Friends, this post is a continuation of the Approved By Heaven series. If you missed the previous posts, check out the links below:
- Approved by Heaven (Part 1):Where do you seek your validation?“
- The fisher of compliments
- The eavesdropper, and
- The bringer of information
The last post from the Approved By Heaven series introduces a new persona named The attention magnet, the over sharer.
“How was your trip to Italy?”
“Oh it was great, I really-”
“I REMEMBER WHEN IIIIIIIIIII WENT TO ITALIAA. LIFE.CHANGING. DID YOU GO TO ROME?”
“I did, it was breath taki-”
“IT WAS FANTASTIC, SO BEAUTIFUL. IIIIIII WAS SO INSPIRED, OH YOU MUST HAVE HAD SUCH AN EXPERIENCE!”
“ Yes, actually, I-”
“IIIIII KNOW THAT IIIIIIIIII APPRECIATED PASTA SO MUCH MORE AFTER THE TRIP! WOW, AH. ITALIA!. Anyway, lovely talking to you! Take care. Be blessed. Ciao! Ciao! Haha, bye.”
If the following post seems forward and direct it’s because I am writing to myself!
Look at the conversation above, “I, I, I”. Not everything needs to be about you. You could very well enjoy someone speaking about their trip to Italy by nodding along, asking probing questions, and in your own mind being reminded of your feelings.
You don’t have to share your feelings especially if no one asks! Let others have their moments, and when the situation calls for it then express yourself. Don’t insist on your own way simply to seek validation.
I understand that people get to know us through our stories and interactions with them, but not everything is to be shared.
Not everyone needs to know your story. Not everyone is entitled to hear your dreams, or can relate to your experiences, and sometimes people just don’t care about your opinion!
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
We know that fools are quick to express their opinions; so rather than being foolish seek to be diligent, prudent, intentional, and wise. Indeed, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things (Proverbs 15:28 ESV).” So ponder before speaking.
These two questions will save you a lot of trouble.
Is what I’m about to say helpful? (Is this information able to uplift, encourage, or motivate the other person?)
Is it necessary? (Is what I’m about to say going to add depth to the conversation, does it bring wisdom and insight, do people want to hear it?)
Oversharing comes from wanting to be recognized in the eyes of others. But we already know we are the apple of God’s eye, so it really shouldn’t bother us if men and women know us well enough to esteem us.
YOU ARE MORE
Insecure people overshare to either seem interesting, entertaining, or knowledgeable.
It is because deep down they measure themselves based on things that happen to them or that they’ve done, not who they are.
Very few people are aware of the difference between our experiences and ourselves. We are defined not by our likes and dislikes, but are defined by God.
When we can distinguish that, when we know our identity belongs to God, we will have peace. We won’t feel the need to prove our adequacy based on our experiences, and thus be better listeners. Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent (ESV).” We may want, with everything inside our being, to speak out! But when we choose to remain silent, that is when we learn the most, not only about the other person but ourselves.
COMPARE AND COMPETE
Insecure people are very aware of their own flaws, and seek them out in other people. They are continuously comparing themselves to other people, in order to gauge their own worthiness or value. “At least I’m not as (insert insecurity here), as that guy!” They are hard on themselves first, which then translates to their view of others.
This need to validate their experience manifests in conversation often times by egocentrism, whereby the person only talks about themselves, or cutting people off. They cut people off if they feel they know where the conversation is going, have a personal story that they feel is important, or if they know the answer to a question. It stems from a desperation and an urgency to be noticed for what they can offer. Again, this mentality stems from not knowing who we are in Christ.
APPLE OF HIS EYE
God always has His eyes on us. He’s deeply concerned with what we live and experience. We are the wondrous creations of His hands and He finds us precious in His sight. He places the hairs on our head and promises to prosper us. We are loved. He’s not impressed by our knowledge, where we’ve been, or who we know. He’s been there every step of the way… not to mention He knew everything about us before we were born!
The sooner we accept the gift of love that we could never work for or deserve, the sooner we’ll give up on trying to impress others. Then we can focus on being who God says we are, and we’ll see that our lives will be accelerated into a new season of God’s manifested goodness.
I can speak for myself. It’s been a process that is still ongoing. I monitor myself, rebuking every negative thought and thinking before I speak. I notice my slip-ups more and more. I am becoming aware of the situations in which I’m prone to look for compliments, eavesdrop, reveal information and over share. I try to avoid them completely and I ask the Holy Spirit to help me hold my tongue!
In order to avoid comparison or a need to be validated I continually renew my mind to think what God thinks about me. I do this by spending some alone time with Him in the Word. I am learning who I am more each and every day by keeping quiet, listening, and loving God.
So, I’m done with defining myself. It is time for the great I Am to take me into the fullness of who He knows I am.
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