Penny for your thoughts – New study looks at the many downsides of a lack of self-disclosure

A recent study from the researchers at reveals that people who don’t share their thoughts with others tend to be more moody and much less confident than people who do.

MONTREAL, Aug. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ –Twitter users eviscerated psychologist and author Jordan Peterson when he tweeted his distaste for Sports Illustrated’s use of a plus-size model for their cover. A male firefighter from Toronto, upset with a proposal to hire more female firefighters, posted a tweet about women having many defects, including their “weak arms.” In a world where people often feel the need to voice their unabashed opinion even when it’s not solicited, it’s hard to imagine that there could be many benefits to wanton self-disclosure. Yet, a recent study from reveals that people who openly share at least some of their thoughts are happier, more confident, and are more emotionally healthy than those who don’t.

Analyzing data from 3,781 people who took the Big Five Personality Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared the personality, attitude, and behaviors of people who candidly share their thoughts (“Uninhibited sharers”), those who share some of their thoughts (“Partial sharers”), and those who keep their thoughts to themselves (“Non-sharers”). Here’s what PsychTests’ study revealed:


  • 50% of Non-sharers experience feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, or anxiety on a weekly basis (compared to 32% of Partial sharers and 27% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 28% of Non-sharers have difficulty controlling their temper (compared to 21% of Partial sharers and 22% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 30% of Non-sharers struggle to manage stress (compared to 20% of Partial sharers and 18% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 29% of Non-sharers have a pessimistic attitude (compared to 12% of Partial sharers and 15% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 34% of Non-sharers have either seen a therapist in the last 2 years or would like to start therapy (compared to 31% of Partial sharers and 32% of Uninhibited sharers).


  • 58% of Non-sharers hesitate to offer their opinions if they think others might disagree (compared to 31% of Partial sharers and 19% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 23% of Non-sharers don’t like themselves (compared to 9% of Partial sharers and 6% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 39% of Non-sharers admit that they are easily discouraged (compared to 18% of Partial sharers and 15% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 65% of Non-sharers have difficulty asserting themselves and feel the need to make excuses when they say “no” to someone (compared to 57% of Partial sharers and 51% of Uninhibited sharers).
  • 68% of Non-sharers second-guess their decisions (compared to 51% of Partial sharers and 46% of Uninhibited sharers).


  • Enjoy meeting new people (61% vs. 43% of Partial sharers and 22% of Non-sharers).
  • Make friends easily (72% vs. 54% of Partial sharers and 31% of Non-sharers).
  • Are happy and frequently in a good mood (77% vs. 66% of Partial sharers and 45% of Non-sharers).

“We certainly don’t recommend sharing your innermost thoughts without any filters, but we are strong proponents of self-disclosure. Keeping things to yourself, especially your worries or frustrations, becomes emotionally and psychologically overwhelming,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “This is why a lot of the Non-sharers also happened to struggle with mental health issues – if you don’t vent, all that unpleasantness remains simmering inside, leading to problems with depression, anxiety, and stress as well as relationship issues.”

“Of course, it’s not surprising that many people find it hard to self-disclose,” continues Dr. Jerabek. “It requires a willingness to be vulnerable and the ability to accept the potential for backlash, anger, mockery, and even betrayal. Imagine sharing something personal only to have it used against you…it can be traumatizing. In fact, 48% of Non-sharers have trust issues, likely stemming from regretful instances where their divulgences were used to hurt them. That being said, it is clear from our study that the price of keeping everything to yourself can be quite costly as well. And although 39% of Uninhibited sharers admitted that their tell-all approach to life has offended people, they still tend to be better off emotionally and psychologically. This doesn’t mean you need to share every thought that pops into your head, but some self-disclosure is healthy, for yourself and your relationships.”

Want to assess your personality? Check out the Big Five Personality Test at

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see

Media Contact

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]


SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.

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