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Old 12-26-2016, 07:30 AM
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Oversharing

It has been pointed out to me by my previous sponsor and by a friend recently(she's my mom's friend actually and she's very wealthy and established in the Washington DC social circles and I value her people skills and management of group dynamics so I called her to ask for advice about my job skills) that I tend to overshare. Well, you guys are familiar with it here with me, as well.

Hell, you probably know my toe nail polish color, lol. Exaggeration, I know, but I do tend to talk too much and I started doing research on the topic as to why I (and many other people, not just me) overshare with people who don't really care, don't want to know my inane piece of information, etc.

I also talk over people or answer questions for other people that were meant for them and that is a BIG problem because I saw how it affected things on the jobs I had. I was so used to just being a mom and in charge all the time and not being in a business environment for so long, that I developed bad habits. I also had to learn how to talk OVER my XAH who happened to be extremely verbal and would go around and around and around in circles so I guess I developed these habits over time.

I'm not sure if it's due to my codependency. If my oversharing is my way of trying to connect with people, or a way to get my own experiences validated, or if I'm just trying to find common ground and doing it in a way that is intrusive to others. I do know that the business I'm in will require me to shut my mouth a lot and learn how to ask questions and become a much better listener. I need to find some tools to help me with this.

Can anyone else relate?
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:02 AM
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For the record, I don't think you overshare here, lizatola. Heard more and worse. I get the talking over people, though. I have learned to (literally) bite my lip when someone is speaking and Just. Let. Them. Finish. I think it's a teachery thing for me--former teacher here--and also feeling that I am the smartest person in the room and people should, by God, listen. Hah! That hasn't worked out so well at times. Peace.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:27 AM
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I share way more than many other people. Some people are much more private. After breaking free from years of hiding and supporting XAH's issues and holding my head high through my marital misery...I don't fake anything anymore.

Some may call it oversharing. I call it basking in my reality and being unafraid to share my true self and my thoughts and fears--and to truly hear what others (whose opinions I value) think about situations. I ask to learn what others might do, but in the end will do what I decide. The best decisions are made after gathering as much knowledge and perspective as possible.

I work in a professional environment and deal with confidential information. I have corporate clients who I've developed strong relationships with. When my world turned to chaos as my divorce unfolded, I stopped pretending with them too--and was amazed at how many stories each of them had of similar things in their lives. At that point in time I HAD to overshare, because my service to them was impacted for a while--but it brought us even closer professionally and solidified a bond. It brought tears to my eyes how caring they were at that time. So...I'm a fan of sharing yourself even in those situations. I don't call it oversharing, just being genuine.

Now, I guess it depends what you're actually sharing, lol, but if it's not the color of your underwear and is about emotions or fears or dreams...I've been much happier when I'm open with it.

As I mentioned, some people are much more private and that's okay too.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:52 AM
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As a child and young adult I definitely under shared. It made socializing very difficult. Then somewhere I became an oversharer. I need to cut back. I have good friends at work but I also can't take over the conversation and need to have an appropriate environment. It became a process of identifying my true friends and safety. I understood, and still learning who I can trust and respecting myself to take the time to build friendships. When I get that feeling I know I overshared.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:55 AM
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I was emotionally very shut down for a long time.

Part of my recovery was being willing to share, and talking to people to get my needs met. It was not easy but I became better as I practiced.

Part of that practice including oversharing at times. My pendulum was so stuck on one side of things that it had to swing the other way for a bit before it could settle down at a happy medium.

Part of the practice also though included me realizing who I had chosen to have in my life. I don't always pick people who are emotionally comfortable with sharing. Those relationships needed to change over time (still a work in progress). One of my closest friends I am currently challenged by because it is harder for her to share right now....and previously we were both more reserved. I think I make her more uncomfortable then I did previously as a result.

I realized some time ago that I don't have many secrets anymore. I am fairly comfortable talking about just about anything of mine with others (because it has helped me). That to me is not oversharing, that is about being comfortable in my own skin.

The next step for me was figuring out who to talk to those things about. People I could trust, get support from and were in their own place open enough to getting into those things with me (for example my friend above is struggling with at least one alcoholic parent as an adult but is not yet able to name/acknowledge that completely or get support around it). Me talking about what I learned in Al-anon is just not something she can easily talk about. That is less about me, and more about her. Also there was a time and a place for these discussions that was challenging for me to figure out.

Finally there was a new give/take that had to happen in my relationships....the relationships finally had to be about me some too, and this often made me feel "bad," or "guilty," for taking up some space. Again I don't think of that as oversharing but it was a lot of pieces for me to work through.

Finally it has always been easy for me to hear the "negative feedback," others give me, but hard sometimes to put some appropriate perspective on it.

Liz I suspect you have done more of this work than you give yourself credit for just by the topics you choose to post about and the connection others feel to them.
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Old 12-26-2016, 12:39 PM
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Thanks everyone so far for the input.

