I had a talk with a friend about this subject lately. It has stirred up alot of thoughts in me. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of secrets. I feel like many problems could be solved by people speaking honestly and openly to each other. But when someone tells me something in confidence I try to keep that. However, I do have a couple of problems with that. My first problem is that I have a bad memory. Sometimes someone tells me something, and maybe even asks me not to repeat it. With time, I forget that it was something I was supposed to keep secret. The second problem is that sometimes when I am talking with someone else involved, they bring up concerns to me. I have a different perspective about the situation, having been privy to confidential information. It is hard when I see that the information I have could help that person to understand and overcome the problem they are having with the other person. I find myself trying to be a mediator, a negotiator of sorts. I want everyone to understand each other and get along. I sometimes leak information because I feel it will help people to get along better. For example, one person is angry at another because they said something that offended them. If the situation were to present itself, I might suggest to the other person that friend number one was offended, and that I thought they should know so that they could work it out with them.
Here is the other interesting part of this. I have found that usually, the same people who ask me not to repeat something, are they themselves repeating things to others that I have said in confidence to them, and those people in turn are repeating things to me. Kind of a viscious circle. It would be so nice if we could all just speak openly to each other and truly communicate.
So, I am left with three options. One: lose all my friends because they get mad if I accidentally, or purposefully leak something I shouldn't. Two: Refuse to keep any more secrets, then they can decide if they want to tell me something or not. Three: Stay out of it all together and never discuss other people's problems with others.
Well, I don't want option number one. I love my friends and it would be very difficult for me if they distanced themselves from me because they were angry. But I also have a problem with Option number two. If people know that I refuse to keep secrets anymore, they won't confide in me, and I can't help them with their problems. I care about them, and want to help them.
I don't think I can go with option number three either. I care too much about people to just let them be angry with each other, or be hurt. I want to try to fix things. I want to try to help them overcome their problems. I want to help them understand each other's point of view so that everyone can get along. And it isn't like I am telling everything that I am told...I only purposefully or accidentally leak things that will help them understand the other person.
Okay...this is probably making no sense at all. I just needed to sort it all out. I"m still not sure of the best answer.