New Research Suggests That Keeping Secrets, Particularly Ones About Positive News, Isn’t A Bad Thing And Actually Makes Us Feel More “Alive” And Energized

Photo 123072928 © Albertshakirov - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Have you ever received good news and immediately wanted to share it with those you love?

Well, according to a recent study from the American Psychological Association, it may actually boost feelings of energy and vitality if you delay the sharing of good news and keep it a secret for a while.

“Decades of research on secrecy suggest it is bad for our well-being, but this work has only examined keeping secrets that have negative implications for our lives. Is secrecy inherently bad for our well-being, or do the negative effects of secrecy tend to stem from keeping negative secrets?” asked Michael Slepian, the study’s lead author.

“While negative secrets are far more common than positive secrets, some of life’s most joyful occasions begin as secrets, including secret marriage proposals, pregnancies, surprise gifts, and exciting news.”

A preliminary survey involving 500 individuals revealed that a significant majority– or 76%– indicated their immediate reaction to receiving good news would be to share it with someone else.

However, there are numerous significant and joyful milestones that people might opt to keep confidential, including events like marriage proposals, finding out about a much-wanted pregnancy, or indulging in an extravagant purchase.

To delve into the motivations for keeping happy secrets and to assess the effects of these secrets in contrast to those kept due to negative or embarrassing reasons, the researchers orchestrated five distinct experiments involving a collective of more than 2,500 participants.

In a specific experiment, participants were presented with a list featuring close to 40 typical kinds of positive news, including scenarios like saving money, purchasing a self-gift, or decreasing debt. They were then asked to identify which pieces of good news they were currently experiencing and which they had chosen to keep private.

Some participants were instructed to think about the positive news they had kept to themselves, while others contemplated non-secret good news.

Photo 123072928 © Albertshakirov – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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