It's a secret!

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    Someone told me something the other day, and not knowing that it was truly a SURPRISE for everyone else but me, I asked someone else what she thought of the matter.

    She said that she didnt know about it at all, but to use her words- “OMG, is it really true?!!”

    That was the first sign that possibly I made a mistake, and then to confirm my suspicions, next time I spoke to the original person with the secret, she said that I should make sure not to tell anyone bc it’s a surprise…

    (Ps- hope that you followed that: I can’t say it in more detail, bc incase s/o in the CoffeeRoom knows who I am, and possibly what I’m referring to, I dont wanna ruin the surprise for anyone else!)

    Now, I feel so bad that I ruined the surprise… What do I do, now?


    We all know she is using drugs already. I don’t really think that is an appropriate surprise anyway.


    B’shah Tovah!


    It’s is not your fault. If someone wants someone else not to divulge a confidence, they need to tell the confidant so.


    early mazel tov on the engagement!


    happy golden anniversary!!


    (i assume everyone else missed BasYisroel’s age on her SN.)


    I had something similar, where I made an off hand comment, and the person (thinking that I KNEW) spilled more details than I needed to hear.


    Bas Yisroel’s age? That’s obvious… she’s 94!


    deny everything!

    m in Israel

    Raphael Kaufman — Actually, that is not completely accurate according to Halacha. Revealing a confidence is considered avak rechilus, and any information that could reasonably be assumed to be private or secret should be considered as such unless the person told you the information in public (in front of 3 people), in which case it would be safe to assume it is not intended to be secret.

    From the “Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson a Day”, Day 136:

    “The most severe form of avak rechilus involves statements that reveal information which one was told in confidence. . . Divulging secrets breeds a lack of self control in speech-related matters which leads to actual rechilus. When publicizing a secret could prove damaging, doing so would constitute speaking both avak rechilus and actual loshon hora. Even when no damage was foreseen, the mere violation of confidentiality renders one a “holech rachil.”

    Bas Yisroel — Nothing you can do at this point except apologize to the one who told you.


    Yeah, I would also wouldn’t want someone to spoil the surprise if it was me having quadruplets.


    I came to realize that EVERYTHING you say will probably end up going to the person you least want to know about it. That’s just the way it works. I stopped repeating stuff I felt was personal, even if I wasn’t explicitely told to keep it a secret. I’m not really sure about this situation (since you gave us very limited info), but I’d suggest you should try preventing this from happening in the future. It really takes some time to get used to it, but the payoffs are big. (Guess “Syag Lechachma” is a pro;)) People trust you with their personal stuff and you don’t feel like a chatterbox. Hatzlacha in whatever you do!


    Message to all~

    Although it may surprise some of you, (espesh bpt) I’m not 94!

    K, take a HUUUGE breath.

    Now that you have recovered from that piece of tremendously unbelievable information…

    I’m not talking abt a birth or an engagement, but something much smaller; this friend of mine just wanted to keep the secret ’till it happened.

    Should I just go back to the person who I discussed it with, and tell her not to pass on the info to anyone, and to act surprised to the ‘surpriser’ when it happens? And should I should tell the girl with the secret that I told someone, or let her think that she’s surprising that girl (along with everyone else who will be surprised?) which would probably make her happy – Did you follow that?

    observanteen~ I didn’t realise that it was a secret, until I spilled the beans. Otherwise I wouldn’t have said a word! It was more like, I was just excitingly discussing what was gonna happen with a friend, until I realised.

    m in Israel~ Is it considered revealing a confidence, if I didn’t know that she wanted to keep it a secret? It isn’t something that I’d assume would be a secret- but I guess I was wrong…

    Any other suggestions on what I should do?

    And, was it really truly to speak about it to others, should I have asked her ‘is it a secret/ surprise’?



    I did the same thing recently, I found out someone got engaged but was not told that no one had been told yet and proceeded to tell many people while trying to find out if it was true. They weren’t too upset because they made the l’chaim that night but I spilled the beans a little early. Bas just tell the person you told that you didn’t realize that it was secret and they should please not spread it further.

    m in Israel

    Bas Yisroel — I haven’t learned all the Halachos recently, but my understanding is that the assumption is that information is private unless you know otherwise (i.e. if it was told in public it is obvious that it is not private). I vaguely remember learning some examples such as is a person tells you they are moving or switching jobs. Unless the person tells you it is public, or they say it in front of 3 people you should not repeat it.

    commonsense — Your example is slightly different, as an engagement is something that is clearly public. (Assuming you were told they were engaged, and not just “going to get engaged”, in which case it is clearly NOT public!) It seems the one who told you made the error by giving the impression they were engaged when they weren’t formally engaged yet.

    Bas, I do agree that you should do “damage control” to the best of your ability and try to prevent it from spreading further.


    m in Israel~ I’ve done ‘damage control’ and BH the person understands that I didn’t realise it was a surprise, and she said she hasn’t passed on the info, and will not 🙂

    But, I think that I’ll let the person with a secret think that she’s really surprising everyone- I wouldn’t want her to be upset. Is this the wrong thing to do?


    basyisroel94 are u talking abt a surprise bday/party for someone??


    Nope, not quite. Something to a similar effect though.

    But the other way around. Not a surprise for one person, one person with a surprise for everyone else- Get it?


    There is only ONE way for a secret to remain a secret between two people. If someone wants something to remain on the down low, they need to NOT talk about it with anyone.

    m in Israel

    oomis — You have a good point! But knowing that chances are things will spread doesn’t give you the right to be the one to spread it.


    Telling someone a secret and asking them not to tell anyone is asking that person to do what you can’t.


    Telling someone a secret and asking them not to tell anyone is asking that person to do what you can’t.

    I like.

    (Maybe there is a difference when it is something meaningful to you, but less so to that person.)


    one explanation of: ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ????? – is that don’t say anything to anyone that you don’t want to be revealed, for if you do, in the end it will be revealed.


    I did not read this whole thing but….I have a secret that I told some people but did not tell everyone. They will all find out sooner or later but do not want them to be insulted that I did not tell them but dont want them to be upset when they find out like “am I not your friend why did you not tell me before?!!?!??!”


    so what is the secret??? details please 🙂


    K, so I spoke to the person who told me the secret in the 1st place, and it just so happens that she said she was planning on telling that person soon anyways (as in before the surprise itself happens..), so alls good BH 🙂

    adorable~ I’m not sure what sort of secret you’re talking abt- is it that they’ll eventually find out because it’s an event, or because word travels fast?

    If it’s an event, what’s the issue? How will they ever know that everyone else knew? and if it’s a secret that just gets passed thru word of mouth, well, that just depends on what the actual secret is, then…

    ilovepopcorn~ so, you got me; you figured it out. Why you asking? 😉

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