I've done it myself at times in the past.

And I now I think its a habit I'll never grow out of.(A bit like drinking beer)
#23
Old 07-26-2008, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lust4Life
Can I just say without ruffling any feathers,that its my perception that many of you are not so much private people as just rather shy and embarassed about the emotions you feel.

People who bottle up their emotions to the outside world most of the time tend to when they finally reveal them to others make up for it by going on a little longer about it then normal which after a while causes a negative reaction in the listener and makes the person baring their soul feel bad about unloading.

So they make a resolution that they wont do that again,hold it all in again and then in the end eventually get it off their chest to someone continuing the cycle.
Sure, I can see that.

Quote:
Also ninety nine times out of a hundred when an acquaintance asks "How are you","Where have you been "or "What are you doing at the moment" they are not been inquisative,they are simply following conventional politeness and making a little conversation to show that they recognise you as a person who is more then a stranger.
I'm having trouble understanding how this relates to the former. You seem to be saying at first that we shouldn't feel embarrassed about our emotions, but then you also go on to say that nobody really cares about them or wants to hear about them.

Not trying to pick on you, just genuinely want to know since the first part resonates somewhat with me, or at least it resonates with my online persona. I'm actually pretty comfortable not sharing personal information with other people any more. It allows my social relationships to remain mostly positive. But it also allows them to remain mostly superficial. The few people I'm close to I don't have to tell about my personal life, because they were there witnessing it happen.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 07-26-2008 at 07:49 AM.
#24
Old 07-26-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th
Sure, I can see that.



I'm having trouble understanding how this relates to the former. You seem to be saying at first that we shouldn't feel embarrassed about our emotions, but then you also go on to say that nobody really cares about them or wants to hear about them.

Not trying to pick on you, just genuinely want to know since the first part resonates somewhat with me, or at least it resonates with my online persona. I'm actually pretty comfortable not sharing personal information with other people any more. It allows my social relationships to remain mostly positive. But it also allows them to remain mostly superficial. The few people I'm close to I don't have to tell about my personal life, because they were there witnessing it happen.

I think I see what you're getting at ie. I'll tell someone fairly close about how I feel without giving chapter and verse.
Sometimes I may give more detail as in" we fell out over my persistant nude Bungy jumping"for example but very often a lot of the minutae is irrelevant and you end up repeating several times in different words the same thing.

I dont do this out of secrecy or shame at the emotions that I am feeling but from my viewpoint it smacks of wallowing in self pity which is NOT a good thing and from the viewpoint of the listener it becomes a little bit repetative.


Introverts obviously are introspective and as such spend a lot more time
going over whats happening in their head,analysing and reanalysing their thought processes whereas extroverts,or least way me at any rate are much more conscious of what is happening all around us.

Just as well really because for me that has been and no doubt will remain a survival trait.(As in I'm ever alert for the proximity of people I owe money to!)
#25
Old 07-26-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lust4Life
I dont do this out of secrecy or shame at the emotions that I am feeling but from my viewpoint it smacks of wallowing in self pity which is NOT a good thing and from the viewpoint of the listener it becomes a little bit repetative.
Yes now I see your point, I know exactly the sort of thing you are talking about, and I try to avoid doing that as well. Even with my friends, ''I'm feeling bummed about X'' will suffice. Usually they know me well enough to understand the context and history of that statement and it's not necessary to go into detail. For example (and this is totally invented and not relevant to my actual life) I might say, ''I'm feeling bummed about the breakup because I keep worrying I might have done something wrong.'' The person I'm talking to already knows about the breakup, why it happened and my general feelings about it. There's no need to elaborate more than say, a paragraph. Then I usually try to end on a positive note, ''But I realize there are plenty more fish in the sea, so I'll be fine. I'm doing A and B and C to move forward.'' I guess when you recover from a life filled with negativity you begin to tolerate it less and less in your personal relationships. I don't really want to hear other people bitch about their lives either. Providing emotional support through difficult times is one thing... fixating on one crisis after another to the exclusion of all else is a totally other thing.

Quote:
Introverts obviously are introspective and as such spend a lot more time
going over whats happening in their head,analysing and reanalysing their thought processes whereas extroverts,or least way me at any rate are much more conscious of what is happening all around us.
This is another good point. I am an extremely introverted person. I'm not a ''talk to strangers on the street'' kind of person. I'm barely even a ''call my friends on the phone'' kind of person. I spend a lot of time just by nature of being introverted thinking about my life and my feelings -- ideas and emotions and the big picture matter to me more than events and actions and small details in the grand scheme of things, and that probably at some point comes out in my social interactions.

