Many of us have a terrible habit of saying more than we should but we should know what Things to Keep Private. This is commonly known as oversharing, and it’s becoming an increasingly regular issue in the world today. You ask someone a simple question about their job or relationship, and they answer with a 20-minute monologue about every bad experience they’ve ever had. But it’s not entirely their fault. Oversharing is a surprisingly easy thing to do, especially on social media, where thousands of strangers advertise their most personal thoughts every single day.
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In many ways, our society is willing to discuss intimate moments and dissect our personal problems, but some things in life are better kept to yourself. It’s important to be vulnerable with others, but you also need to know when and where to be discreet. For example, someone who vocalizes every little thing may inadvertently damage their relationships, reputation, or self-esteem. They may start sharing information for the wrong reasons, motivated by an unconscious desire for attention or sympathy.
What few people realize, and what we’ll cover in this article, is how valuable your privacy really is. Just think about your private life as a circle that you draw around your inner world, creating a firm boundary between you and everyone else. Not only does privacy protect and cultivate your sense of self, but it empowers you to validate yourself without anyone’s input. You’d be surprised how many people consistently depend on others to define who they are. These people share everything with everyone, and they keep nothing for themselves.
As a result, their values and ideas reflect not what they believe, but the opinions of the people around them. If this sounds familiar, you may need a more precise boundary between your inner and your outer worlds. The challenge is figuring out which parts of yourself to share, and which parts to keep to yourself.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the values and ideas that you should always keep private. You might share some of these things with people that you really trust, like best friends and partners. But for the most part, this information belongs to you and you alone. With these 12 simple rules, you can not only protect your privacy but also foster a greater understanding of who you are.
1. Guard Your Goals:
Many people make the mistake of sharing their goals with everyone they meet. While it’s good to be open with others, preemptively advertising your goals may negatively influence your motivation. In other words, sharing your plans too early makes you less likely to follow through. It also exposes your most personal ambitions to the judgment of others. You might waver on your goals, because someone important in your life doesn’t agree with them, creating doubt and uncertainty where there wasn’t any before. As tempting as it is to share your goals with the people in your life, keeping them private improves your chances of making it to the finish line.
2. Your Wealth Your Business:
Have you ever heard someone talking about how much money they make, or how expensive their possessions are? Money is a generally uncomfortable subject, especially when you have more than the people around you. If you advertise how much wealth you have, people might make assumptions about you or pigeonhole you into harmful stereotypes.
Others may try to use your wealth for their benefit. For example, they might guilt you into paying for meals, because they know you have more money in the bank. As a general rule, keep your money to yourself. No one but you needs to know your finances or the value of your possessions. Keep these details quiet and avoid putting yourself in this expensive and uncomfortable position.
3. Destructive Criticism:
Even if you care about someone, like a friend or partner, there may be certain things about them that irritate you. They might have hobbies that you don’t like or habits you disagree with. But that doesn’t mean it’s your job to tell them how to live their lives. Any criticisms that you have of others are best kept to yourself. Telling people why they bother you or what you don’t like about them will only create tension and conflict in your relationships. So, let people make mistakes. Forgive their flaws, because correcting them isn’t going to help anyone.
4. Defend Your Friends:
Alright, let’s say your friend tells you a secret. They haven’t told the secret to anyone else and have complete faith that you’ll maintain their privacy. If someone puts their trust in you, it’s your responsibility to protect them at all times. Some people might spill their friend’s secrets for gossip or entertainment, but the trust of someone you love is too valuable to handle lightly.
5. Relationship Backlash:
When people are having problems in their relationships, they sometimes talk badly about their partners or spill highly personal details, but these are comments they almost always regret. Why? Because airing out their dirty laundry won’t solve the issues in their relationship. And more likely, it will create more problems and shatter the trust they’ve worked so hard to build. If you’re annoyed at your partner, the best thing to do is tell your partner directly. No one else needs to know the problems in your relationship, because, frankly, no one else is involved. Keep your issues between you and your partner, because one petty complaint isn’t worth hurting someone you love.
6. Kindness Needs No Reward:
Do you consider yourself a kind person? Many people perform acts of kindness, but not everyone does it for the right reasons. For example, you may know someone who advertises every good thing they do, expecting to be praised or admired. But doing kind things to get attention from others isn’t really kind at all. Ultimately, kindness should be done for its own sake. We don’t need other people’s validation to prove we’ve done something good. Let your generous actions speak for themselves because true kindness needs no reward.
7. The Power of Internal Validation:
What are your core beliefs? A core belief is an idea or value central to your character. These powerful ideas give you a stronger sense of who you are. But no one else really needs to know them except you. In fact, sharing your core beliefs may make those values weaker and less personal. Simply by sharing your values, you’re exposing them to judgment and misunderstanding. Or worse, you might change your core beliefs to appeal to the people around you.
And once that happens, your beliefs aren’t nearly as meaningful. So, be your own source of validation. Be confident that your ideas are significant to you. If you’re not sure, spend time strengthening them by yourself without relying on others to give their approval. At the end of the day, no one’s opinion of you matters more than your own.
8. Protect Your Image:
We all do things we’re not proud of. We make careless errors and bad decisions that lead us into embarrassing situations. But just because we sometimes mess up, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to know. Try to pay attention to how your stories impact your social image. It may seem a little shallow, but in life, it’s valuable to maintain a good reputation. So, whenever possible, put your best foot forward and keep your less flattering stories to yourself.
9. Things to Keep Private Never Justify:
Your Time Here’s a common mistake that too many people make. When someone asks about their day, they share every single detail, explaining moment by moment how they spent their time. Not only is this boring for others to hear, but it actually leaves a negative impression. Anytime someone talks in unnecessary detail, we unconsciously question their motives.
Are they ashamed of how they spent their time? Did they really do all the things they said? The more they justify their time, the more insecure they seem. So, if someone asks you about your day, a short, confident answer will leave a much better impression. You have no obligation to justify your time to anyone. By keeping your responses short and sweet, people assume your time was well spent, and that’s really all they need to know.
10. Quiet Your Insecurities:
Everybody is insecure about something. We all have little things we dislike about ourselves, things we wish we could change. But those flaws are usually invisible to the people around you. So don’t go out of your way to advertise things that no one would ever notice. The best way to cover up your insecurities may be to simply ignore them. When you’re around other people, pretend your insecurities don’t exist. Let them fade into the background and project nothing but confidence in yourself. If you don’t draw attention to your flaws, chances are no one will ever notice them.
11. Keep It In The Family:
Everyone has family problems, but sharing those problems is rarely ever a good idea. Part of being a family means protecting each other’s privacy. When someone puts their family down, they’re not only breaking their family’s trust but possibly damaging that person’s image. Your reputation. The last thing you want to do is hurt the people you love, so let any family problems stay within the family.
12. The Danger of Giving Advice:
Some people believe their advice is worth its weight in gold. So they go around giving advice to everyone. But the truth is, most people don’t care about what they have to say. People usually ignore unwanted advice and even resent people who force their opinions onto others. So don’t give people advice unless they ask for it. Your opinions might differ from theirs, or you might know a better way to do something. But unless someone seeks your advice, you’re better off keeping it to yourself.