Charlize Theron's mother has taught her to never give too much away.

The Oscar-winning actress - who recently split from long-term partner Stuart Townsend - likes to keep some things to herself as she believes it improves the quality of her life.

She said: "There are little things that I want to hang on to for myself. I really do believe you can make certain choices in your life that give you the life you really do like.

"There are certain things in my life that I hold on to very sacredly. Maybe it was the way I was raised. My mom used to always say, 'There's certain things that are yours and you don't share that.'

"I know that so much of my life is out there already. Quality of life is incredibly important to me, and I don't know how much quality of life you can really have if it's all out there for the world."

South African-born Charlize has recently launched the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and says she wanted to give something back to her native country.

She added to E! Online: "For me, going there when we launched, it was eye-opening that the things we take for granted are not the things that you can expect in rural communities in South Africa."