People who know me, know that I don't talk much. I follow Polonius' advice in Hamlet to a great extent and give many people my ear, but few my voice. It has made me a confidant to a lot of people over the years because they know that I don't say a word.
It's difficult sometimes to be the protector of someone's secrets. Thankfully I have yet to be in the position of being confided in where keeping something to myself would cause any kind of moral dilemma for me (and yes, I do actually have some morals). The few times that it has even come close to being a moral issue, I have sought advice from people that I trust (there's one or two). While doing this I become like a mafia under-boss that knows he is being recorded (I know a guy that knows a guy that thinks maybe..), or a lawyer that is bound by the canons to not reveal certain information, but can circumvent it with a simple word: hypothetically (Let's say, hypothetically, that I know someone that...). Like I said, seeking advice doesn't happen often though.
Another thing that I don't do often is offer unsolicited advice unless I think it is absolutely necessary. There are far too many people in this world that want to tell people how to live whether or not someone wants their advice, and I don't want to be one of them. However, if you ask me for my advice or thoughts on a topic, I will usually give them to you. I don't expect anything I say to be seen as gospel, I am probably going to ask you a couple of probing questions (because you probably know the answer), and I should also let you know now that I have a tendency to be brutally honest. The only thing that really pisses me off is when someone asks me what I think, gets a response from me, and then berates me for what I think and why I think it. If you don't like what I think, don't follow what I think. I didn't attack you for having a problem, don't attack me for offering a solution.
As I alluded to, there are very few people that I trust, and even with them I only go so far. I have been burned over the years a few times by thinking someone that I confided in would hold to the same standard I do (when time passes and you hear a very specific phrase used in a very specific way, you know that the pat on the back just marked the spot for the knife). So even with the one's I still trust, they don't get the full story, anymore. One day my confidants will get together and figure it all out.
To be fair with some of this, I don't have a lot of personal secrets. I am fairly open. I have little choice. We all know a lot of what I have done (even though a couple of those stories have been slightly exaggerated). I am no saint, and I will not be winning any humanitarian awards. I do though actually have a few things that I do not let out; However, there is one secret that I have that I will let you in on since you have read all of this: Not many people know this, but my intentions are usually for the best, I just fail miserably at it on occasion.