A Little Privacy Please
Monday April 18, 2011

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“The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.”

–Charlotte Bronte

Do you ever have internal debates of how much you should reveal and what you should leave unsaid?  Or whether or not you should reveal absolutely everything to any one person?

Throughout my life I have continually wrestled with the answer that I am most comfortable with regarding this matter, however, with much time, thought, growth and reflection, I have found a balanced approach that works.

A few months ago, one of my readers shared with me that when she received good news, something that was a great success in her eyes, she would keep it to herself for an entire day and revel in the accomplishment without having to internalize anyone else’s judgments (be they good or bad) along with it.  After a day, she would then share the good news with those she loved. It is this approach of letting your own happiness and joy be enough validation for you to choose to celebrate and pat yourself on the back that should help guide you in how to answer the above questions.  In a way, it is your secret, and that, in and of itself, is empowering.


1. Choose to Keep Some Things Private

In our world today, there are as many opinions as there are people, and that fact alone should be reassurance that we need to trust ourselves. There are so many different ways to live a fulfilling life, and it truly depends on each person and what they deem as important.  With that said, by choosing to have privacy and not share everything little thing about our lives with the rest of the world, we bolster a belief in ourselves that what we feel, what we know to be true for us, doesn’t need to be validated by anyone else.

While there are all sorts of secrets in this world, today, I am mostly speaking of our own personal secrets. Our thoughts, feelings, personal situations that truly are no one else’s business but our own.  The trend today seems to be moving away from this notion that we should keep anything private, but I would argue adamantly the opposite.

Just as knowledge is power, so is keeping some of your business to yourself, especially your strengths and personal feelings on a wide array of topics until you are truly ready to reveal them to the world and capable of handling the pushback.

“To him that you tell your secret you resign your liberty.” –Anonymous

2. Revealing All, Speaks Volumes About One’s Lack of Self-Confidence

It has been my experience when I was younger in my teens and earlier twenties that due to my lack of self-confidence in what I was doing in my life or being unsure of where I was going, I wanted validation from others on what was going on in my life, so I would divulge seemingly everything to trusted confidantes silently seeking approval.

Upon reflection, I can look back and realize why I was such a chatterbox, but at the time, this understanding of why I was doing it was not something I could comprehend.

3. Just Because Someone Asks, Doesn’t Mean You Have to Answer

Another component of choosing to keep your business to yourself is being confident enough to not feel as though you have to explain yourself to anyone who you have had to say no to or decline an invitation from. Upon refusal of an invitation, many might as “why?”, and while it may be habit for them to ask such a question, you are under no obligation to explain as long as you respectfully turn them down (RSVPing your regrets is always very much appreciated by the hostess, so be sure to do so promptly before you forget).

The most respectful thing a hostess can do is to realize that people have busy lives, different interests and only so many hours in a day and days in a week. If the people they’ve invited are able to come, wonderful, however, if they don’t, this shouldn’t be seen as a personal attack.

4. In Turn, Respect Others’ Privacy As Well

Being someone who chooses to keep private about certain things in their life is often easy to detect, because these are also the people who don’t ask incessant personal questions unless you offer to share without prompting.  Observe the golden rule as you converse with others whether they be close friends or passing acquaintances and grant them the privacy you, yourself desire.

Have a beautiful Monday and a lovely start to the week.

Image: TSLL instagram captured in Louviers, Normandy, France in  2019

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8 thoughts on “A Little Privacy Please

  1. I’ve gotten better over the years that I don’t have to answer any question I don’t want to. I still have more work to go, but it’s my resolution after I turn older this year.

  2. In relation to blogging I really keep most aspects of my life private and I don’t even show my face.But then I’m older and I don’t feel as easy about revealing my …everything as a lot of younger people do. If they do right is still debatable.

  3. This is a great post. A great reminder for me. It’s hard to remember this. We’re so indoctrinated in this computer age to get answers instantly and to overshare. I wasn’t raised that way, but I do work with people who were raised that way. They seem to not be able to take no for an answer. They always want to dig further, and it’s very off putting. At times I’ve caught myself giving too much away simply to shut them up, but I am more aware now that I need to be very direct in denying them the answer to their needless questions. I will be putting up your quote in my cube, but as i have with so many of your other quotes.

  4. Great post, Shannon! I love your point on #2 about the divulging of information as a way to silently seek approval. I’d never thought of it like that before…but I think you are SO right!

    Beautiful post, as always. Have a fantastic day, dear!
    XO Piper

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I just so happen to stumble upon your page, and this post was exactly what I needed at this moment right now!!

  6. I love your blog and even share parts of it with my 11 year old daughter. She reads the posts and loves the photos. I want to comment on your mention of RSVPing regrets. RSVP is intended to be a response to the invitation – whether regretting or accepting. (“Regrets only”- means regrets only; hostess assumes others are coming.) I recently hosted a coffee of moms from school and invited 30 people. 11 responded yes; 2 responded no. Having no idea whether or not the other 17 ladies were coming, I prepared for 28. That is a lot of extra work created by rudeness. Responding yes or no to an invitation requesting a response is polite.

    1. I absolutely agree! My mention of RSVPing in the post was in regards to keeping one’s reason to themselves for not being able to attend and letting them know that that is indeed okay. But you are exactly right, if invited, one should respectfully contact their hostess either way.

  7. I’m a guy and although I know these articles are meant for women, I have to say that I find them extremely usefuland insightful, particularly this one. I find myself sharing far too much and could never figure out why. This helped me determine that itwas a lack of confidence.

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