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Confessing 101

The compulsion to confess

Theodore Reik (a prominent psychoanalyst who trained as one of Freud's first students in Vienna, Austria.) uses a term called "the compulsion to confess." The compulsion to confess is part of every normal person. The confession compulsion makes sense when you consider that our secrets are simply parts of our life stories, our selves, that have been forced into hiding. We all have a deep psychological need to be accepted as we really are, but that can never happen as long as there are parts of us that no one sees or knows. We conceal aspects of ourselves that we think invite rejection, but ironically, the very act of secrecy makes us inaccessible to love. We think we're hiding our secrets, but really, our secrets are hiding us.

Hiding the truth

When we hide the truth, stress indicators like blood pressure, perspiration, blinking rates and breathing all increase, while immune function declines. The more secretive we are, the more separate we feel from our own bodies, our own lives.

Confessing a secret

A secret can be one of the more difficult burdens a person can carry. If you feel you must confess a secret, don't confess recklessly or out of anger. Confess your secret to the right person at the right time.

Easy steps to confessing a secret

  1. Determine why you want to confess the secret. Are you confessing to hurt someone, because you feel guilty, or because you are genuine concerned for another person's well-being.
  2. Find a confidante. Choose someone you trust who cares about you enough to stand by you regardless of the consequences brought on by the confession.
  3. Be honest and precise.
  4. Visit a church and confess your secret to a spiritual leader.
  5. Consider an anonymous confession.

True Confessions

 

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