Monday, May 12, 2014
Have you ever got off the phone or walked away from a conversation and thought 'Why did I share that?' in regret. Maybe you tried to put someone else at ease and make them feel less alone in their dilemma and realized you probably crossed a boundary in how much you revealed? Perhaps you were on the receiving end as a colleague, friend, neighbor or family member went a little too far with an issue or event in their life making you squirm in your chair? Today we're talking about what is means to use discretion in our everyday and private conversations.
It's such a blessing to have ultra-close friends that we can confide in, trust and share things with that we wouldn't dream of revealing to others. However, even within such a safe relationship, there is some level of discretion that must be exercised. Just because everything can be talked about doesn't mean it should be discussed. Some things make others feel uncomfortable, even hurt at times and can put them in an awkward position at the expense of being real, open and honest.
A classy woman doesn't let it all hang out, while she is transparent and makes others feel comfortable as she can relate to where they are at, she is both thoughtful and tactful while still being genuine and true to herself. I'm a big believer in talking things through and using open dialog especially in marriage, however some things are better left to discuss with a therapist; counselor and the most high counselor up above-God. :) Sometimes it's a matter of sorting ourselves and our thoughts an feelings out first before we decide what exactly we wish to share with another.
It is up to each one of us to use good judgement in conversing with others, a topic that may be off limits in one relationship is completely acceptable in another. That being said, there are certain boundaries that a lady knows she shouldn't cross as it pertains to particular matters. I'll list 3 specific topics below.
1. Sexual Escapades & Extramarital Affairs-While shows such as Sex & the City have glorified open friendship where women all talk at great length and in specific detail as to their sexual partners, positions, fetishes, etc., most people feel uncomfortable hearing about what goes on in someone else's bedroom, how often they make love and what their partner excels at, etc. This definitely crosses the line. Some friendships have allowed for such discussion freely but it is not something a classy woman participates in or initiates. If a woman finds herself having an affair and her friends are also close with her partner, that puts them in an uncomfortable position as they are left to choose who they will 'side with' even though they may want to be loyal to both parties.
2. Salary & Wages-There may be times when someone asks us point blank how much we earn. It really isn't anyone else's business besides ours, our employer, our spouse and the IRS. Revealing information about how much money you bring in (whether we initiate it or it was asked of us) can make others feel less than, jealous, angry and they may act on those feelings such as choose to exclude you from certain functions or in fact the opposite could happen as they include you and then expect you to pick up more of the tab. There is nothing good that can come from it. If the fact that you have a tighter budget than the others in your circle needs to be addressed as they constantly invite you to expensive restaurants and outings, it can be done in a tactful way that will hopefully make them more mindful of ideas such as dinner parties at home, lunch in the park, and other events that won't break the bank or not extend an invitation to those that would make you feel down for not being able to participate in.
3. Addictions- There is nothing wrong with being transparent and sharing with loved ones where you are at should you find yourself consumed by addiction, but it depends on the nature of issue. The more common and acceptable forms are cigarette smoking and food addictions. Those such as gambling, sex, recreational drug use, alcohol, prescription drug use, pornography, etc., should only be shared with others using the utmost discretion. Even though it's only natural we'd feel safe talking to those who love us most, they are by no means qualified to handle such issues, and while they can encourage, inspire and uplift, it's best to seek professional help. It's important to share such things with a spouse of course as these things directly affect them also. I'm not recommended that someone should isolate themselves or live a lie and keep secrets, but caution must be used. I have only experienced dealing with an acquaintance turned friend once in my life who had an alcohol addiction and while she clearly wanted friends that would hold her accountable, it created awkwardness in our friendship as she waffled between asking me to hold her accountable and then when I did (and tried to be as supportive as I could) she became offended and became defensive of her behavior and actions reasoning that I couldn't understand what she was going through.
What topics do you wish others would use more discretion when sharing?
Thanks for Reading!