5 Reasons Why People Keep Secrets

Humans have a natural inclination toward privacy and personal boundaries, and this can lead to the act of keeping secrets. Whether it’s about their personal lives, their relationships, or even their professional decisions, people often choose to keep certain information hidden from others. While some secrets are kept harmless, others can be more damaging and lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation.

Today we’ll explore some of the more common reasons why people keep secrets. From the fear of judgment to protecting themselves, these reasons can help us understand why someone might choose to keep information hidden. By recognizing these motivations behind secrecy, we can foster more open and honest communication in our personal and professional relationships, which leads to stronger and more trusting connections.

They’re Embarrassed

We’ve all had those moments when we’re awake at 3 am and recall a totally embarrassing interaction we had years ago. For some people, the immense embarrassment is more than enough reason to keep what happened all those years ago to themselves. 

Being embarrassed, or ashamed of a secret is natural. Although, it can really eat at you over time. Sometimes it’s worth building up the confidence to confide in a trusted friend and spill the beans in private. 


Fear is a strong emotion and warrants some pretty intense reactions from people. So much so, that the fear of repercussions, judgment, and backlash can lead you to keep your lips sealed and your secrets locked up tight. 

Some who know your secrets may even use fear as a form of intimidation towards you, ensuring you keep it to yourself. If you feel as though you’re ready to open up about secrets you’re afraid to reveal, being brave and speaking to a trusted source, or therapist may be the best option for you. 

What They Did is Illegal

The reality is sometimes secrets are kept for more sinister, or serious reasons. It’s no surprise that individuals who have done wrong in the past might want to keep the information and details from being released to the public, or to people they know and love. 

Covering up, a legal nightmare is a common reason people keep secrets, whether it’s due to shame, embarrassment, or their secret is rather incriminating on their behalf, or someone else’s. It may be frightening and stressful to hold onto these secrets to protect yourself, or others. 


You see it all the time within cancel culture and people of high status, keeping your reputation clean and clear of any and all drama is extremely important to those who believe that their reputation can make, or break them. 

People will go to extraordinary, sometimes illegal, lengths to keep their deepest, darkest secrets from coming to light. It seems as though any past mistakes, poor choices, or distasteful actions and words can ruin an individual’s reputation overnight. It could very possibly be one of the biggest reasons why a person will keep a secret hidden for many years or even their entire lifetime.  

To Respect Privacy 

Occasionally, the secrets we hold aren’t ours to tell. There may be times when someone we care about, or someone who cares about us, divulges personal information, not to be shared with anybody else. 

It’s important to understand the level of trust and respect someone has for you when they share something incredibly personal and private. Holding onto someone else’s secret is highly commendable and shows you’re a trustworthy friend or family member. This is an essential foundation for any relationship, and telling someone’s secret can ruin that trust and end the relationship.

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