Why We Should All Start Leaving A Little More To The Imagination

by Lucy Farrington-Smith

Most of the time, we don't want to admit what we are thinking.

We don’t want to let others know what we hope for or what we dream about. This is probably because we don't want to face what happens when we don’t achieve these dreams.

Any attempts to forget what happened would be stamped out by anyone who knew anything about it and inevitably asked, “So, how did that go?”

Do we even think about the potential hurt this question can bring?

Do we wonder what happens when a name someone longs to forget keeps getting regurgitated, like a hangover on repeat, just to fill silences when conversations quell?

Or, when something that resulted in failure keeps resending the result and filling you with embarrassment, when all you want to do is forget and move on?

What happens when you’re reminded of a dream that didn’t come to fruition, only to be repeatedly stung, knowing that the jump from your mind to reality never really happened?

Constant reminders of the past keep us in the past.

We struggle to move on and regroup because other people's minds are so fixated with, “What did he mean when he said that?” or “If only you had just got one mark more” or “It’s such a shame you guys broke up."

And, we respond, begrudgingly, saying, “I don’t know" and “I wish I had passed, too” and “Yes, it is a shame we broke up,” whilst we subconsciously spurn the person for saying anything because, of course, we know it sucks.

We were the ones who felt it all before anyone else knew.

And so, we find ourselves shoved under the covers, kicking and bundling the sheets, wishing we had just kept that slither of something to ourselves so the hurt, embarrassment and regret never had to be known by anyone other than ourselves.

Not everyone needs to know all our intimate thoughts, desires, wants and wishes. (They don’t even need to know our mundane day-to-days.)

Arguably, it's hard to keep moments private when "photos, or it didn't happen" is the mantra of 21st century living. Intimacies are over-shared and everyone knows who anyone is sleeping with at night.

Oscar Wilde said,

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry.”

Just because other people may be open books, doesn't mean we need to bend our covers, too, and lay every single line bare.

If we tell everyone everything, there is nothing left to discover.

Friends don’t need a daily watering glass full of the gossip we have, the trivia we know or the bitching we want to re-bitch.

When conversations go quiet, we shouldn't rush to think about the freshest bit of, "Maybe this was someone's secret, but I’m sure they probably won’t mind if I say it anyway" news.

In the same way we wouldn’t like someone airing out our dirty laundry, whoever is on the receiving end of our bad conversational skills won’t appreciate it, either.

If our scuffed-up pasts keep on resurfacing with comments from people we didn't tell in the first place, we shouldn't start spinning the web for that to be someone else's fate, too.

We need to stop making conversations a commentary on someone else’s life.

We're all accountable for it, so stop having lazy conversations. Talk about real events -- the here and now, news and things that affect us.

Don't worry about what someone else was wearing, who someone else was sleeping with, talking about or crying over.

When we start conversations with, "...but don’t tell them I told you this," it screams, "Don't ever tell me anything sensitive because I will do this with it in about two hours."

Being quiet and trustworthy is more engaging than being the peacock that parades gossip around like a social trophy. If sexiness isn’t about being naked,” then conversations aren't a battle of who knows the most.

Keep secrets secret, and let's all start leaving a little more to the imagination.