"You" and "I"
Have you ever tried having a conversation where you deliberately avoid using the word "I?"
Maybe you think you talk about yourself too much. You feel more pretentious every time you say "I think," "I feel," or "I remember." Why can't you stop? You worry you're boring, and then all you can do is say "I."
What happens then?
In your effort to avoid talking about yourself, you turn into the accidental therapist. You fill the conversational void with questions to get anyone else talking but you. When you want to opine and share an "I think," it turns into a "do you really think so?" Or, instead of talking about how something made you feel, you ask, "how would that make you feel?"
Maybe it's the paranoia of pretention that drives you, or the need for someone—anyone—to validate that what you're thinking or feeling (but certainly not sharing) is legit.
When you do this, your audience is forced to monologue and even speak for you. And you're left to reply, "hmm," "mm" and "interesting" instead of bringing yourself actively into the conversation.
Why you want to make yourself vulnerable
Now, let's say you've seen the awesome Ted Talks video by Brené Brown about vulnerability. In a nutshell, you can only really connect with anyone if you make yourself vulnerable. And you make yourself vulnerable by showing your true colors, saying what you think, and sharing your ideas.
The chance that someone will reject you, judge you, disagree with or just not like you...THAT is vulnerability.
But then, the chance that someone looking in past the curtain could relate, open up back and connect...that's why we do it. Think of it like loading a photo to Instagram without editing or filters—people will only like the real you if you show the real you.
What's your safe space?
In fairness, it takes a safe space to make ourselves vulnerable. Maybe, for a time, your safe space has been a psychologist's couch. Maybe it was the journal you once kept. Or maybe you whip your phone out and call Mom.
I can't speak for you and your safe space. But I can fess up and say that this is truly, authentically and vulnerably me. This is my emotional backdrop, my story, and my list of safe spaces.
What's this blog about?
The last "safe space" I'd have ever imagined would have been the internet, but here I am risking judgment and trolling and my every keystroke getting analyzed by Google to sell me better advertising.
I'm putting myself out there for the potential reward of connecting.
Tell me your backdrop. You're not a solipsist for wanting to talk about yourself—it's human. I'll be just as human as you. And, just like climbing the crest of a roller coaster, together we can celebrate the thrill of vulnerability validating those tiny pieces of our stories.