Your incessant sharing can hurt others


First watch this video and then I’ll tell you what it reminded me of…………..

Done? Ok.

I was reminded of a story I heard at a CTN Women’s Conference one year (CTN = <a href="</p>

An Orthodox woman leading a workshop told a story about talking with a friend of hers who was having difficulty conceiving. Now, as you may or may not know, family is hugely important in the Jewish community, especially among the more observant branches. Having children is a foregone conclusion and people often have quite large families to boot. So it seems that there’s always somebody pregnant in the community and this woman’s friend said that every time someone excitedly ran up to her to tell her they, a friend or relative was pregnant, it was like a knife in her heart.

Now, of course none of these people were looking to make this woman feel bad. They were simply sharing happy news. Think about it for a moment though. Would they have gushed just as much if they had known that this woman was not able to have children of her own? Or would they have acted differently? The lesson, the woman telling the story told us, was that we must strive to be more sensitive in the way we talk to people, especially people we don’t know too well. When you hurt someone unintentionally, they don’t hurt any less than if you had intended to upset them. We have to be more cautious.

Hopefully you understand what made me think of this when watching this video. All or Teresa’s friends posting photos of their engagement rings and wedding dresses (and indeed everyone on Facebook who does those things) are just like the people who excitedly talked about someone being pregnant to the woman who couldn’t conceive. They’re not overtly trying to make their single friends feel depressed or inadequate, but let’s be realistic; that’s often the result.

I try to be conscious of this all the time. I’d like to think it’s because I’m a sensitive and kind person (and I hope that’s true to an extent), but it’s also because I’ve experienced something similar to what Teresa and the woman in my story did. My engagement ring was stolen from the apartment my then-boyfriend now-husband and I shared. Stolen before it was officially given to me. I never even got to wear it and its replacement could not be afforded. So how do you think I felt anytime someone flashed their ring or asked me why I wasn’t wearing mine?

I hope this inspires everyone to think carefully before sharing things with a wide network, whether online or in person. You’re entitled to your happiness. Enjoy it, share it with those closest to you. But don’t use it to hurt others.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous July 22, 2011

    Months after my husband and I had trouble conceiving, I had recovered enough emotionally to write a feature story inspired by our experience. The main point was similar to yours: By all means, enjoy and share your happiness, but don’t turn around and ask all your friends, “So when are YOU having babies?”

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