Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Introduction: Why Women Should Embrace the Secret

Women are no strangers to the power of secrets. In fact, we often find that the most significant and life-altering events in our lives take place when we’re at our most vulnerable, on a closed-off island within ourselves. That’s when we’re free to pursue our truest aspirations and wildest desires without fear of judgment or misunderstanding. Secretly, we know, a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. We know what’s at the bottom, even though we only reveal it during rare moments of ultimate honesty. And why is that? Why do we keep our innermost feelings hidden from view? We do so because we fear being ostracized, ridiculed and viewed as strange or abnormal. We’re scared of being misunderstood. But the great thing about secrets is that once we reveal them, once they’re out in the open, we can’t be hurt by them. (And even if someone does try to hurt us, we mustn’t allow it to affect how we feel about ourselves. We must protect our self-esteem, even in the face of cruelty and ostracizing.)

a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets
a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets

The Difference Between Men & Women in How They Handle Secrets

Men often don’t mind being judged for their out-of-the-box thinking and passion for experimentation, the way they socialize with their friends or the way they kick a soccer ball around in the park or while on a run. It’s part of who they are. In fact, some may argue that it’s what makes them “manly” — as long as they’re not hurting anyone. Women, however, are another story entirely. We’re more reserved, and we like to fit in. We don’t want to be ostracized for the way we socialize with our girlfriends or the way we giggle during a girls’ night out. As women, our habit of secrecy is not necessarily because we feel ashamed of our opinions or desires, but rather because society has taught us that it’s simply not ladylike to share them openly.
It’s not uncommon for women to hide their true thoughts and desires behind a veil of politeness and niceties. We don’t often feel comfortable discussing our hopes and dreams, what we’re looking for in a mate, or how we feel in intimate situations. As women, we have been conditioned to be more focused on pleasing others than ourselves. We are socialized to look out for the needs of those around us first — even if it means putting our own well-being aside.

a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets
a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets

How Women Keep Their Secrets

Women tend to harbor secrets (or keep their mouths shut) because we have been taught that it’s not only acceptable, but also necessary to do so. Whether from our own families or from the broken, rude and judgemental men in our lives, we are taught that revealing what we want or feel or think would drive others away. That keeping a secret means something bad will happen — and sometimes it does. But these are small examples of the many, many people who “out there” can have no idea about what’s going on inside of us.
Women, however, are not the only ones who keep secrets. In fact, most people do. There are some secrets that are easy to tell, especially when you know them well, but there is a whole range of secrets that is just not worth telling. A secret needs to be serious enough for even telling it to be worth it; we need to feel that the other person has earned our trust and we want to do so for their good as well as ours.
The point is, you will never reach the point where you can tell everyone everything; the very best you can ever hope for is to know that the people closest to you will believe your word. It is a female virtue ultimately to be honest about your thoughts and feelings, but for many of us, it comes more naturally inside ourselves than it does out in the world. Here are a few examples of how women keep their secrets:
A gal friend told me she was bored and so I asked her what she did all day. She said, “Nothing.” When I asked her if she was thinking of going back to school or getting a job, she just said, “No.” When I asked if she wanted to meet other people and hang out with them instead she said, “I have no friends.”

a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets
a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets

How Men Keep Their Secrets

Men, on the other hand, have their own reasons for keeping secrets. Because they have the freedom to do so, they have far easier access to their innermost feelings and desires — and they don’t even think of them as secret at all! For example, men who are in a relationship may share with their family and friends about their love for that person. As for men who are not in a relationship? They just may be too caught up in their career, or in their friends and activities, to be concerned about being open about what’s going on in their romantic lives. They are content to wait for the right relationship to come about, and are less likely to stress about finding their “true love.”
It’s also possible that the men who do not reveal anything about a specific woman they may be dating are simply protecting themselves from heartache. They may be trying to steer clear of getting hurt or burned. Or if they have been hurt in the past, they may feel that being closed off is better than opening up again (even if it means avoiding men and women who could be perfectly right for them).

a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets
a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets

Conclusion – How to Balance The Manageable With The Charming

Women have to learn to arm themselves with the ability to keep a secret when it really matters. And when it does, we must do so in a way that keeps our loved ones — men and women alike — from feeling judged or excluded from our hearts. The first step in this journey is accepting the fact that what makes us unique, whether it be our thoughts, feelings or desires, is not a bad thing. In fact, being different is what makes us beautiful and desirable.
The second step is to have an open ear, not an open mouth. Listening to the inner voice of our own hearts and emotions is, as you’ll discover in this essay, often a matter of balance. Sometimes our minds and hearts can get too loud; we have to learn how to be able to hear and live with that constant noise while having the ability to choose whether or not we want it amplified.

a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets
a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets