We all have secrets we keep locked away from others. For some, the secrets may be small and harmless, but for others, they may be great enough to cause damage to personal relationships.
What people tend to not realize is that harboring a secret could be hurting you just as much as revealing it, if not more. Secrets, even small ones, can prevent relationships and friendships from being truly close. We keep secrets for all different reasons, but is it ever okay?
To determine whether or not keeping your secret is justifiable, first be honest with yourself. What are you trying to hide and why? If telling your secret will cause damage to your relationship, friend or spouse, you have to decide if you can live with hiding it or if it’s best to reveal it and deal with the consequences. If it’s fear of judgment, can you try to overcome that fear in order to let go? If you’re avoiding disapproval of a bad habit, is it time to come clean in order to avoid the anxiety of keeping the secret? Is your secret big or small?
Almost all of us have things that we choose to keep entirely hidden from those around us. Sometimes we hide things for fear of being judged. Sometimes we keep the things we cherish most to ourselves. Or, we may keep secrets to protect those we care about. Despite our intentions—whether they’re good or bad—secrets often cause more harm than good. So, what makes us willing to keep things hidden when they often hurt us more than they help us?
Finally, Be conscious of your secrets and why you are holding them. Don’t let them consume your mental and physical energy. When you can, refuse to take on other people’s secrets so you can better manage your secret-holding brain