Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interesting Phrase for Consideration

                                        "I am an open book!"

consider this phrase. 

Have you heard it used by any one?

If so, what prompted this statement from them?

Question:  What kind of person makes this claim?

Put your thoughts in the comments section....


Lis said...

My feeling is that it's an attempt to persuade; an attempt to persuade others that the subject is being transparent and honest. The natural question is, why the need to persuade? If someone has to state that they are being honest and transparent, the natural response is to wonder if there is more to the story behind the scenes, so to speak.

I know I have heard this statement used in the past but I can't come up with examples from my memory, but it doesn't seem like it was used by those who really were open and transparent...

Good question! I look forward to learning more.

Deejay said...

I try to be a very honest person- yet I would never say this phrase. It feels fake.

Anonymous said...

I think "I am an open book" is a phrase that is extremely conditional upon the severity of the circumstances. If a person is running for an election, being accused of adultery or investigated for murder and wants to portray his/her innocence and trustworthiness, s/he may make the open book claim as if to show that s/he has nothing to hide. It doesn't seem like a phrase that would be used for minor circumstances.


Nic said...

I’ve heard it used when someone has implied that they have nothing to hide.

I interpret the statement to mean you (universal you) can only read the pages that they have opened their book up to you. The underlying pages are hidden.

Nic said...

I've also heard the expression second-hand when listening, i.e., to a colleague, describe another's deportment (they shared everything, including feelings, like/dislike/frustration/anger/gaiety). There was no guessing.

I think it boils down to the user's personal subjective internal dictionary and the circumstances surrounding the use of the expression.

If someone said to me, "Ask me anything you want. I'm an open book."

Then that would be a red flag to me. I would interpret it to mean that they would only be responding to what I asked them, and that unless I asked (x), they didn't mention/reveal [it].

Bobcat said...

I think the person who would say this is someone who uses it as an excuse to talk about and promote themselves and monopolize discussions. Are they really an open book? No. They are yakking in-depth about only the pages they want you to see.

When someone asks them a probing question about something they may be hiding, they will say "I am an open book" referencing their history of blather, while avoiding the question.

Bobcat said...

I could also see this in the context of someone who has survived/recovered from hardship, sharing their story with others. They are telling others that they will not hold back any ugly awful details. There won't be any filtering or whitewashing.

It is similar to saying "I am honest."

Hmmmm...good question!

Davey Blackburn would say that. I'll check transcripts later.

Hey Jude said...

'I am an open book' can mean, 'Go ahead - I am open to your ideas and suggestions.' The person is saying he or she is not close-minded, you can add to the volume if you have a good idea. In reality he or she is unlikely to be 'an open book' - a person who speaks in such a way is conveying that he already is/ has a tome - he or she 'owns' it (he or she can also open and close it at will). Used in this way, it is likely to be condescending, even if not consciously or intendedly so.


It can mean, 'It is easy to read me'. The person might be lamenting his or her transparency. It may or may not be a real lament; the person is likely to be seeking sympathy, attention or praise. Used in this way 'I am an open book' can be self-justification for any type of negative or anti-social behaviour. If someone declares themselves to be 'an open book' it seeks to put upon others an obligation to 'read', or more probably, listen to it.


It can also mean, 'I don't hold back on sharing what I am thinking or feeling.' Such a person is likely to be self-absorbed, insensitive, and to assume that others are eager to know all the details of his/her life. Again, he or she may not hold back in including others (gossip) in the stories he/she tells as the 'open book'. The stories told from the book are likely to be selective, and to include too much information - over-sharing.


'I am an open book' as a stand alone statement is not enough to know what a person means by it - one needs the context in which it was said to know more what the person means.

I think if someone uses the phrase it is best to be cautious of them - no-one is really 'an open book' and people do generally like to choose their own reading material. It's an egotistical and assuming statement. A book is 'a thing', and it is also already an accomplishment - the person maybe regards themselves as already accomplished, complete, good enough - the finished article?

I am trying to think of how 'I am an open book' could be viewed as a positive statement, but it is always turning out to be a pretty facile thing to say as it never can be true enough to warrant saying it. It assumes the person being addressed wants to read or have read to them the contents of the book. Books exist to be read. Books exist for the benefit of the reader. Books are indifferent to their readers. Is the person who says it thinking in such terms? Pretty egotistical if so, yet it is they who are choosing the likeness to a book. That said, books can be helpful, educational, interesting, enjoyable and fun. I'd still rather a book than a person who claimed to be one. :)

Anonymous said...

"I'm an open book!" Isn't that usually stated with an exclamation point, in reaction to someone asking personal questions?
Yes, I've heard that statement on tv. Self-important and deceptive celebrities likely say this stuff more than regular people.

lynda said...

When someone says to me, "I am an open book" that's a trigger for me to start googling their name because there's something they're hiding.

jessica rivera said...

I think if someone says that about themselves then they are trying to insinuate a level of transparency and open-ness about themselves. But now I think about it, an open book brings to my mind, a book lying open - maybe on a certain page or chapter. Theres not really all that much to see looking at a literally "open book" because you're probably only going to be able to see the pages that are being displayed. Reading a book is a process which involves all pages. You cant judge a book by its cover in the same way that you cant judge a book by only reading the two pages it has been left open at.

I havent heard that expression in a while though...
Lol i think anyone that feels the need to use a metaphor to describe / defend themselves is probably up to something haha

Nanaof4 said...

