July 13, 2013

"Just between you and me...."

Can we discuss confidentiality?

My family has a long history of secret keeping! Wait, let me tweak that just a tad to make it more accurate, my family has a long history of whispering behind closed doors and in the shadows about assumptions of other people in the family.

I am not talking about my immediate family, but generations of whisperers.  There are so many "secrets" floating "out there" that we could drown in them if we gave them any attention or credence.

"Just between you and me, uncle said this about....." 

"Don't tell anyone but...Great-grandma said this one day about...."

"Keep this on the down-low but word is that your dad......"

"Don't tell Toni but Mom said...."

Having grown up with secrets slowly sucking the life out of me; defining myself by ugly secrets and being taught how to lie and disguise my authentic self, I am making a stand and an announcement, here and now.

I said it before but I am making a Public Announcement. Don't tell me anyone's shit!

If you want to confide in me, something about you, how you are feeling, something that you are scared of, something personal...I will honor it. What you have shared with me will go to the crematorium with me and up in smoke with everything but my titanium knee.

But if you were told something about someone else, in confidence, and you want to "share it with me," think again. I don't want to hear it. If that's what you do with someone else's confidence than tell them upfront, "Don't share that with me because I can't keep a secret!"  Be honest!  There is no shame in honesty.

If someone told someone who told someone who told someone who told someone to "keep it between you and me" and the last someone tries to share it with you, call them on it.

What is the trade off?  Lets see, Integrity vs Knowing-some-thing-someone-said-about-someone-else-who-said-it-about-some-one-else.  Doesn't seem like much of a dilemma to me.

When you repeat something ugly that someone said to a third person you are spreading an ugly cancer in our world. If someone trashes someone else and you have a burning desire to share it then call the person talked about, not a third party.

When you have already told a third party and it gets back to the person who the crap was about, it feels like a martial-arts kick in the gut.  And don't get all "Hey, I told you that in confidence" and don't bullshit the subject of the crap by trying to tell them "don't make a big deal out of it!"

YOU are the one who made a big deal out of it when you shared it with someone else.

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