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wundayatta's avatar

What are the things about your past or your personality that you tend not to tell people?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) December 31st, 2008

I mean people in physical contact life: relatives, coworkers, friends. I’m asking about the kinds of things that you only share with very special people, if you share them at all. What has happened when you become more open and reveal these things to a wider group of people?

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38 Answers

dalepetrie's avatar

I’d have to get to know you better to tell you that!

queenzboulevard's avatar

I let them know what I’m thinking. If there’s one thing I learned from Vito and MIchael Corleone it’s never let anyone know what you’re thinking.

gailcalled's avatar

Make me an offer I can’t refuse, and I might share.

wildflower's avatar

I could tell you – but then I’d have to kill you…

susanc's avatar

Trick question!

asmonet's avatar

I didn’t tell anyone I suffered from panic attacks for a little over ten years, from the time I was eleven onward. Only about two of my friends know I think. They’re pretty much gone now thanks to some long overdue effort on my part.

The anxiety did change a lot of who I am, forced me to work through things, I used to be so shy my mother bribed me to jump rope in our backyard alone. I was scared to try because I didn’t want another kid to see me trip and judge me. I was utterly crippled with shyness. I just had to buck up and do things.

I found my friends to be wildly supportive and more loving, and more empathetic than I ever thought people were capable of.

mangeons's avatar

If we tend not to tell people we know, then why would we tell a complete stranger??? ;)

GAMBIT's avatar

If I put it on the internet wouldn’t I be telling?

shilolo's avatar

Well, I think daloon’s Q has merit in that we aren’t real people per se on here. Each “person” is a mix of their avatars, user name, answers and questions, but since few if any of us know each other in “real life”, revealing a deep dark secret here might be less painful.

andrew's avatar

I mean, we all know shilolo isn’t a “real person”. Just look at his avatar!

shilolo's avatar

^^^^ OMG, a yeti sighting!

buster's avatar

I tend not to tell people I used to smoke crack and shoot heroin. Also I don’t talk to people I personally know about my bipolar disorder and my suicide attempt.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’ve had a long history of depression (I was diagnosed when I was 12), suicide thoughts/attempts, and I was involved with an older man when I was underage and that ended traumatically and scarred me forever. I’ve had a lot of traumatic incidences in childhood that most wouldn’t understand.

I’ve already told my biggest secret on another thread here. Once you get to know me though, it’s pretty obvious if you know a little psychology. To most, they never know.

You just gotta keep smiling…keep going…

loser's avatar

About THE INCIDENT.

asmonet's avatar

@loser: ...what?

seekingwolf's avatar

@loser

lol, I call the traumatic relationship with the older man “THE INCIDENT” (yes in all caps)
so when I saw your post, my heart skipped a beat! lol

tinyvamp's avatar

let’s see…....

I was selling porn at a young age, i’ve told people this and they are just intrigued and want to know more and then my code name becomes porn pusher.

i used to be really suicidal and the only thing that kept me from ending it all is that i didn’t want to die fat and i’ve never told anyone this because they would just call me stupid then go into a rampage of my idiocy, so yeah no one knows that besides who ever reads this. heh’.

Allie's avatar

I don’t tell people about one of my ex-boyfriends unless I know them well enough.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I don’t tend to talk to people I don’t know that well, at all. So I guess I don’t need to let anyone know that I’m emotionally screwed up, because it’s kind of obvious. When and if I actually become friends with someone, I let it be known just how emotionally screwed up I am, even if they already figured. I’ll get into the details as to why I think this is – a lot having to do with my past and childhood. By the time I do open up, the people I open up to feel special that I chose to actually expose myself to them, for once. But it’s hard, because once I reach that point, they are a friend in my mind, which generally means more to me than it does the average person, which means I can be easily let-down because my standards are so high. I get hurt easily. Which is why I rarely do open up.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

there aren’t specific things i shy away from saying, more of just aspects of my personality that i don’t often show around most people. sometimes i feel like i really don’t open up to even close friends, and that they’re just getting like surface feelings i guess. i don’t know. i don’t really intend to do it, but if i really think about it, there’s a lot of aspects of my personality that a lot of people would never suspect.

scamp's avatar

Silly goose! If I can’t tell people, why would I want to plaster it all over the internet? Besides, there are people I am close to in real life here.

