Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
When we have good news or bad news, we want to share it with people. Unfortunately, everyone is not on your side. Some people will undoubtedly take your personal information and hold it against you either then or later.
Here are some reasons it is unwise to share sensitive information with everyone.
Personal News Might Be Held Against You
Some people will listen to you when you share some personal information with them because you need a sounding board. It is not unusual for people to hold the information against you in unrelated situations. They throw it back in your face by saying, "Remember when you told me..."
Some Might Put Their Own Spin on News
When you share sensitive information, some people might put their own spin on it and embellish it to make others think you are the scum of the earth. They put you down to make themselves look good.
Some Might Rejoice Over Your Bad News
It is hard to swallow, but some people enjoy it when you are down and out. They actually rejoice over your bad news.
Sometimes you share information with family members and friends because you want them to help you. However, it turns out to be just the opposite. They use your personal information as talking points in their next conversation with someone else.
You might have experienced some of the following cases.
Sometimes you might tell your family members and friends something thinking they will offer you some solace or positive advice at the time. However, you might receive some of the following reactions.
- The person shames you while gasping and saying how horrible the situation is and admits that you should be ashamed of yourself for letting it happen that way. You are blamed for your own discomfort.
- A friend might listen attentively giving you the impression that he cares. Before you finish your story, he cuts in and tells you what you should have done or not have done. He starts his statements with "If I were you" or "I would have said..."
- Someone might say, "I thought you knew better than to do that. How did you let that happen?” You are left feeling unworthy to handle your own problems.
- Sometimes people will make you feel bad by asking, "What part did you play in that misfortune?"
- There might be someone who doubts you and keep saying, "You must be kidding. I know that didn't really happen. You must have made that story up."
- There might be a person who uses your bad news as an opportunity to get one up on you by saying, “That’s nothing. Listen to what happened to me…”
There are other scenarios, but the above ones are enough to get you to reconsider telling certain people about your troubles.
I shared some very personal information with a next-door neighbor. Both of us attended the same traditional church at the time. On a Sunday morning during testimonial time, the neighbor stood us and told my personal information. She tried to camouflage it in codes, but people knew she was talking about me. She used phrases such as "my next-door neighbor" and "that woman." Her point was how she helped "that woman" with a very personal problem, and she stated what the problem was. Instead, of giving God the glory or asking the congregation to pray for "that woman," she used me as an object lesson to elevate herself.
In another instance, I shared some sensitive information with my pastor and he used it as an illustration in his sermon the following Sunday. He used so many references about me that after the service was over, several people came to me and said they knew the pastor was talking about me. Then they began to ask questions to fill in the gaps the pastor had left out.
Once a person called me on the telephone and complained about "someone." During the conversation, I sensed the person was talking TO me ABOUT me. When I asked her if she was talking about me, she confessed that indeed she was. How awful!
I have experienced all the above and many more like them. That's why I can say with certainty that you shouldn't share your personal information with everyone.
Mark Richardson from Utah on November 15, 2020:
I am an open book. However, this is a good article because I have realized that when you are open & share your thoughts and opinions, you are opening yourself up to others that are vocal and may not be respectful of differing opinions. I think what we need right now is tolerance. I have learned that there are consequences of what you say, so I may need to play my cards closer to my chest.
Maurice from FL on November 15, 2020:
Trust is a very big issue in our society these days. It would be good if we are able to trust people. The people who we can trust are ordained by God to be a blessing to us. The Bible says confess your fault one to another. This must be real trustworthy people who fear God and not seeking their own agenda.
The neighbor who stood up at testimony time to tell your business has done an ungodly act. It is very important that we discen who we have to deal with. If they are quick to talk about other people's business then it is an indication that they can't be trusted.
Your points are really good in recognnizing the actions of those who we cannot trust.
Maurice from FL on November 15, 2020:
One thing I come to learn is to try the spirit because there are people who will look out for our wel being. For certain there are a few. These are people who do their best to crucify the flesh and seek to please God. The Bible tells us to confess your fault one to another. As we see how the world has become ungodly and people express more selfish behavior, lt cause us to trust less.
There is so much truth in this writing we have to be very careful who we share our personal story with. I remember I was tell a church brother of the sacrifice I had to make in helping my mother and he laughed me to scorn. I felt bad but after a time I learned of his shady lifestyle. We have to know people and what they stand for. I have friends that we would pray about any situation we are facing. This what Jesus wants us to do to help each other make it.
When that next door neighbor stood up to tell your personal business at testimony time, it goes to show who she is spiritually. The Holy Spirit would not have her say that. Personal conversation should be told to those who are proven to be real people person and doesn't to gain from someone's pain.
billips from Central Texas on November 15, 2020:
I agree with you
completely. Some things are best kept private.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 15, 2020:
Quite well done and a fine lesson. Just as a joke, you just shared your personal problems with me. What should I do? :-)
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 14, 2020:
Everything you say can and will be held against you.