Last week I urged you to open up and share your secrets with others. But then I realized that some of you may not know whom to do that with, and trust me, it can’t be with just anybody!
The people you share your secrets with should also be the people who:
1. Keep your secrets only to themselves
Usually you can spot these people by their tight-lipped attitude about the secrets they know from others. They are not gossips. In fact, if you should try to gossip to them, they may well ask you to refrain or at least change the subject.
2. Accept you
When you are accepted, you will feel cared for. But if you feel judged by this person even when you are not sharing a secret, then pass them on by when it comes time to disclose.
3. Have a track record of respect and commitment to you
There’s a temptation to tell your secrets to friends whom you don’t know well enough yet. But if you haven’t had lots different conversations or interactions with a certain person, then hold on to your secrets for another day. It takes months, even years to know if someone is trustworthy.
4. Are humble and authentic about their own lives
You’ll feel comfortable with these kinds of people because they’ve let you peer into their secret world. They’ve dropped their guard and been willing to admit their own failures with you.
5. Increase your emotional and spiritual growth
We may be tempted to share our secrets with our “partners in crime,” but don’t go there! If you have a friend who doesn’t bring out the best in you—emotionally, relationally, spiritually—then that’s not a friend you want carrying your sacred secret.
Now my list is not exhaustive, nor is it a rigid set of rules. Remember, no one is perfect! The people whom you’re considering telling your secrets to may have failed you at one time or another in the past. The point is, do they have a good overall track record? If so, don’t wait another day. Let the healing begin!
Perhaps you know of another important character quality that you look for in someone whenever you share a secret.
If so, please share your criteria on the subject!
After all, we’d all love to know what your secret is … to finding a secret-keeper!
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)