Keeping secrets is a challenge to most people, according to a new study. CFP
“Don’t tell anyone”. We hear these words when someone tells a secret to us. But it can be hard to keep a secret. We’re often tempted to“spill the beans”, even if we regret it later.
According to Asim Shah, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, US, keeping a secret may well “become a burden”. This is because people often have an “obsessive and anxious urge to share it with someone”.
An earlier study, led by Anita E. Kelly, a scientist at the University of Notre Dame, US, suggested that keeping a secret could cause stress. People entrusted with secrets can suffer from depression, anxiety, and body aches, reported the Daily Mail.
But with secrets so often getting out, why do people share them at all？ Shah explained that people often feel that it will help them keep a person as a friend. Another reason people share secrets is guilt over keeping it from someone close to them. A sense of distrust can develop when people who are close do not share it with each other. “Keeping or sharing secrets often puts people in a position of either gaining or losing the trust of someone,” according to Shah.
He added that talkative people could let secrets slip out. But this doesn’t mean that it is a good idea only to share secrets with quiet people. A quiet person may be someone who keeps everything inside. To tell such a person a secret may cause them stress, and make them talk about the secret.
Shah said that to judge whether to tell someone a secret, you’d better put yourself in their position. Think about how you would feel to be told that you mustn’t give the information away. Shah also recommended that if you accidentally give up someone’s secret you should come clean about it. Let the person know that their secret isn’t so secret anymore.