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Someone was lamenting the fact t ...

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:57am

Someone was lamenting the fact that she couldn't "tell me everything."

I knew what she meant- she has difficulty trusting me, and anyone else for that matter.

As you all know, I'm a fan of challenging ourselves to gain trust in people and encouraging ourselves to talk about what's true for us. It's also true that black and white thinking can creep in here, and, frankly, the movies and other myths mess things up for us here too.

There is a romantic myth that if we really know someone, if we are "soul mates," if we wholly trust someone.... you get the idea... we should tell them every single thing.  

Well, I'm not so sure that's true. I'm not even sure it's a good idea. 

One of the very cool things about knowing someone very well is that we do feel a high level of trust and intimacy. Consequently, we feel safe and comfortable being vulnerable with that person, and we feel ok about talking about many, many things. But this level of trust and intimacy is only gained over time and with experience. And I know many examples of even very, very close relationships where people don't tell everything to each other.

From my perspective, the important things are these: having good boundaries for ourselves, and assessing why and when we want to tell particular things to someone.

Good boundaries are crucial. We need to be able to protect ourselves, and we deserve to get to make our own choices about what we tell, to whom, and when. All these fall into the category of boundaries.

And being (scrupulously) honest about our reasons for telling or not telling something is also crucial. Sometimes it's important to push ourselves to say or ask something, whereas sometimes it may be really the right thing for us to wait, or to decline to tell at all.

All this depends a lot on the situation of course. But I thought it might be a good thing to put out there, so we all could think about it and talk about it.

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