I send out 1 or 2 newsletters a month.
The moment I press ‘send’ I get what Brené Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover”. Have I shared too much? Will it come across as self-indulgent when I write to provide context, understanding and realisation? Immediately I start to regret sending it knowing that it’s too late. I go through this every time.
And every time I share my thoughts some people unsubscribe. At first, it worried me and I chose to take it personally – what had I said that was so unappealing, so wrong? I came to appreciate that what I was offering wasn’t what they wanted or what they were looking for, and by unsubscribing, they were serving us both.
The majority of people who receive it don’t open it or read it as far as I can tell.
I have no way of knowing from those of you who do read it what you think about it. Except for those of you who write to me in response.
It is only through direct feedback that I know what you think and feel about what I’ve written.
The rest is speculation on my part.
I can infer from their behaviour and actions how people may think or feel, but I don’t know.
If somebody doesn’t tell me how they think or feel then I don’t know.
When somebody shares with me how they think or feel then I know.
If I know then I know. If I don’t know then I don’t know.
It’s obvious to me when I write it out. It doesn’t always feel that way of course.
When we don’t know and we want to know then all we have to do is ask. That requires us to communicate and with that comes the possibility of finding out something we don’t want to know. So we don’t ask. Better to guess, to speculate or to use our imagination unhelpfully. Yes, even if it’s wrong. After all, the truth might be a lot worse. Or better.
But you won’t know.
Unless you ask.
Enjoy your vulnerability hangover.