Kay's avatar

That I suffered sexual abuse as a child. I think I’ve only told 2 people in my entire life.

augustlan's avatar

I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t immediately tell new people I have fibromyalgia, anxiety or depression – but as these things come up in conversation I never withhold them.You may have to wait a little while to know every detail of my life, but anything I’ve ever discussed on Fluther is well known by those in my circle. I have yet to lose a friend or the respect of anyone (that I’m aware of).

tyrantxseries's avatar

I fake 90% of my personality it sometimes gets me into trouble

wundayatta's avatar

It was hard to know how to put this question, because it’s obvious that if you don’t tell people, you won’t tell people here. And yet… and yet…

Maybe there are other people who are like me, and who keep this world totally separate from the real world. I say all kinds of stuff about myself here that I would never tell people in person.

I can certainly understand people who have real world friends here not saying their stuff. Still, I was hoping that some people did feel safe enough to say, and even those who don’t feel safe might find an oblique way to hint at what they can’t say.

It’s also aimed at talking about stigma, I think. A number of people who did say here are like me, in that they suffer from a mental illness of one kind or another. We tend not to say these things in the real world. A few brave ones do, and more power to them.

Abuse is another thing that people tend not to talk about in the real world, but do talk about here. Rape, abuse, trauma in childhood. Somehow these things stigmatize people with such experiences, as if they made them happen themselves.

I think it’s mostly that people don’t know what to do when they find out you’ve got this in your background, or you’re like this. It isn’t just mental illnesses, either. Cancer and other major illnesses can make other people extremely uncomfortable.

Anyway, I really appreciate the stories, and hope to hear more. Maybe you will encourage others to be a bit braver. For many, it’s safer on the internet.

jca's avatar

i don’t think anybody i know goes on fluther, but if they ever did and they ever started clicking around it’s possible they could figure out that I am ME. so i would not want to put on my deepest darkest secrets and ten years from now some coworker will discover that JCA is _______.

gailcalled's avatar

I have too many family members here to EVER delve into some of the hundreds (well, two) naughty episodes of my past. My father said that in order to keep a secret, tell no-one.

shilolo's avatar

Psst, Gail, you can tell me…

galileogirl's avatar

I seldom share my secret identity-Supergirl

90s_kid's avatar

I have too much past stories I could be a grandfather.
I always tell them. Who cares what people think? (that is coming from someone who is very self-conscious) Unless they are really confidential.

rowenaz's avatar

I don’t have secrets – just things that I still feel ashamed about, angry about, tired of dealing with, or disgusted with the knowledge that there is never closure.

Although I don’t talk about it much, if questioned (even at work) I tell. It’s about sexual abuse as a child, neglect by my parents (growing up), and stuff that I did in college that I wish I hadn’t. And 9/11. If I don’t have to explain much about that day, I’m calmer for it.

wundayatta's avatar

As rewenaz points out, it may not be that you have no secrets, but that you don’t have the energy to explain. Often, if you have a past like that, people either get weird, or they ask all these questions, and you have to educate them about the whole thing. It’s not your job, but there it is.

vanelokz's avatar

I think that the more people that know about your life, the more the rumors tend to go around. its just like playing telephone when you were a kid: something always gets added to the actual truth. So for the most part i think that every aspect of your personal life should be kept to yourself. If you really need to talk to someone i believe that people called psychologists can help you out.

rowenaz's avatar

Yup to both daloon and vanelokz. Especially at work, but it also depends on what field you work in. If I were back in corporate, I would most likely keep it to myself. In the arts, it’s different, I would share. At school, it depends. Mostly, though, the line blurs between work and friends, if you are lucky and privileged enough to make friends in or through your job…

Facade's avatar

Most of the things that go on in my head, and some things I’ve participated in.

Domnomnom's avatar

I love to argue, find flaws in things(like illogical beliefs)

I usually don’t show that untill I really know a person

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m not telling.

Krizzten's avatar

Well, I’m not ashamed of the things I’d rather not tell people,more so because they’ll find out in time. My extremely odd ocd’s are things I can’t share to just anyone, and they have to see it happen anyway. Last year it was sticking toilet paper in between my toes before going to bed, because I couldn’t deal with the feeling of my toes touching (wtf?). Then, it was that I always had to have the hairdryer on or faucet running when I went in the bathroom. Another was putting a new towel on my pillow every night. Why? I’m not sure, but a new random habit seems to create itself every couple of months. Each one replaces the other,though. So at least I’m not dealing with them all at once! I wish I could find a way to stop them from coming about .. ah well.

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