On today’s #mentalhealthmonday, today we’re going to take a break from everything coronavirus / COVID-19, and we’re going to talk about oversharing, specifically oversharing in new relationships (romantic, friend, workplace).
This is a topic that I really just started digging into this past week after listening to this podcast episode about oversharing.
Question 1: why do we overshare?
Question 2: is oversharing always “bad”?
Question 3: what’s the difference between conscious and unconscious oversharing?
BONUS – Tips for mitigating oversharing tendencies
First of all — I want to mention that of course there’s a difference between oversharing and healthy self-closure, and you can define that for yourself. I’m obviously not saying you should never share anything about yourself! That will stunt your relationship growth, too.
Why do we overshare?
There are so many reasons — and they vary by individual! We overshare both consciously and unconsciously, which we’ll discuss later in this post. I’ll run through some reasons why people overshare quickly:
– feeling lonely
– needs to connect with others,
– as a social tool
- I want friends / hoping for deeper connections
- I want others to be engaged by me
- I’m the one with the stories
- I want others to form a certain impression about me: quirky, shock value, sympathy, i’m complex, interesting, funny, open, good storyteller, want shares back (reciprocal sharing), oversharing to entertain, to keep energy flowing
- For some of us, oversharing is a habit, so you can un-form an habit / form a new habit.
Is oversharing always “bad”?
– Yes if: your oversharing leaves you feeling compromised or exposed. Oversharing is not necessarily bad — it depends on how you feel afterward. If it makes you feel or uncomfortable, then you may want to work to decrease your oversharing or at least examine it.
– No if: your oversharing is conscious (more on that in a second) and is your decision.
What’s the difference between conscious and unconscious oversharing?
- unconscious oversharing: may look like “dissociation lite.” In other words, you’re in a conversation and your body just takes over and you’re like “okay well i guess i’m saying this now.”
- unconscious oversharing: you may not realize the oversharing until after the fact. Then you feel uncomfy and start second-guessing everything.
- conscious oversharing: you may do this to to reduce stigma or to normalize certain things, for example. Maybe you overshare about your body hair but that’s b/c you have a mission.
- conscious oversharing: it’s like you have a mission, rather than you are trying to make people think *this certain thing* about *you*. But again this is of course just my opinion and how i am rationalizing the differences between conscious and unconscious oversharing.
Oversharers: questions to ask yourself
I put together a couple of questions that you can quickly running through in your head when determining if you should or should not share something:
- ultimately what purpose does my oversharing serve? define your overshare reason.
- do you want to say that yet in the relationship? (consider: the person, the relation, the setting…)
- is it appropriate for this relationship (ex: work relationships)?
Oversharers: what you can do during an overshare-takeover
- remove yourself from the situation temporarily and come back to your body. In the podcast, Sarah talks about taking a break in the bathroom, reading a note on her phone, just generally distancing so you can get a breather.
- create a self-exploration “journal prompt” for yourself about oversharing. i’m way more likely to journal on that prompt, b/c things don’t feel so open-ended.
- journal prompts:
- what do i overshare about?
- what have i shared in the past that i felt badly about?
- journal prompts:
- voila! you just did self-work.
– Help Me Be Me Ep. 126 – “Problems Oversharing in New Relationships”: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR…
– “Why do people overshare? The psychology behind revealing personal details” https://www.mic.com/p/why-do-people-o…
P.S. in case we haven’t met…
you seem normal is a mental health medium run by 24-year-old communication professional (hello!) who… well, seems normal. Turns out, my roommate is mental illness. Actually more like my unborn, and non-conceived baby. Because it’s like, inside of me. This is getting weird already. Topics of focus: self-awareness (we love it), mood, anger management, perfectionism, relationships & boundaries.