has a right to opaqueness, not always being open in what one says and thinks.
However, inscrutability can be a basis for power (Ruti, 2015). In earlier items
in this blog, I claimed that trustworthiness requires openness. Then,
inscrutability can be a hedge, keeping options open for breaking trust. The
openness required for trust is not unlimited but restricted to intentions
towards actions that might harm the trustor.
personal relations one can be expected to be open about intentions that harm
the personal bond; are contrary to the justified expectations of the partner,
built up from past interaction and vows expressed in it. Ruti claims that males
tend to be more inscrutable, and women have to muster the tolerance and
forgiveness for it. Women may even find the strong, taciturn man attractive, I
add. Forgiveness and tolerance of inscrutability may be irritating, in the
victimisation of not standing up for oneself, as a real man does.
openness, however, can be irritating, and may be exhibitionism, express
narcissism, an urge for attention. Excessive openness may come across as a
lament, which is considered to be unmanly, bees buzzing around a piece of shit.
a relationship is governed not by trust but by control, in a legal contract,
what one divulges is regulated by law, in compulsory reports, which is more
precise and circumscribed than openness under trust. This may seem a relief,
but can fall short, in not covering unforeseen contingencies, and thus leaving
risk and vulnerability. Legal ordering of a personal relationship is often seen
as degrading and even indicative of a lack of trust, where it becomes counterproductive.
a result, for trust relations the scope and extent of openness are uncertain, in particular because they depend
on experience with the relation. In a relation that went well, the demand for
openness decreases, and the supply increases, becoming more personal, also
beyond the matter at hand, developing into friendship, perhaps into irritating garrulousness,
and if the relation has been bumpy, demand increases and supply decreases, in
the extreme case petrifying into legal enforcement.
Ruti 2015, Between Levinas and Lacan, London: Bloomsbury.