Wednesday, June 8, 2016

8 Things You Should Always Keep Private

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.

8 Things You Should Keep Private

1. INCOME: Unless you're applying for a home loan or purchasing a new car, your salary should not be a topic of conversation and is best kept under wraps. Among colleagues and coworkers you just never know who earns what and it can create an uncomfortable working environment and can bring about negative emotions from others who have had a longer tenure within a company (especially if they earn less than you). In the company of friends, it can make them feel less than if you have a greater earning capacity however, if you earn less (especially far less) than your friends, they may feel you cannot afford certain outings and may even exclude you from events. Nothing good can come from sharing how much you make.

2. LOVE LIFE: The details of true intimacy between a couple are intended to be enjoyed only by the 2 parties involved. Recounting the details of one's sexual escapades not only invites others into a space they don't belong (and provides others with a visual they probably never wished for) but it creates a level of mistrust. The bedroom (or whatever place one chooses to experience private moments with their partner) is a sacred place, it involves trust, communication and an ability to feel safe as they are able to express and be themselves. This bond is broken when shared in passing during Monday morning water cooler conversation or while out for dinner with girlfriends. If something seems out of the ordinary, ask your health care provider or a sex therapist instead of everyone who you encounter. If you're having the time of your life and thrilled with your partner, there may be a temptation to reveal how amazing everything is but it's just not appropriate conversation and it creates an awkwardness between you and others. There is that old adage... never kiss and tell!

3. NEXT MOVE: Whether you're planning to jump ship and leave your career behind to become a stay-at-home mom or you're moving towards starting your own business, or you're navigating the choppy waters of a difficult divorce, it's wise to stay tight-lipped about future plans. There is something to be said for the element of surprise and while details are still being hashed out, it's important be quiet and allow things to unfold as they do. First off, this can become gossip that certain people would love to feed off and run with and you never know who might tell what to whom. The more people you run your ideas or goals by, the higher the chance the information will get into the wrong hands. Let people see how your life unfolds by your actions, not your words. While some may say that being intentional and telling others what they're doing is actually a form of accountability (and it can be in certain areas of our life such as beginning a new workout program when it's shared with a trusted friend), generally speaking though most times it is not in your best interest.

4. MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Some people take comfort in being able to relate to others who share the same disease or illness they have, we all like to feel as though we have things in common with others, however be careful not to speak about what we know to be the negatives in life. It's easy to adopt a victim mentality and/or find one's identity within an illness. The danger in sharing your medical history and current condition is that it comes across as though you're looking for others to feel sorry for you and a classy woman never looks for other's sympathy. Many health-related topics can also be quite gross to hear about for the average person not in the medical field. It might be your day-to-day norm but completely foreign and cringe-worthy to another person who hears it in passing. I can assure you that nobody wants to hear about an oozing sore, hearing you talk about aches and pains nor do they want to know you that intimately. Even with a spouse or mate, it's wise to use discretion. A health care provider is the best person to talk to and if necessary, a social group with others who are in your shoes.

5. RELATIONSHIP DETAILS: Whether you're head over heels in love with your new sweetie or had a massive blowout disagreement with your significant other, while the details may seem like juicy gossip to some (you can almost guarantee your words will be repeated!), it's not becoming of a lady to air out all of her dirty laundry for all to know about. We all have problems, no relationship is without the occasional argument or challenge, however when you share with others what is likely just venting in the moment, you violate the trust between yourself and your partner. Even if you had the best first date of your life and you're dying to share-refrain. Once again, something gets taken away and it's not as special once everyone knows about it. If you learned your husband, boyfriend or new date was sharing such details with his friends you'd likely feel a bit awkward, betrayed and maybe even embarrassed, not a great way to build a solid relationship.

