Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Fess up – or keep it zipped?

When that skele­ton in your closet can’t be ig­nored, do you come clean, tell a porkie or at­tempt a Broad­church-style cover-up? In mat­ters of the heart, the of­fice and your bank bal­ance, we asked the ex­perts to ex­plain when to con­fess… and when to keep sh­tum MONEY the se­cret


fess up or shut up? Fess up to your other half. ‘Once you’re in debt, it’s go­ing to af­fect the fu­ture for both of you,’ says Dr Gail Saltz, psy­chi­a­trist and author of The Power of Dif­fer­ent. deal with it

The ear­lier you tell them, the bet­ter, says Dr Saltz. ‘There’s no amount of debt that’s good to keep se­cret,’ she says. Tell your part­ner you want to earn back their trust and will make fi­nan­cial sac­ri­fices to do so. Dis­cuss pos­si­ble causes openly so they know it wasn’t out of a dis­re­gard for them, but down to your own un­der­ly­ing is­sues. Ex­plain that, with their sup­port, you’re now ready to work on the is­sues. next step

Trans­parency is a must, says Dr Saltz. You’ll want to share bank state­ments as well as plans for catch­ing up with re­pay­ments. Be sure to talk about any long-term fi­nan­cial and life goals, such as start­ing a fam­ily or buy­ing a house, and how to achieve them to­gether. Bor­ing maybe, but to­tally worth it. WORK the se­cret


fess up or shut up? Fess up, es­pe­cially if your blun­der might harm your com­pany, says ca­reer expert Maxie Mccoy. ‘If, for in­stance, you sent sen­si­tive data to the wrong re­cip­i­ent, or your bud­get fore­cast was flawed, you need to come clean. And soon.’ deal with it

Think of ways you could rem­edy your mis­take – you want to own up with more than just an apol­ogy. Then, says Mccoy, ask to see your boss. ‘Get to the point quickly,’ she says. ‘Say: “I made a mis­take and I have some ideas about how we can solve it.” It’s cru­cial to take full re­spon­si­bil­ity. That’s a lead­er­ship tac­tic that builds trust and rap­port.’ next step

Let the sit­u­a­tion breathe, ad­vises Mccoy. ‘Your boss needs a chance to re­act. But make it clear you’re in­vested in fix­ing the prob­lem. Once it’s sorted, thank your su­pe­ri­ors for un­der­stand­ing it was a one-off er­ror and for al­low­ing you to prove your­self.’ Ul­ti­mately, your hon­esty could turn this episode into a plus. LOVE the se­cret


fess up or shut up? It de­pends, ac­tu­ally. ‘If it was a one-time fling, there’s a strong ar­gu­ment for keep­ing quiet,’ says Dr Scott Haltz­man, psy­chi­a­trist and author of

But what if it’s a re­cur­ring is­sue? ‘There’s an on­go­ing prob­lem that has to be dealt with,’ he says. The Se­crets of Sur­viv­ing In­fi­delity. deal with it

Con­fess at home, not in pub­lic, so your part­ner can fully express them­self. ‘Be di­rect but sen­si­tive,’ says Dr Haltz­man. ‘No mat­ter how you phrase it, it’ll hurt.’ Your part­ner is likely to de­mand painful de­tails. ‘Let them de­cide what they want to hear,’ he says. ‘You need to re­build trust, which is based on hon­esty.’ next step

Ob­vi­ously, you have to end con­tact with the other per­son. Then make your life an open book, says Dr Haltz­man. You might want to share your on­line pass­words and ac­count for your time away (‘I’ll be hav­ing drinks with Sarah, then home’).

Still need help? Dr Saltz sug­gests see­ing a ther­a­pist to­gether.

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