November 7, 2009

Guess what? Women can’t keep secrets. I know – absolutely mind-blowing.

To me, secrets are tricky territory. What counts as a secret? It’s definitely not a black and white subject. Certain topics may be secrets from co-workers and bosses, but not from close friends. Others might be secrets from friends but not family. And some may be only for me. But on some level all are secrets from somebody. Who knows, who shouldn’t know, who’s ok to tell – it all varies dependent on the information.

And then there’s the need for specification. I can’t imagine anyone considering all conversation secretive until it’s revealed otherwise. So I automatically make the assumption for general, socially acceptable topics, whatever I’m told is public information. If we move into the realm of socially questionable topics (i.e. you wouldn’t bring this up at a dinner party), it’s a bit harder to tell. But if you tell me I need to keep it quiet, I will.

In general though, I don’t like secrets. I dislike having to remember who knows what. Can I make jokes about X ? Should I pretend not to know Y? And I don’t have a problem putting most things out in the open. Bet that comes from blogging. In fact, I would be wary of people who feel the need to keep significant numbers of secrets – and not just from me, but from people in general. Besides, isn’t it better to share?

Several things to point out: 1) This study was commissioned by the UK director of Wines of Chile (wtf?). 2) There’s absolutely no information on the kind of things people considered secrets. 3) True cost of purchases tops the list of secrets along with intimate issues and affairs; what does that say? 4) I can totally keep a secret. Promise 🙂



  1. Two rules I assume everyone “knows”.

    1)If you want it to be treated as a secret – tell me outright.

    2) Unless there’s a very specific reason not to, assume I will tell my spouse.

    • It’s strange that it would be assumed that we would tell our spouse/significant other. In terms of secrets that aren’t our own, why should these people get the privilege to know? I know there’s the whole trust factor and you don’t want to keep secrets from them, but I feel similarly toward my family and best friends. And if it was assumed I’d tell them too, well – really, who am I not telling then? Don’t worry, I’m in the same boat as you. I tell the boyfriend almost everything. It’s almost just habit.

      And with that, if you’re told “this is a secret; don’t tell anyone”, is that a specific reason enough not to tell your wife? Or does that need more explanation – an actual call out to not tell your wife or an actual reason? And if they give you a reason you don’t agree with (“don’t tell your wife because she’ll think badly of me”), how does that factor in?

      • I guess the spousal thing comes from the fact that you’re supposed to be one so if you’re one, telling one is telling the other.

        If someone specifically asked me to withdraw something from her, it depends on the reasons. If it’s something about him that’s harmless (eg he peed the bed when he was little) then I’ll keep it a secret. If it’s something that affects her or her family (eg he raped her sister) then I’ll have to tell her.

        BTW – something changed in the comments subscription and I had no idea you’d replied until I came back to the site.

  2. The biggest ground rule for all secrets, if you don’t want anyone to know, don’t tell anyone, male or female.

    Bonus advice: As that one stripper told Michael Scott in The Office, “Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.” It’s true and it rhymes, the best kind of advice.

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