6. FINANCES: This is an area that should always be a mystery. Did you just buy a brand new house, a boat, a luxury car? Let people wonder if you just got a promotion at work, won the lottery, received an inheritance, saved up for a decade, etc. This is one of the most personal matters, it's also one area that we know not to ask others about so why it is available for public knowledge? I've overheard people in a casual setting telling others they're broke, their home is in foreclosure, they received trust money (and specified the amount), etc. It is nobody else's business but one's own. Also, resist the temptation in sharing in an effort to learn more about someone else's financials whether it be a friend, acquaintance or someone you're seeing. If you're planning to become married, it's wise to know these details and it's not at all inappropriate to find out-it's smart for a woman who doesn't want to  become blindsided later. Although I can't attest to using these tools before becoming married, these days learning what their FICO score is or running a background check are all part of the modern times we live in, as they can have a serious impact on the quality of your life down the road.
7. ANYTHING CONFIDENTIAL: I think it goes without saying that if someone has shared something with you in confidence, it needs to remain that way. Yes, when you get married two become one and there is that temptation to share every single thing with your spouse but not everything needs to be talked about and if you've been explicitly asked not to repeat what was told to you-don't! It's not your story to tell. Even when it hasn't been spoken, oftentimes the nature of the conversation determines that it's implied when certain information should not be repeated. Likewise, details of a legal agreement, settlement, work contract, etc., which are not intended for others' eyes should not be communicated to anyone else outside of the agreement. By sharing such details in confidence, we put others in the uncomfortable position of learning about something that they should not be privy to in the first place and there's no going back after the words are uttered. 

8. THERAPY SESSIONS: I think this is an area where a lot of people speak freely, stating "my therapist thinks..." or "my counselor said..." it seems to have become commonplace in our society as people no longer feel hesitant to seek help (which is a good thing). Therapy of any sort is a time for digging deeper to identify where issues originated from, it's a time for one to become well and make sense of current or past experiences and how they relate to their present situations. Talking this through is quite therapeutic which is why you've employed a therapist to begin with. Don't make the mistake of repeating to your friends and loved ones the details of your sessions as if they were in the room with you. Not to mention, most people have a collection of their own problems to work through, burdening those around us with our issues again and again is not only impolite but it's also selfish.

*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!


Let's Socialize!

Have you ever found yourself sharing too much about a private matter only to wish you could retract it afterwards? Has anyone ever left you feeling uncomfortable simply by lacking discretion and over-sharing as it pertains to their own private matters? Let us know in the comments below!

As always, thank you for stopping by!


*image source


  1. I agree with you here. I see so many posts in social media that I think should be kept private. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Great list!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Camille! I hope you're having a great summer so far. Yes, I think it's often quite prevalent on social media. Have a lovely weekend! xx Karla

  2. I've never been the forthcoming type and I find the current trend for putting it all out there very off putting. Call me old fashioned but the internet is like the old time town gossip on steroids. It's bizarre that folks are outraged at what they feel may be invasion of privacy by government or other institutions etc... but will post the most private details all over social media.

    1. Hi Ali, thanks for sharing and I couldn't agree more about it being likened to town gossip but on a whole new level. So true! Yes, I never understand that either. ;) xx Karla

  3. I agree with you and am curious to know what you think of parents in these types of situations. Without going into to much info my FIL seems to think that all decisions between my SO and I somehow involve him and he is always giving his opinion in a destructive you shouldn't do that way as opposed to simply voicing concerns and being constructive. Is this is a situation where we will tell you what we have decided when we have comes into play, even with parents?

  4. Thanks so much for this list! This is definitely an area I've been working on improving. I think I've probably fallen into talking about all of these categories over the years. And then I wondered how I'd get pulled into gossip I wasn't interested in! I always thought I was being honest or frank.

  5. Hey! I really agree with you on almost everything except the first one (income). Sharing income is vital if we want to achieve income equality. While you should not scream to the whole office your salary, sharing it privately and honestly with colleagues can help you guys see if someone is not being paid fairly. In that case, the person will resent the company for the unfair compensation (not their colleagues) and decide if they should ask for a raise or leave the place. Keeping it all under wraps will only benefit the company because then they can keep paying that perople lower than their worth and no one will find out.


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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