Keeping Secrets Can Be Bad For Your Health and Relationships

Secrets, secrets are no fun, unless you share with everyone! Yes, I just busted out that super old saying to begin this post. Whatever, it applies!

As we all know, secrets really are no fun. It stinks when you find out your friends or family members are keeping things from you, but new studies show that it may stink even more when you’re the one being all hush, hush about something. Apparently, keeping secrets is actually bad for your health, so seriously, they’re really no fun, guys.

New research says that teens who keep secrets from friends and family members are more depressed, more lonely, have more headaches and are less confident than teens who don’t keep secrets. Teens who keep their lips zipped are also more likely to be involved in “rule-breaking behaviors” (AKA the “bad” kids) and have poor relationships with others. In fact, according to the source, “research said the findings suggest that sharing secrets is an important skill in creating and maintaining close personal relationships.”

Basically, this study suggests that teens who keep secrets are way more stressed out than teens who don’t – and those same teens who are keeping secrets also don’t play well with others. I’m guessing they mean people who keep everything to themselves, not those who have one or two things they’re not willing to share with anyone else.

When you think about it, this makes total sense. If you’re keeping a million secrets, of course you’re going to be more stressed out! Remembering to keep up with the inevitable excuses and lies that usually go along with keeping secrets isn’t fun and can definitely lead to a lot of stress. Plus, if a secret is big enough, like something traumatic that happened to you or something you can’t get over, it can weigh heavily on you and definitely make you more bummed out. All of that stress equals consequences like headaches, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem.

It’s also really believable that those who keep secrets have a harder time with relationships. Sharing secrets with others helps you build a real relationship or friendship. Confiding in your bestie about a secret you have is only going to make you two bond and feel closer and it also shows that you trust the other person enough to tell them intimate details of your life. I have a BFF who keeps almost everything to herself – she never tells me anything. It makes me feel like we’re not that close and also seriously bums me out. I want to be there for her but she just won’t let me! It’s definitely have a negative effect on our friendship.

Plus, talking things out is almost always a positive thing. Carrying around a heavy secret can sometimes make you feel like you’re carrying a huge weight on your shoulders. Once you talk to someone else about it, you can get a point of view you’ve never considered, advice you really needed and it will probably make you feel more relaxed. So yeah… I basically really agree with this study.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to run around screaming out your secrets to anyone who passes you by. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t keep anything to yourself at all. It’s totally fine to have a few secrets only you know about. Also, it doesn’t mean you should start blabbing your the secrets your friends have told you. This study just suggests that you shouldn’t keep everything inside all the time. I think that’s pretty solid advice.

 Do you keep a lot of secrets? Who do you tell your secrets to? Do your friends keep secrets from you? Do you have a secret you’ve never told anyone? Tell me in the comments.


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  • Asia

    I usually dont share, but recently i’ve been very close to both my friends and i shared their secrets to the other… i do feel really bad but my friendship was torn between them!

  • Emma

    This guy I really like asked me out today and I said that I’ll think about it. I really wanna say yes but I’m afraid that my mom will find out and that I’ll lose her trust 🙁 idk what to do. I also want to tell my 26 year old sister that I have a bf but she lost my trust in the past. I just feel the need to share it with my own sister because that’s what sisters do. They’re like best friends to each other.

  • Morgana5953

    Funny, I have a couple big secrets, one since last January and one since I was 6, and neither of them have ever caused me stress, anxiety, or problems in my relationships with friends. I guess it depends on the secret(s) and the person.

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  • Lucy

    My friend had her period and I’m the only friend of hers that knows at our school but I hate keeping the secret but I don’t want to break our friendship by telling… what should I do?

    • Kayla

      Just know it’s not going to be a secret for long right? Every girl is going to get their period. It’s just another sign that she’s becoming a women. If you can’t keep the secret tell a close female adult to you like your mom. She’s a person to least spill the details to your school pals ._. and if the secret spills to other girls in your school and makes your friend embarrassed, back her up. Say it’s a sign that she’s becoming a women or older. Be mature in the situation

  • Sophie

    i have this problem. but i just can’t stop having secrets… 🙁

  • It’s a secret.

    It’s totally fine to have a few secrets only you know about… except the rest of the article makes it sound like it isn’t. Your BFF keeps things to herself? That’s fine! She might be more introverted than you, or she might remember a time before the invention of Facebook and know what privacy is. Respect her boundaries.

    If keeping your own secret is hurting you, or if a friend’s secret means they’ll do harm to themselves or someone else, that’s a special case. But it doesn’t follow that all secret-keeping is harmful. (I’d say it’s good to keep things private, especially on the internet). For goodness’ sake, don’t tell people private things just for the sake of having no secrets or being super-duper BFFs. You have the right to keep your thoughts to yourself.

    • Rose

      Agreed, there is NO GUARANTEE that that person ill stick around forever, nor do you really know if they’ll use it against you I rather keep my secrets than regret it because someone spilled MY SECRETS to THEIR FRIENDS. After all keeping secrets is bad right? I mean I’ll tell someone if my friend i really depressed and im worried about her or their parent abuses them, but my family and other friends don’t need to know what my friend tells me in confidence. I have secrets I keep from best friend because not everything is HER BUISNESS.