The Way of Absolute Candor

Why do I have a policy of authenticity and openness, even at the risk of oversharing?

This page is a stub, created on 2020-04-09. Its contents are notes on the issues and angles I want to address about this topic.


I recently stumbled on the phrase in an episode by the same title. "It emphasized the total communication of emotion without filter between thought and word", which feels very close to my own personal policy of "open, direct, and kind".

My experience of this feels integrally connected with Brené Brown's phrase "strong back, soft front, wild heart", which, paraphrasing, I'd describe as

  1. having strong, inviolable core principles and values
  2. being open, vulnerable, authentic, compassionate, and kind
  3. not allowing oneself to be tamed or seduced by the allure of "fitting in" as counterfeit belonging, being free and passionate with one's feelings, embracing experiencing things fully, and never turning away from difficult emotions

I've long had a policy of openness, with the frequent failure mode of oversharing. There are a number of related issues I want to explore, including

  1. the line between being open and floodlighting
  2. a phrase I learned from Tara Smith: "I have nothing to hide, but I also have nothing to share."
  3. how my policy of public-by-default helps me to be mindful about whether I'm acting in accordance with my professed values and who I really want to be
  4. how passively sharing (broadcasting) doesn't necessarily mean I think that anybody in particular cares about individual things I share
  5. the difference between being open and second-handed approval-/attention-seeking (strong tie-in here to my bodybuilding goals)
  6. the connection between chronic/long-practiced openness and shame-resilience/vulnerability
  7. the connection to my needing to feel understood / not misunderstood, and the urgency of having to explain all the things
  8. the evolution of my use of Facebook and getting into arguments about ideas
  9. being authentic/raw/direct and being tactful, including the relevance of others' discomfort
  10. allergy to phoniness (and a childhood experience that stuck with me); connection to the Objectivist virtue of honesty