Yes. Me. I admit it. I told a lie. And I feel terrible about it. And not proud.
A colleague of mine – we’ll call her colleague A – shared something with me a few weeks ago. In confidence. And I assured her of my commitment to keep it under my hat. She trusts me. And I trust her.
I spoke with another colleague the other day – we’ll call her colleague B – and she confessed to me that she, in fact, went right to someone else with information that A shared with me.
This very information that A shared in confidence. I shared with B and specifically told her that it was highly confidential. I trusted B. Come to find out, B shared it with someone else…that someone else turned right around and called A about it. As one might expect, colleague A asked her who told her. And she told colleague A that it started with me, specifically. Citing my own name.
I was so angry that I was seething mad. Seething. So seething that I shut down and said nothing when B confessed to breaking a confidence. And so seething mad that I just sat down and added this incident to a long list of otherwise stressful and difficult events of my life since my mother died.
Thoughts began whirling about in my head like “How could you do this to me?” and “Why in the hell did she specifically track this back to me by using my name and throw me under the bus like that?” and “This goes beyond breaking a confidence!” and “OMG…just another day of drama that is my life lately”. These anger riddled thoughts kept shooting out of my conscious brain quietly yet I wanted to spew each of them out in decibels only discernible by small animals and birds.
As she spoke, her words become long drawn out murmurs of unrecognizable slurs. In that moment, I just kept asking myself why B chose to repeat this information to someone else and then allow that someone else to go right back to A knowing that this was confidential. I trusted her to keep it close to the vest.
I did not know what to do. I just wanted to reach out to this person and scream at her. And scream at B. And call A to apologize profusely.
I also knew that none of those strategies were focused on solutions.
After many moments of reeling and seething anger, I meditated on this issue.
And on my morning walk this morning I suddenly realized that it was actually ME who broke a confidence. It was me who lied.
I lied to A. I destroyed her trust. I destroyed her confidence in me. I did this.
I told A that I would not repeat this information. Yet, I did.
Not only did I repeat it, but I repeated it to someone that I did not know well enough to trust.
I felt terrible. I broke a confidence with A. And A is someone whom I admire more than anyone in the community and organization. I adore her and her support and kindness.
It was not B that betrayed me. It was me that betrayed A.
And in my daily meditations, I now ask for forgiveness. I am not sure that my relationship with A will ever be the same. I can only move forward with my life and hope that one day I can apologize for breaking her confidence.