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The Secret Life Of Secrets

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472145130

Price: £20

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‘If you’ve ever wondered why we keep secrets and what motivates us to spill them, look no further’ Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again

An eye-opening look at why we keep the secrets we keep, how to better understand and cope with them, and when (and how) we should bring them to light.

Think of a secret that you’re keeping from others. It shouldn’t take long. Psychologist Michael Slepian finds that, on average, we are keeping as many as thirteen secrets at any given time. His research, involving more than 50,000 participants from around the world, shows that we most frequently keep secrets about lies we’ve told, ambitions, addictions, mental health challenges, hidden relationships and financial struggles.

Our secrets can weigh heavily upon us. Yet the burden of secrecy rarely stems from the work it takes to keep a secret hidden. Rather, the weight of our secrets comes from carrying them alone. Whether we are motivated to protect our reputation, a relationship, a loved one’s feelings, or some personal or professional goal, one thing is clear: holding back some part of our inner world is often lonely and isolating. But it doesn’t have to be.

Filled with fresh insight into one of the most universal – yet least understood – aspects of human behaviour, The Secret Life of Secrets sheds fascinating new light on questions like: At what age do children develop the cognitive capacity for secrecy? Do all secrets come with the same mental load? How can we reconcile our secrets with our human desires to relate, connect and be known? When should we confess and to whom? And can keeping certain types of secrets actually enhance our well-being?

Drawing on over a decade of original research, this book reveals the surprising ways in which secrets pervade our lives, and offers science-based strategies that make them easier to live with. The result is a rare window into the inner workings of our minds, our relationships and our sense of who we are.

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'If you've ever wondered why we keep secrets and what motivates us to spill them, look no further. Michael Slepian has spent the past decade studying the psychology of secrets, and is ready to reveal his findings to the world' Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
'I loved this book! A major advance in psychology, The Secret Life of Secrets gracefully blends engaging stories with compelling science. In the secrets that you carry, you will discover a hidden self' Sonja Lyubomirsky, distinguished University of California, Riverside professor and author of The How of Happiness
'Everybody has them, keeps them, betrays them, and wonders about them. Wonder no more. This delightful and fascinating new book reveals the hidden psychology of our secrets' Daniel Gilbert, Harvard professor and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness
'Michael Slepian is the first scientist to take on the challenging task of studying what we hide away. In this wonderfully fascinating book, he helps us better understand not only the universal nature of our secrets, but also the specifics of how they relate to our relationships and well-being-offering profound insights that help us make better choices' Sheena Iyengar, Columbia University professor and author of The Art of Choosing
'In this eye-opening and engrossing debut, Michael Slepian, one of psychology's most eminent rising stars, weaves cutting-edge science with captivating stories to explain a topic equal parts familiar and mysterious: keeping secrets. Entertaining, informative, and scientifically precise, this is nonfiction writing at its best' Ethan Kross, bestselling author of Chatter
'We all keep secrets, but it turns out that our intuitions of what to do with them are often wrong. The Secret Life of Secrets sheds light on why we conceal, and the power of confessing, confiding and letting go' Jonah Berger, Wharton Professor and bestselling author of The Catalyst and Contagious
'The Secret Life of Secrets is that rare book that combines original research on the cost of keeping secrets with poignant stories of how sharing secrets can deepen relationships and transform lives' Frank Warren, Founder of PostSecret