We’ve all done it – found ourselves in a situation where we’ve got carried away in the moment and have overshared information, all of which we’ve then regretted.

Why do we do overshare?

Oversharing tends to happen when we want to fit in with a person or a situation and feel the need to share something personal about ourselves or someone else to make the other person feel included or special.

Sometimes it can be an emotional response to a conversation we are having with someone else, and we want to demonstrate empathy so we ‘share’ a similar personal experience.

So, does it really hurt us oversharing our personal information?

I guess it depends on the circumstances and with whom you are sharing with. Sometimes it feels great to talk, to share similar experiences and if you walk away feeling okay with what has been discussed, where’s the harm?

It can be as simple as we just wish we hadn’t, but sometimes it’s because we know that person will either pass that information on (they are over sharers too). Or, that they will bring it up again at another time when you just don’t want to talk about it!

How to stop oversharing

If you’ve found yourself outpouring your inner-most feelings, which then leaves you feeling uncomfortable, it’s worth looking at what triggers these situations for you so you protect yourself in the future.

Maybe it’s when you’ve had a drink? Maybe it’s with certain people? Once you have identified what it is that makes you overshare, consider how you change that behaviour.

Can you think about topics of appropriate conversation to have when you are with certain people? By planning ahead, also makes us think a little more about how we communicate.

Oversharing other people’s stuff

Or gossip as it’s otherwise known. Just don’t do it. It’s not your information to share. You certainly wouldn’t like someone to be oversharing your stuff with someone else. Avoid those conversations, move the topic on to something that is yours to discuss.

If this all sounds hideously premeditated, don’t forget, this is about those situations where we walk away thinking “Oh god, why did I mention that?” or “I really wish I hadn’t told them that.”

Before you divulge any personal information, either your own or someone else’s, take a breath – you can even physically walk away – and give yourself time to consider whether the outcome is worth it.