There are times when I've been extremely open and honest and made myself vulnerable and people have used it against me. As in, they literally took information I gave them about myself and used it against me.
Now I find it really hard to trust people, but I hate lying. I mean, I REALLY hate it. Yet, sometimes I am put on the spot and I don't know what to say. It's tempting to lie, but I don't want to. So I tell the truth. But I worry that people are going to treat me the same way again. This makes me closed-off and guarded, extremely cagey.
Does anyone have any advice? I sometimes attract situations like this, where I'm put on the spot to tell information about myself that doesn't feel comfortable. Also, sometimes tell people too much about myself when I think I can trust them, but sometimes that trust has turned out to be misplaced. When I finally find someone I think I can trust, it's really tempting to open up to them and tell them too much about myself.
Edited for clarity.
Maybe you could try being vague? I have the same problem. Like if someone asks you where you live and you don't know the person well. You could say, "I don't feel comfortable sharing that information" but then people get offended and hostile. So if someone asks you how much money you make, you could say, "Less than a million a year" and laugh or something. With me, it's being on disability, when someone wants to know what I'm on disability for. I used to be honest. Now, if someone asked me, I'd say something like, "It's not contagious, don't worry." Maybe if you think of previous situations, the things you were asked, and try to come up with vague answers in advance. If the person persists, you could say, "Why? Why do you want to know that?" Of course that will make them act offended too, but hopefully being vague will deflect the situation.
As far as sharing too much information with people you think you can trust, that's a boundary issue. You need to be more self-protective. I don't have any advice on that. I have the same problem. Hopefully someone else will have suggestions!
I'm on disability, too. You basically described the exact thing I was talking about. Also, I've noticed that people look at you suspiciously if you tell them you're on disability. They assume you're abusing the system or something.
Yeah, being vague is a good solution. I'm just terrible at it. I'm either cagey and quiet or talkative and wanting to spill all the info about myself. There's not much of an in-between. I guess people have crossed my boundaries way too much and acted like it was their right. I have to learn that it's okay for me to have boundaries and that it's not okay for people to overstep them.
Thanks for the reply. It sounds like we're really in the same situation.
I just thought of an example of someone who did that to me, being vague when asked a direct question. Years and years ago, when I was a teenager, (okay, decades ago), there was a man who was probably in his thirties who was hitting on me. He lived in the same apartment building. He was really annoying me, and I asked him how old he was. He said, "Between Donny Osmond and death." I thought that was funny. But he was still a creep.
Yeesh, I'm sorry that creep made you uncomfortable. That wasn't okay :(
Don't worry, I survived! The thing is, though, that when he said that, I didn't ask him again. Some people may be so laser focused that they can't be distracted, but most people, or a lot of people, can. It confuses them, because they're expecting a direct answer. So it knocks them off their game. Another thing you could do, and this could be considered "rude", but oh well, is let's say you successfully distract someone the first time they ask the question. And then they bring it up another time. You could say, "you know, you asked me that once before, and I didn't answer you that time either."
The thing is, there are two types of people who are going to ask you for that kind of information. There are harmless people who are just trying to make conversation, for instance. Those are the people who are going to let it go when they realize you don't want to tell them. Then there are the other ones, the ones you mentioned, who are probing for personal details so they can use them against you. Those are the ones who are going to be offended, and those are the ones you shouldn't care about offending! Because it's none of their business!
And then there's the third type: A teenage girl who asks the guy who"s old enough to be her father how old he is because she's trying to give him a hint that he's old enough to be her father! ;)
This is a little off topic, but I'll bet this is something else you have a problem with. Do you have a problem with people putting you on the spot and trying to get you to do something you don't want to do? And then you offer reasons as to why you can't do it? "I'm sorry, I can't, because...." and then the person argues with your reason that you can't do it? And then you come up with another reason, and they argue about that one too? And then eventually you run out of reasons, and end up doing it? I read a magazine article about how to handle that, and it really works! Stop making excuses! If you don't want to do something, you don't want to do it! That should be enough of a reason! Don't let them put you on the defensive about it. You have a right to either do something or not do it, it's up to you. Once you start giving reasons, you give the other person a chance to shoot down your reason. All you have to do is say, "I can't." And then if they ask why, which they will, you say, "I'm sorry, but I can't". And if they persist, say, bluntly, "It's impossible". For some reason, that word shuts people down. It's like they realize then that there's no point in continuing to try to wear you down.
