Have you recently told someone your deepest darkest secret and continuously wondered if they would tell anyone about it? Or maybe you expressed your worries to a friend but still felt anxious? Did you take for granted that telling your best friend your woes would make you feel better but you felt just the same as you did before confiding in them? This is because only venting does not always help you find relief. The confidant plays a big role here. Your confidant could be your best friend, an acquaintance or a childhood friend you’ve known for ages. When it comes to confiding, there are a few traits you would want to perceive about that person before you share your secrets with them and feel relaxed or good about it.
When you feel that you need to share your woes with someone, it would help to understand your confidant’s traits before you do. Of course, you need to feel comfortable with the person, too, but here are some traits that they need to have:
Assess whether your confidant has been attentive in the past. Distracted listeners can just put you off or let you down. They may make you feel that you were better off not talking about yourself. A good listener will not preoccupy themselves with other work or look into their mobile phone, which could lead you to believe that you’re wasting their time. Your confidant should be able to look you in the eye and confirm in some way that they are attentively listening to you.
When you’re in pain, and want to take a whole burden off your shoulders, your confidant should hear you out without interrupting. Think about the way they behave on a casual day. Do they interrupt a conversation often? Your confidant should not just say things to sympathize with you and then immediately continue to talk about themselves or their similar situations. Your confidant should stay focused on your painful experiences leaving aside their own.
When you’re upset and looking for empathy, you need someone who will listen to what you have to say and acknowledge your feelings at least for that moment; when you really need it. Your confidant should not let you feel that the other side, if any, makes more sense than you do. Your confidant should avoid talking negatively about how you feel and be supportive instead. Perhaps a genuine hug, smile or merely the words ‘I understand’ can help make you feel slightly better.
Your confidant should have the ability to express their perceptions once you’re done talking. Being supportive is very helpful. But having a confidant who will give you an understanding of why you feel a certain way can have a positive impact on your mental health. Besides seeing things from your point of view, it would help if your confidant is able to assist you in understanding your emotions or seeing the brighter side of things.
And the most important question you need to ask yourself; do you trust your confidant? Do you believe that they will not divulge your secrets to anyone else? Look back and think if you have heard personal details about another from them. If that’s the case, your confidant is sure to talk behind your back, too. So, find a confidant whom you can trust to keep your secrets and respect your privacy; or just don’t share your secrets with anyone until do.
After I recently confided in a friend, I realized that I had never felt this good about confiding in someone because I always tried confiding in people I thought I had to due to my close relationships with them. But later I understood that besides being loyal, I needed someone to attentively listen to what I had to say, not merely keep their ears open. I needed someone to look at me and understand why I felt that way. I needed someone to make me feel that I wasn’t wasting their time. I needed someone to tell me that my feelings were natural and slowly but surely everything would be okay. I needed a hug, a comforting smile and a true confidant.
So, next time you want to confide in someone, check who fits the above criteria and you will be surprised at the way you feel after sharing your secrets with them. If you’re already close to a person with the above traits, you’re blessed.
Do you think a confidant needs to have any more traits than listed above before you share your secrets with them?