Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thanks for sharing....not so much

I struggle sometimes with how much to share on this blog. I think about living with tzniut (the Hebrew word is pronounced tznee-yoot', in the Yiddish it's tznius, or tznee'- us)- often incompletely translated as modesty, it's not just about the way you dress, but the way you conduct yourself in every area of life. It's about not "letting it all hang out" in every way- physically, verbally, emotionally. When you live in the secular world, you're bombarded with so much over the top data that there is a slang anagram for it- "TMI!" standing for "too much information!" Rarely does someone apologize for saying too much, instead, they are proud of "saying it like it is!"

Being an extrovert and an external processor (one who gains energy from hanging out with people, talking about things, processing information out loud), it is the non-dress-code aspect of tzniut that gives me the most trouble. How to speak modestly. It's not just speaking with humility, like not bragging about a raise or what your child did that morning. It's about not sharing every sordid (and maybe not sordid, just personal) detail of your life with others.

When I am struggling with an issue, my first impulse is to verbalize it, call a friend or write an email or a blog post. The problem comes in when there is another person involved-- and really, even when it's something in my head, there's always someone else involved. The closer they are to me the more I feel responsible for not embarrassing them by sharing too much.

It's a fine line to walk- telling your story to get the support or help or guidance you need, while not telling someone else's story at the same time.

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