Don’t Share Your Secrets With Me

A Times of India column on 24 November reported that one of the dreaded phrases a husband hears from his wife is ‘we need to talk.’ Such invitation may send chill down the spine not only for a spouse, but can create terror in social, business and professional contexts too. Imagine a bossy boss telling this to a timid subordinate, a defaulted debtor hearing this from a Shylock-like financier, a student’s parent from a teacher, a vendor from an important client …

There are several other opening statements I am wary of.

I want to share a secret with you

Please do not. If you cannot keep a secret, don’t burden with the responsibility. I don’t want to security classify the data I keep and apply access control on them. By chance, if others know of it from other sources means, you would lose trust in me. Such source would mostly be you as you are most likely to share the secret with several others like me.

However, if the information is for my action, let me know. If I can help the nation, society, community, organiasation or my home with the additional knowledge, I would like to use it. Trust me to be sensitive and sensible enough to treat it like a secret if needed.

Let me be frank with you

What have I done to invite your special frankness? I thought you were always open and frank with me. What is this special circumstance that makes you wear this façade of frankness? What wrong have I done to be prepared to listen to the extra special frank talk?

Plain speaking and frank talks are neither plain nor frank.

The announced frankness may be your arrogance and lack of concern for my feelings and inconveniences.

To tell you the truth

When you plead to believe in your story, announcing that you are telling the truth (to tell you the truth), doubts arise. I do not need these oaths, I believe you. I am happy to believe that every person tells me the truth and be fooled 10% of the times rather than believing people to be mendacious and be wrong 90% of the times.

I swear by God

What if I am an atheist?

You may be swearing by your parents, child, political leader, favourite actor or cricket player. I do not know any one of them. Even if the people by whom you swear are great, if you do not have your own dignity and credibility, swearing makes no difference to me. In your image, you defile those in whose name you swear. There was a case when some political leaders wanted to swear in front of the idol in Dharmasthala. One of them ended up in Jail for corruption charges not long after that. Swearing continued away from the temple.

Are you sure?

When I speak, I speak with my conviction, sure to the best of my knowledge. Why do you doubt me so often?

Corporate world is full of buzzwords that lose their meaning by overuse. See the most despised corporate buzzwords.

In an HBR blog Jerry Weissman makes a case to “Replace Meaningless Words with Meaningful Ones.”


About pgbhat

A retired Naval Officer and an educationist. Has experience with software industry. A guest faculty at different institutes and a corporate trainer with software development companies.
This entry was posted in Communication, Everyday Life. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s