How To Keep a Secret To Yourself: 23 Practical Strategies

In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to keep a secret to yourself.

Holding a secret can bring both pleasure and responsibility. It’s an honor to be trusted with someone’s secret, but be mindful that breaking that trust can harm the relationship. And it’s not only others secret that you may be keeping, you may have your own too, which can be just as challenging to keep. Having self-discipline to keep silent ensures that the secret remains safe and also upholds your reputation as a dependable person.

How To Keep a Secret To Yourself:

1. Before accepting a secret, consider the gravity of the information.

It’s appropriate to ask for more information before someone tells you a secret, this will give you an idea of how significant it is and how much attention you should give while the person is disclosing it.

Be mindful that some secrets are more important than others, and if it is a serious matter, you should be prepared to listen attentively. If the secret could have legal implications if shared, it’s crucial to exercise extra caution in maintaining confidentiality.

2. Inquire about the duration of the secret you are keeping.

It can be less demanding to keep a secret if you know it’s only temporary. On the other hand, if the person expects you to keep the secret forever, it’s important to know that upfront.

3. Learn if you are permitted to share the secret with others.

Make sure to ask if it’s okay to tell someone else, like a family member or a partner. By asking for permission, it can prevent any uncomfortable situation where the person may get upset with you.

If you know you’re going to tell someone, for example, a partner, be honest about it and inform the person that you will tell someone else. It’s advisable to inform them about this before they reveal the secret to you.

4. Inform the person not to disclose the secret if you know you’re not good at keeping them.

The person will appreciate your honesty, and they still have the choice of telling you, knowing that you may share it with someone else. A possible solution could be to suggest that the person tells you the secret just before they reveal it to others, so you don’t have to keep it for a prolonged time.

Research has shown that keeping a secret can cause unnecessary stress, if you wish to avoid this, it’s better to decline keeping secrets.

5. Consider the duration of the secret you will keep.

Some secrets may have a specific end date like a pregnancy or a surprise gift, while others may not have a clear ending point. In this case, you must decide when you want to reveal it.

It’s advisable to wait a couple of days if you feel overwhelmed by the secret, this way you can prevent making impulsive decisions about when to tell people and who to share it with. This time will allow you to calm down and make more rational choices.

SEE ALSO: How To Stop Being Needy In Relationships: 10 Helpful Ways

6. Develop a strategy for revealing the secret.

If you are certain that you will be able to tell someone in the future, creating a plan for how and when to reveal it can assist you in keeping the secret until then.

If the secret is exciting and you want to surprise someone with it, plan a creative way to tell them. For serious secrets, arrange a private time and place to have an open and honest conversation about it.

7. Distract yourself from the secret.

Engage in other activities, and avoid dwelling on the secret. Constantly thinking about it will make it harder to keep it from being disclosed.

8. Consider the advantages of revealing your secret.

If the secret is causing you distress, it may be a hindrance to your personal growth. Sharing it with someone may provide them with an opportunity to support you in ways you never imagined.

9. Share your secret with one specific person.

If you decide to reveal it, pick someone you trust. Reflect on your past interactions with that person, have they proven to be reliable and discreet in the past?

Clearly communicate your expectations when revealing the secret to that person, such as if they are allowed to tell anyone else and if yes, who and when they can share it with. Keep in mind, that by sharing with someone, the risk of it getting out to others increases.

10. Avoid discussing the topic of the secret with anyone.

If you initiate a conversation about the secret with someone, you may be inclined to reveal it. Even if you don’t have the intention of telling the secret, you may still mention a related topic that could give you the chance to share it. Being conscious of this potential can help you prevent it from happening unconsciously.

11. Alter the conversation if necessary.

If you’re having a discussion with someone and they bring up something that is related to the secret, it’s best to change the topic. Talking about something that reminds you of the secret will make it more prominent in your mind and may encourage you to reveal it.

Switch the subject seamlessly so the person doesn’t notice that you’re trying to avoid telling them something. If need be, find an excuse to leave the conversation, as sometimes it is the only way to maintain confidentiality.