You've kind of helped me here because what I wrote wasn't really what I would call an ideal approach to this issue. Maybe I would be better off accepting that there are different kinds of people in the world, some who like to be open about their feelings and some who don't and some in between, and wherever you fall in the spectrum it's pretty much okay. And maybe there are some things I'm better off keeping to myself and other things that are important to discuss. Maybe I don't have to be one extreme or the other.

So thanks.
#26
Old 07-26-2008, 12:35 PM
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Wow, I feel like such an anomaly. (And this thread is still on the first page!)

As those of you who've read my posts know, I have shared a LOT of personal info here on the boards. I'm the same way in real life, too; I have no problems divulging info about myself to other people. However, that said, I feel I should add that I do NOT disclose unneeded info about others in my interactions. For example: I have told people in the past "I loved the movie _____! But the ending was so sad, and I cried quite a bit. It even took me a few days to get over that ending." I would never dream of adding "My husband also cried, can you believe it? He's such a tough guy, and it was shocking to look over and see tears running down his cheeks." I just feel that if others want their info known, it's up to them to share it.

On the other side of that coin, I only feel comfortable when we're not on "my turf." Here on the Dope, or at someone's house, or in a group setting like a restaurant, it's all well and good. But if people are at my house, I get intensely uncomfortable - you're invading my space! - or if my husband and I go to a family function at my aunt's house (opposed to his aunt's) I clam up and get very quiet.

I think it stems from a worry that I will upset people, mostly because I am very opinionated and don't apologize for what's in my head. It doesn't even quite make sense to me, but deep down I guess it's better for me to be in that position while I'm out and about, rather than having a confrontation in my own home.

*shrug* I dunno, I'm just weird.
#27
Old 07-26-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th
This is another good point. I am an extremely introverted person. I'm not a ''talk to strangers on the street'' kind of person. I'm barely even a ''call my friends on the phone'' kind of person. I spend a lot of time just by nature of being introverted thinking about my life and my feelings -- ideas and emotions and the big picture matter to me more than events and actions and small details in the grand scheme of things, and that probably at some point comes out in my social interactions.
You know, I'm like this too, and now that I think about it, that probably has a lot to do with why I'm so reluctant to discuss mundane things like the events of my life, and my likes and dislikes. They just aren't a big part of who I am. To me, thoughts are much more important than actions.

I also think that since I spend so much time analyzing my own feelings, sharing them with others rarely reveals anything I didn't already know. So I end up feeling like I made myself vulnerable for nothing AND I wasted the other person's time. OTOH I learn a lot from hearing about other people's thoughts and feelings, so overall I'm a big fan of sharing personal info--as long as I'm not the one doing the sharing. That's why I spend so much time lurking on the SDMB! I often feel like I should post more, but I get a lot more out of just reading what others have posted.
#28
Old 07-26-2008, 04:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Belfast, Ireland.
Posts: 6,380
Private person IRL- on the Dope, less so.

I don't volunteer a lot of info, but I probably wouldn't lie or evade if asked a personal question. I just don't think other people are that interested in the minutiae of my life.

Example.
On the boards I'll reply to "ever kissed a person of the same sex" thread.
IRL I wouldn't volunteer the information unless asked outright, but wouldn't lie if I was asked.

