May 8, 2012

We have talked about how it feels for someone to betray our confidence, but what exactly is a confidence?

Sometimes I think there is a genetic steel trap running through certain parts of our family that keeps anything and everything confidential. I have been surprised when I learned that Grandpa John didn’t know something about me that Grandma Beanie had known for years, or even decades.

I looked at her with new respect each time that occurred. Her feelings are that if we wish for someone else to know something that we have told her, we would tell them. That is keeping confidence. I like that thinking a lot. Learning it young kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up.

Gossip still turns my stomach. Exaggerated stories infuriate me and, as you know, a betrayed confidence is the death warrant of a relationship for me.

None of us is perfect and we will all talk about others in our lives, but it’s important that we try to limit ourselves to topics that can’t hurt others. How do we know which topics are safe?

Would we want someone talking about us in the fashion we are thinking of sharing with a third party? Is the secret we are about to share our own, or does it belong to another? I don’t believe we have the right to share the secrets of others. If we decide to become righteous and tell a secret for the ‘good’ of someone else, we had better closely evaluate whether we would really be helping.

Most importantly, if we are divulge information to a third party, would we truly say the same, face to face with the person that is the topic of our information? If not, remaining mum may be the best course.



  1. I am dealing with that issue with a former friend at the moment. It is so painful and I wonder at the cruelty of her actions…and also at the expectations I had that she would be the person I confided in.

  2. I am so sorry, Jo. You had the best expectations, as you should. That others disregard the sanctity of those expectations and the importance of confidence is a failure within their souls. We can’t fix it; we can only watch out for it the next time.

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