There’s a very simple and universal reason that people aren’t generally transparent about their situation, and I sum it up in one word-fear. While there may be any number of other reasons, fear, in most cases is lurking somewhere nearby. However, is the fear of transparency more about us or them?
There is a fear of judgement based on your life’s choices that have created uncomfortable consequences. People will blame you for your perceived or well documented less than stellar life’s events. There’s fear of not living up to certain expectations. You should have gone to college. You should have graduated by now. You should have more money. Why haven’t you gotten married yet? You have too many children out of wedlock. There’s a fear that your transparency will make you appear vulnerable. And, vulnerability will be perceived as a weak characteristic, rather than an admission of being human.
Now, the real significance of this particular blog is that I’m not necessarily referring to what other people’s thought process is about you. What other people think and say about us, whether true or false, does matter to us to some degree. However, I’m also referring to the fear of our own perceptions. When you’re being completely transparent, you are allowing yourself to be held under scrutiny by others. But, you’re now in a place of self reflection, and if done honestly, it can be sometimes be a difficult box to unpack. You’re now faced with the task of admission. Maybe it’s an unhealthy relationship. Maybe a friend or family member has hurt you. Maybe you’re living above your means. Maybe you’ve lied on someone. Maybe you’re struggling with health issues.
Here’s the thing. When we lie about our situations or give the appearance that all is well, we are doing ourselves and others a disservice. People are people, meaning, they will talk about you regardless to your situation, good or bad. Transparency provides a certain freedom that says you’re having a difficult time right now and need help. Or, it says that you struggled with a particular issue and you have overcome. While some may use it as a gossip piece of sorts, what you will find is that many will appreciate knowing that you’re human and that they are not alone. Trust me. Someone is going through what you’re going through; oftentimes right in your immediate circle. Your transparency may be just the thing that frees them, gives them courage and encourages them to move forward. And, in turn, you can and will receive the help that you need, forgive yourself and others, gain clarity and move forward as well.