You know, I think my problem is that I don't choose the best people as receivers of the information. I was way too open at my last job with people who, quite frankly, weren't the best at keeping their mouths shut. I haven't figured out office politics very well yet.

I also know that I tend to interject my two cents often even when its not asked for or I give opinions about things without being asked.

Maybe for me, it's about working on my listening skills with future clients and working on some interpersonal skills? My mom's friend basically said that i'm quite gregarious, which isn't a bad thing, but when I need to learn more about people's financial goals and concerns, she made reference to the fact that I don't listen very well and that many of her conversations with me were about ME or that I redirected the conversations back to me. Not in a bad way, just in a way where she said she felt unheard at times. She was very honest with me and my old sponsor once asked me to work on my listening skills for when I sponsor folks myself.

Just some things to think about and looking for resources to hone in on some interpersonal business skills.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:06 PM
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Caroline Lake Ingalls
“If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.”

Oh, *anyone* can be an over-sharer. Bad examples from our parents, bad habits developed on our own...

I tell colleagues very little. Boss doesn't need to know if I have a roommate (and perhaps don't need a raise) or have a boyfriend on a financial precipice (and have questionable judgement.) Colleagues don't need to know, as at sometime in everyone's life, they say something in front of the boss they shouldn't.

When I am making a conscious effort to stay silent, I press my fingertips together.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:16 PM
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A big part of my recovery was to stop offering unsolicited advice. And, to keep personal things in Alanon and therapy because non-addicts not only don't relate but they don't want to hear about it. I thought I was opening myself up to others but in reality I was giving TMI=too much information.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
It has been pointed out to me by my previous sponsor and by a friend recently(she's my mom's friend actually and she's very wealthy and established in the Washington DC social circles and I value her people skills and management of group dynamics so I called her to ask for advice about my job skills) that I tend to overshare. Well, you guys are familiar with it here with me, as well.

Hell, you probably know my toe nail polish color, lol. Exaggeration, I know, but I do tend to talk too much and I started doing research on the topic as to why I (and many other people, not just me) overshare with people who don't really care, don't want to know my inane piece of information, etc.

I also talk over people or answer questions for other people that were meant for them and that is a BIG problem because I saw how it affected things on the jobs I had. I was so used to just being a mom and in charge all the time and not being in a business environment for so long, that I developed bad habits. I also had to learn how to talk OVER my XAH who happened to be extremely verbal and would go around and around and around in circles so I guess I developed these habits over time.

I'm not sure if it's due to my codependency. If my oversharing is my way of trying to connect with people, or a way to get my own experiences validated, or if I'm just trying to find common ground and doing it in a way that is intrusive to others. I do know that the business I'm in will require me to shut my mouth a lot and learn how to ask questions and become a much better listener. I need to find some tools to help me with this.

Can anyone else relate?
This is an interesting topic. I vacillate from over-sharing to completely clamming up. There doesn't seem to be an in between for me. I think it is a mix of my codependency, but also just my personality. I don't embarrass easily and I enjoy getting to know people deeply. Nothing feels too taboo to me. I hate when I feel like me or others are being "inauthentic " Growing up, everything was about keeping up an image. I hated that. That being said, I have been very burned by being too open and retrospectively, I have felt too self-absorbed during periods of over-sharing, too. I think as I get stronger in my boundary setting, I tend to keep more things private, but I most likely will never be super close to the cuff. It's just not who I am.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:38 PM
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Over the years I've learned that when it comes to co-workers that's exactly where I keep them, as co-workers, office acquaintances. I don't share personal things going on in my life or that have gone on in my life, only general things.

Part of my experience in learning to be a good listener was learning not to talk so much about me, but instead, ask questions about them? And try and keep the conversation about them and little about me.

When I first meet someone the last thing I want to hear is their life story! Friendships take time to build, time to learn about each others lives. Just like how dating should be!
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
Over the years I've learned that when it comes to co-workers that's exactly where I keep them, as co-workers,
No facebook friending! I have been known to accept friendships after one of us leaves the workplace.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:24 PM
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I think keeping things stuffed down emotionally isn't healthy so barf them up. Lol. This is just me but I had a great mentor that told me that we have one mouth and two ears for a reason...we need to listen twice as much as we speak.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
A big part of my recovery was to stop offering unsolicited advice. And, to keep personal things in Alanon and therapy because non-addicts not only don't relate but they don't want to hear about it. I thought I was opening myself up to others but in reality I was giving TMI=too much information.
See, I think this is my problem, as well. I definitely give TMI to people who just don't need to know. It puts me in an awkward position if I only know them as an acquaintance. My good friends, yes......acquaintances and business associates? No.

