I know a person, let us call her Nirmala (or Niranjan), who would be very nice when talking to you. She will listen with rapt attention to all that you say, nod her head approvingly and make sympathetic interjections to goad you to reveal more. She would appear very friendly and give the impression that she is trustworthy. In a trice she would have mesmerized you into pouring your heart out to her in a couple of meetings telling all the things that you would have normally kept to yourself. But for her responsive demeanour and the easy affability, Nirmala is the worst gossip who cannot bottle up anything. She would rush with excitement to whisper to others one by one not just what she heard from you but embroider it with half truths and embellish with imaginary stuff to make up for a good story. She would caution them against revealing to anyone else.
You would be shocked one of your friends casually commiserating with you in hushed tone about your personal matters. Once bitten, you would be doubly shy of talking to Nirmala. You will avoid her like a plague like so many others whom she had befriended earlier. But she is not deterred and would go for new quarry. She never realized that she is an inveterate gossipmonger detested by all who knew her. Yet she was not able to change herself to earn the trust of the people. She never realized that half truths are nothing but slander and spoilt one’s reputation. The gossip spreads wildly. It is like a feather pillow that is cut open and the feathers allowed flying in all directions. You can never collect all of them back even if you wish to. Apology does not help to restore the damaged reputation or the revealed information private again.
The point is that each one of us is tempted, though not to the extent of Nirmala, but to tell others sometimes what has been told us in confidence. There is a counterfeit satisfaction in showing off that we are privy to some secret and know a little more than what the other person knows. The intention may not be to harm but nevertheless the act of betraying the confidence is bad. It is in us to control the way others respond to us by conducting ourselves in trust worthy manner
“A true friend never breaches the trust of his companion or stabs in his back. He is trustworthy and reliable.”