If you want to translate your profound inner life to others and feel seen, sharing your notebook can help you do that.
Do you feel anxious whenever you consider the possibility of someone else reading your journal?
If you replied "yes" to any of these questions, you are not alone. The concern that someone else will read what you write in your notebook is something that prevents many individuals from starting one in the first place. Many people have had painful experiences as a result of other people reading their journals.
It's possible the feeling is heightened for introverts. We take pleasure in our time alone and make the most of it by engaging in a variety of productive activities that allow us to engage in introspective and creative contemplation. The idea that a private "place" could one day be accessed by the general public might make you feel sick to your stomach.
I am completely able to empathise. When I write in my diary, I don't feel the need to edit what I've written or give any consideration to how the ideas I've recorded might be interpreted by others. Instead, I am free to fully express myself. But precisely because of this, sharing your journal with another person can be a really profound experience.
Someone Has Been Spying on Me and Reading My Journal... And As A Result, It Brought Us Together.
During my time in high school, I maintained a notebook in which I wrote down everything that occurred to me along with my thoughts and musings about those events. I don't know what was going through my head when I left this journal at home when I went off to college, but I later found out that my younger brother had been reading it while I was gone (classic little brother move).
If I had known about this at the time, I'm very sure I would have been extremely embarrassed. However, I didn't find out about it until many years later, at which point I was able to have a logical conversation about it with my brother. It turned out that my brother had a deeper respect for the journey I had been on as a result of reading my journal.
As a result, he was able to comprehend me on a deeper level, and he even stated that he admired me. If I'm being completely honest, it's likely that him reading my journal actually helped our relationship in the long run. A strange turn of events, wouldn't you say?
I am aware that this is an exceptional scenario with a positive resolution, and that this outcome will not always be the case. However, as an introvert, it did open my eyes to the fact that there is a side of myself that I am able to show very effortlessly in my writing, but that I have a hard time discussing vocally with other people in my day-to-day contacts with them.
Is it feasible that giving our loved ones access to our journals could assist us in developing closer relationships with them?
As I pondered this enquiry, I came to the conclusion that I have, during the course of my life, engaged in activities similar to the one in question, albeit in a variety of guises. When I was in college, some of my best friends and I shared a journal, and we each took turns making entries whenever we got together.
When my spouse and I were living apart, we engaged in activities that were analogous to these. On occasion, I'll even post little excerpts of writing from my journal into various social media platforms.
In the end, it turned out that sharing my journal wasn't such a wild idea after all.
The following are three compelling arguments for why you ought to consider making your journal public:
At this point, there may be some of you who are convinced, but I'm sure that many of you are still doubtful. I believe that this can be a useful exercise for the following three reasons:
1. The language of our inner life needs to be translated.
People who tend to be more introverted typically have a rich inner life that can be challenging to convey in casual conversation. Even while you do not have to discuss this with everyone in your life, doing so with the people closest to you can be significant and beneficial.
The act of journaling lends itself to putting some of those thoughts on paper; so, letting someone read your notebook can give them a peek of how you approach things, which in turn could lead to a better knowledge of you.
2. When we are in social settings, we engage in self-censorship.
Because we are introverts, we are frequently quite aware of the room and the people in it. Because of this, we could find ourselves self-censoring or only speaking up when we are quite certain of something. The act of journaling frequently reveals another facet.
When you write for yourself without considering an audience, you are free to experiment and try out new ideas without fear of judgement. These are the kinds of thoughts that might motivate and intrigue other people and lead to in-depth discussion.
3. There is a certain elegance in being observed.
Being seen feels good. Feeling even better about yourself when others recognise you for who you truly are is a bonus. Allowing another person to see what you've written in your diary can be an excellent way to expose a part of who you are and have a more profound connection with others, provided certain conditions are met.
After all of that has been said, it is inevitable that you will have some level of natural anxiety at the mere idea of letting another person into your inner world. To further clarify, I am not suggesting that you show your journal to everyone you come into contact with. Please do not take this as a suggestion from me.
Although this is a tool for developing deeper relationships, there must first be some level of trust developed in order to make use of it effectively. If you are interested in giving various methods a shot, here are some ideas to think about.
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4 Suggestions for Overcoming an Aversion to Sharing
1. Define both the expectations and the parameters.
Talk to the person you are considering sharing your journal with beforehand if you are interested in doing so. Give them an explanation of what it is that you want to achieve and then ask them if they would be prepared to take part in the experiment.
It is quite acceptable to talk about how you feel if you are being made to feel exposed by this. Create a safe environment by establishing whatever limits and restrictions are necessary.
2. Start small.
Pick out a couple of sentences that you'd want to share rather than sharing an entire journal entry or even just one entry in its entirety. Observe how well the experience goes, and if it makes you feel good, build on it from there.
3. Think about using hints or suggestions.
Instead of sharing the entries from your typical journal or those that are more of a stream-of-consciousness style, utilise some specific journal prompts and share your replies to those. It is possible for you and the other person to reach an agreement in which you will both reveal your responses to the identical prompts in order to level the playing field. Using these relationship prompts as a jumping off point can be helpful if you are engaging in this activity with your significant other.
4. Keep in mind that the majority of individuals are preoccupied with thinking about themselves rather than you.
It's possible that this won't bring much solace, but I've found that keeping this in mind can be really beneficial. Even if someone else reads your notebook, they probably won't place the same level of importance on the things that you consider to be your deepest, darkest secrets and thoughts. It is likely that others will read it, reflect on what you have said, appreciate it, and then continue living their lives. In my opinion, this makes the stakes easier to manage.
Introverts can learn a lot about themselves, their views and beliefs, and their particular experiences in life by keeping a journal. It is also possible to use it as a tool for sharing one's thoughts, opinions, and experiences with other people in order to create deeper relationships when the circumstances are suitable.
It allows you to connect with others on a deeper level and share more of who you are with them. And who knows, maybe it will help to grow a relationship in a fresh way, or maybe it will start some great talk!
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