to tell my friend not to come to stay over xmas because she divulged confidential private info?

(81 Posts)
gnocci Mon 10-Dec-12 11:59:42

I have a friend who I used to work with and we remained close after we both went our separate ways. She is due to come and stay with us over xmas.

Anyway I found out last week that she has spilled a very very personal and damaging piece of information that I told her in the utmost confidence as I needed someone to talk to. I need to be quite vague but it is info about someone in my immediate family that would likely ruin my professional reputation (by association) and put the security of my family and children at risk. Worse than this, the person she told is in my profession!!!

I was on a night out and this person told me they knew and that she had told her. I felt sick and humiliated and asked her about it but she denied it (of course). I didnt say they had said she had told them as I wanted to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible (she was there and was the one who had invited me!!! Knowing full well this person knew! I felt sick that I had been happily socialising and she'd made a total fool of me).

I dont think I can face her. She clearly has no idea how serious this is. I dont know what to do sad I dont even know how to re-open the subject and tackle it now.

lookingfoxy Thu 13-Dec-12 15:49:04

Your right to disassociate from her, one friend in particular of mine knows things about me that could destroy my life as I know it.
I have never doubted that I can trust her. We have fell out, had a physical fight (years ago blush ), been drunk and outrageous and yet I have never once felt she would ever divulge my secrets which she has held for nearly 20 years.
I know some unpleasant stuff about her, but she told me in strictest confidence and she was hurting, I would never hurt or humiliate her that way by revealing these things.
She is the first person I call when something major happens and vice versa even if we haven't spoken in 6 months.
Your friend is not a friend.

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 15:28:46

Well in that case she was just being horribly gossipy and that's awful for you.

I wonder if, as a PP said, you'd be better off going 'public' with it yourself? Not to the press but to colleagues/peers so that it's not a horrible shock if they find out?

This boss of hers, will he be discreet?

I also agree that you shouldn't be punished for the sins of your family however if you are a politician or well-known person I know that wont be the case for you.

Maybe speak to a discreet publicist too if you feel there's a chance it would get out?

gettingeasier Thu 13-Dec-12 13:27:40

Oh dear this must be very upsetting OP.

I agree say "Look lets let things settle down and see where we are in the New Year ". Gives you time to think about it.

Is she a very good friend and this is out of character ? Does she realise the seriousness of this information?

See you feel out of the heat of the moment

TheProvincialLady Thu 13-Dec-12 13:14:29

I have an entire family full of convicted paedophiles, armed robbers, fraudesters etc. I am the least likely looking person you could meet to be related to such people. But even though I work in a job where integrity is everything, I refuse to be personally ashamed of these relatives - their crimes are not my crimes. I often feel that in these cases, being open is the best policy. For example, a politician whose brother was a paedophile would be better off making a statement to the press than to wait for someone to find out and for the media to run with the story, which s/he then reacts to.

If I were you I would plan a way of divulging your 'secret' to your colleagues and peers in an official way that makes it clear that you are not associated with and do not condone the actions of the relative involved.

izzyizin Thu 13-Dec-12 12:55:36

What impact, if any, has this disclosure had on your professional reputation?

Now that the number of those in the know has increased by one third, what can be done to ensure that the information goes no further?

It seems to me that if you end your relationship with your loose-tongued friend she may see no need to keep your secret - not that she's done a wonderful job so far but, presumably, you'll have more chance of damage limitation if you keep her onboard and onside.

As the the Mafia has it, keep your friends close and your enemies closer... and don't make the mistake of thinking that friends can always be trusted to have your best interests at heart.

gnocci Thu 13-Dec-12 12:44:16

PS I am going to namechange now as worried about being outed. I promise I will continue to read your replies. THank you for all your responses.

gnocci Thu 13-Dec-12 12:41:49

Nothing to do with abuse. No need to disclose, she admits it was drunken gossip.

All the people who need to know, know.

She is grovelling massively but I have just text back saying I am too sad to talk at the moment.

TBH my main concern is press interest. I would be gutted for me children. I am the main breadwinner and would fear for my livlihood (I dont have an "employer", I am self-employed as such).

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 13-Dec-12 12:27:34

Unless she has form for bitchy gossip I would guess that maybe she thought someone should know about this secret and it's possible consequences to be honest

I don't think that's that's the case because she said she was pissed and the OP says

Had some grovelling texts along the lines of I am a shit friend, I understand if you never talk to me again, I have massively broken your confidence etc.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 13-Dec-12 12:15:32

Depends what it was. If a child discloses that they are being abused, then you cannot keep it secret.

