Don’t keep any.

We have all, at one time or another, had a secret. Something we are reluctant to share because it reveals something about ourselves, or another, that we’d prefer to keep private. I read an article recently that said the number one reason people keep secrets is to ‘keep the peace’ or keep another happy. Revealing the secret would hurt or offend the other; so what they don’t know can’t hurt them, right?

Wrong. Eventually your guilty conscience will cause you to trip up and something will spill out, if not from you, then from someone else and it’ll hurt more than it would had you come clean yourself because there is a very fine line between a secret and a lie. In fact, to many they are one and the same because you often have to continue to lie to keep the secret.

Studies have found that people who keep secrets are more likely to have psychological and physical problems both of which are relieved once the secret is disclosed, assuming it is. So why do we keep secrets? For some it’s out of fear, guilt or shame. Others get a thrill out of knowing something no one else does – it’s powerful – but eventually the burden of keeping the secret takes its’ toll. It’s simply an issue of privacy; there is information they’d rather not make public because it would cast them or another in an unfavourable light, or they feel it’s just not anyone’s business.

Keeping a secret casts suspicion that may well be unjustified, but it stems from the fact that you are ‘hiding’ something, and hiding something implies guilt. If you have nothing to feel guilty about, why hide it? Hiding a secret also creates curiosity and interest. People want to be ‘in the know’ and if they can’t get to the information they want, they will speculate on what it could be and speculation is always worse than the truth, so save yourself a lot of headache.

It’s never a good idea to ‘hide’ anything. If you have to hide something from someone you’re probably guilty of something, (and you already know it) so do yourself a favour and come clean. Spill your guts, let it all out, do what you have to, to lay your cards on the table before they find out cause life will be easier for you, and them, if you do.


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