Social Question

Zen_Again's avatar

A question about secrets. Shhhh.

Asked by Zen_Again (9868 points ) April 19th, 2010

We all have secrets, some darker than others.

We know that talking about them is liberating for the soul, and can be healing.

But do you have whom to tell? There are secrets we just can’t tell our mother, spouse, best friend or even shrink… right?

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52 Answers

Trillian's avatar

I can’t imagine that anyone would be the least bit interested in my secrets. I keep them to myself out of a sense of decorum and a desire not to bore people.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

That’s a secret, too

Your_Majesty's avatar

I,myself,and me.

Jeruba's avatar

If it’s really a secret, I don’t tell. As soon as you tell, it isn’t a secret any more.

Besides, I’ve learned this: I like myself better when I have a few secrets.

A few years back, I reached a point where I realized I had told them all. So then I had to go and get some more.

Vunessuh's avatar

I don’t really have secrets as much as I have things that are hard to talk about. There is one person in particular that I’ll confide in about certain things that I would never tell my family, but most of the time I keep shit like that to myself because very, very rarely I’ll stumble upon someone who I trust enough and makes me comfortable enough to confide in.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I secretly enjoy watching “Legend of the Seeker”.

Corey_D's avatar

I tell my girlfriend everything. I don’t want to keep secrets from her.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Vunessuh I think I’m talking about that – things that I can’t talk about – not so much secrets, but rather, personal things I feel embarassed to reveal – yet have a need to.

wonderingwhy's avatar

As Ben Franklin said “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” All the stuff that wouldn’t require me to keep yet another secret, goes to my best friend in exchange for my quietly listening to all of her enigmatic thoughts and dealings.

Love_or_Like's avatar

Its Better to keep them a secret thats why it a secret. If you tell someone your secret then they go and tell everyone. Still if you told them not to.

anartist's avatar

Dig a hole and whisper in it. [Although it didn’t work in the old fairytale].
If it is a secret, live with the damn thing.

slick44's avatar

I have secrets.Secrets that should never get out. Someone will get hurt, and life as i no it will be over.

jeanmay's avatar

I have so many things I’m too embarrassed to reveal, and often think I might like to offload some. But then someone else always reveals something similar about themselves on Fluther, so I don’t feel I have to anymore.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Yes, sometimes people have things they feel a burning need to talk about that they feel they can’t bear to reveal or discuss with anybody. Often these matters are perceive failures or misdeeds or “sins” that they find too onerous to bear yet too terrible to admit.

Many people look to their religion for a route to forgiveness and absolution.

Others know that no one can absolve you for your misdeeds and that it falls to you to make right what you did wrong. Unfortunately, there are many cases where nothing you do will change what you did wrong.

These we have to bear on our own, because no other action is acceptable.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I can tell my husband and best friend anything.

Coloma's avatar

No secrets here, guess I have led a pretty good life.
Not much to confide either….I am grateful I have no life harming or hurtful secrets in my closet.

One cannot be truly happy as long as they are harboring duplicity.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Coloma If you have no secrets and nothing to confide, how do you know that one cannot be truly happy if they “harbor duplicity?”

Coloma's avatar

Because unless someone is a complete sociopath, keeping harmful secrets harms the keeper as well as those they are keeping the secret from.

It is a psychological & spirtual truth.

Contempt of self and guilt is a heavy cross to bear.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Coloma Whoa, kiddo. You may have heard of a “grey area” in things – especially the tricky human emotions?

JUst because one has secrets, it doesn’t mean they are a: keeping them from someone (they could just be their own, like, I masturbate to Lionel Ritchie music and think of Paris Hilton, or b: just because someone has a secret, it doesn’t mean it is such a heavy cross to bear and they hate themselves.

I didn’t know you were in charge of the psychological and spiritual truths department. I’ll check with you in the future.

Complete sociopath? Cross to bear? Methinks you should check again whether you have a few secrets to confide in your closet. Me thinkest thou protestest too much.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

I love holding my secrets all to myself. I think it adds that extra pizzazzola to my smile!

However, confessions are written on paper and burned during a spiritual forgiveness and cleansing moment. Alone! (mostly stupid life lesson things, no biggie crimes here.)

Coloma's avatar

@Zen_Again

Methinks you way over react.

Of course I am talking about harmful secrets, not jerking off to Lionel Ritchie.