Another thing to try is after saying, "I can't" a couple times and having the other person keep saying, "Well, why not? Why can't you?" just finally blurt out in a very emphatic, firm, (louder) way, "Because I don't want to!" That will shut them down too. Then they'll probably mutter something like, "Why didn't you just say that to begin with?" But the thing is, that if you do say it right off the bat, they'll say, "Well, why don't you want to?" And you're back to coming up with reasons. But if you say, "I can't" a couple times, and then say, "Because I don't want to!" in a pissed off way, it seems to have a different effect. Then they back off. At least, that's what's worked for me.
I just thought of something else you could say to people who ask you why you're on disability. I haven't had to deal with this in awhile, probably because by now everybody around here knows already. But if I had it to do over again, and someone asked me that, maybe the simplest thing to do would be to say, "I'd rather not discuss my personal medical issues." or "private" medical issues.
Well in those situations, you don't have to lie, but you can create a diversion to give yourself more time. For example "Can I think about it and get back to you" for example, will please most people. Now you have attracted this situation for yourself, and you can easily attract different situations. Look at what your pay off was. Now I know what you mean re honesty, I too am the same, but I have also learned that sometimes being completely truthful isn't always a kindness to others. People aren't always wanting to receive the truth and if you are forcing them to hear it - they may resent you for it.
Do you have private shame or guilt about your income source? That's what I'm feeling from your post...that's what needs to be worked on.
Trying to come up with new ways or boundaries to deal with people who you feel ask too much or put you on the spot, that's only because you haven't worked out the situation vibrationally. That's what AH calls "the action journey." You yourself aren't comfortable with your situation. This is why it feels so good to meet someone you feel you can trust, and open up to them, because though them, you finally allow into your experience your acceptance of yourself. If they are OK with you, you feel a whole lot better.
I know people who like to "set boundaries" and they are almost always struggling with maintaining relationships. This is because boundaries are about limiting intimacy and being rigid, and relationships (fulfilling ones) are about expanding intimacy and fluidity. People who set boundaries are, IME, people who are trying to fend off the power or pressure they feel from others. And boundaries constantly have to be defended, maintained, talked about, etc. Otherwise they wouldn't be boundaries! Their entire function is "Stay out of right here". Which is not good if what you desire deeply is openness and intimacy with others...but first you have to become fully open and intimate with yourself. When you know yourself, you respond to each person in the moment, flowing from the limitless, without personal guidelines or rules, but simply based on the level of relationship/intimacy you want with the person at that time.
The pressure and limitations felt from others is the pressure and limits of one's own belief system.
If you work on your own discomfort with your own situation, you will find that it will become a non issue with other people, but even if someone finds out about your income source and is uncomfortable with it for whatever reason, you will be able very clearly to see that this person's discomfort is entirely about their own lack and powerlessness. Their judgement will not be felt as personal to you any more. It's only personal when you actually believe the same way they do, or if you need their approval to feel validated.
Well gee ... what anyone thinks of me is none of my business . In fact... thoughts are not my business. Try to control them, deny them, enlarge them, diminish them, persuade them, collect them or sell them .... to en-gage them in any way ..... yeah ... good luck with that ! H a H !!!!
Like monkeys and the circus ...... the only "business" is monkey business ... chaos and instability !
Try to control it and lo and behold .... you're doing the very same monkey business you tried to control , 'cause that's what control represents .... uncertainty ... doubt... separation from "Everything", "Totality" ... Now ... Presence Moment.
All we ARE , that IS... is this Presence Moment .... boundless, beginingless.. endless ... infinitum . ... Pureness ... Whollyness. The moment, the "present tense" is always the Here and Now. It never began and never ended, nor could it possibly, for even a thought of "being separated from here", one is still right here aware of being aware, present tense, where you've always been and always will be.
Gee ... is this being "too honest " ?
The Truth does not set you free.... there never were or are any bounds to bind you... nothing to separate from .... for Truth is the Absoluteness of this Absolutly Presence Moment. Inseparable !