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Thread: Do you regret opening up to people?

  1. #71
    Listening Array Oaky's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    5w6 sp/so
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unkindloving View Post
    This explains a lot. Mhmm. :jots things down on clip board:
    What conclusion will be derived from the information I projected with your perception of it?

  2. #72


    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Generally speaking, everyone's emotions are valid, where they have a right to them. But to rely on someone else to make us more or equal to ourselves, is too much power to give another who has his/her own challenges and self to consider.

    It's when we have expectations of others, that we get disappointed. But are those expectations reasonable from their perspective since they too, are separate individuals?

    First off, I think you're focused too much on the validation transaction as an exchange between two individuals. Here's how you seem to be interpreting the situation: In hopes of validation, I pour out intimate and potentially embarrassing personal details to a friend; the friend may indeed validate me, but he/she may just as likely invalidate me and judge me harshly.

    Again, that seems to be the way you see the validation transaction. Given such an interpretation of the transaction, I would agree with you: it seems like I'm putting a lot on the line (giving a lot of power to another) in exchange for something rather evanescent: Why should I need validation in the first place? Can't I just trust my own feelings?

    However, I see the transaction differently:

    I see the validation transaction more as a process of employing a sounding board (such as a faceless Greek chorus representing society as a whole, or even a faceless message board of like-minded peers) to test the viability of emotions, ideas, plans, and experiences.

    For example: "Dear Message Board: My girlfriend left me. I can't eat or sleep or study. Half the time I want to beg her forgiveness, and the other half the time I hate her for turning me into the sniveling wimp I have become since she left me. I have been leaving phone messages and texting her all day. Is this normal for a bad break-up? Signed, Feeler."

    "Dear Feeler: Yeah, that sounds about right for a bad break-up. But I would back off on the part about hating her for turning you into a wimp; you have to accept some of the responsibility for what happens in a relationship--you can't claim that you've been totally victimized. And you may want to stop with the phone messages and texting--that can come across as harassing or stalking, etc. etc.... Signed Message Board."

    Even Thinkers go to outside sources for validation for their ideas and plans:

    "Dear Message Board: It seems like we could rid the human race of inherited defects by simply testing people for bad genes and sterilizing those who fail the test. Whattaya think--doesn't that make sense?"

    "Dear Message Board: I run a profitable workshop, but there's one Feeler there who always seems to be down in the dumps. She's bringing down morale and productivity. Can I just fire her for being a drag on productivity?"

    And so on.

    Feelers may be more prone to share emotions and thus take the issue of validation/invalidation more personally. But if Thinkers are heavily invested in an idea or plan, the consequences of validation/invalidation may weigh as heavily for them as for any Feeler. And when it comes to sharing and dealing with emotions and personal traumas, Thinkers may be more vulnerable than Feelers due to less experience with such things.

    Anyway, in general terms:

    To share experience is to confirm the self as understandable and acceptable; it also creates intimacy, fulfilling the desire to know and be known. It allows people to discover what part of their inner experience is shareable and what part falls outside the pale of commonly accepted human experience. Being listened to spells the difference between feeling accepted and feeling isolated.

    Again, I think it helps to think of the validation transaction as being between an individual (on one side) and society as a whole, as represented by a Greek chorus or even a message board (on the other side). Then it's easier to see the validation process as an escape from isolation: we share in order to find out what's acceptable and universal, versus what's unacceptable and unshareable and must be hidden from society. We need that knowledge in order to interact at all with others.

    And to the extent that we choose to pick a single close friend or confidante with whom we entrust our secrets, that's usually just our way of trying to tip the balance in our favor. We hope our friends might be more disposed to lend a favorable ear than society as a whole. :-)

    @cafe and others: A good book on the subject of what constitutes proper validation: "The Lost Art of Listening" (subtitled: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships), by Michael P. Nichols, PhD. It'll tell you how you yourself can get better at validating others, and it will give you specific things to look for to see whether or not you yourself are being properly validated by others.

