Don’t Hit The Send Button Unless Your Friend Works For The C.I.A.

Did you ever say something, do something or share something with a friend, then walk away wondering if it was a good idea?  If you have to ask, it probably was a bad idea.  Once you say the words out loud or hit the send button, you can’t take it back- you just put it all out there to be judged by your friend.

Wait, my friend wouldn’t judge me so I have nothing to worry about.  False.  People who say they don’t judge others are lying to themselves.  Human beings judge other human beings.  It’s implanted deep in our carnal brains to protect us from perceived dangers.   The best you can hope for is that the person with whom you shared the information is trustworthy.  And therein lies issue number two.

Do you really trust your friends?  Friend betrayal is usually unintentionally on purpose – like during a conversation that has absolutely nothing to do with the secret with which you’ve been entrusted- “Speaking of the rainforest, Kelly told me that her husband is having an affair with Jessica.”  Or “I’m not supposed to tell anyone this, so I’ll just tell you– but you have to swear not to tell anyone else.”

Our need to share with others is incarnate.  Early man created tribes- circles of like people sharing similar lifestyles and beliefs. It’s no surprise that we like to share. It’s built into our DNA.  We share information, thoughts, ideas even our bodies with others in hopes of making a valid connection with another person.

Recently, I shared some details about my life with a friend of mine.  There’s something about Facebook that makes you feel braver than you really are.  Sharing that excerpt from my life made me feel so good that I felt the need to share even more, so I followed up our great conversation with a nice long detailed email–until I had spilled my guts all over the place.  I hit the send button without hesitation.   My immediate feeling was- “That felt great!”  –Ahh sweet validation.

My second thought was- what if I typed in the wrong email address and some stranger is reading my private thoughts.  Panic!

Email confirmed- Relief!

Then, after a few days, doubt starts eating away at my psyche-  an important story of my life is out there with my friend- whom, by the way, I completely trust-  (just in case she’s reading this post.)

I want so badly to believe that my friend will guard my email with her life.  I imagine she secretly works for the C.I.A. and has sealed my story in a manilla envelope with the words ”Top Secret’ stamped in red on the front cover.  If anyone ever tried to read it, my friend would run away at lightening speed,  jump through a ring of fire into the sea, swim to a remote island and bury the envelope deep in the dirt- just to protect its contents.

It makes me feel better knowing my friend would do this for me.

What’s the worst that can happen?  I will tell you.  While drinking my morning coffee, I hear Matt Lauer’s voice with late breaking news – -“We’ve discovered a Top Secret envelope buried on a remote island off the coast of Puerto Rico and I will now read its contents to America.”  – I drop my coffee mug in slow motion and it breaks on my kitchen floor as I let out a scream and run to the T.V.  —“Noooo!”

That’s the worst case scenario.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson earlier in life- the day my mother found my diary under my pillow when I was 15.  I can still hear the words she said to me as she waved my diary in the air-  “Never write anything down you don’t want others to read.”   Good advice mom.

Eventually, I relax with a bottle of wine and begin to remember why I shared the story in the first place- and I think – “Hey, that was a great idea!”  – and everything is okay again.

This story and all its subject matter are fictional.  Any persons or places stated in this story are purely coincidental.

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15 thoughts on “Don’t Hit The Send Button Unless Your Friend Works For The C.I.A.

  1. You can definitely see your expertise within the article
    you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

    • Agree! You already know what your passions are- they have been with you in everything you’ve done since childhood…think back…pay attention.. and just take a single step towards it!

  2. Mike Lyles says:

    If you want to ensure your deepest stories stay private then don’t write it down. Good advice. Great blog!

  3. Joel says:

    Ahhh.. The art of sharing. I use the word “art” because I seem to become better at it the more I do it… Share that is.
    Sharing is the most easiest way to connect with another person. It is usually the first step towards trying to become closer to another person.. Sharing begins with its simplest form, stories about ourselves. It then becomes more and more intamate as the relationship grows in trust. Most relationships we establish will never move any further than the sharing of simple stories. But the ones the break the boundaries of typical are true blessings indeed. To reach a sharing level that leaves you in a beautiful day dream slumber… Now that’s a beautiful form of art. To create that type of relationship… We all know someone who stirs our soul and spirit when we think of them. Those are the people with whom we want to share the most. Who are you thinking of right now? Share with them..

    • That was a great Joel! I agree, we start out sharing small things and move on to the more intimate thoughts and stories and if those connections lead to a life-long partnership, that’s great. If you share only enough of your passions and beliefs to build a great friendship, that’s great too. There are various degrees of sharing, but one thing that remains consistent- we do it everyday- from sharing a smile with a stranger to the events of the day with our families. You should start you own blog- it would be a hit!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This goes right along wilth perhaps saying something to some unconsequential individual that later you regret, which comment may have possibly hurt someone you do genuinely care about.

    keep em coming jenn…keep em coming

    • Thanks for leaving such a poignant comment- friend. As a rule, we don’t usually say something to hurt someone’s feelings, but it happens. The lesson learned is that we stop, breathe and think before we speak. I know that’s easier said than done, but we should practice that one. I’m glad you expressed this point of view-

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good blog mom, your hilarious

  6. Anonymous says:

    As I was reading this, I felt every emotion you were having like I was a little spy in your brain hearing your thoughts!!! My Dear Friend…I miss you and all of your second guessing, panicing, and bringing yourself back to reality episodes you have….this was wonderful but then again why wouldn’t it be…look who wrote it!!!

    • Tanya! You are my most trusted friend and I have no doubt you would keep my secrets safe, you’ve done it before. Only the ones who know me, know that this is just my typical thought process. Ha!- miss you like crazy.

  7. Complete with a disclaimer….awesome!

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