I am all in favor of privacy. As Americans, each of us has the right to our private lives.
We want privacy because we fear how others will use our private information against us. We fear discovery at work of our chronic illness might impede our chances for promotion. We fear friends might judge us if they knew we were struggling financially.
Privacy is important, but when facing a challenging situation, we also want a safe and supportive environment where we can talk openly and be vulnerable. When we can be vulnerable in a safe space, we forge our closest relationships. A safe, supportive environment allows us to learn about ourselves. Why? Because we self-discover as we self-disclose, and we won't self-disclose if we are fearful the listener will use the information against us.
When we face a crisis or a big opportunity, we all want the chance to talk it over with someone who will listen without judgment, with compassion, and whose advice will be focused on what is best for us. Those trusting relationships are built step by step, little by little, over time.
How many trusting caring relationships do you have? When the next crisis comes, will you have the chance to talk it over with a trusted caring friend, or will you have to keep it private and figure it out on your own?
David Geller is the author of Wealth & Happiness: Using Your Wealth to Create a Better Life. He is the CEO of Atlanta-based GV Financial Advisors and is available for professional speaking engagements.