We've all got a few secrets, and sometimes keeping them to ourselves is the best idea. But there are some things we should share, even if it causes a little embarrassment or even pain. How do you decide what you should share and what should be kept on the down low?
Dr. Gail Saltz, a clinical psychiatrist and author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie," cautions that revealing a secret is always a delicate matter. She offered some general rules on answering the questions in "20/20's" quiz, but emphasizes there's always a gray area and none of the answers is 100 percent appropriate in every situation. Each personal relationship presents a unique scenario, no matter how common the secret.
Question 1: You have sexual fantasies about someone other than your spouse. Do you tell your spouse about it?
Saltz says no. Telling your spouse that someone else is the stuff of your fantasies just breeds jealousy and discomfort and nothing is gained from it.
Question 2: You had an affair but it's over. Should you tell your spouse about it?
Saltz says yes, especially if your spouse is already suspicious of you. However, she says, if your spouse has no awareness then maybe you might want to keep it to yourself, especially if it's truly over. More often than not, though, you should reveal.
Question 3: Your best friend's child is spoiled and obnoxious OR is the playground (neighborhood) bully. Should you tell her?
Saltz says no. Keep it to yourself. It will hurt the friendship. No matter what anybody says, most people do not react well to criticism of their child. However, if the child is a bully, that is a more serious situation, which may include isolation and insecurity. You should talk to the parent in that case, Saltz says.
Question 4: You dabbled in drugs and alcohol when you were in college. Should you tell your kids the truth if they ask?
Saltz says yes, but at an appropriate age and for an appropriate purpose. Never give them gory details of your experiences; use your story as an example of a mistake.
Question 5: You catch a co-worker stealing from the office. Telling his supervisor will cost him his job. Should you speak up?
Saltz says no. Talk to your colleague, but don't go to his boss.