“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.”
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.