Happily Reserved

An intention I have is to be respectful of other people’s privacy and emotions.

Certain questions can make others uncomfortable, especially if the question asked is something that the other person does not want to share, and even more so if the question is not directed to the person about whom we are asking.

What causes one to feel the need to ask uncomfortable questions to others usually stems from this deepest question: “Am I okay?”

To an extent, we all experience the cringey feeling of not knowing if how we act or what we say is okay, if where we are in our lives is okay.  To ask questions about other people allows us to compare ourselves to them and we can then come to the conclusion that we are okay because at least we have a job and they may not, or at least we have a nice clean place to live and they may be messy, or at least we have a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, whereas they may not. 

So maybe we can be more conscious of which questions we ask others and ask of others, and why we are asking.

We can also be conscious of what we share with other people and who are the other people with which we are sharing these emotions and thoughts.  Are they listening because they just want to watch a show or are they genuinely interested in kindness? 

These are important questions to ask.  While we should not be ashamed to reveal our thoughts and emotions to others, we can do so in a comfortable, protected way.  Putting ourselves in emotionally vulnerable positions or causing others to feel vulnerable is not nurturing ourselves and others.

Jesus taught us to love others as we love ourselves.  When we love ourselves, we are able to share with other people in a way that is respectful of ourselves and we can converse with others in a way that is respectful to them as well.

Today I will converse with others with care.  I will save my private thoughts for those who are trustworthy, kind, and honor fragility.  I will think before I ask certain questions to my friends and family and about my friends and family.  I know it is usually best to speak directly to a person instead of asking someone else about that person.  And I will not see others’ matters as entertaining, or compare my own situation to theirs.  Because of God, I am grateful today for the great things I have and am.

17 comments

  1. I've been thinking a lot about my interactions with other people, lately, so I was very interested to read this. And of course, I found much wisdom in your thoughts. :)Admittedly though, most of the time my trouble lies in the answering of questions people ask me.

  2. A thought-provoking post. I generally avoid asking questions to other people that would be considered personal. If someone feels comfortable with me enough to volunteer something, for sure I'm not going to blab it far and wide. My Mom hated gossip and didn't like to talk on the phone. She taught me to be quiet and always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I haven't put this into practice and I've always been sorry. Now my Mom is gone, but her lessons have stayed.

  3. This is a lovely and insightful post. I completely agree, we have to be careful of what we ask of others, and also of what we share with whom. These lines and boundaries we draw, as social beings, must have some relevance. Also, LOVE your new blog layout.

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