Sometimes we say things that are better left unsaid. We might know we’ve made a mistake and shake our heads, but often, we don’t even realize we’ve shared too much information.
Oversharing is a symptom of unhealthy emotional boundaries, and it can hurt both your personal and professional life. Thankfully, oversharing is easy to overcome with a little bit of awareness.
If you’re wondering where the line is, keep watching to determine if your guard is perhaps down a little bit too low.
1. You Tell Strangers Your Life Story
As a golden rule, you should only share intimate details with people you trust. Sharing ‘intensely personal’ information with people you’ve just met – like your greatest hopes and fears, serious problems, or sensitive topics – is a sign you overshare.
Even if they seem open-minded and kind, oversharing with strangers is a mistake. It can make you vulnerable to people who shouldn’t be trusted, and it might also harm a potential relationship.
Not to mention, it can make others feel awkward – causing them to avoid you in the future.
2. Your Friends Avoid Sharing Things With You
Your friends might be more aware of your oversharing than you are. And if they don’t feel comfortable confronting you about it, they may simply stop telling you things or avoid spending time with you.
If you overshare, your friends might keep things from you – assuming you’ll tell other people. They might also be tired of listening to your emotional dumping and negativity.
Think about this for a moment… Do you know as much about them as they know about you? If not, you may not be giving them room to share. Oversharing can push even your close friends away.
If you gossip a lot, don’t ask for consent before sharing other people’s information, your friends may even stop hanging out with you.
3. You Post Too Much On Social Media
It’s far too easy to post status updates, images, and locations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. And modern culture can even encourage you to share private information.
Oversharing though, might result in negative consequences. Think about how much information you share on social media.
Are you posting every little detail – like what you eat, what you’ve bought on Amazon, who you’re with, or where you went? Or do you share intensely personal information about your health (like a recent hospital stay) or your relationships (like a pending divorce)?
If the answer is yes, you’re probably oversharing. So consider taking time to think things through before you post, and perhaps change your settings to allow only close friends to view your posts.
Or, you can decide not to post about certain topics at all.
4. You’re Not Comfortable With Silence
No one denies the existence of the awkward silence, but there is such a thing as a comfortable silence, too. If you can’t relate, there might be a problem.
People who hate silence often fill it with their own voice. They’ll begin to tell personal stories – even if they’re not funny, relevant, or interesting.
They may also share inappropriate information or very personal details with people they don’t know very well. If you always feel awkward when no one is speaking, you might be stuffing the silence with uncalled for information.
Try to keep an eye on how your audience reacts – they may have preferred the silence.
5. You Force Others To Take Sides
It’s normal to have disagreements – and to want to discuss those disagreements with others. The unhealthy part happens when you drag someone else into the conversation.
That third person – who did not ask to be involved – is often the victim of your oversharing. This situation can leave everyone feeling a bit uncomfortable – especially if you’re forcing a mutual friend to choose sides.
If the conflict surrounds your family members, you might also cause discomfort by crossing boundaries by accident.
When you involve others in your conflict, they often feel obliged to take your side – even if you don’t explicitly tell them to.
Oversharing in this way can cause people to shut you out because they don’t want to be involved in your problems.
Before you vent, think about how it could make the other person feel. If they don’t want to be involved, don’t involve them. If the disagreement is that serious, consider talking to a professional instead.
6. You Always Need A Second Opinion
Do you struggle to make decisions alone? Think about how often you ask for a second opinion. When shopping, do you need a friend there to validate your decisions – or even make the decisions for you?
When entering a new relationship, applying for a new job, or making any other life decision, do you need to call or text friends and family every step of the way? Are you always sending unsolicited life updates and pictures?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’re probably oversharing. Learning how to make decisions on your own, regardless of others’ opinions, is essential in life.
After all, it is your life. Fortunately, it’s easy to stop this type of oversharing. All you need to do is be aware of your actions and begin to be more independent.
7. You Forget About Other’s Privacy
If you don’t value your own privacy, it’s easy to overlook how much privacy matters to other people. Online, you might forget that not everyone wants their photos or location shared – and you share something without their consent.
Offline, you might accidentally share personal details they wanted to keep private.
In addition, sharing a personal conversation makes everyone uncomfortable – including the person you had the original conversation with, and the person you share it with now. Gossiping in this way can make others wary of trusting you.
8. The Private Details Of Your Relationship Are Public
In any romantic relationship, some details should remain private. They might surround your sex life, or perhaps dramatic arguments.
They could also be about trust, vulnerability, or little irritations. No matter if the information is optimistic or negative, if your friends, family, or social media followers know the intimate details of your romantic relationship, you’re sharing way too much information.
Especially if your partner values privacy, you should keep certain details to yourself. It’s no one else’s business, and you might be impacting how others view your partner.
9. You’re Inconsiderate Of Other’s Feelings When Sharing
It can be difficult to notice that you’re being insensitive – especially if no one tells you. Consider this scenario… You have a friend who’s been struggling for years to conceive a baby.
Without thinking about their emotions, you excitedly show them images of your newborn, and talk endlessly about the joy of parenting.
While this topic is appropriate for most people, in this scenario, you could make your friend quite upset or uncomfortable.
Oversharing in this way isn’t always extreme – which makes it all the more difficult to notice. For example, it’s likely that your single friend isn’t all that interested in hearing about married life, every time you two speak.
The best way to combat this is to be aware and consider what the other person is going through or what their experiences have been.
10. There Are No Off-Limit Topics Or Places
There is a time and place for everything – but people who overshare often don’t consider this.
Some topics – like your daily diet, digestive issues, political opinions, and childhood traumas – are not appropriate to talk about in a casual or public setting.
You should be aware that some topics are not appropriate to talk about at all – and some locations are more and less appropriate to hold personal conversations.
For instance, if you talk to your new coworkers at the office the same way you chat with your childhood friend over a glass of wine, you’re probably oversharing.
Unless you’re very close with your coworkers and spend time together off the clock, you shouldn’t tell them the finer details of your personal life.
It’s normal to want to confide in your trusted friends. It’s even healthy to talk about serious personal topics like relationships and traumas – as long as the other person expresses comfort surrounding these topics.
Opening up can create an environment of vulnerability and trust that allows a relationship to thrive.
On the other hand, emotional dumping, gossiping about other people’s lives, and sharing too much in the wrong place at the wrong time, will cause others to feel uncomfortable with you.
If you’re a culprit of oversharing, others might distance themselves from you – in order to avoid awkward situations.
Being aware of what you share, when you share it, and how others react will help you learn what is and isn’t appropriate to say.
You can also ask others for consent and give yourself more time to think before sharing. Do you know someone who overshares, or do you overshare yourself? Tell me how you found out or what you did to solve the problem.
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