Soon after having an argument with her husband, Vasavi Kumar, became really anxious and called up her mom, her dad, her sister and some close friends. “This is it,” she told everyone. “He is never going to understand me. I am getting a divorce.”
The next day Ms. Kumar and her husband patched up. They explained they were sorry and agreed to forget the argument.
Did you ever felt that you shared too much information on the SNS’s without even realizing it? The WSJ correspondent Elizabeth Bernstein called it BYB—Blabbing Your Business. The phenomenon is a lot common these days owing to reality TV and social media sites, where it’s alright for people to share every personal detail, no matter how trivial or personal. The way culture has evolved today, it’s has become really difficult to understand that some things are best kept private.
However to your surprise, it isn’t all Facebook’s fault. In experts opinion oversharing often happens when we are anxious and trying to control it subconsciously. This effort is referred to as “self regulation” and it boggles people when people use up lots of mental energy while trying to impress others during a conversation. While they try to look smart and interesting to others the effort put in for achieving this leaves less brain power to filter what we say and to whom.
This gives an insight into why people blurt out the most embarrassing things in front of the people they want to impress the most, be it a boss, a first date or a future in-law.
Now think of the situation when your boss walks by you and doesn’t make any eye contact with you. You may immediately start feeling uncomfortable and start to think of something to discuss with him or her. “If you are psychologically aware, you will realize you are feeling anxious and picking up rejection cues,” says psychologist and assistant professor for the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University, Hal Shorey “You’re trying to reestablish connection.”
Approaching to solve your anxiety like this creates more problems as we often regret our disclosures, feel like an idiot and begin to worry even more about what the listener might be thinking of us. All this may make you feel more compelled to “fix” the situation, leading you to blabber even more, leading you on a downward spiral for all this time.
Following are some quick reference points to help you recover from the embarrassment of oversharing:
Precautions to be taken for preventing oversharing:
1. Recognize situations where you might feel tempted overshare. Circumstances of eagerness to make a good impression or nervousness about what others think of you should be dealt with cautiously.
2. Before sharing information, ask yourself, “Does the listener have time to listen? Is he or she emotionally listening to it this time?”
3. Will sharing, make you feel more anxious instead of relieving it? Then don’t.
4. Imagine the negative effects that oversharing can draw towards you and how much you regret sharing the information afterwards.
To control the damages of oversharing…
1. Think twice about taking up the topic again with the listener. He or she will probably forget about it if you don’t drag it.
2. If the need for revising the subject arises then keep it brief.
3. If you are sending out an apology. Don’t seek for approval. Use as few words as possible and move on from the situation.
Sources: Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Hal Shorey, WSJ