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It’s in the Friendship Vault

June 12, 2011

A friend moves from friend to confidante when you know that what is said between the two of you stays between the two of you.  Nothing is shared outside the sanctity of your friendship.  In other words, it’s in the vault.  There’s no unlocking it for other friends, relatives or partners.  It’s just between the two of you!

This rare quality of deep soul sharing is earned through trials and tribulation.  It often comes after something so deeply personal happens that you must share it with someone you we trust to gain perspective, or help mentally massage away the pain.  This special trust continues when not even a peep about it is ever heard again, unless it’s through your own Morse code.

But the trust can be broken in an instant if your friend alludes to something in front of others, knowingly sends you a literal or verbal wink while others are looking, or makes a comment that causes others to question what you may be withholding.

As women, most of us take our responsibility for in-the-vault moments very seriously.  We may suggest that our friend fess up, wise up, reconcile, seek help, or take a stress break, but that’s her decision, not ours.  If the information is just too much to bear, it may be time to let our friend know that we can’t take part in that conversation any longer.

Letting a friend confide or supporting her through a difficult time means you are a trusted thought partner. You lend a listening ear, allowing her to hear herself think out loud.  You get her over or through and help her see what she just can’t.

How do you keep insider information private?  How have you released yourself as a confidante if the information was too fragile for you to handle?  We welcome your insights and perspectives—even if they’re different from ours!

–Diane

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Noonie Benford permalink
    June 12, 2011 3:04 pm

    I agree, Diane! Social media and the Internet make so much public. It is more uncommon and more important than ever to be able to entrust our confidential information to friends.

  2. June 12, 2011 5:39 pm

    Diane, what a well-written commentary! Your words are absolutely poetic in their beauty and in their meaning.

    As I think back on close friendships, I don’t remember asking someone to keep my information private. I always assume that when I confide in a close friend, my personal information will be kept that way. As far as I know, it always has.

    Of course, there are many levels of friendship. While I trust my “top-tier friends” completely, I certainly would not confide personal information to co-workers, clients, or even most neighbors. People have to earn my trust. Once they do, I feel comfortable sharing the details of my life.

    Thanks for giving me and many others the benefit of your friendship.

    Sincerely,

    Pat

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