I have heard "My life is an open book". With the statement "I am an open book", I think of someone who is daring others to find anything. In order to get the answers I want from the person, I must be able to read and understand the language in the book and be able to organize the information in a way that would break the code.

The person who says that is someone who is confident that they have hidden their true selves well enough that others would not find them easily. For sociopaths and such, it would be the ultimate challenge.

I agree that the context of the statement would be a factor.

elf said...

I'm a bottle bibliophile and when I've said that 'I'm an open book' it's been in the nerdy, library loving joking way :)
I don't think saying 'I'm an open book' means that they are transparent or honest. Some books are fictional, after all.

elf said...

*that was supposed to say "I'm a bibliophile" I don't know where the word bottle came from? Weird phone :/
for clarification I'm not in a bottle, nor do I hide my love of books.

Sara said...

Most recently, I heard this term in relation to the Ammerman case. The grandmother, Tamara, stated the family was an "open book" when asked to comment on search warrants for her and other family members Facebook account information.

Nic said...

Hey Jude said:
, yet it is they who are choosing the likeness to a book.

I love this.

Genre: kind, benevolent, pro-social, helpful, thoughtful, accommodating... who wants to be "read" as: rude, ignorant, arrogant, deceptive, condescending....

Nic said...

Or a liar!!!! :0)

Hey Jude said...

It's a phrase which invites the thought. :) It's also the sort of thing some people might say without giving it much thought - maybe they heard someone else say it - if they had given it some consideration they'd be able to see how vacuous it is.

Anon "I" said...

How come I can imagine political figures saying this? I'm an open book, just don't ask me about honesty, scandals, infidelity, manipulations, money schemes, political favors, foundations, donations, greased wheels, or integrity as other people define it....

Hey Jude, I really liked your thoughtful post above....

Bobcat said...

Anon "I",

I too had thought of the phrase being used by a politician. One who has already published an autobiography, and can refer to their book instead of answering questions. One who has "tried" to be honest, but is a pathological liar.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I've heard this very phrase many times in my lifetime. I think it's a subjective phrase and it's meaning and strength can change depending on the circumstances surrounding it, the individual using it and the person listening. For example if the the individual says "I'm an open book" in casual conversation, it's probably just an illustrator of general honesty with a slight need to brag. However, If this phrase is used in a more serious or personal situation like infidelity for example, The individual has lied and lied to their S.O. , The SO finds out that something is going on, there is confrontation, discussion etc. "Go ahead, ask me anything, I'm an open book." It then comes off as a strong need to persuade the listener that they are "NOW" being honest and "OPEN", it's used defensively to shut down any further discussion or open ended questions. The listener is now burdened with asking the right questions to obtain the truth.

Do I have to Vote ? said...

videos at link - what if the person isn't of verbal linguistic responses in nature and same same is ** cough **
providing " sounds" of what is deemed " avoidance" pre being asked
questions, God help us.

June 4 2016

Hillary Clinton had another coughing fit today — when she wasn’t even talking.

Clinton was attending an event on immigration reform in Sylmar, California when it broke out.

A video of the incident shows Clinton began coughing as a guest was speaking, then took a very large drink of water before coughing repeatedly.

Tish said...

I've used a very similar statement myself - When thinking about the transparency of my actions during the day/night to my husband, I thought 'my life is like an open book to him'.
To me, it literally meant I told him my plans, what I did/ who I saw etc for the day. He didn't even have to ask - I offered the information. All the information was available and given to him - like an open book.
At the time I thought it, I felt that *his* daily activities were not transparent to me however. It was a comparison.

To me - 'I am like an open book' refers to an 'open-book exam' where the answers are all available and within easy reach.

Tish said...

Note: the last sentence above should read: 'I am an open book' refers to an 'open-book exam' where the answers are all available and within easy reach.

Thinking of the term 'I am an open book' - it could refer to a particular subject and be truthful. Eg: a teacher saying 'I am an open book' referring to the subject they are teaching and a willingness to share all the information they know on it.

An open book, is compared to a 'closed' book - one you cannot open, cannot read.

Where is the comparison - to themselves (what they are hiding)? Or to someone else?

Habundia said...

Its quite funny, if that can be said in this context, that only one person who responded to this aricle claims to have used this sentence "I am an open book" (and one claiming it was said in joking way)
Non of the other responders has told they used this sentence but only refered to other who have said it or they heard them say.
I can say without shame i've used this sentence many times in my life, which was full of lies and betrayal, so yes it has made me sensitive for this and probably gave me more need of the need of being believed by others, while others lied all around about many things and got people to believe them and got away with it, its in that context i use this frase which means to me iam not a shame to tell the truth about my live and all i experience in live, even if it means i need to take blaim for things ive done wrong, iam not afraid to admit to that, because it gives me the power to grow and learn from life.
But after reading all thoughts of others about this frase it's intriging to read how others may look at somenoe who uses this frase.
If a book is open its ready for you to read, but yes you have to read it yourself, if you want, it's a choise, a book can't read itself, so you have to turn the pages yourself otherwise you will not understand the book in its whole and you will only see whats in front of you, a good book will have the strenght to give the reader the willing to wanna read it all to the end......some books do have open ends.....and some are just plain boring....a life is an ongoing story which only ends by death!
"An open book" can also be seen as 'not closed" so open for putting in information for getting a continious story, which can become positive or become negative, that's up to the "writer" of the book

Anonymous said...

My (now ex) wife used to tell me "You can read me like a book...". Foolishly, I was flattered into believing her.