Being Jewish is More than Oversharing

God bless the loud; God love the ribbers; God keep the ones who argue over brisket with relish and the chopped liver with pleasure.

I both know and love the freewheeling emotional overflow that you describe in yourself, and you are right that the mode of being that you described has a honored place in our culture.

Having said that, extroversion and oversharing about digestive distress are not our culture entire. Jews have made a special place for the loud and the humorous, but I’d caution you from equating them to all that we are. Some people are just reserved, and not everyone experiences that kind of joking with love. Though you might be right in identifying a cultural component to the differences between you, I think it might also be making the problem bigger than it needs to be by essentializing cultures. Individuals are just different, sometimes.

A priest friend of mine once gave me the best advice for building relationships I’ve ever heard. He said, “don’t ask yourself, what this person is giving or not giving to me? Ask yourself, how can I build a relationship with her or him?”

You are who you are. So are they. Figure out how to build a bridge between your personalities that gets at the needs of everyone involved, and you’ll find happiness.

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Being Jewish is More than Oversharing

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