• Tahlia Asinate

Keep Your Cards Close To Your Chest

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a conversationalist. If you put me in the middle of a room where I don't know anyone, I’ll find someone to talk to. If there's an awkward silence, I’ll be the one to break it ... Having this level of comfort when it comes to talking is something that’s definitely worked in my favour. It’s allowed me to make friends easily, succeed at work and to push myself where others wouldn’t.

And while I appreciate my natural ability to start a conversation, at times, it’s also put me in situations that could have easily been avoided. Where had I kept my mouth shut and kept my cards close to my chest, I could have definitely achieved a better outcome.

Now, if you're not familiar with card games, you might not understand this idiom, in which one keeps their cards close to their chest. Simply put, in a card game, there is always a possibility that another player can see your cards. That is unless you hold them close to your chest because by doing so, they're unable to see them.

When applied to life, the idea of keeping one's cards close to their chest is applicable when it comes to the information you share with others. The basic premise is to not give away too much, to be private about your life, your thoughts, opinions, even your next moves.

While this might be interpreted as one should be cold and automatically perceive others as untrustworthy, I believe it’s more so about being purposeful with what you share. To share information not for the sake of filling an awkward silence, or for an ego boost but to add value to ourselves or others.

When it comes to forming relationships, by being purposeful with the information you share, you’re also able to learn more about a person beyond the surface level. Whereby doing so you have more time to find out who a person truly is, to see if their actions line up with their words and see what level of trust you can invest in them.

Another instance where this idiom is applicable is when it comes to sharing your goals or your next moves. While having goals is important, who you choose to share those goals with should also be taken into consideration.

The reason for this is that people can only respond to ideas from their own level of understanding. So whether we're conscious of it or not most of us respond in ways that are inherently biased due to our own perceptions and world views.

This could mean that at times, even though you might want to share your goals with someone, first consider whether or not it's worth it. While it's important to get other people's perspectives, as in the case of a mentor or loved ones, at times it's also important to trust ourselves, to follow our intuition and let our results speak for themselves.

In a world where people can be particularly superficial, where many share opinions without doing the work required to form one and where others might have unknown intentions ... Keeping your cards close to your chest, I believe, is something we should be doing.

Now, this doesn't mean you should be guarded, that you shouldn't look for the best in others or that you should think everyone is out to get you. Instead, simply be aware and purposeful about the information you share. Allow the power of mystery to work in your favour, keep people guessing and let your results and actions speak for themselves.

Simply put, play your cards right and keep them close to your chest.


Tahlia X

Now, I want to hear from you! Do you think it's beneficial to keep your cards close to your chest? Let me know in the comments below or message me directly.