Don’t you just hate when someone taunts you with that phrase. I do! While I am the kind of person who loves surprises, if I know that one is coming, I will go to all kind of lengths to find out what the surprise is all about. While there are good and fun secrets, such as those that are necessary for planning for anniversary or birthday surprises or unanticipated friend visits, there are secrets that can be painful or hurtful if not kept private.
The Mirriam-Webster official definition of a secret that is most appropriate to this is: kept from knowledge or view (hidden). Let me begin with my ending statement about secrets and that is: Some secrets need to stay that way forever out of respect to the person asking that it be kept and other secrets need to be shared no matter the reason for asking that it not be shared.
Why I am I now blogging about secrets?? There are two reasons, actually. The first is because a friend recently told me something very private about her health. She and I talk on occasion about her issue. To be clear, I am not her NURSE friend, but a very close friend who is also a nurse. I had not told a soul what she confided, as I respect her reason for not sharing her private stuff. Recently I had several couples over for dinner and she shared about her illness with another woman present. She was at first surprised that the other friend of mine wasn’t aware of what she had gone through. I told her that what she was experiencing was only hers to share.
To anyone who knows me personally, I AM A SECRET KEEPER…now and forever!! You can confide in me. Have you ever heard of the Yiddish word YENTA? If so, you know it means someone who tells all to all. A major repercussion of sharing a confidence is that you destroy the trust between yourself and the person who confided to you. You can try all you want and you may never get that trust back. What a loss. You may also get a reputation as some who is a YENTA. I can assure you that being called a YENTA, or gossipmonger, is not a pretty way to be described.
There is a featured article on beinggirl.com about secrets.
It includes a paragraph on how to keep a secret, as well as a description of the difference between a good and bad secret. In the article, it states that: “A bad secret might concern a friend or family member who is in trouble and risking her health and safety. Whether it’s drug-related or bad-crowd-related, those secrets that make anyone feel scared, uncomfortable, sad, or angry should be shared.” I will add that it should be shared with someone who can help ensure that the person gets the support that they may desperately need.
There is an interesting statistic in the beinggirl.com article:
“A recent study of 3000 women in England found that four in ten women had trouble keeping a secret, no matter how personal or confidential the news was. And two-thirds ended up feeling guilty after spilling the beans.”
Let me tell you about my guilt inducing behavior: One time, a group of my “girl” friends and I were sitting around drinking some vino and complaining about work stuff and people. I listened and then added a comment about something someone at work had said about someone else. One of my friends personalized it, even though it wasn’t about her. Whew, did I kick myself in the butt for telling the group what I should not have. I mention the wine because it may have loosened my tongue. But, I tell you all from the bottom of my heart, I am personally responsible for causing an additional rift in an already fragile relationship. I felt terrible about that for the longest time, and still do. Now though, you would have to stick pins in my fingernails to get me to share something that was said in confidence. I learned a painful lesson. It seems that we are never too old and crotchety to learn life’s lessons, as I continually do for sure!
Hate that I may be sounding preachy, but wanted to talk about secrets and the difference between good and bad secrets, as well as secrets that should be shared and those that should never come out of our mouths. What l I hope readers take away from this post is that we all should think very carefully before we blurt out what we shouldn’t and consider sharing what we should, no matter how difficult, when it can help someone.
P.S. While you can feel free to share, as this post is not secret, I hope none of the “girls” reads this and remembers what I said that was so upsetting and STUPID! If you do, forgive me please, as it won’t happen again!