YOUR DEEP, DARK SECRET
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
YOU’VE RACKED UP HUGE DEBTS
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
YOU RUINED A PROJECT
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
YOU’VE BEEN UNFAITHFUL
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.