There’s something about me that makes people think I’ll keep all their secrets — as if it’s not hard, as if it’s no big deal, as if it won’t eat at me.
The last time I told a huge lie[1. ‘Huge’, because I tell white lies all the time — “I’m fine”, “Yes, I slept okay”, etc.] was last year — I said I was a college student to get into the butterfly festival with the student’s discount — and I still feel so disgusting for it. Like, horrible. Beyond explanation.
And I’ve kept it a secret, until now.
It was a decision I made that I can no longer change or fix or react to, really, aside from still feeling crappy.
However, others make decisions for me and then ask me — or just tell me — to keep it a secret — to not tell anyone, to just act normal, to be okay.
But secrets eat me up. My entire childhood is built on many, many secrets that ate away at me — and still do — for years.
People just assume I’m fine with keeping them.
Unsolicited secrets are just as horrendous as unsolicited advice, seriously.
And, if it’s something that is technically illegal, I’d rather you not do it or at least have the decency to just not tell me about it.
I have my own secrets, my own big ones, and knowing others’ secrets just makes me have to lie. Do people not understand what situation it puts me in?
Any more secrets, and I’m going to fucking explode. Honestly.
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After a certain point, I would start to wonder if these so-called secrets are really secrets at all? And before people guilt-trip you by questioning your sincerity toward them as friends or anything to that affect, they ought to question their understanding of what secrets are. They are secrets. To be kept by themselves. Even sharing it with one person enables the person guarding one to lose the value of such secrecy. This is especially true if legality is compromised. I agree with you completely. If that person loses the decency to be lawful and yet has enough guilt to not let that secret out, that person should at least have enough restraint to keep it to themselves.
In short, it’s okay to risk sharing a secret. That is, as long as that person is ready for some unintended consequences. Folks should own up to confidentiality. Too much secret is suspicious. But sharing everything makes that person untrustworthy. If I were a military officer [or just HR in general] in charge of interviews, I would disqualify that person in a heartbeat. We don’t need irresponsible individuals here.
I’m sure that your life is quite innocent compared to most is the secrets you’ve been keeping. But once someone tells you a secret, they are also giving you power to screw them, or at least confront them about it. And frankly, some sort of confrontation might be the right thing to do sometimes, previously when they’re admiring to doing something bad. After all, you’re not their priest and your not their shrink!
I’m very thankful that the people around me never ask me to keep secrets. After reading this post, I’m sure that I’ll think twice before asking someone to keep a secret for me.