Sharing Personal Matters


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you.

“Mike, how much of the story do you recommend a person shares when a friend, family member or colleague starts asking questions about personal matters?”

I’m glad to have our producer Marty with me again. Marty, this is a big one.

Marty: I think it’s different for every person to a point. You know, it’s really how much are you comfortable with in terms of how much share that you give? But also, there has to be a point where some information is safeguarded. I mean, it’s different for everybody, right? Some people are open books and you know every single detail about their lives. And then there are other people, you don’t know very much.

Mike: Do you think it gets back to that trust vulnerability question I did a few sessions ago?

Here’s what I say. I share very little personal information with somebody unless it directly affects them. Because here’s the deal – I don’t care how much we love and care about a person they’re going to do one of three things: they’re going to overreact and try to jump in and fix it, which may or may not be helpful, they’re going to be like “Oh my God” and avoid it, or they’re just going to receive it.

I think Marty’s absolutely right. The answer is to make sure you know your audience. And Marty id a great job of saying there is some stuff you have to hold secret, right? Some stuff you have to hold secret because sometimes they can’t handle it. I have a friend, I know for a fact they cannot handle certain information, so I don’t share that information.

So, know your audience, number one. Number two, carve out only enough that they need to hear. Sometimes we can overshare, and at some point you’re like “you know, I could have gone all day without hearing that.”

Hope that answer was helpful.

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