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Why you should be mysterious

by Noah Douglas 2 months ago in advice

it's not always best to reveal everything about yourself

Why you should be mysterious
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

¨If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet, you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled — have you no shame in that?¨- Epictetus

Often we find ourselves having to explain everything we do, divulging so much about ourselves and not knowing how to be quiet.

The problem is that if everyone knows every single thing about you then why would they want to talk to you? There’s nothing to learn and you are probably just talking all the time and not letting others a chance to speak.

If you're just an open book and you don't actually spend time engaging and asking about other people- you may create relationships but they’ll be surface level. All relationships are two-way streets and require effort from both sides.

I've recognised sometimes I find myself constantly talking about myself as I feel like the other person doesn’t really want to talk. Having good communication skills is good to a certain extent, but there has to be a point where you listen first and then talk. It’s about understanding empathy and that everyone has a story, despite it being harder to get to for some than others.

Just about everything is online these days and people just hold the heart on their sleeves feeling the need to broadcast everything.

I think this idea of seeming quite mysterious and staying somewhat hidden is a necessity for good overall wellbeing.

What I mean by this is that you then get to have the privilege of then sharing that information with a small group of people or even just one person. It is not something that is out of control or gossiped about. In some regard, you are controlling how people perceive you. Additionally, people are going to feel they're going to feel more valued because they are being the select few who know about you. They know a part of yourself that nobody else does. Through sharing less you can then guard yourself too.

I think it's when we open ourselves up too much that it's opportunities for unwanted criticism, harsh words, and discouragement arise.

Without the implementation of walls to filter rubbish out you can get hurt very easily. For example, through insecurity or an inability to be alone, we become friends with every single person to fill our time. We spend all our energy trying to be popular. Ultimately, we will never have really close-knit friendships, because we're spread too thin nor any time to work on ourselves alone.

Similarly, maybe everyone knows everything about you but you know, very little about everyone else. In reality, they might not actually like you, but they're just playing along because your loud and don’t allow for any uncomfortable silence. Bad talk is worse than no talk. There are lots of great things to come out of silence.

Just from a standpoint of work and even just in life in general being mysterious provides undeniable benefits. You attract the right people to come and question why you do things. You lose time for gossip. You have more productive conversations that have balance with both parties. You have more energy as you aren’t putting all your cards on the table. Your loved ones will feel more valued.

The fine line is to recognise your personal need to have help with your issues and also be okay that sometimes things can’t be fixed. Life is unfair. Therefore, a reliance on external things and people is not often the safest thing to do.

So I personally am going to challenge myself to be more mysterious. To listen more and speak less. Curating value with my time instead of constant chatter. The question is are you going to do the same?

advice

Noah Douglas

• journeyman of faith | armchair philosopher

• business student, writer, and runner

• number 1 writer in motivation

• some of my other work ↓

www.noahdouglas.net

Read next: Emotional Power

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