To be or Not to be an Open Book

I am sure many of us have come across this phrase of a person being an “open book”. We generally understand that this person concerned is usually honest about one’s feelings and emotions. This person shares her/his/its story with almost everyone.

Well, I have often contemplated this idea that probably I would qualify as an “open book”. I tend to give away my thoughts and feelings very easily. I do not like to keep brooding over some thought for a long time, trying to repress them deep within me. But of course, I do not mean to say that I go about expressing my anger (whenever this emotion hits me) to everyone and anyone. No, I am not that mean. Or, at least I would like to think so!

And I am not for going about spilling secrets people trust you to keep. I am not talking about being this open!

But the problem lies somewhere else today. I cannot really come to a conclusion whether or not one should be “an open book”. How much giving away your thoughts and emotions is too much? If I am friendly with people and very easily trust them, I do sometimes fall down. My trust does sometimes feel betrayed. But more than anything, this friendliness and trust and honesty come across as my weakness. How much friendly then one should be not to be perceived as weak?

Being friendly, as far as I know, is a virtue one has. There are actually no opposites of friends. There are no enemies. Really. They exist only in Older Soppy Bollywood and Classic Western Cowboy movies!

Do we really have time enough to make enemies to whom we are dedicated much to religiously hate them? And if we have so much time, why don’t we instead make some friends? Wouldn’t that make the world a better place to live in?

So with regard to our moral police judging us for being too honest, too trustworthy and friendly, I wonder- how much is too much?

I am probably rambling today. Crisis when the week starts, you know!

But do join me in my crisis. What do you think? Have you ever been labelled as “an open book”? Are you honest with your feelings? What do you think of this?

Let us “open books”, tell them honestly that they are wrong. We are not weak in expressing our emotions. We are friendly which does not make us powerless. In fact, our honesty makes us strong individuals capable of spreading love, care and happiness.

p.s: more on acknowledging our emotions here.

Happy Soul-Searching!

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Author: The SoulSearcher

The writer is a research scholar in English literature, an avid reader and sucker for life philosophies

9 thoughts

  1. Great post! I think people who are an ‘open book’ accept themselves for who they really are. So things like criticisms, bad judgments, and negative comments are very easy for them to handle. But some people feel that being an ‘open book’ is only good whenever you have built a good relationship with that somebody, when you can trust that person. I find myself between the two where I choose to share things with a handful of people and at the same time I am very comfortable and willing to share certain things about myself and unwilling to share other types of things about myself. Also, I don’t think keeping something to yourself is the same as hiding something from someone. You are allowed to be as private or as open as you want as long as you are comfortable with your choices. And what I consider to be most important is that you do what feels comfortable without feeling any guilt. If you have ever heard of the Johari Window, it’s a very useful technique to self-guide yourself and analyse yourself as a person (things other people know about you, things only you know about yourself, etc). I wrote a post about it long ago…
    So you can read it if you want.
    All that said, I loved this post, keep it up!


  2. Personally I am a open book to only my closest friends (pros/con of being an introvert). So only a handful of people know the real crazy me. But I cannot tolerate things that are wrong and I kind of cannot control that part of my emotion and I then speak a later stage I do regret sometimes as I feel I might be too mean to that person. People who are like open book really do have the confidence which I do appreciate as they easily can express themselves in front of strangers. We shouldn’t judge anyone as every individual has their own kind of expressing themselves. Some finds it easier to express whatever they feel. Everything has it’s own pros and cons

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are absolutely right, Debadrita. People shouldn’t be judged at all for their ability (or not) to express their feelings to everyone all the time. I have stressed in my post how extroverts, as you term them, are usually considered weak or easy.


  3. A total ‘open book’ I am. I am very bad at filtering my thoughts. Whatever is in my mind is on my face and in my mouth. For which I have been backstabbed and betrayed many a times. Another illusion that I was living with was that the whole world is a place of genuines but it turned out to be just the opposite. So, I am very bad in dealing with shams. A friend says, I am not fit to survive in this double standard world. Nevertheless, the bright side of being an open book is that one who understands us well falls in love with 🙂


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