Do you have a special someone in your life who constantly shares a little too much information? Does this wonderful person fail to understand the concept of "less is more," constantly giving you details you really didn't need to know? Or, maybe you're the oversharing pal among your friends who seems to have lost your TMI filter. Should your answer be yes, it's okay. There's still time to tone it down.
No matter how cathartic it is to tell everyone how you feel all the time, it can actually do more harm than good. As Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a relationship expert and licensed psychologist, points out, oversharing "blurs healthy emotional boundaries."
So, how can you tell if you're oversharing? Here are the signs.
1. You spill too much to people you just met.
"It's essential to slow down self-disclosure as we are building friendships. Oversharing usually occurs when people don't take any precautionary steps in friendships to determine a person's trustworthiness before they start sharing vulnerable content," warns Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a psychologist in Denver, Colorado. As excited as you are at the idea of gaining a new bestie in your life, telling people you barely know about ultra private information is likely not the way to go.
2. You are impulsive with social media.
For the most part, all of us know there are certain cards you should keep close to your chest. (Not everyone needs to know your every move and how you feel 24/7.) Sadly, our TMI radar has gone haywire, thanks to social media. "People know what should and shouldn't be shared in general, given their own personal boundary issues, but the click of a button feature in terms of accessing social media feeds impulsivity, removing the opportunity for reflection and attention to boundary violations and future consequence," says Dr. Jeanette Raymond. Failure to put a filter on your Internet rants and overshares can -- and often does -- result in public judgment and hurtful comments.
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3. You constantly try to bring your friends into personal feuds.
"Friends shouldn't be brought into conflicts, family feuds, or to champion your causes against others. These important issues should be left private and out of social media," notes Dr. Raymond. No matter how angry or frustrated someone makes you, try your best not to treat your friend as a referee. "Untold psychological harm and damage is done when friends are brought into family or other personal conflicts. If you need help with conflicts, use professionals who maintain strict confidence," adds Dr. Raymond.
4. You don't care about the privacy of others.
"The biggest mistake I see people make is to share things that the friend may not want shared (e.g., tagging them in a post). Some people are private and don't want their night out or un-made-up face out for everyone to see. In addition, they may not want you sharing a conversation you had with them, or about something relevant to them," points out Dr. Ramani Durvasula, psychologist and author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist.
5. You aren't mindful of people's situations.
This one can be a bit tricky to notice, but it is considered oversharing in the eyes of experts. Dr. Jan Yager, author of the books Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives and When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal With Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You, urges friends to think about what they share with others -- even if the intent is not to rub it in. "For example, if one friend just had a baby, but her old friend is still single and childless -- or a couple but childless -- the ins and outs of parenting can be seen as oversharing. It's hard for a friend to want to hear about potty training, especially if she's not going through it now, or ever," says Dr. Yager.
6. No one tells you anything.
If you're known in your circle as a person who can't keep a secret, or always has to publish your life on social media, don't be too surprised if no one tells you anything. "Remember that everything you share will get back to people, so don't share embarrassing pictures, pictures of people with their exes or secret affairs, or people who are where they shouldn't be," mentions Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka Dr. Romance), psychotherapist and author of It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction. Dr. Tessina notes that if you're constantly posting online, and no one is liking or commenting, take that as a sign you're oversharing.
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7. Friends slowly start to disappear.
Once you've shared to a friend all the things that have been troubling your heart, there's a pretty good chance you'll feel relieved. Too bad your friend likely won't feel the same. "You feel like you got the information off your chest but it now lies on her chest! She may or may not be capable or feel like carrying it. You may find that the friendship dies under the weight of your burdens," cautions life management expert Kimberly Friedmutter.
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