Loose lips sink ships is the old saying that came about during WW2 if memory serves me correctly. I mention it here is because I was thinking the other day about this. I realized that lose lips can also sink yours and my ship as well if we run our mouth too much.
Social connection and having someone to reach out to is usually a good thing. As I have spoke about in prior blog posts. No man or woman is an island, and what I mean by this is that no one can exist indefinitely in social isolation. It is not good for your mental and emotional health.
Having said all that, you still need to be careful about what you say and to who. Despite what some may tell you, you can’t be open and transparent about everything going on in your life. The more you talk the more likely you are to say something foolish. Also, the more you talk the likely someone, particularly your haters, will twist your words and use them against you. Silence can never be mis-quoted.
Here are 5 things you might want to keep quiet about:
1.) Your future plans
Nobody knows for sure what their future holds. If you’re a regular to this blog I am assuming you are interested in motivation at success, so you probably have plans for your future. You probably have a plan or two in the works or you’re going to be soon. If God forbid your future plans and aspirations don’t pan out, at least you won’t look foolish, there will be no one to hold judgement against you telling you that “see, I knew it wasn’t going to work,” or at least thinking that to themselves. I can’t tell you the number of times over the years when friends and associates of mine told me of some “big plans” they had and nothing became of it. I remember hearing people talking about them behind their back about what an idiot they are, about how they are all talk and nothing more.
Also, a benefit of not telling others of your future plans, is if things do work out for you, you will surprise them. People who doubted you and thought you were an idiot that would accomplish nothing, will now think twice. And your outright haters will be burning inside with jealousy.
2.) Your love life
Who you’re dating and how’s that going is none of anyone’s business. If there is turmoil in your relationship or marriage that too is none of anyone’s business – with the exception of maybe a real close or trusted friend that is (and even then you might want to be careful to not say too much). Also, it is unfair to your significant other or spouse. A marriage is a very private and intimate thing, and believe it or not, there are some people, especially the jealous single people out there, who secretly want to see your relationship implode. Of course, they will never admit to that and they will feign happiness for you, but in any case, don’t give them any satisfaction of knowing your relationship dirty laundry. Don’t tell them nada.
Another thing to think about is that when you tell friends or others about your marital issues, if that friend knows both you and your spouse well, they may feel you are asking them to take sides. They will feel awkward around your other half when they see them. They will feel uncomfortable interacting with them when they think about the intimate knowledge they have about their marriage conflict. It’s unfair to put them in this position.
3.) Your income
Nosey people want to know how well or how bad you are doing and one way of doing that is by knowing how much you make and how much you have in the bank. People want to size you up, judge you and make determinations about your lifestyle which they will be able to do if they know your financial business. Even if you owe a ton of credit card and other debt, that shouldn’t be disclosed to your friends and others as well. You tell others of your massive credit card debt, then they see you taking a vacation or whatever and they will then secretly make judgments about your ability to make good decisions and your lack of good judgement – not that everyone will think this way, but some certainly will.
So, If you are doing bad financially, the haters will be all too happy to hear that. If you’re doing well financially, the haters will be jealous. In either case, they will likely talk behind you back, (which they will do anyway regardless of what you tell them) but just don’t give them any more to talk about, so keep your finances a well guarded secret.
4.) Your next move
Very similar to #1 above, you shouldn’t tell people your next move. With the exception of maybe your wife/husband or significant other, often times it is better for people not to know what your up to next. This will keep your haters off guard. They won’t be able to put hateful, negative thoughts on you because they can’t ruin what they don’t know about.
5.) Your family issues
Just like with your marriage or relationship, others shouldn’t know about any drama and other issues you are going through with your family. Most of the time, your friends or co-workers don’t really want to hear it and family conflict is a very personal thing that will expose certain aspects of your upbringing and values you may not want others to know. Also, it is hard for others to fully comprehend or appreciate your family issues and conflict given they haven’t spent the years and years growing up and dealing with them like you have. They won’t know the whole picture and they will be making judgements about something they really don’t know about. The best advice is to keep family business quiet.
Keeping these aspects of your life a secret is good practice and it may save you some frustration, embarrassment and awkwardness later on. Of course there are some exceptions, in some circumstances, to every one of these rules, but knowing when that exception might be is the rub.