I'm always astonished at those people who have no inhibitions whatever about exposing every aspect of their lives, no matter how personal or controversial, to the entire population.
They appear happily on TV shows telling their amazed audiences how often they've shoplifted or driven while drunk or taken sickies* or had sex with their bosses. Far from being embarrassed, they seem to be proud of their extravagant behaviour, as if they're living life to the full while the rest of us are timid introverts not daring to do anything out of the ordinary.
I'm not complaining. They're not doing any harm to anyone (unless their fearless honesty includes a bit of fearless putting-the-boot-in**). And it's up to them how they want to live their lives and how private or all-revealing they want to be. What's it to do with me?
In fact it can be very enjoyable, in a morbid-curiosity kind of way, listening to someone confessing to the sort of outrageous behaviour I would never indulge in unless I was seriously under the influence.
But I'm never sure if their full-on disclosures imply simply a natural personality unspoilt by the normal adult scruples, or if they're ego-trippers seeking as much attention as possible and terrified of being ignored. And does it matter anyway?
Certainly many of us have learnt to be cautious about what we say or don't say for fear of people's frosty or censorious reactions. We err on the side of discreet silence rather than blurting something out that we might regret for weeks afterwards.
Even with close friends we've known for decades, we might hesitate to reveal something too intimate or unusual, something that despite their affection and loyalty they might still find too hot to handle.
I well remember an occasion many decades ago when I got so drunk I actually lost consciousness for an hour or so. My first feeling when I came to was terror that I might have said or done something utterly scandalous without realising. Did I try to seduce someone? Did I tip wine over the host? Thankfully I was assured that I'd done nothing shameful.
The idea of flamboyantly emptying myself out to the world at large fills me with horror. I'd rather eat my own left leg.
* pretending to be too sick to work
** having it in for someone