Having a friend who is lousy at keeping secrets is an unfortunate situation that could end your relationship. It’s one of the basic rules of a friendship, but it still happens, none the less. When you realize a friend betrayed you in this way, you’ll likely be shocked and hurt by it.
Unfortunately, some people may have difficulty keeping things to themselves. Even when they have every intention of keeping their word, they may slip up and mention it to someone else.
You can talk to your friend about this in a thoughtful way. That way, there are no other hard feelings that come out of the discussion. Plus, you can take additional precautions next time to make sure that your secret is safe.
Just remember that being kind is vital, especially if the friendship is important to you. Everyone does or says things that they regret, and your friend may be feeling regret already. Since you’re also feeling regret for confiding in them, keep that in mind the next time you have a secret.
What to Do When Your Friend is Lousy at Keeping Secrets
1 – Confront Them and Tell Them How It Makes You Feel
While you are confronting them about exposing your secrets, this isn’t the only reason you should talk about it. It’s essential to explain to them not only how angry you are, but also how it hurt you. By talking about it, you’re preventing negative feelings from festering.
If you allow negative feelings to fester, you’re only hurting yourself. It can be detrimental to your well-being and mental health. You have to tell the friend exactly how you felt that they exposed your secret.
You should consider the fact that your friend didn’t realize how serious it was when they told your secret. Talking about it can shed light on it if that was the case, and you can help your friend understand. This chat could be all it takes to make them better at keeping secrets in the future.
Keeping the feelings and thoughts to yourself will not help the situation. The only way to make it better is by talking about it. Just remember to be kind as you are explaining it, because your friend may not have realized the mistake.
2 – Forgive Them Even if They Don’t Apologize
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are saying what they did was acceptable. It also doesn’t mean that you are letting anyone take advantage of you. The purpose of forgiveness in this situation is solely for personal reasons.
Just like talking about it will help you avoid negative emotions, forgiveness will, too. Without forgiveness, it will eat away at you and make it worse. You’ll continue to feel awful about what happened, and it’ll take a toll on your mental health.
So, even if your friend doesn’t apologize for not telling someone your secret, forgive them anyway. Not for their sake, but for yours.
You don’t want to live with negative emotions forever. Unfortunately, if you don’t address it with the person who caused it, it’ll linger much longer than necessary. The feelings may end up staying with you forever, and it’ll severely impact your relationship with that friend.
3 – Stop Telling Them Your Secrets
If you have already talked to your friend about keeping secrets that you tell them and nothing changed, it’s time to reevaluate your friendship. This doesn’t mean you have to stop being their friend entirely. Instead, it just means that you have to decide if the relationship should change from what it is now.
Even if that person is your best friend, you have to think about your well-being when deciding. If they have struggled to keep your secrets, knowing that it hurts you, then stop telling them things.
You don’t even have to tell them that you aren’t going to share secrets with them anymore. If you’re worried about upsetting them, just stop telling them without mentioning it. They may notice so that the conversation may come up eventually, but chances are they won’t figure it out.
4 – Find a Friend Who Is Good at Keeping Secrets
Turn to a friend you can that you can trust. Don’t tell all of the details and secrets to the friend that you know will tell others. Find the friends who will keep any secret you ask them to.
Instead of continuing to tell your friend who can’t keep secrets, turn to a friend whom you can that you can trust.
If you find a friend who can keep your secrets, you will find so much relief. You won’t have to keep secrets to yourself, and you won’t have to stress about your secrets being told.
5 – Ask Yourself If the Friendship is Worth Repairing
Even if you decide that you want to end the friendship, you should still confront the friend. Telling them how it made you feel is essential no matter what the future of your relationship is. Sometimes, it’s impossible to repair friendships after a betrayal involving trust.
If you find that the relationship irreparable, you have to make that decision and stick to it. This outcome means that you shouldn’t text or call the friend. You have to make a clean break, or you’ll always have mixed feelings on the situations.
By making a clean break, you’re allowing yourself to walk away with a clear conscious. You’ve forgiven, explained your feelings, and decided to end the relationship. This move will enable you to heal and move on positively.
6 – Remember That Trust is Important in a Friendship
It is essential for both you and the friend who exposed your secret to remember that trust is important. You can’t have a healthy relationship if there is no trust between the two of you. This could always be a burden on the friendship, causing lingering negative emotions.
If you think that trust cannot be quickly earned back, stepping away may be best. If you decide to continue the friendship, make it clear that your friend has to earn the trust back.
It may take time, or it may occur sooner than you think. Either way, trust is important and will have to be earned back at this point.
The Way to Make Sure Your Secrets Are Always Safe
Keep Them to Yourself
Sometimes it feels so important to get something off your chest. It may be best to ignore these feelings, however, because you never know who you can fully trust. If your secret is serious and you don’t want it out, force yourself to keep it inside.
You never know when a relationship with a friend will end, and they will look for a way to hurt you. Additionally, the one person you trusted may turn to their significant other or family member. The friend may think that the person they choose to tell will also keep the secret, but that is rarely the case.
Just because your friend trusted the person that they told your secret to doesn’t mean that you should, too. Remember that the people your friend trusts have little loyalty to you, so your secrets are not safe with them. If this happens, your friend likely didn’t mean to hurt you, but the damage will have been done anyway.
The only way to completely prevent your secrets from being exposed is by keeping them to yourself. There is one other safe place you can turn to for complete secrecy, however. You won’t have to worry about your secret being exposed, and this is with a therapist.
Talk to a Therapist (not your friends)
Sometimes, keeping a secret to yourself can be impossible. It’s good to talk about what is bothering you, especially if it is causing negative emotions. When this happens, and you don’t want to risk your secret getting out, consider a therapist.
When you tell something to a therapist, you can guarantee that they are good at keeping secrets. This is because they are legally required to keep what you have told them confidential. Even better, a therapist can help you work through it in ways that a friend can’t.
Final Thoughts on How to Cope with a Friend Who is Bad at Keeping Secrets
It is hard to deal with a friend who isn’t good at keeping secrets. You will likely be hurt and feel betrayed, but all you can do is explain to your friend how it upset you. If the friendship is important to you, make sure you are kind when you confront them.
The next time you have a secret that you want to keep, consider other ways you can deal with it. You can choose a different friend to confide in, or you can keep it to yourself.
If keeping it to yourself isn’t an option, a therapist can help, too. Then, you won’t have to worry about a friend keeping your secrets for you. You’ll be able to get it off your chest and feel secure knowing that your secret is safe.