10 things in life you should always keep to yourself, according to psychology

There’s a fine line between sharing and over-sharing.

According to psychology, there are certain aspects of our lives that are best kept to ourselves. It’s not about being secretive, but about preserving our personal boundaries.

Sharing too much can sometimes leave us vulnerable or misunderstood. So, it’s important to know what to share and what to keep under wraps.

In this article, I’ll reveal the 10 things you should always keep to yourself, as backed by psychology.

Let’s get started. 

1) Your Personal Goals

Setting goals is a crucial part of our lives. Whether it’s about our career, relationships, or personal growth, we all have something we’re striving towards.

But here’s a psychological tidbit: keeping your goals to yourself can actually increase the chances of achieving them. This might seem counterintuitive, especially in a society that encourages sharing our aspirations.

The reasoning is that when you share your goals, the praise and recognition you receive can trick your brain into feeling like you’ve already accomplished them. This can lead to a decrease in motivation to actually pursue and achieve these goals.

When you set a big goal for yourself, consider keeping it under wraps. Not only will it prevent premature satisfaction, but it also saves you from potential criticism or discouragement from naysayers.

Your goals are your own. They are not up for public discussion or debate unless you choose to share them.

2) Your Personal Beliefs

Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, I found myself in a heated debate about politics with a close friend. We both held strong, opposing views, and neither of us was willing to back down. The result? Our friendship took a major hit.

This experience taught me the value of keeping certain personal beliefs to myself. It’s not about hiding who you are, but understanding that some topics can be divisive. Politics, religion, certain social issues – these are all areas where people can have deeply ingrained beliefs.

Sharing these beliefs can sometimes lead to unnecessary conflicts, especially when the other person is not open to a different perspective. This doesn’t mean you should never stand up for what you believe in. But in casual conversations, it might be best to steer clear of these topics.

Maintaining harmony in your relationships is often more important than winning an argument.

3) Your Past Resentments

Did you know that holding onto grudges and past resentments can actually have a detrimental effect on your physical health? It’s true. Studies have shown that nurturing negative emotions can lead to increased stress and even heart disease.

It’s important to process these feelings, but constantly bringing up past resentments in conversation doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t change the past, and it only serves to keep the negativity alive.

Instead, consider working through these emotions privately or with a trusted therapist. Forgiveness is more for yourself than for the other person. Letting go of past hurts can bring about peace and better health, both mentally and physically.

It’s not always necessary to share every detail of your past with everyone in your life. Some things are better left in the past where they belong.

4) Your Good Deeds

We’re often taught that doing good deeds is a virtue, and it truly is. But what’s even more virtuous is doing them without expecting recognition or praise.

When we help others, it should come from a place of genuine care and empathy, not from the desire to boost our own image. Sharing your acts of kindness can sometimes diminish their value and make them seem less genuine.

By keeping your good deeds to yourself, you ensure they remain selfless acts. Plus, there’s a unique joy in knowing that you’ve made someone’s day better without expecting anything in return.

True kindness doesn’t need an audience. It’s the silent acts of love and generosity that often have the most impact.

5) Your Family Issues

Every family has its own set of challenges and issues. These matters are often deeply personal and can be complicated to explain and understand.

Discussing your family issues with others can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or unwanted advice. People may not fully grasp the dynamics of your family or the context behind certain issues.

Moreover, divulging sensitive family matters can also come across as disrespectful to your family members. It’s essential to maintain their privacy and respect their boundaries.

It’s okay to seek professional help if you’re struggling with family issues. But it’s generally best to keep these matters within the family or discuss them with a trusted counselor or therapist.

6) Your Self-Love Practices

In a world that often demands us to be constantly productive and ‘on the go’, taking time for self-love and self-care is crucial. It’s our way of refueling and ensuring we can give our best to the world.

These practices, however, are deeply personal. Whether it’s a quiet morning routine, a solo trip to your favorite place, or simply indulging in your favorite comfort food, these moments of self-love are yours and yours alone.

Sharing them might open them up to scrutiny or judgment, which can take away from their sacredness. It’s like letting someone into your private sanctuary. Sometimes, it’s best to keep this space only for yourself.

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. And how you choose to do that should be a personal journey, one that you don’t always have to share with the world.

7) Your Fears and Insecurities

When I was younger, I had a deep-rooted fear of failure. It kept me from trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. For a long time, I thought sharing this fear with others would make me seem weak.

Over time, I realized that everyone has fears and insecurities. They are a part of being human. However, constantly discussing them can sometimes amplify them and give them more power than they deserve.

While it’s important to acknowledge these feelings, it’s equally important to work through them in a healthy way. This could be through self-reflection, meditation, or seeking help from a mental health professional.

You’re much more than your fears and insecurities. Don’t let them define you or take up too much space in your conversations and relationships.

8) Your Physical Fitness Routine

Staying fit and healthy is important. Many of us have routines and diets that we follow to maintain our health. But here’s something you might not have considered: sharing your routine might do more harm than good.

While it’s great to encourage others to stay healthy, discussing your fitness regime can sometimes lead to unnecessary comparisons and unrealistic expectations. Everyone’s body is different, and what works for you might not work for someone else.

Moreover, your fitness routine is a commitment you make to yourself. It’s about self-improvement and personal growth, not about competing with others or seeking validation.

Your journey towards fitness and health is your own. Keep it personal, keep it unique, and most importantly, keep it about you.

9) Your Financial Status

Money is often a taboo subject in many cultures and societies. There’s a good reason for this. Sharing your financial status, whether you are wealthy or struggling, can lead to a variety of complications.

If you’re doing well financially, sharing this information can attract envy or create unrealistic expectations. On the other hand, if you’re facing financial difficulties, sharing this might make you a target for unsolicited advice or judgement.

Your financial status is a personal matter. It’s something to be managed with discretion and tact. Discussing it with a financial advisor? Definitely. Casually chatting about it with acquaintances? Maybe not.

Money doesn’t define your worth or value as a person. Keep your financial matters private to maintain healthy relationships and interactions.

10) Your Personal Life Choices

At the end of the day, your life is yours to live. The choices you make, big or small, shape your journey and define who you are. These choices, whether it’s choosing to stay single, deciding not to have kids, or following a non-traditional career path, are yours to make and don’t need validation from others.

Sharing these personal life choices with everyone can sometimes open them up for criticism or unsolicited advice. People might try to sway you or question your decisions based on their beliefs and experiences.

It’s always okay to seek advice when you’re unsure, but remember that the final decision is yours. Your personal life choices are just that – personal. They are an integral part of your identity and should be respected as such.

Final Reflection: It’s About Boundaries

The psychology behind keeping certain aspects of your life to yourself is essentially about boundaries – and these boundaries are deeply personal and vary for each individual.

These boundaries are not about hiding or being secretive. They’re about maintaining a healthy balance between openness and privacy, between sharing and self-preservation.

Each one of us has the power to decide what parts of our lives we share with the world and what parts we keep to ourselves. This decision depends on various factors including our personality, experiences, relationships, and cultural background.

For instance, research shows that people with high self-esteem tend to disclose more about themselves. However, whether this disclosure is beneficial or harmful depends on the context and the recipient of this information.

By understanding these aspects and being mindful of what we share and why, we can cultivate healthier relationships, both with ourselves and others.

This journey towards self-awareness and self-growth is a personal one. So remember, it’s okay to keep some things to yourself. After all, some treasures are meant to be kept close to the heart.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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