Gena Kaufman, Glamour magazine
When it comes to relationships, people generally say honesty is the best policy. And it turns out, people are right. Honesty is especially good for the lazy among us, because science now shows us that keeping secrets is hard work.
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A new study conducted at Tufts University shows that keeping a secret can feel physically burdensome. In the study, people were asked to remember a secret they were told and then to estimate how steep a hill was or how far a distance was. People who remembered meaningful secrets estimated the hills to be steeper and the distances to be longer.
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The study also looked specifically at the burdensome secret of infidelity. People who'd recently been unfaithful to their partners were asked to rate how much their infidelity bothered them, and then to evaluate the effort it took to complete tasks like carrying groceries and walking a dog. People whose infidelity bothered them more were also more likely to think the everyday task required more effort. People whose infidelity didn't bother them are heartless jerks, said blogger Gena Kaufman, who is in no way affiliated with this study.
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It's interesting that keeping other people's secrets and keeping a secret about your own indiscretion have the same effect. I can understand feeling weighed down by the guilt of infidelity, but feeling physically burdened by keeping a friend's secret? No wonder women confess to telling most secrets within 32 minutes. Relationships are enough work without feeling like you're lugging a 50 pound suitcase up Mount Everest.
Do you keep secrets from your guy? Does keeping other people's secrets make you feel weighed down? Which secrets are OK to have, and which are the most burdensome?
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