Lately I have encountered a few situations that could have been made infinitely better if only I had practiced some discretion. I too often say too much, offer unasked for information and find myself in a conversation that I never really wanted to be in in the first place.
The most common question that I get asked about adoption is in reference to the cost. ‘Was it really expensive?’ or ‘It costs a lot, right?’ are the two main ones. Instead of going into why adoptions cost money and how the money is spent, I should learn to simply answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If the questioning party is truly interested in adoption, the ball would now be in their court to return with another question.
When asked about Ella’s history, I respond that we are keeping her story private and it will be hers’ to tell if she chooses to do so. Well…I wish that was how I worded it. That’s the gist of what I say, but it comes out in a string of sentences about why we chose to keep this private and why it’s important to do so, when it would have been clearer to just keep my response short and simple.
Every time a conversation arises and I divulge too much information, I vow to do better next time. I haven’t fully mastered the skill of restraint, but I have to hope that with my awareness and resolve I will become better at it. It would be wonderfully satisfying to walk away from a conversation with a stranger knowing that I was in control and only offered the information I was comfortable with (without feeling the need to fully explain every answer I gave.) I will try to remind myself to counter a question with ‘Why do you ask?’ or a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and gracefully take the focus and pressure off of myself and my family. If any readers have mastered this skill (or are trying, like me) please share any of your tips and hints that will surely help so many of us.