So, you’re in a good friendship. Your friend has all the qualities you cherish most, and in so many ways they’re ideal. That’s it, right? The answer to that question is a big NO. It’s not that easy. There are always friendship hot-spots that you eventually need to deal with. A couple of the most important qualities about a friend are that they are respectful and trustworthy.
Have you ever told a secret to someone, and they told someone else, even though they made a promise not to tell? It happens to all of us. So how do we know whether they can be trusted? For starters, don’t share secrets with people you hear secrets from. Even though you may like gossip, you shouldn’t trust the person that spreads it. Trust is the glue that holds a friendship together.
If you have a friend who thinks popularity is more important than keeping your secrets, they’re not a good person to share your secrets with. And if a friend wants to hear other people’s secrets from you, they’re not a trustworthy friend. On the flip side, if you feel like telling your friend’s secrets, you should remember that most people enjoy hearing a juicy bit of gossip, but they don’t trust or respect the person who tells the secrets about someone else. You don’t want that to happen to you, do you?
So, how smart are you about secrets? Let’s find out by taking this test about secrecy. Put an imaginary check next to each statement you think is true.
It’s Okay to tell a secret someone told you:
  1. If you make the person swear not to tell anyone else.
  2. If you don’t like the person the secret is about.
  3. If the secret is likely to get out anyway.
  4. If you don’t reveal who the secret is about & just say “he” or “she” instead.
  5. If keeping the secret could put the person who told you-or someone else-in danger.
Have you got your answer(s)? If you checked any of the numbers 1 through 4, reconsider how trustworthy you are. The only correct statement is number 5. You should always tell an adult if someone is likely to get hurt. For number one, your friend told you something in confidence, and you would be betraying them. You shouldn’t tell secrets even if they’re about someone you don’t like, because your friends would think you’re not so trustworthy. It makes you look mean. If you think the secret is going to get out anyway, why should you share it? Just like the one before, it would make you look like an untrustworthy person. In fact, that’s the reason you shouldn’t do number 4, either. For number 5, your friend might still think you’re betraying their confidence, but your friend’s safety is more important.
Just remember that you shouldn’t share secrets with a loose-lipped friend, and you should keep your friend’s secrets unless you don’t want to be their friend anymore. Good luck!
-Judi S. Ortega, who thinks positive out loud