7 things in life you’re better off keeping to yourself, according to psychologists

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Living out loud has become all the rage.

In the era of oversharing, everyone seems to be in everyone’s business, and it’s easy to blur the line between your public and private life.

I’ve seen people confess to things on their social profiles the toughest government agencies wouldn’t be able to torture out of me.

But before you call me a grumpy old, there is still *some* stuff you should mark as confidential, for the benefit of your mental health.

Here are 7 things in life you’re better off keeping to yourself, according to psychologists.

You’ve been warned.

1) Intimate relationship details

Keeping the intimate details of your love life private helps you foster a sense of security within the relationship.

No one says you can’t chat about your partner with your friends or post photos of the two of you on social media.

When it comes to disclosing more confidential information, however, proceed with caution.

Your friends don’t need to know everything you do in the bedroom, for example, or be privy to any secrets your boo may have confided in you.

Discussing intimate relationship details with others can lead to gossip or judgment.

According to psychologists, one of the best things about keeping your relationship to yourself is that it gives you time to grow as a couple away from prying eyes.

Before you start sharing intimate trivia, ask your partner if there’s anything they don’t want your buddies to know.

Maybe they would be uncomfortable with your social circle learning about problems they are facing or insecurities they struggle with.

Setting boundaries to what you disclose to others protects the sanctity of the partnership.

It enables you to maintain trust.

2) Specifics about your financial status

Detailed information about your financial status isn’t meant for the general public.

Your closest family and friends probably know approximately how much you earn and have a general idea about your net worth.

Even so, no one is entitled to specific details about your savings, debt, investments, or long-term financial plans.

Psychologists found that financial worries are a top stressor across all age groups, while financial stability promotes well-being.

If you struggle with money, relentlessly complaining about it to a friend may feel cathartic momentarily, but it keeps you trapped in a vicious circle of negativity.

Discussing financial specifics with others can invite unsolicited advice and criticism, leading to even more unnecessary stress or conflict.

Additionally, keeping your finances to yourself has advantages:

  • It protects you against exploitation
  • It prevents you from succumbing to peer pressure or societal expectations to spend beyond your means
  • It prevents others from exerting control over your financial decisions
  • It decreases the risk of identity theft or fraud

Don’t allow people to scrutinize your financial choices or offer opinions that are not relevant to your situation.

There’s a chance it will do you more harm than good.

3) Sensitive information

On the topic of things that can be harmful to you if made public, you should keep to yourself any passwords and personal identification information, as well as your medical history.

Avoid sharing this information casually, even with close acquaintances.

Moreover, don’t openly share your location with the general public, as you risk attracting trouble. The same goes for your address and phone number.

Keeping sensitive personal information private brings peace of mind.

I was mugged a few years ago and had to replace everything from my identity documents to credit cards to my locks, a process I found daunting and anxiety-inducing.

Learning how to safeguard your personal information is a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

4) Other people’s secrets

While a little gossip may give you the illusion that you’re deepening a relationship, sharing things others have confided in you is a big no-no.

Besides being unethical, it can have a detrimental effect on your mental health, according to psychologists.

Engaging in gossip damages trust. It makes people feel betrayed when they discover that others are spreading rumors and talking behind their backs.

It also causes other negative side effects:

  • It can lead to misunderstandings and conflict
  • It has the potential to tarnish someone’s reputation unfairly
  • It reflects poorly on you, the one spreading the rumors or revealing the secrets
  • It can contribute to the perpetuation of harmful biases and discrimination
  • It wastes energy you could spend doing something more productive

All in all, if someone tells you a secret, keep your mouth shut.

5) Your biggest goals

Keeping your biggest goals to yourself improves your performance, according to psychologists.

While sharing them with others may keep you accountable, revealing them too soon can have the opposite effect.

You get all the satisfaction you crave from others reacting positively to your desire to improve, so you feel less motivated to follow through.

Furthermore, your biggest goals are deeply personal. 

Keeping them private allows you to protect your vision without outside influences that may distort it.

One of my biggest dreams is to write a fiction book, and I’ve recently confided in a friend about the general plot and my issues with figuring out some of the specifics.

He tried to be supportive, but he started to give me a lot of suggestions that were unhelpful to the direction in which I wanted to take the book.

When I pointed this out, he proceeded to criticize said direction, making me doubt myself.

Sharing your goals with others can sometimes lead to unwanted interference or unsolicited advice.

Keeping them to yourself, meanwhile, enables you to keep distractions, pressure, and judgment at bay.

6) Your good deeds

Announcing your good deeds to the world can inspire others to follow in your footsteps… or can make others look at you with skepticism instead of admiration.

According to psychologists, helping others promotes mental health and leads to happiness.

To reap the rewards, though, it’s best to keep your charitable effort to yourself.

Publicizing good deeds can come across as self-promotion or virtue signaling, prompting people to question your authenticity.

At the end of the day, your actions should be driven by kindness and empathy, not a desire for praise or attention.

Right?

Not only that but keeping your good deeds private allows you to savor the personal satisfaction that comes from making a positive impact.

Others don’t need to be aware of your altruism for it to count.

7) Negative self-talk

If you struggle with negative self-talk, sharing your destructive thoughts with others may keep you focused on the wrong thing.

Psychologists insist that one of the more effective ways to counter negative thoughts is to replace them with neutral or positive ones.

And the key to succeeding stands in repetition.

The more you tell yourself something, the more you believe it.

While everyone deals with insecurities, voicing yours out loud boosts their power.

It’s normal to share your struggles with mental health professionals or loved ones, as they can provide support.

But obsessing over them and bringing them up whenever you’re around others reinforces self-doubt.

There’s a reason why “fake it until you make it” is such a popular saying.

By choosing positivity, you act like who you want to be – and you can eventually become that person.

Dwelling on problems will only take you so far.

Final thoughts

Everyone is different.

While some people share little about their private lives, others are willing to talk about their darkest secrets with complete strangers.

But regardless of what category you fall in, think twice before revealing any of the information above.

There’s a chance your openness will come back to haunt you. 

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