I imagine there are other disclosure types that cannot be kept secret and must be passed to line manager.

Are you sure your friend didn't feel obliged to pass on the disclosure?

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 12:09:58

Unless she has form for bitchy gossip I would guess that maybe she thought someone should know about this secret and it's possible consequences to be honest.

Whatistodaysname Thu 13-Dec-12 10:04:13

Again I would disagree, if you choose to stand by someone who has done something absolutely dreadful, lie for them, or turn a blind eye while you know they are lying, then you are colluding with them and should share their shame. (Not relevant to this thread particularily - but how the family of a perpetrator of a crime acts can have a massive impact on the victim).

OP, reading between the lines, I think I understand (Sadly, I also have personal experience). I'd drop her like a stone. What to her is 'interesting gossip' is actually highly personal and damaging information. She's not the friend you thought she was, and she deserves to reflect on her own conduct here. But as others have said, your relative's behaviour does not reflect on you, and you don't have to share the burden of guilt iyswim. Hard, I know, but you've done nothing wrong.

scarletforyaOfficialXmasGRINCH Thu 13-Dec-12 08:25:03

Cut her dead.
She blabbed, then she lied about it and now the disingenuous 'pity me' groveling.
Red card her. Cheeky cow.

Whatistodaysname Thu 13-Dec-12 08:13:52

I don't know - there are some things that are just too horrible to expect one person to carry the burden of - I think what the secret is is very relevant. It may have been blurted out drunk because the friend has been really struggling with it and deep down needed help to cone to terms with it herself.

It's hard to say isn't it, without knowing.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 13-Dec-12 08:01:29

Regardless, the "friend" told someone when they were drunk. They didn't do anything out of a sense of "right". What the secret is and what it means is a red herring.

Whatistodaysname Thu 13-Dec-12 07:13:27

Or a childrens social worker living with a suspected peadophile?

It's got to be something along those lines - and if it is - it shouldn't be being kept from your employer anyway.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 13-Dec-12 07:02:18

If the secret is something that compromises someone's ability to do their job then YABU.

I didn't get the impression that it compromised her ability - she likened it to an MP with a dodgy brother.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 13-Dec-12 06:58:10

Has she grovelled? I think I would do Xmas but tell her that you can't trust and you can't risk ever confiding in her again. Highlight how much damage she potentially could do - worst case scenario.

There are people you can trust out there, but not her.

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Thu 13-Dec-12 06:42:42

Yep, I'm with poozles go very carefully, a woman scorned and all that, I'm in the 'let's see how things are in the New Year, then slowly drift away, it's sad that she let you down, but you live and learn don't you sad

MrsMushroom Thu 13-Dec-12 05:25:18

If the secret is something that compromises someone's ability to do their job then YABU.

SomersetONeil Thu 13-Dec-12 01:46:54

You poor thing OP. I would want to completely cut ties with such a person...

But the worry would be if you did this, that she'd blabber the secret far and wide, since there'd now be no reason to keep it. Especially if she found it just too juicy to keep thus far...

Not a great position for you to be in. sad

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Thu 13-Dec-12 01:09:57

Some of you must have pretty crappy friends if you couldn't tell them something important and personal and expect them to keep it to themselves sad

I have 'friends' and I have Friends - my Friends will go to their graves with my 'secrets' and me theirs. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have a Friend like this sad

OP - for your own piece of mind, would it not be better to get this out in the open with the appropriate people, rather than have it hanging over you. Surely you can't be held responsible for your relations?!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 13-Dec-12 00:27:05

Where did I hear recently that "Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead". Be more circumspect with whom you impart such sensitive information in future, OP. Why would you pass on information that has such risk to your family?

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Thu 13-Dec-12 00:13:36

dump her

SundaysGirl Wed 12-Dec-12 23:18:39

Well she was clearly hugely out of order and personally yes I would uninvite her.

Got to say though I think it's really sad that a person can have their reputations trashed (or greatly fear it) simply by being related to someone. Maybe it's stupid of me to be saddened by that but I just think it's a crappy thing to happen and you cannot choose your family..why the fuck should you be judged on their actions? Surely most reasonable people would feel the same? Or am I just naive?

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