Sometimes it’s better to keep things private. The more people know about your most intimate things, the more fragile you are and the more exposed you are in case a certain friendship ends.
Keeping some things private about yourself does not make you a dishonest or bad person, it just means you are protective of yourself and you have every right to do it.
You’d be surprised at how secretive people are; they share only their happiness and successes with their friends. Because they want to protect themselves.
So what are some things you don’t have the responsibility to share with others?
1. Your finances.
If you share your salary with others, people may start being envious or may retell the sum to others and expose your financial situation be it good or bad. So here’s the deal. If it’s bad, they’ll feel sorry for you and you’ll feel uncomfortable.
If your finances are stable, that’s going to be of no help either because people will judge you on how you spend your money. But they don’t know your background, so prevent them from making assumptions when they don’t see the big picture. Your money is yours and you get to spend it the way you want.
2. Your weak points.
Showing someone your weaknesses is a huge no-no. You are giving that person leverage for blackmail, leverage to hurt you in the future if your relationship hits a rough patch. Why do that? Why throw yourself in a fire?
Not everyone will do this, but if the person wasn’t very close to you, come the first fight, they may use all those fragilities against you. People say they won’t expose your weak points or secrets even if you hit that rough patch, but truth is, many don’t live up to that promise. Many will try to hurt you out of spite, so don’t give them that leverage. Emotions are a hard bargain.
3. Your donations and charity work.
If you are helping someone out, you should do it for the sake of helping someone out, not for the sake of boasting about it later on. Your donations, your gestures of kindness are your private thing. Something that forms you as a human being, not a public figure.
4. Your dislikes and grudges.
If you dislike a certain person, if you have a certain resentment towards them you shouldn’t be sharing that with everyone. The thing about grudges is that they are like a fling, they go away. But people will never forget the impression you left them with.
So why portray yourself as that person? Focus on the positive, reflect the positive – and you’ll attract only the positive.
5. Your life goals and dreams.
The moment you share your career plans with others, it’s when you’ll start to feel unwilling to chase those plans and dreams. Don’t put that burden on your shoulders – you’ll feel torn between living up to your words, the actual pressure of doing it, and the fear of failure. All eyes on me is not a useful technique.
If you have a goal in life – follow it, fight for it, and talk about it only after you accomplish it. No pressure, no time limits.
6. Your love problems.
Every relationship has problems. Over-sharing might make people think you are stuck in a relationship that makes you unhappy and miserable. It’s not degrading to have problems and to work on them to make your relationship better. It’s normal. If the love, the effort, and the determination are still there, nothing else matters.
The thing about some people is that for them to feel happy they need to see that others are not. Do not give them any space for them to thrive on your personal problems. Everybody has disagreements, opposing views, everybody has something their partner does that annoys them.
The only exception is abuse, of course. You should fight against it, you should be open about it, you should report it.
7. Your family problems.
Every family goes through its fair share of downfalls, but they are family after all. Who fought with whom, who owes money to whom is not your battle. It’s something personal and private that concerns the ones included only and no good can come out from you sharing that.
You love family despite everything, it’s why they are family. In case you think this goes beyond the line, ask yourself if has anyone shared anything about a family dispute with you before? If not, that’s all you need to know.
This doesn’t mean that you should not communicate with people at all. It only means to give them the amount of information that they give you and ask yourself for how long you know that person?
Have they confided in you before? Are they loyal and have they proved that already? Protecting yourself is not a bad thing. Everyone does it, so should you.