Victoria Walton, M.S. is TRAffIK’s resident Life Coach and will be helping us tackle the issues that hold us back from becoming the “TRAffIK Stoppers” we all can be. Look for her column Victorious Living the first Monday of every month. Victoria Walton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continued from August entry…
Because we as human beings are highly relational, telling another’s secrets is very costly. Besides the tremendous hurt a person suffers when they realize their confidence was broken, if we give away another’s private information (whether or not they find out), we also undermine our relationship with them destroying trust and thereby degrading the integrity of the relationship as we make our own motives the main priority. Moreover, our inability to respect another’s privacy results in a loss of our own dignity and over time with repeated “losses”, it is as if we chisel out perforations in our character that make our moral fiber increasingly friable and the moral decline continues. It is so incremental that it is hardly perceptible, but it is powerful. We become people who cannot be trusted.
On the other hand, when we create a safe space for someone to share their personal information, we create priceless benefits within the relationship such as trust, intimacy and the resulting increased relationship satisfaction. When we keep another’s confidence we provide a structure for which strong relationship is built because we are declaring that we honor and care about the other person and we demonstrate that we have prioritized not only their needs but also our relationship with them. As we become people who can be trusted, we have the opportunity to trust ourselves more and our self-confidence grows. In the honoring of others, we honor ourselves.
Do you want to do a better job at keeping confidences? If so, read on for some tips below.
1. Make a commitment to honor others by keeping their secrets. Commitment breeds intention and together they can bring the desired results.
2. Know your motivations for keeping others’ information to yourself. Where have you placed your commitment? Do you want to honor this person? Do you want to be known as someone who can be trusted?
3. Refuse to hear the secret. If you don’t know it, you can’t tell it.
4. If you give away confidences because of poor boundaries, work on strengthening them.
5. If applicable, ask permission to tell the secret. You may have a good argument for telling the secret to a trustworthy, resourceful person who may offer a helpful opinion or idea.
Remember, giving away a confidence with the hope that the communication will have no impact is a fantasy. We all have the power to make a different choice.
Disclaimer: Life Coaching is for “healthy” people; it is not intended for use as a replacement or substitute for medical advice, professional psychotherapy or any other therapeutic intervention.
photo originally published here