Currently working in psych, so I work with a lot of people who chronically overshare, as well as some who more or less refuse to divulge any personal information whatsoever. While I don't need to know your preferred method of birth control, it's quite awkward finding someone is off on paternity leave for their 4th child when you didn't even know they were a parent! There needs to be a happy medium.
#29
Old 07-26-2008, 05:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Port Jefferson Sta, NY
Posts: 7,875
I'm kind of weird in this respect. It depends on who is asking and how I feel about the tone of their voice. Certain people use a tone of voice that I associate with trustworthiness and genuine interest in my life. These people I will tell almost anything. Other people have a tone of voice that sounds needy or judgey or laced with an agenda or has a trace of fear. These people I avoid answering their questions even if it's seemingly innocuous like "how are you" or "what are you doing today".
#30
Old 07-26-2008, 05:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: under a pile of kitties
Posts: 5,940
I am the least private person in the world, I think. The only things I won't discuss are sex, politics and religion and that is only with my immediate family. Those topics tend to cause arguments so we steer clear of them, but as far as I am concerned my life is an open book and I find it refreshing when I meet other people who feel the same way. I try to keep a lid on it with people I don't know very well though, simply to avoid frightening them.
#31
Old 07-26-2008, 07:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Present and Accounted For
Posts: 18,256
I have learned to be more private in RL due to the bereft and out of control feeling that comes after sharing with someone who does not then reciprocate. I hate that there are things out there that people in my community may or may not know about me because I felt the need to share and be heard in years past--not properly evaluating my choice of listener well. But there's nothing I can do about it now. Also, given the essential narcissism of most people, I doubt my verbal indiscretions are on anyone's mind today.

I was a very naive person, looking back. I thought one shared with friends because they were friends. I thought being honest (not cruel) was an absolute must. I thought a lot of things that ended up hurting me in the long run.
#32
Old 07-26-2008, 07:57 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
I'm very private.

IRL, outside of work I don't talk to strangers. At social events I will cling desperately to someone I know, and only talk to others when we are in a mix of others that I know. Going to a few Dope Fests have been about the only exception to this, where I can make myself believe that exchanging posts is a pre-existing relationship.

Also, I can't shake the feeling that if I simply start talking uninvited to a stranger, I am invading their privacy. It just seems impolite, though AFAICR I've never actaully heard anyone express that as a genuine social rule.

On the job I have to talk to strangers and give directions to people I don't know all the time. It doesn't bother me at all.
#33
Old 07-26-2008, 09:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Reserve
Posts: 8,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro
Intensely private. I don't even like when people ask, "How are you doing?" I have a low tolerance for nosiness, busy-bodiness, and over familiarity. Despite my easy-going mein, it doesn't take that long for people to realize that I'm aloof and inaccessible. I think I'm a friendly enough person, but it's superficial friendliness. I've bared my soul before to people, but I've always regretted it. So I've decided to keep my problems to myself.

Yet, despite my very prominent personal boundaries, I have a very hard time defending them without feeling very guilty. So instead of telling a nosy person to butt out, I tend to lie or obsfucate.
THIS. Every. Word.
#34
Old 07-26-2008, 09:16 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Right here
Posts: 736
Yes.
#35
Old 07-28-2008, 02:04 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: US
Posts: 1,423
I'm very private, and I treat everyone as if they treasure privacy as much as I do.

Not long ago someone at work came to me and asked for a ride to the emergency room. I drove him there. I didn't ask any questions.

A couple of days later his boss took me aside and asked why I hadn't told her that I took Fred to the ER (Fred had called her to say that he would be out). I told her that it wasn't my place to tell her anything about Fred. She then said, "When he called, Fred said, 'Gus would never tell anyone anything like that.'" Fred gets it.

When people ask, "What did you do this weekend?", I want to reply, "None of your business". But I understand that they're only making small talk, so I say, "Nothing". This, however, has had unintended consequences. After hearing about my 100th consecutive weekend of doing nothing, a co-worker asked if I was a serial killer. If people don't have anything to go on, they seem to assume the worst. Most of what people think they know about me are lies that I told to get people to leave me alone.
#36
Old 07-28-2008, 02:22 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 828
I'm not a very private person at all. I don't just go around throwing out personal information, but I can think of only one question that I wouldn't answer truthfully if asked (and you can't know what it is, neener). My life is an open book, free to read, but it's not going to read itself to you.
#37
Old 07-28-2008, 09:46 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lower half of CA
Posts: 13,908
I will share quite a bit with close friends and, for that matter, folks on this board.

However, I tend to think that "How are you?" is more of a token greeting than a sincere inquiry on the part of most people. I don't usually ask it unless I know already that the person has been sick or grieving or something.

I don't feel that it's necessary to volunteer lots of information about myself, where I work, etc. to strangers, even if I'm on a multi-day bus trip with a tour group and we're being social.

I don't enjoy hearing intimate details about sex and their husbands' private parts from some of the other women in my girls' night out group. I usually try to change the subject or just sit it out.
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"This isn't Wall Street; this is Hell! We have a little something called integrity." --Crowley, Supernatural
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