Question

A "what would you do" dilemma

You have a friend who trusts you to be honest and open with him/her. You've had something on your mind for awhile that involves that friend. The friend isn't doing anything bad or that would negatively impact your friendship. You can't talk about this with anyone other than that friend as it's a very confidential matter. Keeping it to yourself is starting to stress you out a bit and the stress level will likely increase the longer you keep it bottled up, but keeping it to yourself does not do any harm to your friend. Telling the friend what's on your mind may ease your stress, but it may not be in the friend's best interest (or yours) for him/her to know what's on your mind. Telling him/her could possibly cause tension between you, or it may be just fine and you'll laugh it off.

Do you tell? Or do you keep quiet and hope things work themselves out?

I think I know the answer but it would be nice to hear other people's thoughts.

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Comments
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Clarification Request
(NT) missing way too much information to make a call
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Answer
Did you plagiarize?

I just saw this in an article recently, almost word for word. Gone looking....

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Seriously????

I swear, no. I wrote it myself. That would really be something if somebody else wrote almost the exact same words.

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Sorry then

It just hit me I'd read something very similar in the past 2 days at one of those sites with words like "gossip" or "celeb" or "cafemom" or similar or maybe NYT section in the title. I've been going through history file, but it's large due to hot days and me clicking away during those days, and think I got near the page I'd read, but haven't found it. The premise of the particular article was about how to tell a friend they were annoying you without hurting their feelings or driving them away, but that relieving the stress on you was important too. I don't even remember if it was a full page or a sidebar on another, which may be why I can't find it now.

This sounds like male-female friendship where one or both are married to someone else. That one's easy, although not always pleasant, but the downside of telling could become even more unpleasant. If either "friend" is married, say nothing. If not, then worth a try.

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No prob

It would have been pretty freaky though.

And agreed on the "if either party is married" thing if an affair was the subject of the proposed conversation. Absolutely best to keep it to yourself then. Telling in that case could get really messy no matter how the other person responded.

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Answer
Response

IF this person told me something that I would consider to be "as confidential" That would set a level of the degree of honesty and trust that they expect, and IF I decide to tell, I might bring that up when I tell my secret.

If not...tell your situation to someone that doesn't know either of you and see if that helps relieve some of your stress. (A Bartender?)

More than likely I'd keep quiet and hope things work themselves out. (as long as no one was being harmed)

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Yes....

.....this person has confided in me in the past. Even so, I'm leaning towards saying nothing; it's probably best for everyone.

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A couple of thoughts

Using the all too familiar IF scenario....

IF, it's a secret, it can only be KEPT a secret if the two of you know and no one else....unless he/she decides to tell someone else. Trust is the main issue here and he/she trusted you and no one else. It's now your burden to carry, much like a priest.

IF, it's an annoyance, the fact that he/she trusts you, you should be able to talk it out.

My personal favorite: IF my grandmother had *************, she would be my grandfather.

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I know what works with me

I will think of what I will tell the person. I will go over it again and again refining it each time. About the sixth time, I'm bored the whole thing and just let it go. I used to do that with my sister when she lived with me. She was supposed to do her share and she didn't. She is eight years younger and more of a social animal than I was so she had different priorities. Most of it was so trivial that it wasn't worth yelling about but it still bothered me. So I would think my piece six times while I was doing her job and the job and bother were both gone.

Diana

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LOL, I've done that too

Or I'll write a long letter, keep it for a few days, read it a few times, and then delete it. It does help to just write the thoughts down even if you don't share them.

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When I used to be a Mod at CNET

I would write a reply, especially if it was a really nasty one, read it, edit it, read it again, edit again, etc. until I thought my fingers would fall off...and have to keep that right pinky finger CLEAR away from the "enter" key and make sure my mouse never made it to the 'submit reply' button......then I would click CANCEL after about a half hour LOL It didn't ALWAYS work because I've had my fair share of asinine posts over the years, but most times, I was able to hang in there long enough to totally vent, cancel, and feel much better.

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I'd go with saying nothing

If the relationship seem sound but you feel some stress, deal with your own stress. If the other person also senses something uncomfortable and brings up something related to your feelings, start now to work on your response. If the subject never comes up, you may both be better off. My own experience is that I've regretted more of what I've said than what I never found words for.

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I've regretted both

I've said plenty of things I later wished I hadn't, and I've kept quiet and later wished I'd said something. I lean towards keeping quiet in this case.

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Answer
This comes up with us Witnesses, perhaps more

often than it should. The bible covers it, though not in a verse or two, but it's complicated for us because many of us were raised in a "don't squeal" environment, which is not a scriptural teaching. Anyway,you have no obligation to apply it to yourself. You could approach a Witness with that very question and sit down for a biblical discussion, with the proviso that you're not interested in anything else. You can easily afford our per-hour rate: Mt 10:8 Happy

Perhaps it will help to send you to the what we use as a starting point:
If the problem is not one that will hurt the congregation or bring reproach on Jehovah, it can be dealt with by noting Paul's comment at 1 Cor 13, especially v. 7: [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If it's more serious, so that the reputation of your God or your "congregation" [of friends] would be harmed, the procedure is outlined at Mt 18:15-17. Although much of it is specific to those "following Jesus" [meaning 'willing to listen to what he says' Happy ], you could note verse 15, the 'first step': If [your brother] listens to you, you have gained him. So your motive should be a kindly or loving one.

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