Peeps, I’m having one of those word-storm times when my synapses are on fire, I’m not sleeping, and I need to get this sparkly prose down on paper before it — you know — sparkles out. I’m grateful. I’m thrilled. I’m not capable of writing a real post at the moment, but in any case, I could use your perspective on something…
You know the question about what you should do if you find out a best friend’s husband is cheating? (For the record, having listened and counseled patients in that unfortunate position, unless I thought he/she was having their health risked, I wouldn’t say anything. He/she’s in the grip of denial and, like a butterfly emerged from a cocoon, unfolding their wings for them will be counterproductive.)
This is a similar ethical issue: What would you do if you found out a person in your life was withholding information from you?
Now it’s not vital that you know it. They haven’t harmed you in any real way, except you are a little startled and a smidge hurt they didn’t trust you with their secret. (There’s no way they simply forgot. If you believed in labelling it, this would qualify as a lie of omission.)
That said, what do you do? What demonstrates the best and highest hope for the relationship?
1. Ignore it and step out in the same openness you’ve practiced before. Understand their non-disclosure isn’t personal; they have reasons for their silence which make sense to them.
2. Say nothing but acknowledge the relationship wasn’t as close as you might have liked. Become more guarded in what you share of yourself.
3. Model openness and transparency by saying, “FYI, I know your secret but it doesn’t matter. I still care for you.” Then keep your lips zipped about their secret for ever and ever, amen.
I think I’ve decided on #1. I think it’s the hardest route but the most hopeful. I think we all have internal trust-clocks, and I have no right or ability to wind another’s spring tighter than they wish.
But what say you, O Readership?
Tell it to me straight:
If, when digging, a worm you unearth,
Do you call it “bait”?