In an era where sharing is the norm and an open-book mentality is celebrated, the practice of keeping things to oneself is increasingly becoming a lost art. However, the age-old wisdom that advocates for discretion and discernment still holds considerable value today. There are situations in which the best choice is to remain silent, guard your emotions, plans, or thoughts, and selectively disclose information about yourself. Here is an exploration of why and when keeping things to yourself can be the best thing to do.
The Value of Personal Boundaries
Respecting and maintaining personal boundaries forms the backbone of healthy relationships. These boundaries define one’s personal space, both emotionally and mentally, and are essential for promoting self-esteem and self-identity. While it is necessary to share experiences and feelings with others to foster a sense of connection, it is equally important to keep certain things to oneself to protect your boundaries and maintain balance.
Preserving Personal Power
Every piece of information you disclose about yourself, your plans, or your thoughts, gives others a certain degree of power over you. They can use this knowledge to influence or manipulate your decisions or even betray your trust. On the other hand, exercising the discipline to keep your intentions and strategies to yourself can give you the upper hand, especially in professional or competitive environments. Discretion is a form of self-protection and a strategic tool that can enhance your personal power.
Promoting Mental Wellness
While discussing emotions can be therapeutic, there are circumstances when keeping feelings to yourself can lead to better mental health. Over-sharing, especially on social media platforms, can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression, mainly due to the pressure of external judgment. Knowing when to remain silent and introspect, rather than voicing every concern or worry, can provide you with space for self-reflection and personal growth.
Maintaining Authentic Relationships
Contrary to popular belief, the quality of relationships is not determined by the volume of shared personal information, but by the depth of understanding and respect between the individuals. By practicing selective sharing, you can foster authenticity in your relationships. This is because it encourages others to value the information you choose to share and to appreciate your discretion and respect for personal boundaries.
Preserving the Element of Surprise
Sometimes, keeping your plans or ambitions to yourself until they are realized can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and achievement. It also preserves the element of surprise, adding excitement to your life. Sharing prematurely may subject your dreams and plans to undue criticism or pessimism, which could potentially derail your progress.
While it’s healthy and essential to share and connect with others, it is equally important to exercise discretion and keep some things to yourself. As the saying goes, ‘Silence is Golden,’ and indeed, in certain circumstances, it can be the best course of action. Learning to navigate this balance is a vital life skill that can contribute to improved personal relationships, mental health, and overall personal development. Remember, the wisdom lies not in withholding everything, but in knowing what, when, and with whom to share.