This post is an elaboration of #1 from a list of things I’ve learned late in life.
I advise friends who are looking for a decent romantic partner to be wary of those who lead obscure lives. My own litmus test is whether the person is active on Facebook. I’ve discovered the following about persons who are afraid to make their lives moderately public.
- Some have lives to be ashamed of. Guys who are rotating girls in and out of their bedroom while making claims of commitment to each are seldom on Facebook. This is also true for those who have the habit of accumulating enemies. This habit is usually indicative of a seriously flawed personality, and is worthy of avoidance.
- Some are simply insecure and cannot handle scrutiny. It’s not that they have anything to be ashamed of, but rather simply a fear of failure. A social fear this deep is debilitating, and is often correlated to other negative traits.
- Some wish to micro-manage their image. To have others speculating about some imaginary scandal based on a photo is intolerable to them. So they attempt to insulate themselves by imposing a media blackout on their lives. This is to give anyone with a mouth far too much power over your state of happiness. Simply ignore those who gossip. If you live a life of consistent altruism, any such gossip will become merely a negative commentary on the gossiper.
- Some are too beautiful. This is the exception to my rule. Beautiful people often harassed by predators whenever they are too public. Fortunately, I’m too ugly to know this firsthand. Bodyguards or privacy setting can usually mitigate this problem.
I’m very public. I’m active on Facebook, Youtube, and here on WordPress. This was not always the case. I was a very insulated country boy many years ago. It took quite some time before I grew comfortable being public. In the process I discovered the following essential benefits from having a very public persona.
- A public life rounds the edges on the sharpest of stones. Introspection is not nearly enough to assess what changes in your life might be beneficial. Exposing yourself to criticism is essential. It is the bumping up against others that refines us.
- A public life is never boring. And I’m easily bored. Being able to liaison with a good friend on short notice is invaluable to me. I am rather spontaneous, but I know I can walk into any one of 20 cafes or bars in Tokyo on any given night and encounter at least a couple friends.
- A public life strengthens the psyche. Being able to shrug off the constant flow of criticisms inherent to a public life deepens self-confidence. Learning to quickly adapt to the many possible social situations you might find yourself in creates versatility, poise and confidence.
- A public life is a life of relationships. And, in my humble but strong opinion, relationships are what best keep life satisfying.
So get yourself out there. Don’t sweat the gossip, and respond with change to positive criticism. Life’s too short to live it off-line.