That's why you should share more of your secrets – NRK Trøndelag – Local news, TV and radio

That's why you should share more of your secrets – NRK Trøndelag – Local news, TV and radio

“I was the one who stole those cookies.”

“I suffer from emotionally unstable personality disorder.”

“I'd rather stay still and do nothing.”

Three secrets from three young students at NTNU in Trondheim.

We all have them. Small or big things that are well hidden in our thoughts. Some are darker than others.

I must tell you something

Imagine that you are going to tell someone a negative secret about yourself. Write how you think they will react.

That's exactly what several groups of people were asked to do in an experiment conducted at the McCombs Business School in Texas.

Then, they had to tell their secrets to strangers, acquaintances, friends, family or lovers. Teach daily.

The reactions of those who heard were much more positive than expected.

When we think about sharing negative information about ourselves, we focus on the content. Recipients think about the positive qualities required to unlock this secret, says one of the professors who conducted the study, Amit Kumar.

It was the study Published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

He fears he will be less liked

Why would we want to keep something a secret? Yes, because we think people would like us less if they knew what we know.

We feel ashamed, remorseful or afraid of our low social status, says Leif-Edward Ottesen Kinnear, professor of psychology at NTNU.

Exclamation!  In a thought bubble

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He says that you and I exaggerate how negatively others view us.

We underestimate how positive it is to appear humane and generous. Someone who shows you have confidence.

Portrait of Leif Edward Ottesen Keener

Simply sharing a secret will create a sense of relief, says psychology professor Leif Edward Ottesen Keener.

Photo: Aurora Nordness

We should participate more

The professor believes the research is important, and that it would be good if more of us realized that people are kinder than we think.

If I tell you a secret, you think; Trust me. Even if what I say objectively could be considered negative, you become positive towards me.

Flowering thoughts

People can tolerate hearing about your flaws a lot more than you think, without judging you as a negative person, Keener says.

Rather, they think that you are the type of person who shares such things, and that you are more human than they thought.

They are at work

Then there was the workplace gang. How much should we really share with them?

At work we have to be professional, but Keener believes we need to have a close relationship with some colleagues.

The closer we get to a working friendship, the more natural it becomes to talk about private matters and life's challenges.

He thinks that sometimes you make fairly strict rules about how much you can talk about.

A psychology professor says that appearing like a real person in front of your close colleagues is an advantage in daily work.

Secrets become less dangerous

He says, for example, that if those who are socially anxious were given just the opportunity to say they were socially anxious, much of the fear would disappear.

What they fear is being exposed as socially anxious. Then they see that people suddenly become more generous, welcoming, kind and supportive.


The darker your secret, the more negative you should expect the response to be. But even then, you as an individual are likely overestimating how negative the response will be.

– Suppose you confess to something that you should really be ashamed of. then You can't expect a generous, positive response anyway, but you'll likely be received much better than you think, says Keener.

It gets better after you tell secrets.

Maybe you are now sitting and thinking about your secret, and you actually have a little desire to reveal it. Then you can take these three tips with you.

Don't reveal everything about yourself

Throughout your life, you do things that not everyone needs to know.

These are private things, and you happen to “stand out” others if you tell them everything that's on your mind, Kinnear says.

He says that social intelligence is not revealing everything about oneself.

Not everything is appropriate to say to others.

Not in the coffee company

Think about who you will tell the secret to.

Professor says: I think over the course of a week, you have thoughts that you shouldn't share with your old aunts at the coffee party.

He also says it's nice to know that there are people who don't want you to be okay.

Obviously, if you share a secret with the wrong person, and it leads to bullying and social punishments, it is a huge disappointment. But even then, it's often a relief to not have to carry secrets.

The masses are faceless

We've become a bit more open, but that's a common thing, says Kinnear Strategically and partly because it is trendy.

-You share what is “in the wind” to share. I pBecause if we start splitting up into big, faceless blocs to get attention, I think it could turn into something negative.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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