Dear Hope: Should I Tell Her Secret

Dear Hope,

My friend has a secret that is hurting her.  I want to know if I should tell someone.  I don’t want her to hate but it’s something serious.  What do you think I should do?

–          Rat

Dear Rat,

I know this is a hard situation and not an easy decision to make.  I understand you don’t want to betray your friend.  Secrets between friends create bonds and trust, and it’s usually ok to keep what your friend tells you confidential.  However, there is an exception.  When a secret can hurt you or someone else, it is time to tell. 

Talk to her and let her know that you are concerned and it’s time to deal with this. Try to encourage her to reach out to someone that can help, (parent, counselor, teacher, relative) while letting her know that if she doesn’t or can’t, then you will.  She is probably scared and unsure of what to do and how to handle this.  Let her know you love her and will support her.

Without knowing what the situation is, I cannot recommend whom you should tell.  If it is a person that is the cause of her pain, don’t go to them, because it could cause more problems for her.  Find another adult that you can trust.

Understand that she may lash out at you in anger or hate.  She will probably feel like you are betraying her right now, but this is about her safety and it is the right thing.  In time she can come to realize that you are doing this because you are her friend and you want the best for her.

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