Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Post 101 - The Transparency Conundrum...

So I'm thinking about transparency. I just deleted the post I was about to write that had to do with my views on a topic that is particularly hot in my head right now. Instead, I now have a bunch of questions about transparency.

I tend to be a very transparent person. My theory goes something like this:
  • We all have secrets that we don't want anyone to know about us.
  • These secrets make us feel pretty badly about ourselves because we think we are the only people with these secrets.
  • If we all talked about our secrets, we would realize we all have the same secrets
  • Then we wouldn't hate ourselves so much, and we could get on to forgiving ourselves.
The thing is, I don't know if this theory holds any water. I try to not have any secrets, and do a pretty good job at it. I tend to be a really transparent person as well, and I struggle with this a lot. Sometimes I think it's a good thing that I'm transparent, sometimes I think it's a bad thing. Sometimes it makes people respect me, sometimes it makes people think I don't know when to shut up. (Which, let's be honest, I don't.)

I guess the question is, am I right? Is it okay to be transparent? Or should I start keeping a few more secrets? Should I start living a life that's a bit more obtuse, a bit more closed? Or should I continue being an open book? I just don't know.

8 comments:

"KING" Jeremy the... said...

you know what josh, I don't like to read books. but i like to look at pictures. so make your life a picture show, whith car chases, explosions, hot women, more explosions, and maybe even a meaningful plot. I'd watch that.

adam said...

I've thought about this question a few times myself, and I think transparency is the doorway to stable trust, so I think it's very appropriate to be transparent. I've just tried to know the situation and apply it accordingly. I almost always err towards more than less, but there are obviously certain times I keep my mouth shut.

That's really just a bunch of rambling, but meh.

Joshua said...

Meh! I love it! What a great alternative to "whatever." It's shorter, it's not as offensive, it's not as apathetic... it says, that's the best I can do, but I know it's not all that great! I LOVE IT!

Meh.

Redbaerd said...

i've been obsessing these days about the promises that we make all the time. intentional and accidental. stated (and more often --) implied...

and while I'm definitely the type who is constantly erring on the side of transparency. I think that one unintended effect that sometimes ripples out from transparency is a misperception about intimacy.

I feel like some people (over-) perceive my transparency as intimacy because they aren't as transparent...and assume a depth of relationship that I don't intend. Not a bad thing until you (I) can't follow through on all the friendships / promises (?) that you've (accidentally) made.

Which is why I do think that the level of transparency that we engage in should be somewhat socially derived -- somewhat interactionally determined...

I think....

But I love (always) your thinking and questions...

Mom Elek said...

One's transparency is, as Adam said, a doorway to stable trust. I guess it all depends upon what is on the other side of the door. Is the establishment a place where you transparency is safe? Or will it be misunderstood, reinterpreted, devalued, trampled or insulted?

I can tell my husband and a few friends anything. I can tell my girlfriends things that my children do not want to hear.

So I guess its a matter of WHAT your are revealing and to WHOM.

And then there's adage about transparency: "People in glass houses should not throw stones."

Demankus said...

If we were all to achieve the worthwhile goal of transparency, we would all live in "glass houses". It would seem to follow that none of us would want to throw a stone...

"KING" Jeremy the... said...

THAT IS ALL FOR NOW

"KING" Jeremy the... said...

The first one is harder I cannot quit figure it out. the capitals and the, I think it's a zero makes things harder to work with.