Keeping a secret is hard. As a matter of professional ethics, lawyers are required to keep a client’s confidences. These confidential communications can be understood as secrets.
In a recent study, Michael Slepian of Columbia University, addressed the question of just how much of a burden it is to possess a secret.
The researchers discovered that people reported pondering their secrets privately about twice as often as they chose to conceal them from others.
It was this private pondering, rather the actual possession of a secret, that seemed crucial to health and well being.
Those who thought little about their secrets had well being scores higher than those who thought about their secrets a lot.1
From this research one might conclude that keeping secrets is not so hard–but thinking about them is. As lawyers, we might pause to ponder what we think about.
It is important to remember that happiness does not depend on who we are or what we have. It solely depends on what we think.2
1 This blog contains excerpts from “Weighing on the Soul”. The Economist. April 22, 2017.