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Should you share secrets, problems with friends?

It is generally believed that a problem shared is a problem half solved, and it is also said that a tree cannot make a forest…

It is generally believed that a problem shared is a problem half solved, and it is also said that a tree cannot make a forest so we need the help and support of others to succeed or excel. Friends usually come to mind when one is going through some difficulties. Should one share secrets, goals, fears with his/her best friend(s)? 

Bashir Yahuza Malumfashi, a journalist, told LIFEXTRA that he can share his secrets with his confidential pals. He responded, “I can tell my secret to some of my very few and confidential friends. I mean friends who mean well for me; with whom I share my innermost feelings.”

How does he identify such friends? Malumfashi said “I know them by long time association physically. It’s either at home, office but definitely not via social media.”

Chukwudera Michael Chiedoziem, a student, said a problem shared is a problem half solved “only when shared with the right people who can help proffer a solution to your problems.”

He explained that “It isn’t good to share your problems with the wrong people because there are people who are happy you have the problems.”

Chiedoziem however clarified that if you share your secrets or problems with the right persons “even if they can’t help you out, there’s always that psychological relief they’ll help you get either by the way they listen to you -which is all we need at times, someone to listen- or the way they encourage you.”

Agbona Rilwan, a teacher, agreed that a problem shared is half solved, “Given that experiences differ, the other person might have experienced it before or have a different outlook to the problem,” he replied.       

On sharing secrets, Rilwan said, “If it is supposed to be a ‘secret’, then you don’t share it with anyone. I will share a problem not a secret.”

He gave examples of what he views as problems and secrets “A problem like my car is faulty or someone is after me at work. A secret is something like I killed someone or embezzled funds.”

Lagos based Abdulrasheed Afolabi told LIFEXTRA that if you must share, it should be with friends you know very well and also have a long history with, in addition to  having done a lot of things together that both proved your loyalty to one another. “I see no reason to hide things from such a person,” he said.

Bearing all these in mind, Afolabi said even family members shouldn’t be trusted unless they are proven worthy.

An entrepreneur who identified himself as Chigozie said there was no point being best friends with people you can’t share your secrets with, “There’s a cliché ‘If you can’t build with them, don’t chill with them’. My best friends are people I share a lot with, especially my goals and fears. Secrets are more sensitive and I think when shared, they’re no more secrets in its real sense.”

He however feels that the nature of the secrets will determine which of your friend you should share them with “even among my best friends, there are people I tell some kind of things. I feel the best thing is to know who your friends are and figure out if they can help you conquer your fears if you share with them.”

He however warned against mistaking social media friends as best friends. “The mistake most people make is that they think their social media friends are their friends. Social media is a place you should never ever share such sensitive things. Most of the people there are not your friends. Look for your best friends and help one another become better!”


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