You know not everyone trusts secrets, right?
Earning people's trust usually takes months or years of work, building your relationship little by little until they feel they can trust you with their deepest secrets.
At least, that's true for most people.
However, there are people who just seem to inherently trust and respect others.
They become quick confidantes, even if lifelong friends are passed over as a little too unreliable.
So what makes these people so worthy of our trust and our secrets?
And are you one of them?
If people confide in you often, you probably have these nine rare personality traits that make you a magnet for confessions, and you probably know the biggest and juiciest secrets out there.
1) You do it
Very often, the reason someone wants to confide in you is because they have a situation and don't know what to do about it.
They need help measuring and balancing different factors, such as what they have done, what they have not done and what should happen in the future.
So they usually look for someone with that rarity of virtues: honesty.
If you are honest, they know that you are weighing things up correctly and not automatically aligning yourself with one side or the other.
They know that if they ask you if you think they did something wrong, you will give a clear and balanced answer.
This is much more than they can ask of most other people!
2) You are equanimous
The dictionary defines equanimity as calm, collected and even-tempered, especially in difficult situations.
If you are all these things, you are equanimous. It's hard to make you angry or upset.
You are unflappable. It's almost impossible to ruffle your feathers.
Why is this a quality that makes people confide in you?
Because they know you won't panic.
Some people have really vanilla secrets to share, like how they didn't shower yesterday or how they put an extra $20 claim on their tax return.
But other people have real biggies that involve the craziest or darkest things you can imagine.
Let me introduce them to you.
So the reason people go to you to spill the beans is because they're pretty sure that no matter what they tell you, you'll stay calm.
Obviously, this may place an unfair burden on you.
Being a confidant isn't always a good thing because sometimes people tell you about things they've done wrong, like crimes, and that puts you in quite an awkward situation.
I'm just explaining why they come to you, and that's partly because of your equanimity.
3) You are reliable
Clearly, this is one of the most important and relevant personality traits that people look for in someone they can confide in.
Why would they come to you with the secrets they dug from the depths of their souls if they believed, even for a second, that you would turn around and spread them everywhere?
How do they know they can trust you?
If you've known someone for a while, they'll know your track record. They will know that you don't gossip or spread rumors like so many other people do.
Sometimes, however, you just radiate the right atmosphere.
Even someone who barely knows you can somehow see that you are a straight arrow and that you will never betray him or her.
That's what makes true reliability such an enviable and rare personality trait.
4) You're an adult
Children tell each other secrets all the time, and the game is to see who will let the cat out of the bag first.
They're generally terrible at it keeping secrets because they are too exciting.
It's as if the secret is a little bird fluttering around inside them, desperately trying to get out, and all they can do is keep their mouths shut.
Adults, on the other hand, are much more practiced at keeping secrets.
Maybe that's not a good thing.
But no matter how you look at it, it's a sign of maturity if you can do it keep things to yourself when it's really appropriate, no matter how much you want to spill your guts.
People who can see that you are mature are much more likely to come to you and share things that they know you can keep to yourself.
5) You are intuitive
Some secrets are incredibly difficult to share.
These can be some of the worst and darkest things in our experience. It could be things we have done or things that have been done to us.
Sometimes people are desperate to get something off their chest, but they need a lot of help, and that's where your intuition comes into play.
Instead of sitting back and listening as they tell you all the details, they may even want you to understand much of what they tell you intuitively so that you can help coax it out of them.
They may also hope that you will sense things that they cannot express themselves.
These people are looking for the understanding that only an intuitive person can give them.
6) You don't judge
“So you ended up kissing him even though your situation with Craig is still going on? That's a really terrible thing to do.”
Have you ever heard yourself make such a judgment about someone who has decided to confide in you?
If not, that's probably why they keep coming.
Nine times out of ten, people do not trust others for advice or judgment, but only to relieve themselves. They're carrying heavy secrets, and they just have to release them before they go crazy.
They generally do not want or need moral judgments; they really just need you to listen to them and care about them.
So if you can do that without judging them, people will often confide in you.
7) You are a good listener
If you don't listen to the secrets people share with you, they will feel like you don't care, and they will waste their time and yours by confiding in you.
But the opposite is also true.
If you have superior listening skills, they will feel like they are making a connection and feel truly happy that they came to you.
Active listening signals such as making eye contact, nodding, asking appropriate questions and paraphrasing what they say can let people know that you are really listening. This makes them feel heard and respected.
And that includes keeping your phone in your pocket while you do this!
8) You are very curious
I don't know about you, but if I had something important and secret to tell someone, I would actually tell it to someone who I think would be interested in some way.
Funny, isn't it?
Isn't that the whole point of it? to confide a secret that it remains a secret? Wouldn't someone who is very interested in what he's talking about be more likely to carry it around in his head and say it to someone else later?
Maybe, but people tend to do this anyway.
I think they are already aware that they are burdening you by asking you to keep a secret.
It would be an unfair double burden if the conversation were also boring.
9) You are patient
Patience is something most people look for in a good confidante, and there are a few reasons why.
First, some people are pretty bad at telling stories and explaining situations. These people often irritate others with their long, rambling stories that never seem to get to the point.
Well, if they have things they really need to get off their chest, these people will want to tell someone who won't get irritated and rush them.
Second, a person's story may contain a lot of details, and he or she wants to make sure he gives you everything in case he asks you for advice. They don't want someone to have to do something else halfway through the story.
And finally, they may feel the need to come back to you again and again with the same type of problem. Some people just seem to repeat the same mistakes, but they still need someone to talk to.
If you are patient, they know you can tolerate hearing the same story multiple times.
The ideal confidant
If people confide in you often, you probably have at least some of these nine rare personality traits that we so rarely see in combination.
And if you have them all?
Well, you might run into a few problems because there are so many people willing to share their secrets with you that you're probably going to get them all mixed up.
And yet they will keep coming, because finding a person you can safely confide in is as good as striking oil or a vein of gold.
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