Confide In the Right People

It is favorable to always assume the best from people, but we must be realistic. Do you recall times where you told someone your private…

It is favorable to always assume the best from people, but we must be realistic. Do you recall times where you told someone your private feelings about something or someone and later came to find out that the information you conveyed got “leaked”?

There is a strategy to avoid this altogether: only confide in people who have no connections or knowledge of the person you share information about, and only confide in people who have earned your trust. The ultimate strategy is to never gossip or talk about people or share intimate feelings and thoughts; if you follow this route, you will avoid many problems. However, we are human; sometimes, we need to vent about people or things that struck a chord (good or bad) with us. If you need to vent, express yourself to someone who is completely unbiased and has nothing to gain from your venting session. The trouble with talking about people or things is not always about what is said, but who it is said to, and the method it is conveyed (e.g. word of mouth, text, phone, email, etc.). Keep your most private thoughts and opinions for face–to–face conversations with the right people. You might ask, “Who are the right people to vent to?” The right people are:

1. People who have earned your trust.

2. People who have proven they can be trusted.

3. People who do not habitually gossip about others behind their back.

4. People who you have a good discerning feeling about.

5. People that do not tell you private things about people who are close to them.

If you give people enough time, they will reveal their true intentions and qualities. Observe people, and see how much they talk about their own friends that they consider “close”. Furthermore, observe how people talk about the people they love, and see if they tell you things about them that you feel should be kept in confidence. Remember, sometimes even the right people will tell our most intimate thoughts and leak important information, but it is essential to remember that we are all human–we make mistakes. Lastly, if you gossip and talk about people in public, people will notice and will assume you will do the same to them behind their back; talking publicly about others in a negative fashion will tarnish your reputation and people will know not to trust you.

Rules of Communication:

  1. Never say anything negative or questionable about anyone with a documented trail (e.g. email, text, all electronic and written communication).

  2. 2. Never confide in someone about someone else, if that person knows them (exceptions can be family and similar relationships).

  3. 3. If someone comes to you to talk about someone, maintain a neutral stance.

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