  3. #73
    Senior Member Array The Outsider's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    5w4 sx


    Yes, I have trust issues, and I feel defenseless before the people I've opened up to afterward. Though I suppose it also strengthens the bond between us, which is good. But I'm just paranoid like that.

  4. #74
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    May 2009
    6w5 sp/sx


    It really depends. Sometimes, even if it's a relief at the time, and with a trusted friend, it can really end up making me feel vulnerable. Almost as though they have some dirt on me now and I don't like it. It's weird, because it's not like I don't trust the person I open up to in that situation...but it can make me feel exposed. I do kind of prefer it when they open up to me than the other way around

    As I think some other people have said, it can also be frustrating and hurtful if someone opens up to you and you listen patiently, try not to be judgemental, offer validation and attempt to offer constructive advice if it seems appropriate, etc etc...and then when you open up to them and hope for something similar, they've got basically nothing for you. They brush you off or offer some pat dismissive answer or whatever. I'm realising that there are a lot of people who are simply not compassionate/smart/emotionally clued-in enough to even offer a bit of the comfort, reassurance, validation, constructive advice etc that you may be looking for. But sometimes it's a shame they can't just try a bit harder.

    It can also happen that you open up to someone and they somehow actively use it against you. Not necessarily to spread evil gossip or whatever, but they turn it on its head and come back to you and tell you you're really messed up or attribute wrong motives to you, etc. It hasn't happened to me much but it's pretty unpleasant.

    The thing is, even if I don't feel like opening up all that much...sometimes you can get resentful when it's others opening up to you so much more freely than you can do with them. It's great if you find friendships/relationships where it really can be mutual and ultimately upbuilding.
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


  5. #75
    Member Array stormyapril's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    I open up sometimes a bit in the internets because there is some higher anonymity. I do so very much sometimes on this forum here. I do actually regret it sometimes because I guess I annoy people here sometimes with it and have such a feel, although no one really said it to me yet. I made a step in putting it mostly in my blog. But well, if you want so this post here is again some kind of opening up, and I might regret it also soon.
    I also open up far more in the safety of the anon web world. In real life I almost always regret sharing with others as the things I think and do are just too weird or intense. I mostly do not share of this reason.

    I do recognize many of the descriptions of validation-Those to me feel more like internal calibration of my own Fi. By externalizing what I feel and think, I can get feedback from others and determine how appropriate my judgment was or if the emotions and interpretations made in a situation were accurate. If not accurate, the sharing and feedback allows an editing of Fi, a growth cycle,, so that the next time an event occurs, the values and suggestions put forth will be more accurate. Since Fi is subjective and introverted, these cycles of feedback/editing ...aka validation...are of great value.

  6. #76
    That's my name biotch! Array JoSunshine's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    Nope...I have no issue being completely raw with my besties...that's why they are my besties I have no inclination to open up to people I don't know well. It all works out.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. " - Dr. Seuss
    I can't spell...get over it

    Slightly ENFJ, totally JoSunshine
    Extroverted (E) 52.5%........Introverted (I) 47.5%
    Intuitive (N) 65.63%..........Sensing (S) 34.38%
    Feeling (F) 55.56%............Thinking (T) 44.44%
    Judging (J) 51.43%............Perceiving (P) 48.57%

  7. #77
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    Quote Originally Posted by Malkavia View Post
    Do you ever regret opening up to someone?

    Even my close friends when I show them my true feelings. My unfiltered thoughts, I feel really stupid afterwards. The next day I usually think to myself, "that was a really bad idea, now they have "dirt" on me."

    Do you feel like this sometimes? What do you think it comes from?
    1 billion percent !
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  8. #78
    Banned Array
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    Aug 2010


    I usually feel lighter when I open up. But then I start panicking because I feel vulnerable. But then I realize I don't give a shit about myself so I stay open and vulnerable.

  9. #79


    No I rarely do. Even to my bestfriends. I try to be as closed book as possible, without appearing so. I don't like people knowing my business.

