I simply love this scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT): "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble."
We are not meant to be alone, but to thrive in relationships. Nurturing relationships grow when they are watered by mutual self-disclosure and feedback. With self-disclosure, we share our thoughts, opinions, feelings and experiences with someone else. With feedback, we receive encouragement, correction, instruction and advice. This represents a healthy give-and-take.
In today's blog post, I will dive a little deeper into the practicality of self-disclosure.
When I was in primary school, I had a notebook that contained information about the people in my class. It had sections for name, age, favorite color, food, movie, sport--you know, the "surface stuff". I always felt special when someone asked me to write in his/her book. It was so fun and exciting! Now, we have the opportunity to go beyond the surface and really get to know ourselves and others.
So let's try a quick exercise.
Pause for a moment and think about someone you consider a close friend (even if this is a brother, sister, cousin, et cetera). Imagine that this friend gave you his/her book to fill out with questions about yourself. What would you say?
Do you like to be reassured?
Do you like to be complimented?
Do you like to be challenged?
Do you like to be left alone?
Great job if you were able to answer these questions about yourself. Would your close friend know the answer to these questions about you? If not, would you be willing to share these things about yourself with this friend? Although they look like yes or no questions, they require some reflection. The answers might surprise you, and reveal why you react the way you do to different situations.
This exercise is one way you can start opening up about yourself and disclosing who you are. This knowledge could become very essential in crisis moments and confrontations. I know--this might feel a little awkward. If it's new for you, there is no better time to start opening up than today, to build deep and meaningful relationships.
By Kerry-Ann McPherson
Project Manager & Contributor
Photo Credit by Markus Spiske