i trust you this much

March 14, 2013 | 56 Comments

Young Shannon Fisher in her dad's truck

This is my new favourite TEDTalk. My soul cheers when Amanda Palmer says, “When we really see each other, we want to help each other.”

My desire to be deeply vulnerable is tied to my instinct to trust. I sometimes embarrass Steve and other friends when I share funny stories they’d rather keep private.

You know, like the time I told you about the raw pie incident.

There is a genuine disconnect for me when people want privacy. I realize that sounds crazy, but I really have to work hard to understand that instinct.

I don’t see sharing as risk; I see it as trust. A chance to “give and receive fearlessly.” My first thought isn’t that I’ll get hurt or hurt others with my openness. I believe humanity is in my cheering section and in your cheering section. And if people aren’t in our cheering section, they will be once they know our story. Once they can connect to our imperfections. Our imperfections make us accessible.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. —Brené Brown

So as friends listen to embarrassing stories tumble from my mouth in slow motion, screaming “NOOOO!” with their eyes, I’m thinking, “But… it’s a great story! This story will connect us. Our fumbles connect us. We can trust these people; let them show us.” Plus, we’ll get to laugh! And laughing is my favourite. Laughter vaporizes shame.

Oversharing is my own brand of couch surfing. My version of falling into you.

ETA: If you have trouble trusting and are more apt to stay on the side of privacy, “not wanting to give something so precious away to someone who might be careless with it,” as my friend Cecily said… I don’t think you’re doing it wrong. This is me digging in to understand and accept my attraction to transparency. My tendency is to think I’m doing it wrong. It’s taking loads of intense work to tolerate “the discomfort of believing in [myself].”

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  • Tara

    We are so so opposite. I struggle to trust, struggle to share. I don’t trust easily and see it as a huge risk. My real life circle is small on purpose. I crave privacy.. And when things are thrown into the limelight I freeze. Broken trust did that to me:(

    • Shannon

      TAKE BACK YOUR POWER. I get it. There is definitely need for privacy. I’m not saying be an idiot about it. But I have made so many wonderful connections I don’t believe I would have made had I not trusted.

      Also: you are enough, Tara. And you know what’s right for you. Trust that yourself. xo

  • http://cecily.info Cecily

    One of the reasons I stopped doing a lot of personal blogging was I got married. And even though there were stories I could share, I didn’t feel like I had the right to tell my then-husband’s stories.

    That path repeated itself when I found myself in a romantic/sexual relationship with my best friend that we kept secret for a number of years.

    I struggled with how to talk about me without talking about *us*. And because I never figured it out, I just didn’t.

    I don’t trust people easily. I don’t let people get too close. I listen, and I empathize, and I love others, but as for me, it takes years to really get to know me well. That isn’t hyperbole.

    I don’t feel powerless, exactly. For me, it’s about self-preservation and not wanting to give something so precious away to someone who might be careless with it. If that makes sense.

    • Shannon

      It makes total sense, Cecily. So many people are very private and don’t trust easily… and I don’t think they’re doing it wrong. I’m more trying to understand myself.

      And yeah. Steve and I come off pretty shiny online because I don’t talk about his stuff or our harder stuff, for the most part, because it’s only half my story. It does make it tricky.

      I think you’re doing it right. xo

      • http://cecily.info Cecily

        I think you’re doing it right, too.

        • Shannon


  • Emily

    I strive to be more open and trusting, like you Shannon. It’s a work in progress, though. Like Tara commented above, my circle is fairly small. I’m slowly working on opening it up a bit.

    • Shannon

      Like I said, I don’t think my way is only one way. I understand all the reasons for not trusting. This was about trying to figure myself out.


  • Tara

    Cecily….it’s like you are pulling the words from my mouth. That is exactly how I feel..

  • http://hellofisher.com Steve Fisher

    That’s okay. Who needs pride?

    I like you. You like me. You don’t like much. That’s okay.

    • Shannon

      Fat babies make me sick.

      Uh… I hope everyone knows that’s a lyric from the song.

  • http://www.socialsuzidesigns.com/blog Suzi

    Geez, girl, I love the way you write. I tend to put up a wall when I write, put on my “professional” hat and keep a little distance between myself and my reader. Your ability to allow other people to get close is a demonstration in loving trust that I can’t quite bring myself to yet. But I’ll keep trying!

    • Shannon

      Thanks, Suzi! I love the way I write, too. Trusting people has been the biggest step towards compassion for myself and humanity I’ve taken.