It IS a truth, believe it or not, one cannot feel good about themselves when keeping harmful secrets, just the way it is. ( Again, unless they are lacking in conscience. )
I didn’t make up the rules, they just are.

We should never fear truth. Period.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Coloma Can you back that up with, say, some research somewhere?

Coloma's avatar

If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing. it’s called total transparency, and it’s part of an integral model for psychological and spiritual health.

Do your own research.

Jeruba's avatar

I have absolutely no desire to be transparent. That is about the last thing I want. I hope some mystery will remain with me right up to the end.

I have done nothing evil and nothing more illegal than exceeding the speed limit once in a while and, long decades ago, smoking a few controlled substances. I have no knowledge that would harm someone, and I am not being damaged by anything that I keep to myself.

Who could possibly care about a private attraction to someone where no relationship has been or ever will be? What good would it do anyone to know who sent the anonymous card to a coworker who was on hard times, with disguised handwriting and deliberate misspellings, and enclosing a cash gift to help her get by? What benefit would there be in revealing a quietly held politically incorrect attitude or a wild and reckless act in the long, long past or a hidden stash of emergency cash?

There is nothing the matter with my psychological and spiritual health. I don’t consider myself subject to someone else’s theories, even if they work well for others.

Coloma's avatar

@Jeruba

That of which you speak is not what I am referring to.

You’re good…no one does need to know every secret thought, act of anonymous kindness,
or past moments of reckless abandon.

I am only speaking of serious secrets that have self or other damaging consequences.

Pandora's avatar

I think it all depends on the truth you have to tell. If for instant my husband whom I love very much came out and told me he had a one night stand 15 years ago but has been failthful to me since because he regretted it, then I feel he had no right to tell me now. Sure he unburdened himself of his secret but now I will feel distrust when I had none. I would feel betrayed and humilitated for my belief in our marriage and for believing in him. Our relationship will take a new course and it will probably end in divorce because I know I wouldn’t trust he told me all. I would be suspicious of every female he encounters. I couldn’t sleep with him without feeling that somewhere in his mind he may be reliving that moment with her. Sure he unburdens himself, but now I carry the burden of his secret. If I decide to stay with him and work things out, I wouldn’t want those who know me to know it. Especially my children. They may think less of me for staying or less of their dad for a mistake that would only mean he’s faliable. But in all likely hood I would probably try to get some revenge on him and then I may have my own little secret to have to keep or I’ll make his life hell and my children will hate me. I’m not a very nice person when wounded deeply and that would wound me deeply.
Some things are left never said.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Even when I try, there are no things about me that I keep from my best friend because they have always had the knack of coming up with great reinforcement, counsel or ideas as well as just making me feel at ease to be me again. It’s a good sign when I notice myself opening up to others similarly. Just recently I admitted a secret I’d been keeping from my partner because I thought they’d not want me anymore but I really wanted to know how I stood with him and also wanted the secret off my chest. All is well.

Coloma's avatar

Why do people lie/ keep secrets?

It’s never about not wanting to hurt another, it is always about not wanting to have to take ones lumps for whatever the lie/secret conceals.

Lying is selfish in every capacity. It forges nothing but lack of intimacy in all relationships.

The biggest damage IMO is the secret keeper is also preventing the innocent party from their right to make a choice based on all the information at hand.

Thats the true crime of deception and secret keeping, playing anothers hand by preventing them from seeing all the cards on the table.

No winners in that game, although plenty will find rationalization.

Pandora's avatar

@Coloma But isn’t a person who tells the absolute truth irrigardless of the harm it may cause someone else being selfish as well. So great, now you’re unburdened and now you’ve made maybe one or even more people hurt.
I think it depends on the secret and how likely you are to commit the wrong again. If one is really sorry and has learned their lesson, than is it fair to punish someone else. True for the most part most liars do it for selfish means. But it doesn’t mean that they also don’t think of other damages.
Now of course if you have a secret that will continue in being covered up over and over again than it should be told. An example may be a married gay man who is living a lie.
He is never going to be straight so he should be straight with his wife. Or a person who is a hibitual cheater like Tiger Woods. These people would be considered selfish because its obvious that they really are not considering the other persons feelings.

Coloma's avatar

I don’t think truth can ever be really harmful.

It might feel that way in the moment, when something unhappy is revealed, but ultimatly it lends itself to opportunity for both parties to grow, even if that means losing a relationship.

