Entries in secrets (3)


Two Can Keep a Secret (If One of Them Is Dead)

If you missed the first post in this series about family secrets, Got a Secret, Can You Keep It?, check it out here.

People often claim, “My partner knows me inside and out.” Sure, in our close relationships, we’d like to think we know the person with whom we share our bed, our meals, and our time. But is it necessary to know absolutely everything about your significant other? And if you have a few skeletons yourself that you’d like to keep in the proverbial closet, how far would you go to keep them there? On the mystery-thriller TV series Pretty Little Liars, some of the characters resort to murder to keep their secrets safe.

When we’re the ones hiding negative parts of ourselves from others, it may come naturally to protect our images rather than seem dishonest or hurtful.

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Got a Secret, Can You Keep It?

Whether your teenage brother is a petty burglar or you seduced your sister’s fiancé, we all have family secrets. The characters on ABC Family’s mystery-thriller television series, Pretty Little Liars, know this all too well. They struggle to live normal lives despite being surrounded by deceit. To make matters worse, a menacing (and seemingly omnipresent) bully known only as “A” seems to know of every slip-up and secret shame, blackmailing the main characters in exchange for not revealing their dirty deeds. While most of us don’t have an “A” stalking our every move, we all have information that we keep to ourselves. Researchers in the fields of psychology and communication know this too and have uncovered a lot about the nature of family secrets.

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Note to Parents of Adolescent Kids: Stay Out if You Want "In"

My daughter is 4 years old, and has proven to very evasive when asked about her daily life at the Montessori she attends daily. A typical dinner conversation will go something like this:

Me: How was your day?

Her: Boring.

Me: What did you do? Who’d you play with?

Her: Nothing.

That pretty much captures it. And I will admit that it absolutely drives me crazy. Why? Because if the details of her private life are this elusive to me now, there’s no way I’m going to make it through her adolescent years without some intense therapy. I always want her (and our son) to feel comfortable confiding in me and keeping me informed about what’s going on in their lives --- something that will become increasingly important as they age and spend more and more time in their own private social worlds.

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