Do you want to keep a secret?

I suppose that for many of us the decision to keep a secret or not depends largely on several considerations. What’s the secret, who is involved, and the implications of keeping it or not may be key factors. After all, there is a big difference between catching someone secretly bingeing on a chocolate bar or finding out that they are having an affair with our best friend’s husband or wife.

Some professions have safeguarding secrets at the heart of their entrepreneurship; Doctors, accountants and therapists are bound by a code of conduct that covers client confidentiality. But also other professions, often in the service sector, hear many secrets on a regular basis. Hairstylists, personal trainers, nutritionists learn about their clients’ fears, concerns, and secrets and know how important their discretion is in protecting their reputation and the future of their business.

Understandably, people in business don’t want to reveal if they are struggling or less busy than they would like to be. They will often say that they are doing well because it is important to convey a positive impression, to show that they are successful and thriving. Nobody wants to come across as struggling or desperate or worried in some way. It is often better to keep the real situation a secret and hope it improves by offering the successful image you want to portray.

The business owner also has to believe in himself and cultivate his positive mindset. Keeping doubts a secret between themselves and their business advisor or possibly close family and friends means it’s easier to visualize success and keep a good perspective, ready to turn that vision into reality.

In business, secrets can be divisive. If the future of a company is at stake with some aware of the situation and others out of the loop, it can cause great concern and discomfort, creating a climate of suspicion and uncertainty among staff. Those in the know will have an unfair advantage when it comes to making decisions, moving forward, and deciding your future options.

The favorite and secret cliques can lead to the information obtained being used by that person or group to improve their advantage or perspective of progression over others. Similarly, the use of inside information is illegal as it uses secrets and the disclosure of confidential information so that those informed can benefit from the leaked details of transactions, agreements, acquisitions or acquisitions of companies.

Some people love knowing a secret that no one else knows. Having that advantage makes them feel powerful, important, singled out, honored. Then there are others, those who cannot bear withholding secret information and are desperate to share. It leaks from them, inviting comments and questions in an attempt to get more information. They almost beg you to ‘force’ them out.

Non-verbal cues are often a clue as well, and body language and subtle posture changes are clues that someone is holding on to a secret. Our instincts will often tell us that something is not right when we are in their company. We can feel confused, wonder if they are lying, hiding something, being deceptive. Something is wrong even if we don’t really know what.

What about those tantalizing posts that people sometimes put on social media, the open and provocative comments like, ‘honestly’, ‘I’ve had enough’, ‘who would have believed it!’ which are often posted specifically to provoke interest, but which often result in an irritatingly evasive response, “I can’t say, it’s a secret.” Many people have now become wise with this manipulation and refuse to be dragged into a trade, not wanting to play the game. Simply put, it’s annoying!

Some topics are more taboo than others, and people often choose to keep aspects of their lives private or secret. Money is often seen as forbidden; how much we earn, our financial situation, health conditions, any relationship problems or family concerns may be considered outside the bounds of general discussion

Is gender a factor when you want to keep a secret? 84% of women think they are good at keeping secrets. But women often like to share their confidences with other people, dissecting and reflecting on what they have discovered. Men, on the other hand, like to know something that no one else knows. They feel powerful, informed, and maybe even part of an elite click.

Certainly keeping secrets is a complex situation where the only real guarantee to keep your secret safe is not to tell anyone. Once revealed, your secret is no longer a secret!

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