One of a classy woman’s most notable characteristics is her ability to remain discreet. Keeping matters private not only creates a sense of trust and mystery but it just adheres to proper protocol and good manners, after all, the goal of being well mannered is to allow others to feel comfortable in our presence. When we blurt out a personal problem or another such confidential matter, we essentially invite others into that space, when in fact it is often not meant for them. Sharing too much can make others feel awkward and unsure how to reply or act after learning of the information that’s been revealed. I first tackled the idea of discretion a while ago in this post.
The other day, an old friend reached out to me via private message on Facebook and point blank asked me a question that I was not expecting to answer, it pertained to my personal life and I was a little unsure at first how I wanted to reply. While this person was once one of my best friends and I have always been grateful for that friendship, at the present time we have not seen one another in several years and I would consider them at this point to be an acquaintance. Although the question came from a place of care and concern (and curiosity, I’m sure), I still debated exactly how much I wanted to expose. In the end, I provided a brief little synopsis, I didn’t go into all the details but uttered just enough to get them up to speed.
About an hour later, the thought crossed my mind that maybe less would have been best, I could have simply just replied ‘yes’ to their question without feeling the need to explain further. However, given whom I was corresponding with, I didn’t want to come across as being short and yet didn’t want to tell more than I felt comfortable with sharing at that moment either. In the end after we exchanged a couple messages, knowing this person’s level of trustworthiness; integrity and their heart, I was okay with having shared a bit more than I normally would have but it was a good reminder for me that going forward I want to ensure that I only reply or talk about information in the way that I feel is best. I got to thinking about how people often overshare unnecessarily and divulge private details of their life that can often have repercussions. It sparked the topic for today’s Manners Monday post.
By now, you might be wondering what some of the off-limits topics are so you can avoid such pitfalls so I’m sharing with you ‘8 Things You Should Always Keep Private’. While there are many aspects of life that we should keep to ourselves (or at the very least only opt to confide in a Doctor, Psychologist/Mental Health Counselor, our parent(s), our spouse or the closest of trusted friends), there are 3 that rank highest in order of importance, they are: your level of income, details of your love life and the plans for your next move. I have also written about an additional 5 which not to be overlooked. In this age of social media and reality TV where for many their life is an open book for all to read/watch, as a lady we must be keenly aware and conscious not to cross the sometimes blurred line between public and private. Resist the urge of telling your story to anyone who will listen. Don’t give people the privilege of knowing of knowing everything about you.
*Please Note: In the case of someone who requires help for a bodily illness, health concern or mental health issue such as suicidal thoughts, hopelessness or depression, remaining private should never be an option. Seeking professional help and the love and support from family and friends is essential and should be the first priority!