Why I Believe In Personal Transparency

by Michael Simmons on May 10, 2014

I grew up with a feeling of being alone and misunderstood.

i saw others appearing comfortable talking, and I labeled myself as shy.

I was frustrated that people didn’t see me for me.

Over, the past 15 years, I’ve grown to have the exact opposite perspective on the world.

Yesterday, I had a fascinating conversation with Princeton psychologist, Emily Pronin (http://bit.ly/SBDbnb) that explains why. In short…

  1. People judge us by our actions and behaviors. We judge ourselves by who we are on the inside.

  2. We think others are outgoing, because we see them talking and appearing comfortable. We think we’re shy, not because we appear less comfortable, but because we feel our own awkwardness.

  3. The result is that we don’t share ourselves because we believe others are different. We feel that others will distance themselves once they see our ‘other’ side.

A leap of faith is required to eliminate this bias.

The leap is sharing our inner life with the world as it is a core part of who we are. It is completely unrealistic to expect others to see our inner world if we do not share it.

Going from not sharing to sharing is a process of finding our voice, expanding our comfort zone, and easing others into the change.

To others it feels like the ‘new’ us. In actuality, it is just the ‘real’ us.

By sharing with others, we create the space for them to share with us.

In so doing, we realize that we are all human and have the same emotions.


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…