May. 10th, 2011

talktooloose: (Saints in Love)
I'm on a company retreat now. In the week before we went away for this extended 3-day exercise, I floated the idea of hosting an open mic. I tried to word the invitation as gently as possible, asking if people had a song, a poem, a piece of writing—their own or something they admired. I said it would be a good chance to show some sides of ourselves we don't usually see in the office. I got a resounding silence in response and dropped the idea.

I was disappointed because I had wanted to sing some of my songs to the group. What did end up happening was a wild karaoke plus an X-Box dance game. Both of these things involved people making wild fools of themselves. The contrast got me thinking: there is an apparent gap between people's shyness and their comfort with shrieking wildly in public to AC/DC tracks or busting moves in a game. But really, the very extravagence of the foolishness was a mask. It is much easier to jump and scream in public, because you have deniability: "That's not me: I'm just being a good sport."

Actually sharing something of your soul is way beyond most people's comfort level. Even with colleagues they have known for years, in some cases people who are supposedly good friends, standing behind an actual emotion, a discordant philosophy, a piece of true joy or heartache is TMI.


June 2012

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