Are You Selfish for Keeping Things to Yourself?
So this topic might be simple to answer with a yes or no. However, let’s dive in deeper into this question. Let’s see why you answered the way you did.
So on one end of the spectrum, you may have heard any of the following:
- “No one needs to know everything about my life’
- ‘It’s no one’s business except mine’
- ‘It’s for me to know and for them to not find out’
There are various things that people keep to themselves and they don’t tell anyone. A best friend, parent, spouse, trusted teacher, or a therapist are the ones people confide private information to. Yet that isn’t always the case.
There are some things that we never tell anyone because we’re scared of being judged or even being labeled. We are scared of being treated differently by our circle of friends and family. Some people have a fear of being looked at differently and that it will result in isolation and loneliness. You could also say there is a lack of trust you have with other people.
There are pieces of information about ourselves that we take to our grave. Some people never open up about things that are hard for them to deal with. In their minds, they believe other people wouldn’t understand how their feeling; so they keep the stress and pain to themselves.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who are an open book to everyone. They tell their circle of friends, family, and co-workers how they have been and how they are feeling. If something is up, they confide to a friend, family member, trusted teacher, or whoever they feel comfortable with depending on the situation.
I would say you’re not selfish for keeping things to yourself. You’re not the only person who does so. If everyone kept things to themselves, their mental and physical health would be in bad shape. As I’ve mentioned before, holding in things can be damaging to your mental health, especially serious and big things. On the other hand, if everyone was an open book, our society and how we function would be very different. There would be all kinds of truths going around as well as all kinds of gossip and lies.
So what we know is that some people only tell certain people personal things, leaving others out. Some people spread false gossip about their co-workers, some only confide things to their best friend, couples tell each other everything, etc. Should we feel safe about opening up to others and getting things off our chest? Yes, but that’s not the case.
As I mentioned, we fear judgment, angering and hurting others, and even wrong labels from other people about the things that trouble us. We all have secrets and personal things going on. We decide who to tell them to and when we want to open up and be vulnerable. It’s not easy for everyone; sometimes it takes longer for others to feel safe and brave enough to take that step.
Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.