SEE ALSO: How to Communicate Freely with People: The Definitive Guide

12. Act as if you have no knowledge.

If someone suspects that you are aware of a secret, be evasive if they ask you about it directly. You can pretend you don’t know by inquiring about the secret.

13. Be dishonest if required.

There may be situations where you need to lie (1) about having knowledge of a secret. If you do decide to lie, remember what you said and ensure that the story remains consistent. It’s best to stick to simple lies like saying you don’t know, rather than creating a complicated story.

14. Be straightforward.

If someone is persistent in trying to obtain information from you, inform them that “I am not able to discuss this topic at the moment.” By saying this, you’re admitting that you know something without revealing the secret. If the person continues to pry, politely ask them to stop questioning you.

15. Record it and eliminate it.

Documenting the secret in a detailed manner on paper and then disposing of it can be an effective way of letting it out. Ensure that you completely destroy any evidence, such as burning it safely or shredding it.

If you decide to throw it away, tear it into small pieces and bury it under the trash. Another option could be to put the pieces in different trash cans and dispose of it immediately.

16. Discover a confidential online platform to share the secret.

There are some online communities where you can post secrets anonymously. To ensure that your identity remains hidden, make sure that you are using a truly anonymous environment.

17. Confide in a non-living object.

Share the secret with a stuffed animal, a pet, or a collectible item, it may provide you with a sense of having told someone. If you feel like you can’t hold it any longer and you need to tell, this could be a temporary solution.

Make sure no one is around to overhear you, and your phone and computer are not connected to any calls or audio chats before speaking to an object.

An alternative option would be to tell a baby who cannot speak yet, it may give you the feeling of telling someone while minimizing the risk of the secret being revealed.

SEE ALSO: How To Handle Resentment In a Relationship: 10 Steps

18. Speak to your reflection.

If you feel the need to tell someone, try confiding in yourself by speaking to your reflection in the mirror. Imagine you have a twin and talk to yourself as if you were talking to them.

This may seem unusual, but it could be helpful. As before, ensure that you are in a location where no one can overhear you.

19. Release the secret’s energy out of your body.

At times, keeping a secret can make you feel like you’re going to burst. There is a physical connection between your body (2) and secrets, one way to release that energy is by doing activities such as yelling or dancing around, anything that will help release that energy so that you don’t accidentally reveal the secret to someone.

20. Choose one highly dependable person to share the secret with.

If it’s imperative that you tell someone, ensure that the person you choose is someone who can keep a secret. If the secret concerns another person, consider telling a third party who doesn’t know the original person.

If you do decide to tell someone, make sure they understand that it is a secret and they should not share it with anyone. Remember that by telling someone, the risk of the secret getting out increases and people may find out that you were the one who told.

21. Assess the level of danger of the secret.

If the secret could potentially harm someone, it may be necessary to tell someone who can assist, especially if children are involved. If someone is causing harm or has caused harm to themselves or others, reporting it may be necessary.

Additionally, if someone confides in you about their involvement in criminal activity, you may be held legally accountable for not reporting it.

22. Understand if there is a specific time or deadline for the secret.

If you asked about the possibility of revealing the secret when you found out, reconfirm if it’s still an appropriate time before sharing it with others. Events such as surprise parties will have a clear deadline for keeping the secret.

Ask if your reward for keeping the secret can be that you get to tell someone yourself when the time is right. Avoid texting the secret to anyone as it leaves proof that you were the one who revealed it. Share the secret in person.

Depending on the nature of the secret, you may not want to reveal to others that you knew it before they did, as it may hurt the feelings of the person’s close friends or family.

23. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of revealing the secret.

Before deciding to share a secret with someone, weigh the potential risks of many people finding out and your reputation being damaged against the relief or satisfaction you may feel by telling someone the secret.

If you are thinking about sharing a secret, make a list of the pros and cons of doing so. This will help you make a more informed decision.

Thank you for reading this article about how to keep a secret to yourself and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here