Have you ever had to struggle to keep a secret in? There's always the urge to share it with your best friend, but fear keeps you in check. Perhaps you are afraid that your secret will get loose; perhaps you are afraid of being embarrassed or that your friend will no longer see you in the same light. Well, you are not alone! Many people constantly struggle with such a dilemma, suggesting that wanting to “spill the beans” is actually a natural tendency in human beings. Turns out, telling secrets can actually be good for you!
Secrets are a psychological and emotional burden
Try carrying a bag of stones with you all day, everywhere you go. I am sure that you will feel physically weary by the end of the day. Keeping a secret is no different, except that the toll is not of a physical nature. Often, people choose to keep secrets because they feel remorse over their actions and that revealing them would bring judgement upon themselves. This leads to constant feelings of guilt, thus transforming secrets into a powerful emotional and psychological burden.
Secrets are a mental distraction
Not only do we have to bear the weight of guilt by keeping a secret, we have to make a conscious effort to hide it as well. In fact, it was found that people tend to spend more time thinking of ways to cover up their secrets than in thinking about the secret itself. Ultimately, we might be constantly distracted from our daily activities due to the burden of our secrets which can end up affecting our productivity.
Secrets hamper relationship-building
When we choose to not reveal secrets to our best friend, we usually end up feeling ashamed. We might feel disingenuous by being unwilling to open up, especially when it concerns someone we trust. Even during social events, it is likely that our thoughts will constantly be drawn back to our secret and the associated guilt. The burden of carrying this secret is likely to be a persisting mental distraction, hampering our ability to truly enjoy the time spent with our friend. If the friend is a close one, chances are that they'll also notice a change in you.
Dealing with secrets
Nevertheless, revealing secrets is never an easy process and if forgiveness is involved, it might take some time before things return to normal. This act of revealing need not be immediate though. We can start by journaling – simply writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us better cope with the guilt and stress which comes with keeping a secret. Only reveal secrets when you are sure that the person you are speaking to is trustworthy and when you are completely comfortable with doing so.
Everybody has secrets and keeping it to ourselves can be extremely draining. Confiding in a trusted friend and getting his/ her support can be a healthy way to cope with this, but only do so if you are completely comfortable and sure about it!