The Tricky Balance between being Open and Vulnerable

It’s no longer practical to live in secret anymore given the increasing connectivity of our world through our digital devices and our digital credentials in organizations or governments. We’re living in the information era and a time when someone would just need a little time online to have adequate information to be familiar with you.

When doing my undergraduate degree, I had an antagonist who used to generate strong opinions against me- based on my Facebook posts. He would use my expressed opinions in Facebook to showcase my weaknesses, then create his opinion about the same matter so strongly that he would make himself look better than me by simply building up on my authentic posts. When I reduced his privilege of viewing my Facebook posts, his prominence – built through getting information about me and making himself look better – diminished, and I was able to have more peace about people being opinionated against me.

After Campus, I was so open to people I knew about the things I had accomplished and the good things I intended to do. This was done in good faith – someone might share with me ideas or link me with someone that can help me in moving to the next step. Those who helped me are not those I was eager to share out my thoughts and experiences with; I was assisted by those who were outside my ‘normal circle.’ These are the people who knew me, lived in a world slightly differently from mine and also had more direct knowledge about people and things I knew less about. There weren’t necessarily any personal ties between me and them, but there was goodwill from them – and it is they (the weak links) that often help us manage to progress from one level to the next.

Having information about you out there is important when it comes to attracting potential clients, mates and employers. There are people not so close to you that need to know more about you because they are better placed to help you progress. But then there are other people out there that are too eager to use these same insights to antagonize you. This makes me wonder: who really matters as far as one’s openness and vulnerabilities are concerned?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, I would recommend that you share information in a way that is moderate – don’t say too much and don’t say too little. I understand that a good number of people prefer to shy away from having your information out there completely, but you can be an artist with your communication. Find out how to best to communicate your qualities without sounding like you are bragging, how to make your needs known without looking like a beggar and how to be useful to others without showing off your virtues.

Lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.

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