While noodling around on the Internet over the weekend, I ran across a blog post by Rachel Zupek entitled “10 Worst Things to Say in the Workplace,” which I thought was appropriate now that the holiday season is starting to swing into gear. ‘Cuz you know the holidays: take a little extra stress (shopping! parties! post office lines! cooking! and don’t forget presents for your kids’ teachers!), add a little libation, and suddenly mouths start saying things we never meant them to say.
I loved Zupek’s point that generally people don’t like to listen to other people complain about how stressed out they are (although I do believe in confiding with loved ones when the going gets tough — no question). But I especially liked her line on keeping secrets: “If it’s really a secret, keep it to yourself.” Over the years I’ve become adamant about not disclosing confidences — because it’s truly the only way to make sure confidences don’t turn into the rumors. So even when I know something that would make delicious gossip, even when I know something that would make me appear to be a Knower of Amazingly In-The-Know Secrets, a person who is Looped into the Social Loop, I don’t divulge if I’ve been asked not to divulge. It’s just a habit of mine, and it feels good.