Sharing things that give you pleasure is generous and it’s good to be magnanimous, but be careful not to over-share.
I don’t just mean the sin of revealing inappropriate intimacies (or, ‘too much information’), though that can be horrible for your audience too. There’s another risk in assuming that, because you like/enjoy/admire something, others will share your enthusiasm.
There’s a curious phenomenon involved in sharing. When it’s voluntary sharing gives the sharer pleasure, of course, but there’s a less obvious benefit. When you focus and explore what you like about something by sharing it, you re-awaken your appreciation for it, whereas taking things for granted decreases appreciation.
This seems so obvious that it’s easy to take THAT for granted too.
This is from a post by Greater Good in Action, because it’s good to share (most of the time).*
“You can maximise the benefits of the good things around you by consciously savouring them rather than letting them pass you by unnoticed. This exercise offers one basic way to start savoring the bounty of goodness around you – not by going to some exotic destination, but by paying more careful attention to the sights, smells, and sounds we often neglect.”
*And another thing…
With some things it’s NOT so good to share:
- The last sweet/piece of cake (do it anyway, its a more generous act if you don’t want to, and good for your soul).
- Detailed descriptions of your dreams (this ranks with enforced viewing of holiday snaps and pictures of ‘you should have been there’ moments).
- Tales of woe that you’ve been ‘sharing’ for the past five years (it not only bores your listeners, it also makes them feel powerless, AND it reinforces your own negative feelings. If this is a habit you have, start at the beginning of this post and do as it recommends).
- Your attempts to manage your children in public. Instructions, praise and admonishments delivered at high volume for all to hear are tedious at best, and intrusive at worst.
Like most things, sharing requires self-awareness. To do it in the first place we have to think about our own behaviour, and effective monitoring (to avoid over-sharing) is what stops us from sharing things we oughtn’t.
Juliana Breines, Three research-based strategies to help you appreciate this life.