DEAR KELLY: I recently played Ten Fingers at a party with a group of friends. Everyone agreed that whatever was said during the game stayed between the people who played it. Some people had been drinking a little, but I didn't think they were drunk enough to not remember making that pact.
I shared some very personal things about me – especially about sex – and thought it would be safe because we were all friends.
Everyone shared things about themselves and some things people said were pretty surprising.
The next week at school when we were sitting at lunch a guy at the table who wasn't at the party made a joke that was supposed to be funny, and everyone laughed but me.
It was something about me and oral sex, and I knew exactly where he had heard it. I asked him what else she told him, and he just laughed and said "pretty much everything."
When I asked around and found out who told him the girl that did it said that she never remembered that we weren't supposed to tell anyone (blamed it on being drunk) and just said "sorry" like it was no big deal and that I should just get over it. She said no one else was mad (she was right) and I shouldn't overreact. She shared some pretty personal things the night of the party, but I didn't rush out and blab that to everyone I know.
I can't get over it, Kelley, because I'm so angry that someone would break my trust like that. And now I'm sure a lot of other people know because the guy who made the joke has a big mouth. I don't know what to do now or who to be most angry with.
Do I have a right to be angry with her, or should I just chalk this up to her being wasted?
Any advice for one very humiliated girl?
– Just Call Me Stupid
DEAR JUST CALL I can't call you "stupid" because I don't believe you are. You may have been naive or too trusting, but don't demean yourself by saying you are stupid.
Instead, say you made a big mistake and learned a very painful and embarrassing lesson, but let's leave the negative self-talk out.
What is the lesson learned?
First, be careful with whom you share personal information. That in itself is a great life lesson. Sometimes you meet people and feel so connected immediately and want to share your life story with them. Hold yourself back and get to know someone before you share personal and intimate details of your life. You might know people who seem so trustworthy and honest, but then after a few times together you realize all they do is talk about other people and gossip like a virus.
Those are not the people you should choose to share anything with. Remember: he who gossips to you will gossip about you as well.
Another lesson learned is that alcohol gives people a cheap excuse for bad behavior. When people drink, they tend to blame anything inappropriate they say or do on the alcohol. There is a lack of ownership in behavior, and people expect their behavior to be pardoned.
Be careful of what you say or what you do when you put yourself in a place where people have been drinking. You might not be the one drinking, but you might be the victim of their bad choices.
Being angry won't help. Being aware and careful of who you chose to hang out with will help. Channel your anger in a positive way by understanding what happened and what role you played in it.
You can't control the other two people who blabbed, but you can control how you act and what you share from here on out.
Humiliation isn't a bad thing. It can serve as a great reminder to not make the same mistake again.
All of us have felt humiliated at some point in our lives. It doesn't feel good. But it also doesn't last long and you need to move on.
Be cautious of doing this again. The next time you are at a party and people want to play Ten Fingers, tell them you were burned last time and learned a lesson. There is no humiliation in passing on playing the game.