We women talk. We talk about everything. We divulge out deepest secrets to other women we connect within minutes. Sometimes just online at Starbucks! We use each other as sounding boards. I think we women can be characterized best in the scene from The Music Man’s Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little where it portrays the women as chirping about. CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP. Cluck cluck cluck like a bunch of hens.
Admit it. You do it too. We all do it. Sit poolside bitching about boyfriends, friends and family. It’s often just our way to think out loud. It’s a socially acceptable way we interact with one another, but is it right that we freely share so much?
I am absolutely guilty of this. For me selfishly, it is therapeutic. It’s not meant to do harm but it has. I say “selfishly” because I do it for me, myself and I alone. I have innocent intentions. It’s a way of exercising my internal thoughts. Working through my emotions. Sometimes what I think, after I hear myself say it out loud, I realize it’s not true or is nonsense, and so it can be a way to purge thoughts. Too many times though, I freely share something and inside my conscience is saying “Girl, what is your problem! Why did you just say that?!” My conscience and my filter are too often out of sync. This is what I see in the majority of the women I know.
Why do we do this? Is it something in our genetics. Is it something ingrained in us from our cave-women days or is it learned in our social upbringing. We spent how many years watching Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte divulge every dirty sexy detail about the men in their lives or what was happening in their careers over brunch? Did they give us permission?
Case in point:
My personal opinion is we do this because we need to be validated. Maybe we do not feel our friend or partner is listening to us and so we turn to our “tribe” and share with them. We need someone to just hear us out and tell us we are in the right. It can be healthy in that your friends can be the ones to tell you that your Bat-Shit Crazy and to knock it off. We can practice out our talk track and they can help us fine tune what it is we really want to express.
It can also be unhealthy in that they encourage you to keep going because they are our friends and take our sides to help make us feel better. Or they can influence you too much in your decision-making. As women we do tend to think with our emotions and are swayed by our hormones. This is not to say we can get a “get out of jail for free card” by blaming it on being hormonal; and neither can anyone else. As much as we think with our hearts, we need to think more with our heads. We need to do a better job of putting our emotions in check, and if we really need to divulge, maybe it is better to just go to a therapist or purge with pen to paper in a journal.
It has recently come to bite me in the butt. I’ve done harm. It’s hurt people, and it’s made me especially feel awful. Ashamed. Why haven’t I learned this lesson earlier. Dishing too much detail can be intoxicating and empowering! But it’s also not fair to the person who you’re talking about. They are not there to defend themselves, and so it is only your perspective. It also shows a lack of respect for their privacy. Often times you are caught back peddling.
I’m learning my lessons as I experience more, mature, and empathise. With that said, this is an open apology to anyone I have hurt and may hurt again in the future. I’m still learning from experiences but the best we can do is to try to do better from what we now know.