      Good luck on your pursuit. xo

  • http://www.hayleyhobson.com Hayley Hobson

    Cool talk. I understand where you are coming from, completely, but when it boils down to it we all have to use our intuition to guide us. Walking through the world distrusting only creates more of what we don’t want. In some way you have to be the fool, you have to keep trusting, but keep your eyes wide open so that you don’t get duped. Trust so that those that deserve it don’t fall prey to fear of distrust.

    • Shannon

      Meh. I think you’ll just get duped sometimes and as much as that will suck, it’s worth it.

      But yeah, you can be smart AND vulnerable. :)

  • http://fiftyshadesofpeach.wordpress.com Peach

    I used to be fearless with my trust, then you know… shit happens… but I’m slowly reclaiming my power. More lately than ever before! :) I love your willingness to give and receive fearlessly. Otherwise, how would I ever have learned how f***ing awesome you are? :) xox

    • Shannon

      I love that you’re reclaiming your power. You’re a big, beautiful spirit. The world should not miss out on the fullness of you.

      You’re pretty fucking awesome, too. xo

  • http://www.fedwellness.com Jen McLaughlin

    First of all, I am in love with these sentences- “Oversharing is my own brand of couch surfing. My version of falling into you.” I’m also in love with this topic. As a fall-into-you-kind-of-person, I’m probably already in love with you too.

    I have a certain aversion to all things artificial- flavorings, flowers, people. So I think that fuels my tendency to live and share from an authentic place. I’m not so sure if my over-sharing requires trusting other people. For me it’s more about trusting myself to know that no matter what they think or feel I will still be okay as long as I’m being genuine – speaking the truth as I experience it.

    Thank you for this post because lately I’ve been playing with (the value of and) my intentions in being so transparent. Sometimes I can see that it’s more of the rebellious child in me wanting to be seen. Other times I’m hoping to not feel alone in my imperfection or trying to support others in not feeling alone in their humanity. But mostly I share because I don’t like how it feels to hide.

    • Shannon

      Oh for sure there are different things driving me to be transparent. I used to be desperately begging the world to SEE ME AND LOVE ME AND WANT ME. I’m in a much better place now. That sometimes seeps in still, but it’s less and less. My vulnerability is more grounded in health and a desire to connect and love and be and receive compassion.

      I don’t like hiding either.

  • http://www.mealsinasnap.com eila @ the full plate blog

    i loved reading this. on my blog (which is largely focused on simple, quick, healthy meals), I sometimes share the ups and downs of parenting… and some people say, “thank you! you put into words exactly what I feel as a fellow busy mom” and others say “I can’t believe you admitted that?!”….

    • Shannon

      I bet even the ones who can’t believe it are moved and blessed by it. It strums some of their heart strings. How could it not?

  • Jocelyn

    Me too. So much me too.

    • Shannon


  • http://megansbeadeddesigns.com Megan

    Great topic. I just watched this TED video the other day and FELL IN LOVE with it. You are so spot on. I feel like when i really delve into my innermost fears and be honest about my emotions, that is when my audience really connects with me. Going beyond the surface is how we all establish more heartfelt, and more meaningful connections.

    Great post!

    • Shannon

      Connecting is my fave. :)

  • Lynne

    I agree with your (and Stephen Koch’s) contention that what Amanda Palmer raises here are beautiful concepts–ie. “ask for what we need, without shame. Give and receive fearlessly. Be vulnerable. Trust. We are enough.” etc, but at this point I struggle with any veneration of Amanda Palmer. She really skirts around the controversy over her Kickstarter campaign in this talk and it makes me uncomfortable. While I’m sure she is well intentioned, she does seem a bit disingenuous in that there is never any mention of her seriously wealthy author husband, the millions she’s raised, etc. I really do like the idea of *letting* people pay, but there is a fine line between that and taking advantage. There was a comment on a Rolling Stone article about her that said “It’s a little disconcerting that the key feature in this “connect with people” economy is that Amanda Palmer receives money or other things of value (musical services, a place to sleep) and all she gives other people in exchange is the joy of being around Amanda Palmer.” and someone else noted that she seems to have found success “peddling her own brand of bohemianism and painting herself as a penniless ‘victim of the industry’ when in fact she is not.” I agree this is off-putting. I don’t know. Maybe for some fans that joy is enough. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love your post and this concept, I just have trouble with someone who makes me feel unsure as to whether I’m being manipulated being the poster child for it :(

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