“A wise man once said nothing at all.”
At first, when I heard this quote, I was shocked, but inspired. Inspired to be a more quiet person, a more closed up person, less of an open book.
However, the more I think about it, the more that newfound plan seems ridiculous and counterproductive.
For the majority of my life, I have been a fairly open book. Obviously I do not expose complete strangers to my life story or ever speak of things that should be kept private, but with a fair majority of my acquaintances, friends, and family, I have tried to allow myself to be raw and real with them. Whether that be feelings, thoughts, emotions, ideas, hardships, successes, or anything else in between, I have tried to allow those around me to see the real me. I would often look around and see others who were generally more quiet and somewhat hidden and suddenly feel as though I was an annoyance, or a drag to be around; people did not want to hear what I had to say, or know this or that about me.
But I think that that mindset was somewhat twisted. In my mind, and from my perspective, being an open book immediately creates a feeling of trust and mutual respect. It shows that you care enough about that person to share parts of your life with them, and that you trust them to respect and understand you.
(of course, there are aspects of our lives that are not appropriate to share, and those general, unspoken parameters should be respected)
One of the people that I consider one of my best friends was someone whom I did not know very well a few months ago. When we first started spending time with each other, both her and I began to share stories and experiences, ideas and thoughts, and were able to learn lots about one another in a fairly short amount of time. We continue, every time that we are together, to learn more about one another, deepening our friendship and reinforcing our trust bit by bit. I felt so appreciative of the way that she was open and real with me right from the start, and truly believe that it was because of this that we have become such good friends. I remember having a sense of comfortability when I was around her, because she had trusted me with things, and I had done the same with her. We had allowed ourselves and each other, right from the start, to be as real and as open as possible, and that was what had led to a strong friendship having been formed between us.
I absolutely love to learn about others. Whether that be how they take their coffee, or their thoughts on politics, or their favourite music, or how they see their relationship with their parents, each and every particle that makes up a person is so interesting to me. Each seemingly small, unimportant factor of their life is what makes them who they are. Often when others have opinions or experiences that do not coincide with mine, I am more drawn in and amazed; to think that so many others have lived in the same world as I have, at the same time that I have, but experienced it so differently than I have absolutely enchants my mind.
The unique will always fascinate much more than the similar.
I hope that eventually everyone can experience the comfortable, trusting feeling that accompanies allowing yourself to be open and raw with others. Often, when the person with whom you are sharing comes to understand how raw and vulnerable you are being with them, they will not only rise to the occasion and become a trustworthy source for you, but will also be willing to be open and raw with you in return. Open, honest communication can genuinely remove a vast majority of the problems that people so often face with one another. Unfortunately, this world is such that some people may use your vulnerability or raw nature against you, and to harm or embarrass you, but I believe that we can grow out of that. I believe that each of us should be ourselves unforgivably and share that with others in the most genuine and caring way.