The meaning of Confidential

The title of this post is something of an issue for me currently.

I don’t know what the dictionary definition is but for me if you disclose something on the basis that it’s confidential it means it is absolutely privileged. Especially when the person has received that information on the understanding that it’s confidential. I have worked as a workplace mediator. On some mediations the key to resolving an issue has only come about because someone eventually discloses some sensitive information. This happens only because they trust that things are absolutely confidential. It is an important concept for me on many levels.

Confidential does not mean that you only tell one person at a time because you have a juicy piece of gossip that you want to share. Or because it makes you a bit of a cool kiddy because you know something that person you’re telling does not.

Having said that I have generally been pretty lucky with the people I have trusted with information. But there is, unfortunately, the odd person that lets you down. It should seem obvious that someone who has betrayed you in the past is likely to betray you again but I seem to be a bit naive in that area. Or, perhaps, too ready to give people another chance. My outlook now, however, is that where this betrayal of confidence has happened then all bets are off, or perhaps that should be the gloves are off. More so I think if their behaviour is passively unreasonable in other areas. Obviously the breach of confidence is greatly enhanced when accompanied by some unnecessary (and actually untrue) insults!


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