Thursday, 21 January 2010

Self-Disclosure: Why or Why Not?



And again I seem to have disappeared for quite a while!

The new term in university just began and I'm juggling some courses that include a fourth year one, and apparently, when you're in fourth year, you never seem to finish your readings. The professor just expects you to know the material and if you don't, too bad!

Sigh...Gone were the days when we had spoon-fed education (lol)...And interestingly, all the assigned readings don't agree with each other, so yeah, go figure...

Anyway, I digress.



The North American culture, one which I apparently have not gotten used to yet (this part!), is a very self-disclosing culture. I marvel repeatedly at the number of people who go to class, and in the middle of lecture, self-disclose details of their very private life, to illustrate an example. Professors too, do this sometimes...

In the middle of lecture, you will hear details of who is suffering from which chronic disease, who has been dating whom, whose parents don't have a good relationship, who had a fight with their partner, who used drugs, and alot more information you probably will never hear in a Malaysian classroom.



Which is pretty ironic. For a society that is so self-disclosing, they have very, very strict confidentiality rules of conduct. It's all about protecting the right of the individual to privacy...


I volunteer with the Disability Services Office (this I can tell), and the first thing I was trained to say was "I can neither confirm nor deny whether this person is registered with this office".


Which is pretty funny, because the person who is registered usually goes and tells people they meet very loudly they have such-and-such...



I seem to know which person in my class has ADHD, which one has Arthritis, which one has Diabetes, etc. and all was voluntarily self-disclosed! Out of curiousity, would you tell?

Why or why not?





3 comments:

WP said...

I wouldn't tell...just 'cos I can't stand others' sympathy. (especially strangers)

Atif said...

i guess it depends on what's there to tell, but i suppose i won't regardless, not to strangers. perhaps it's because we grew up in a society that has taught us that somethings are better left unsaid... and perhaps what i mean to say there is that whether self-disclosure becomes a culture is contingent on how much you feel your audience would judge you from what they learn about you, and therefore whether we choose self-disclosure or not probably says more about the people around us than us ourselves... if that makes sense, that is

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne...

I wouldn't mind telling if the `audience' can be receptive in good faith i.e no discrimination or even sympathy after that.

Everyone has/had a choice and a right to be accepted for who we are.