Lots of us have a bad habit of wearing our hearts on our sleeves. This can make us an open book even to strangers. We definitely don’t want that – mystery is the spice of life, after all. Keeping a clear distinction between your personal life and your professional life is a difficult (but very important) skill to master. You have to be very picky who you share your secrets with, because, unfortunately, not everyone has good intentions.
Importantly, you need to be careful to make sure that the details of your personal life can’t be used to hurt you. It’s useful to have a basic list of certain personal information you should never share with others. If you don’t know how to make your own list, we’re here to help. In fact, we’ve combined some secrets you should always try to keep to yourself, no matter how strong the urge to share them with everyone.
“The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it.” – Joan Collins
HERE ARE 7 SECRETS TO NEVER TELL ANYONE ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
1. PAST RESENTMENTS
We all have negative stories about our personal life to tell about people we don’t like. (Remember those schoolmates or former colleagues that you held a grudge against years ago – and maybe still do? Yeah, same here.) It’s always best to let go of these feelings and discuss them as little as you can in public. This is for you as much as for others, because negativity is exhausting. Not just to feel but also to listen to. People prefer communicating with positive conversation partners, those who have interesting insights to provide – not ones who gripe about some other people they don’t even know. Let go of whatever’s weighing you down. Try to focus on the present and you’ll find that more and more people will be keen to talk to you.
2. MATERIAL BELONGINGS
As we all know, certain things in life are far more important than their cost. But sometimes, we can’t help but brag about the new car we have, or the new phone we just bought at an exclusive price. As much as Parks and Recreation might tell you otherwise, your colleagues don’t want to know about how you’ve been treating yourself. It can make you come off as arrogant and overly obsessed with the monetary value of things rather than their unique significance. Modesty is a wonderful accessory. You should try and spread it throughout your conversations.
3. GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
You might find this unlikely, but there is actually science behind the fact that you’re much more likely to achieve your long-term goals if you don’t share them with others. When you tell others about your future aspirations, you almost feel as if the enjoyment of achieving the goal has been taken from you. As a result, you don’t work as hard towards it. If you keep your goals to yourself, however, you have a much higher chance of achieving them. And once you have done that, feel free to tell the whole world about it.
4. YOUR INCOME
Only one group of people should be allowed to know the details of your income: the people who work in your bank. Money is never a nice subject to talk about in public because you never know what anyone’s financial situation looks like. It may seem like you’re bragging without meaning to. Money – and knowledge about finances – can shift relationships irreparably. Once your financial situation becomes public knowledge, people just start looking at you differently without being able to help it. To save yourself from that kind of awkward situation, keep the details of your income to your bank statements.
5. GOOD DEEDS
You may have heard that good deeds always attract good karma. That’s true, and you should never be discouraged from doing good – however, if you start bragging about it, it takes on a whole different perspective. Once you brag about something good that you’ve done, you’re making it all about yourself, thus invalidating the good that you’ve already created. Many of the greatest philanthropists in the world remain anonymous for a very good reason. When you do a charitable deed, you want the attention to be on the people or the cause that you’re helping and not on yourself.
Everyone seeks reprieve and enlightenment in different places. Some turn to religion, others turn to sports, others – to mindfulness and meditation. Whatever your choice is, don’t force it on anyone else. Because what’s sure to turn anyone away from your choice of enlightenment is any notion of preaching about how good it is and how nothing else will ever match up. Then you just turn into one of those people who shout on the streets about how their version of religion is the right one. How often do you listen to them? That’s what you’ll be if you start “preaching,” too.
7. FAMILY PROBLEMS
Whether it’s your extended family or your blood relatives, keep the problems in the family. Don’t abuse people’s trust. You’ve been told those secrets because you are close to these people, but they haven’t allowed you to spread them around to everyone in your social circle. They confided in you, and breaking that confidence is the worst thing you could possibly do. Be respectful of other people’s secrets. In return, you can expect for them to treat you the same.
We like to think that everyone is interested in every aspect of our personal life, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. There are conversations that you should only have in certain environments, and others you shouldn’t have at all. Learn to make that distinction to make sure you don’t turn into an over-sharer. Positive thinking is very important in this process. In closing, don’t bring yourself down if you’ve been doing any of the above things. Just start thinking about how you’re going to be better from now on.