I would feel much more punished to be kept from a truth that might alter my destiny.

I am long divorced from a duplicitious person and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

If one can choose to deceive and keep secrets they need to afford others the choice to either forgive or move on.

The truth does, indeed, set us free!

Bluefreedom's avatar

Sometimes I confer with one or more of my other personalities regarding secrets or “skeletons in my closet” and that usually makes me feel better rather than keeping it all bottled up inside.

Pandora's avatar

@Coloma, I think it is a matter of personal preferences. I know I don’t need to know every little deep dark secret my husband may or may not have. Nor do I think everyone I know needs to know all of my secrets. Some people in my life I tolerate because they may mean something special to those I love. I don’t need to tell them how much I may really dislike that person. Yeah, I’m set free. Now the person who loves me may think I’m horrible for thinking the way I do.
Goodness knows I definetly have one secret I would never tell my spouse. If he cheated on me, I am not going to ever tell him its ok to keep it a secret. I rather he suffer in silence. :D

Coloma's avatar

@Pandora

I agree in not telling everyone every little thing you secretly think about them.

But….

I have never known of anyone suffering in silence, because they usually don’t.

A guilty person is a lighthouse of negative projections which is their secret guilt & anger at self squeezing out on others, usually the ones they are keeping secrets from.

Secrets are pretty damn noisy if you know what to listen for. lol

WolfFang's avatar

My “darkest” secrets I know will have to come to light someday. These secrets I have are concerning either to protect myself, my interests, or someone else. In order for the things in my life to be truly resolved, to have closure,the secrets I have will be revealed to the right people that need to hear them.

JeffVader's avatar

I tell different secrets to different people based on what I think they can take.

simplicity's avatar

I told a secret I’ve never told anyone before to my SO the other week. It felt great. And she told me one in return, which was even better. Sharing the depths with someone is up there with the essentials of what I would consider to be a successful relationship. The less able I am to share my secrets and the less likely I am to be told them the worse the relationshipe will be… long term.

And having been married for many years to a woman who wouldn’t know the truth if it fell on her and splatted her across the pavement (hmmm nice vision), I certainly know what it feels like to be in a relationship where the secrets mount up and get out of control.

So I tell my lady everything… which may just drive her insane in the end lol but it’s a risk I’m willing to take!

Symbeline's avatar

I have some few things I don’t feel copmfortable telling people, or if I do, it’s rather rare and not just anyone, but the thing is I usually don’t see any use or reason to speak of certain things, so I just keep em to myself, or turn em into creepy poems or drawings.

It’s different when I get drunk though. Sad but true.

WolfFang's avatar

@simplicity but it might not be a good thing to use your relationship to spout all your secrets too. I mean, even if you are close to the person, you’d have to be really close where you are on a level where its like talking to yourself, spilling all your secrets and stuff. What if it backfires on you? What if it does her relations more harm than good? Like I said in my answer, sometimes people don’t need to hear things all at once, sometimes you have to be surgical in the way you communicate with people.

Zen_Again's avatar

I have yet to meet anyone in my lifetime who hasn’t let me down at some point, so I have yet to find someone I can trust enough with my secrets.

jeanmay's avatar

@Zen_Again Everyone lets you down at some point. You trust the ones who stick around and try to make it up to you.

Zen_Again's avatar

@jeanmay I agree, and I do. But I draw the line at secrets. It’s individual anyway; everyone has their own experiences and deals with them in their own way, n’est ce pas?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Zen_Again : Do you really need to find someone absolutely without faults or weaknesses in order to be able to confide in them? I’m sorry you have never known someone who hasn’t ultimately let you down. Are your expectations of true friends realistic or impossibly high?

Zen_Again's avatar

That’s a good question, @Dr_Lawrence – I’ll have to think about it. I don’t think it has to do with my expectations being high, though.

Sophief's avatar

I tell my s/o everything. You shouldn’t have secrets between each other.

Luna's avatar

I trust my super close friends with my super secret secrets and they never let me down.

meagan's avatar

Snitches get stitches.
I don’t tell secrets to anyone. ;)

mattbrowne's avatar

Your diary.

Silhouette's avatar

I keep my secrets to myself. When you tell it’s no longer a secret and more often than not you just handed someone a burden to carry for you, and I think that sucks. That said, I don’t have any secrets, I’m not that interesting. I’m a boring open book. <snore>

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