Why do people have to tell me secrets?
Don’t they know they’re not doing me any favours? When someone tells me a secret, I immediately begin to tremble and break out in a sweat. My throat constricts and my head feels like it’s been put in a vice. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is spying on me. Waiting for me to spill my guts. Evil looking men in trench coats and dark sunglasses speaking into hidden microphones.
I check myself out in the mirror to see if my expression gives me away. I constantly wonder. Can people tell by my eyes that I am keeping a secret? If they know, surely they will try to get it out of me. Will I break down under pressure? “Hey, I won’t tell anybody else. You can trust me.”
“Ya, I’ve heard that one before. Besides, how can I trust you when I can’t even trust myself!”
Some people are really good at keeping secrets. They’re like a sealed vault. You couldn’t pry a word out of them under threat of prosecution or offers of riches. I admire people like this!
When someone tells you a secret, they are placing enormous trust in you and that trust … ideally, although quite often, it is … can’t be broken.
Sometimes you are not specifically told to keep a secret. You are simply told that what you have just been told, or are about to be told, is highly confidential. You have to read between the lines.
“Damn, now I have to use discretion. This is really a bummer, because if you think I’m bad at secrecy, you should see how I am at discretion!”
Can I tell my wife? How about my doctor or lawyer? I should be okay there, what with client confidentiality. But why would I bother telling them. They don’t know Aunt Jean. Her *(&%$*)! story would be meaningless to them!
Which brings to mind a valid question. If I tell a complete stranger, say, while riding the subway, does that count? It shouldn’t, although, it would be my luck that the stranger would turn out to be cousin Billy’s boss and he would be none too thrilled about Billy racking up a hefty expense bill at the casino, while allegedly entertaining a customer at the annual auditor’s convention.
Quite often, you don’t see it coming. Your friend tells you a long, touching … if not shocking … story about some event in their life and then they say, “I’d appreciate it if we kept this just between you and me for now.”
Yikes! Secret, secret, secret! Na, na, na, na (hands cupped over ears) na, na! “Didn’t hear a thing! Didn’t hear a thing.! Uncle Bob and the stripper who?!”
As a brief aside, have you ever told anyone a fib-secret to see how long it takes for the story to get back to you … as a secret, of course?
I would never be able to work for the CIA or CSIS or the SIS. It’s not that I’d be running around blabbing all sorts of confidential information … “Psst, you should have seen who the President took back to his room last night.” No, the problem would be having all that juicy data at my disposal and not being able to divulge it to anyone. It might kill me!
Perhaps I’m being overly dramatic. Maybe I’m worrying too much. Nope. Secrets place an enormous responsibility on one’s shoulders. More responsibility than I feel capable of shouldering … perhaps that’s why I’m starting to develop a hunchback. Too many secrets. Too much strain!
So please don’t tell me secrets. If you like me … and I hope you do … you’ll know the enormous distress it causes in my life and you will spare me the torment!
Have an awesomely open day!