If your Facebook News Feed looks anything like mine, you’ve been learning a LOT about your friends this week.
10 things, 7 things, 27 things…we’re self-disclosin’ all OVER the place.
While some folks clearly missed my video on The TMI Test, most of the status updates I’ve seen are filled with fun, interesting, endearing facts that I really do LOVE to learn about my friends and acquaintances. It’s called vulnerability, people.
And I think it’s pretty great.
So in the spirit of sharing, today’s post will cover:
- Why strategic self-disclosure is CRITICAL to healthy relationships
- A super-helpful framework for categorizing the information you do (or don’t) share with others
- 10 things you didn’t know about me (including a tattoo, a jail threat, and details of my upcoming national TV debut…what?!!)
The Johari Window
Back in my teaching days, one of the first things we talked about in the basic communication course was this concept of self-disclosure. And you can’t really talk about self-disclosure without giving a shout-out to The Johari Window. (Social Penetration or “The Onion” Theory is another goodie, but I’ll save that for another day.)
Named after its creators, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955, The Johari window is divided into four quadrants:
Open: What you know about yourself and others know about you.
Blind: What others know about you that you don’t.
Hidden: What you know about yourself that others don’t.
Unknown: What nobody knows about you, including you!
The idea of effective self-disclosure is to increase your OPEN quadrant by sharing and learning about yourself with others. That’s EXACTLY what trends like this do by making the traditionally “hidden” information public.
Likewise, when someone asks “What’s one word you’d use to describe me?” they’re shrinking the “blind” and to expand the “open” quadrant.
The best stuff gets shared in the open. THAT’S how we get to know each other. We share information. We reduce uncertainty. I tell you my stuff, you tell me yours.
When we know each other, we can understand each other. We can work together more effectively and enjoy more meaningful relationships.
Came up with this notion while working with my dream clients this year. We spent a lot of time chatting about what to include (and what not to include) on their “about” pages.
While you know I’m ALL about showing up in an authentic way, sometimes self-disclosure can come across as selfish. (We’ve all had – and BEEN – that Chatty Cathy who shows up to dominate the conversation and talk about herself the whole time. It’s not attractive.)
When I come to your about page after reading a super-helpful blog post I found through Facebook, I’m looking to find out more about how you can help me. I don’t care about your favorite color or biggest fear….yet.
So I recommend what I call “strategic self-disclosure.” For most entrepreneurs, it’s better to share the personal stuff AFTER you’ve established credibility and expertise.
When (and where) you’re comfortable, reveal things that you think will round out your story. What you think folks will find interesting, funny, or even inspiring. Share things that they may not expect (we like to be surprised!). As a general rule, the about page is NOT a good place for deep, dark confessions. Also a good topic for another day.
As I always like to say, “You don’t have to tell them EVERYTHING; you just have to tell them ENOUGH.” (Tweet that!)
So, while I was WILDLY tempted to be too cool for this “game,” I’m totally not.
Today I’m happy to (strategically) share with you:
10 Things You May Not Know About Me
(Complete with the not-so-subliminal messages I’m trying to send you in parentheses.)
1. In third grade, I was so intensely afraid of public speaking that I intentionally threw the school spelling bee and got 2nd runner up. I couldn’t BEAR the thought of advancing to the next level and having to spell in front of an audience even bigger than the one in my elementary school cafeteria.
(I’ve come a long way, baby.)
2. Hablo español bastante bien. (Fue mi subespecialidad en la universidad.) Estudié en en Chile por el verano (invierno) de 2005, y me encanta practicar cuando tengo la oportunidad!
(My word-nerdiness transcends language barriers.)
3. I have a teeny purple anchor tattoo on my foot. Got it with a group of my Delta Gamma sisters at TCU. It’s the symbol for HOPE, and I can’t talk about it without spouting a fave bible verse: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:19
(I’m SUCH a rebel…totally cooler than you thought I was.)
4. I’ve loved my husband since I was 13. And as the resident “old married couple” of our high school, our classmates votes us prom king + queen. I share plenty more stories and embarrassing pictures on my personal blog, but in a coconut shell: He’s my lobster.
(When we got married on our “10-year anniversary,” he knew good-and-well what he was getting into. Don’t let him tell you otherwise.)
5. I’ve never dyed my hair. It started out as a light brown, then grew a red “streak” up through the middle sometime in elementary school. That said, the day is coming soon. Amidst the mass of auburn, I have an alarming number of white strands for my age. Sad face.
(Bear with me; it’s an emotional time.)
6. Said ‘do is naturally curly! I straighten it for photo shoots because it’s just more predictable, but I’d LOVE for someone to teach me how to manage it better. I feel like I missed an important lesson in Girl 101.
(I clearly have unresolved hair issues.)
7. I only got one B in college (master’s included). First semester. Micro-economics. I’d been on the bubble all semester, and it came down to the final exam. It was probably an 89.4; I couldn’t dare check.
(I’m a nerd. And getting that B outta the way right off the bat was oddly liberating.)
8. Over 1.8 million annual visitors have to listen to me speak for three minutes before they visit one of the most iconic sites in world history, the USS Arizona Memorial.
(I’m literally a big, 30-foot deal…at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.)
9. This is more of a confession: On a slow day during my 4th grade summer, I prank-called Jenny Craig. The lady who answered the phone told me she DID have caller ID and WOULD be calling the police. I cried.
(Again – total rebel. And did caller ID take the fun out of the childhood phone experience or what?)
10. My guys and I will make our national TV debut in a few weeks, as the series premiere (!!) of a new show called Buying Hawaii. (Set your DVR! Monday December 2nd at 10/9c) We’ve never seen the finished ep, so you and I together will discover if I have a boogie in my nose or if I should’ve started with the sunless tanner a few days earlier. Shorts on national TV?! What was I thinking?!
(Check your local listings to see if yours is one of the 60 million households subscribed to the channel, Discovery Destination America, and stay tuned for watch party details! I’m dreaming up something fun.)
And that’s it. See what I did there?
Everything I just told you was intentional. To give you a more complete picture of who I am in hopes that you’ll know, like, and trust me more as a result.
Did it work?? Hmm?
In the comments below, tell me:
- Which of my “things” is your fave and why?
- What’s one interesting, entertaining, or unusual thing that most folks don’t know about YOU?
After you leave a comment, share a link to this post and use it as as your excuse for “playing the game” with YOUR Facebook friends!
Have a beautiful week, friend.
To the open quadrant!
P.S. To watch the promo of Buying Hawaii, come visit my Facebook page. (You can also just turn your TV to Discovery Destination America. The promos run almost every commercial break!)