Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Um...that's personal.

A friend of mine was going to be induced (she was going to have labor artificially started so that she could have her baby). On Facebook, she asked if anyone had any advice on how adequately prepare. Many tips came soaring in. However, one or two people decided to use the comment space to go off on a tangent about how she shouldn't get induced because of    x    and    y   .

She very politely replied that the induction was necessary and that she had her reasons for doing it.

She shouldn't have had to say that. She didn't ask anyone how they felt about inductions in general. She only asked for preparation advice. Why she went that route was (and still is) no one's business but her's, her husband's, and whoever they decide to tell.

Yet, too many times, when we see an opportunity to make an assumption or insert an opinion that was never asked for in the first place, we seem to feel compelled to do it.

I've found myself caught in that many-a-time. I'm working on it. I'm a lot better than I used to be, but ain't easy.

When we were little, the "rules" about what you could talk about were basically "there's nothing off limits." I mean, really...when you're a kid, there generally isn't much in the realm of "too personal to talk about." But as adults, things change and there really are some things that one should bring up with caution...if one brings it up at all. 

That's really hard to remember if the person is a family member or close friend, but the rules still apply; as we develop our individual lives, interests, careers, and especially committed relationships and families, there really are things that become at least semi-off-limits. For the most part, this post focuses on some of those things within the family setting.

Here are a few things that in general, really aren't anyone's business:

and perhaps the most important:

It's not that you can't ever know about any of this stuff. I've taken part in conversations with many of these topics as their themes. It's okay to have personal conversations every once in a while. But it is always important to remember a few things:
  1. On one hand, not everything on the above list is considered "personal" to everyone. On the other hand, some people may consider the list to be the Mecca of "never go there with me." It's wise to know where the line of respect is depending on who you're talking to.
  2. The answer to "May I ask you a personal question?" may be "no." Regardless of who you are in relation to whom you're asking, that needs to be okay with you. The answer may be "yes" until the question is asked and then the answer may become "Sorry, that one's a little too personal." That needs to be okay as well.
  3. Unless the person has specifically said that he/she would like your opinion/advice/ideas, it's not your place to give any. Ever. Being told something is not unwritten permission to give your opinion on the matter. 
That being said, here is a list of

Things that are totally okay for you to know, but not okay to criticize:

What things did I miss? What do you feel is no one's business to ask about or criticize?                  


No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome fun, civil, and respectful discussion. See "The Blog and House Rules" for what that means to me.