Although prior work has examined secret keeping, no prior work has examined who gets told secrets. Five studies find compassion and assertiveness predict having secrets confided in oneself (as determined by both self- and peer reports), whereas enthusiasm and politeness were associated with having fewer secrets confided. These results bolster suggestions that interpersonal aspects of personality (which can fit a circumplex structure) are driven by distinct causal forces. While both related to agreeableness, compassion (empathy and desire to help) predicts being confided in more, whereas politeness (concern with social norms and social rules) predicts being confided in less. Likewise, while both related to extraversion, assertiveness (having the agency and drive to help) predicts being confided in more, whereas enthusiasm (positive sociality) predicts being confided in less.
Slepian, Michael, and J.N. Kirby. "To whom do we confide our secrets?" Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 44, no. 7 (2018): 1008-1023.
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