    There are things I'm willing to share, but generally, I keep away from it.

    In the past I have regretted opening up to people.

  10. #80


    Young children supposedly develop into extraverts because they are validated in some manner when they communicate. They encounter some kind of empathetic environment, get positive feedback, and learn to enjoy interacting and living in a public venue. They become expert at getting and giving validation, and at finding (and sometimes testing) the boundaries between publicly acceptable and publicly unacceptable.

    The downside is that they may not develop a private, introverted side where they can indulge and exercise those facets of themselves that may not be attractive or acceptable. And without that freedom of privacy, they may find themselves constrained and hemmed in by living life on a stage; their lives may become about what other people want of them. Or their lives may be about categorizing and herding other people. In either event, eventually extraverts may find themselves clueless about who or what they themselves want to be.

    And so in late youth or middle age, ESTJs may chuck successful careers to become yoga teachers. ENTJs may go on religious retreats and vacation at monasteries with vows of silence. ENTPs may go through personal crises and quit their jobs and wander off and become hermits. ENFPs may rebel against the wants of others, quarrel with all their friends, and find themselves truly alone for the first time in their lives.

    Young children supposedly develop into introverts because they didn't get sufficient validation when they tried to communicate. They become experts at avoidance and cultivate the capacity to be alone. On the plus side, solitude provides space for repose and reflection, time for looking within the self, time for creative endeavor. But on the negative side, at least part of the foundation of introversion is defensive: A reaction to growing up in an environment that wasn't sufficiently empathetic. In fact, the silence of the solitary is often filled with imagined conversations, and online chatrooms and message boards are filled with introverts who enjoy interacting with a "safe" audience.

    The downside of solitude is that introverts may end up living too much in their heads. If they are uninterested in the public life around them, they may lose track of the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate, between acceptable and unacceptable. They may have skewed or unrealistic ideas about reality. In turn, clashes with a public life that they don't understand may cause them to turn away even more resolutely.

    But as in the case of extraverts, with age and an increasing awareness of their mortality introverts may decide to face the problem head on. Middle aged introverts flock to Toastmaster, dancing classes, and social clubs and organizations. Even as extraverts may withdraw from public venues, introverts may flood in to fill the gap. And at this time, painfully but with greater confidence due to their age and experience, introverts slowly learn to communicate with others, to do the boundary-testing, and to seek and give the validation that seemed beyond their reach when they were younger.


    Obviously my descriptions are simplistic and stereotypical. Still you get the idea. There are forces that pull us both ways. No extravert can be wholly social: our ego demands a personal zone where we can be selfish and creative and egotistical without negative feedback from our peers, and hence we crave a degree of introversion. Conversely, no introvert is an island: as much as we try to ignore it, the world is out there, both challenging us to seek its rewards and preventing us from drifting into total solipsism and arbitrariness, in other words serving as a reality check.

    I was drawn into this thread because of the comedy of extraverts unable to understand why anyone would need validation, and introverts insisting on their personal need for outside validation. Those positions are kind of contrary to the essence of introversion and extraversion.

    But at any particular time you have to look at where a person is coming from and where they are headed to, to determine their need for validation. Truth is, it's probably a swinging pendulum for most people. There are times when people need more validation and times when less is needed. I've seen ENTJs interacting heavily in the public arena in their youth, and then one day becoming disgusted with it all and fading across the years into solitude and decrepitude. Then one day they somehow rediscover the outside world again, and they appear alongside introverts trying to stumble through dance classes and pay more attention to their clothing and appearance.

    In other words, I don't think that seeking validation is always a desirable objective, or that there is any one ideal destination for everyone's lives. In the end, I think there's just the pendulum swinging back and forth: a pendulum swinging between carving out an internal place where we can truly be ourselves and ignore the outside world (on one hand), and then seeking out the world to verify and validate what our internal life has prompted or generated, in the spirit of "keeping it real" (on the other hand). :-)

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