Jay (brian1789) wrote,

Thoughts on disclosure dynamics...

I have been told that I can be, or have been, a scary person to whom to disclose edgy or unpleasant things. That my (negative) reaction sometimes has been out of proportion to the significance of the thing being disclosed, or that the fear of my reaction has led some people to tell me as little as ethically possible and/or at the last possible moment. Or even telling me *after* some fact, defiantly to me.

This doesn't generally lead to a good relationship or friendship or workplace dynamic. Springing on me partial or incomplete truths, or at the last moment, out of fear of my reaction... helps make more likely the feared negative Jay-reaction. Granted, I have my buttons... but the easiest way to work through them and let go is with advance warning, ideally long enough (before the disclosure becomes relevant) for me to calm down and let go and ask for reassurances if I feel I need them.

But for some people, that seems to require some way to safely tell me "hard truths".

(Even when *really* upset, BTW, I don't generally scream, yell, swear, or break things... my usual M.O. is to just withdraw, and not interact for awhile with the other person(s). Emotional cutoff, flight rather than fight. This drives some Northerners nuts, though.)

Looking for a way to make personal disclosures "safer"... as an experiment, possibly adapting the "Withhold" script. That might look something like:

(a) The person disclosing might say, "Jay, I have a [Level 1-5] disclosure/thing to discuss, are you willing to hear it?" ; where [Level 1-5]… is based on the internal trepidation of the *disclosing* person, 1 being minor, 5 being life-changing. Or use color codes, or something. (the receiving person may, of course, not receive the news at the same level, up or down)

(b) Then, if I lack spoons, I might say, "not yet, could we discuss it later?" But assuming I say OK (consenting), then the person says whatever it is, I then say simply "thank you".
No response on my part.

(c) I may then ask, "would you like to hear my response or feelings? ", but the discloser can choose to say "no" or "not now" and stop the thread... or they can choose to listen. But that makes it safer overall, in that they won't get involuntarily dumped on in reaction. Even if the recipient is upset, they have to just nod and drop it, at least unless/until they ask to bring it up sometime later on.

Thoughts? Improvements?

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