Put a Lid on It!

Morning Cuppa

Knowing how much I enjoy my morning cuppa tea, my friend Mona and her aunt recently gifted me with a beautiful antique teacup. Uniquely, it has a lid—perfect for keeping the tea nice and hot.

Sitting here on this chilly morning, enjoying the feel of the warm cup against my hands, I was admiring the lid and thinking of the occasions when I’ve heard the saying, “Put a lid on it!” In other words, “keep it quiet,” “it’s a secret,” “mum’s the word,” or “this is just between you, me, and the lamppost.”

When you’re asked to hold a confidence, do you keep a lid on it?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan


Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

33 thoughts on “Put a Lid on It!

  1. Hi, Laurie, you know, I am a firm believer in “what goes around, comes around”. If someone has struggled to unburden themselves to you, you should at least have the moral responsibility to keep that confidence to yourself. If someone has ever betrayed a matter you entrusted to them and them alone, you will remember how that betrayal not only shocked and hurt you, but also undermined the the faith and trust you expected from others. If it does not involve a matter of Public Safety, such confidences as you are gifted or burdened with, should stay with you and the matter should end there. However, if a friend should confide that she has six bodies buried under the rosebushes and is thinking about adding a seventh, for goodness sake, use your common sense!

    • Sandi – I was nodding my head in serious, contemplative agreement with what you said, and then got to the part about the [hypothetical] six bodies buried under the rosebushes and I cracked up! You don’t have anything you want to tell me, do you?

  2. As a younger person, I did not keep confidences as well as I should have. As an older and hopefully, wiser, person – I try very hard to ‘keep a lid on it’ in all I do and say.

    • Cindy Lou – I think generally speaking, some living under our belts does tend to help the discernment factor kick in. Although I have to say that I know some very people who are good at keeping a confidence, and some older folks who aren’t. I’m glad you stopped by, thank you.

    • Jeff – Trouble loading it? Meaning it’s taking a long time, or? That’s not good. No one else has mentioned it. I’ll ask Len to see what happens when he checks it out. Thank you for letting me know.

    • Kathy – I imagine your much like a tree. You can tell them anything and they just hold onto it for you. What’s your favorite kind of tea? Do you guys have a Trader Joe’s up in your neck of the wood? They got a great “Jasmine Pearl” tea.

      • No Trader Joe’s… 😦
        Only a co-op about 50 miles north…and another co-op 90 miles southeast.
        I would love to try that Jasmine Pearl some day.
        Jasmine is one of my favorite teas! I like peppermint in the morning. (Have internally named it: Bright Morning Star Tea.)

      • Kathy – You are, indeed, in the boondocks. In the summertime when you go do a big “major” grocery shopping, do you have to take ice chests along so things don’t spoil? I like the sound of your peppermint “Bright Morning Star Tea.” What a great way to start the day. Sort of like kicking one’s heels together for the joy of it!

  3. That’s a lovely antique tea cup there Laurie! And as of late I do share your affinity for a good cup of tea in the morning. I’ve been drinking “green tea” as of late and I must say I’ve developed a taste for it. I’m finding that coffee is a bit tough on the stomach, though obviously both of these beverages have acidic effects on the digestion.

    I’m a talker, but I’ve learned in recent years to put a lid on it. It’s the smart strategy for a host of reasons, but perhaps best to conform to the age-old adage “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”

    • Sam – For me, green tea was definitely an acquired taste. Most of them still taste “medicinal” to me, but I’ve found a few that I really enjoy. And while coffee smells and tastes delicious, I only enjoy a cup once in a blue moon because of the cortisol (which tea doesn’t have).

      I like the old adage that you shared. Similarly, my mom used to say, “Make your words sweet and tender today, for tomorrow you may have to eat them.”

  4. I like your new web layout.
    A teacup with a lid, what an elegant solution for a writer! However my preference is to have a pot of tea , (with a cosy of course) to save me trips to the kitchen.
    Other people’s secrets are a responsibility that I take very seriously. I would only break confidentiality to prevent harm. Secrets are a burden, and confiding in somebody is a sharing of that burden. As you would say Laurie “listen with your heart”.

    • Gil – I saw you out on Ted’s blog. It’s good to read that he’s doing so well have his most recent surgery 🙂

      When Len and I have tea together, we use a large “Brown Betty” teapot and a cozy that we got on the Isle of Skye many, many years ago. You can drink a whole pot by yourself? WOW!

      I like what you shared about people confiding — sharing a burden. Confidentiality is, indeed, a big responsibility.

      • Whole pots of tea, actually! (not the caffeinated kind) The quality of water is not that good in my neck of the woods, and it is important to stay hydrated. So, I am boiling it anyway, why not make tea? I mostly drink “rooibos” tea. It is made from an indigenous South African plant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooibos.

      • Gil – If you’ve got to boil the water anyway, then a pot of hot tea is absolutely perfect. Yogi Tea (a brand) has a wonderful Chai Rooibos tea that’s absolutely delicious!

  5. Good question, Laurie. In my personal relationships, I am very picky about what I will remain silent about and prefer for people to know that (like Sandi) I will feel perfectly okay in betraying any confidence that involves harming oneself or other. Otherwise, I generally make it a rule to not talk about someone else if he or she is not present unless what I have to say involves accolades of love, acceptance, and high praises for that person (that sort of gossip is okay). The exception would be when someone comes to me and confides they are having a problem with another person. I might listen the first time, and urge them to have a conversation with the problem person, but I don’t engage in prolonged regular person-bashing.

    Professionally, of course, is whole other sack of doo-doo.

    • Barbara – I like your rule about saying nice things about people behind their back — that’s terrific! That way, if for some reason they do end up hearing about it, it’s a positive thing and puts a smile on their face 🙂

  6. Like Sam said, I’m a talker, but I’ve learned in recent years to put a lid on it. It’s amazing what people feel is sharing too much. So if I want to tell am amusing story I’ve heard, I’ve learned to leave out names “to protect the innocent or funny”.

    Love the new chakra look!

    • Beth – Similar to what you said, the book that I’ve written has many real-life case studies and client examples. Unless I’ve received written permission to use something, I’ve changed names, genders, ages — everthing — so that no one can possibly know who the people actually are.

      I’m glad you like the new look — thank you.

  7. Laurie I have been told many times that telling me something is like dropping it into a deep well – unless you personally tie a string on your confidence for retrieval, it stays where you left it. There are exceptions – if you are going to harm someone else or yourself or if you tell me about the abuse of a child. But I try to make sure you know this before you share.

    I do tell stories sometimes changing identifying information but I try to remember that regardless of my efforts, that person may be reading it. How would they feel about what I have to say? Can I live with that?

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