I think I'm going to incorporate some of this into my step work. It's really important to me to watch my boundaries but to also respect others' boundaries as well. My cousin is an extreme introvert but a lovely person and I found myself oversharing with her recently and she looked shocked. She just got her Masters in counseling but even she was like, "Ummm, yeah, that might have been too much...." And.....she's family! I have always known that about her and most of the family thinks she's weird because we're all a bunch of extroverts but now I see how hard it must have been for her to be raised around a bunch of loud, controlling, oversharing, over talking people. Her sister and I are a lot alike, actually, and we were all very close as a family when we were kids spending vacations together and all summer together.

Anyway, it's something to be aware of. I don't think I've lost any friends because of it, but as I move through the business world, I need to start becoming more self aware. This is a good place to start along with working on active listening skills.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:53 PM
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Learning to keep my mouth shut at times has proven to be hard.
But, every once in a while I pull it off and am grateful that I do.
Seriously takes practice and (we) can keep working on it.
Baby steps at times.
Good luck,
M-Bob
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:43 PM
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I have trust issues and am a tad bit paranoid. I know I have overshared in the past and it came back to bite me. I have also left many conversations wondering if I talked too much or didn't listen enough.
I try very hard now to simply listen. I'm also getting better at changing the subject. Mainly because I work with very nosy people, and some feel entitled to information that I'm not interested in offering.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
but I do tend to talk too much and I started doing research on the topic as to why I (and many other people, not just me) overshare with people who don't really care, don't want to know my inane piece of information, etc.

I also talk over people or answer questions for other people that were meant for them and that is a BIG problem because I saw how it affected things on the jobs I had. I was so used to just being a mom and in charge all the time and not being in a business environment for so long, that I developed bad habits. I also had to learn how to talk OVER my XAH who happened to be extremely verbal and would go around and around and around in circles so I guess I developed these habits over time.

I'm not sure if it's due to my codependency. If my oversharing is my way of trying to connect with people, or a way to get my own experiences validated, or if I'm just trying to find common ground and doing it in a way that is intrusive to others. I do know that the business I'm in will require me to shut my mouth a lot and learn how to ask questions and become a much better listener. I need to find some tools to help me with this.

Can anyone else relate?
Yep, I can relate. I am a "get to the point and move on" sorta gal and my AH (who is an infant in his recovery) has recently been told at several meetings to sit down, shut up and listen for the same exact reason you gave, he shares to much.

It is hard to sit back and listen - I get it.

Stay strong!
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:50 AM
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Yep. Definitely undershare at work. Be friendly, kind if possible, but keep the personal stuff to yourself as much as you can. Workplace sharing has a way of coming back to bite.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:42 AM
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I agree that it can be hard to distinguish reasonable sharing if as a Codie in recovery we are overcoming things like secret-keeping, the inability to lean on others, etc. Definitely all about finding the balance between the 2 points of over & under sharing.

One of the often overlooked root issues with oversharing can be that it's a seemingly counterintuitive way of decreasing vulnerability. Seems wrong, right? That by oversharing you would be INCREASING your vulnerability, right? Sometimes not. Sometimes that's a method of word-vomiting all over someone in a way that makes them keep their distance the same way they would if you had literally walked up to them & physically vomited all over them. By throwing out allll of your secrets & vulnerabilities you actually overwhelm others in a way that's subtly manipulative. Brene Brown calls it "floodlighting".
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:49 AM
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Interesting thread...
I'm definitely more of an "undersharer" most of the time, I I tend to unintentionally leave things out in a way that confuses the point I am trying to make. I do this personally and professionally.

But when I first started to talk about separated AH's drinking, etc.. I think I overshared a bit... with a few people at work, and with his parents, and I have regretted that.

By throwing out all of your secrets & vulnerabilities you actually overwhelm others in a way that's subtly manipulative.


Interesting^^^ and I can definitely relate this to my oversharing with the in-laws. To me it felt at the time like I was FINALLY getting it out, and I guess it felt like a relief. It also felt validating.. finally other people knew all I had been going through, woe is me...poor me and all my sufferings, yeah...
I can see how it was "subtly manipulative" for me to have told them so much about their own son, from my perspective and put them in the middle of it like that... like I was trying to get them on "my side".
That wasn't my intention at the time, but I can see how it would have come across that way.

I have been trying to be more of a sharer in general, and to be more clear with my words... not leave anything out. I'm having a hard time finding a balance...
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:26 PM
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This is a very interesting topic, and I admit I do not understand the concept of oversharing quite well.

The point is this. I have a story, a very painful story with my ex, and what happened happened, and it is my history. I am mainly over it, but it is a part of my past. At first, I might have shared a lot, I might overshared, but honestly, I did not care. It was just getting out of me. And I felt relief. Then my ex validated everything I told people. And today, I can only shrug and say, it is what it is. There really is no need to even talk about it.

But, I had to evolve to that level, emotionally and mentally. It took some time. And the urge to share is not really there anymore. Maybe it was an initial phase followed by shock. And I thought I was losing my mind and I needed that feedback from people. I actually wanted to climb on top of a mountain and tell the story to the whole world.
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