The full quote is ‘privacy is power. People can’t ruin what they don’t know about’ however, sometimes people can ruin things because you haven’t told them, perhaps there is a fine line between confidentiality and telling all?
Recently, the media reported moment by moment as the Queen lay in state. At times members of the royal family have been filmed during vigils and if I’m honest I’ve found it unappealing and tradition that perhaps has run its course. Celebrities have been spotted in the queue (to see the Queens coffin and to send their condolences) and have had cameras pushed in their faces, again a little distasteful in my opinion.
Living in the UK it’s a British quality and expectation to reply to questions around your wellbeing with ‘I’m fine thanks’ – clearly we aren’t all fine all of the time, but again I think the level of knowledge you share with others should be based on the relationship you have with them, whilst my partner and close family will tell you I over share, I’d like to think Ricky in my local newsagents only knows I’m fine and have a taste for Madagascan dark chocolate.
I believe that privacy is powerful in age where oversharing on a global scale (social media) has become the norm. It’s a precious gift and it often transpires that those who do over share are doing it for tangible gains; attention, sympathy or intrigue. I’m so very grateful that I grew up in an age before uploads, screen shots and even mobile phones were a thing. As I grow more and more comfortable in who I am, my purpose and the people I care for, privacy is worth it’s wait in gold. It gave me security, freedom and peace of mind…priceless.
That said, often people can keep emotional turmoil deep inside them and this can result in mental illness that can also manifest in physical debilitation.
So what can we do? To share or not to share seems to be more complex than it appears? The answer in my opinion is balance. Keep your biggest dreams and desires to yourself – work on you for you. Allow a handful of close and trusted loved ones in, share the deeper and more complex moments with them; these people (I refer to them as my tribe) can be friends or family – you get to pick, often they span various moments in your life and are clear ‘keepers’ – laugh hard with them, cry when necessary and be there for each other, check in and also share gratitude in all you have. As for the rest of the world, tell them you are fine. Walk away from people who are asking how you are for their own gain, did I mention how I’m doing?
Im fine, thanks for asking.