You can improve your conversational skills drastically, and your social life as a whole, if you can stop oversharing. A lot of us tend to be way too excited when it comes to socializing that we end up saying more than we need to. This is a trap socially adept people have learned to avoid. You’ll need to do the very same thing.
In case you don’t know that you overshare, think about the following scenarios for a second. Have you ever noticed that the people you speak to eventually get irritated when you speak? Have your friends ever cut you off mid-sentence and shifted to a different topic? Has someone ever outright told you that they didn’t need to hear what you just told them? If you can say yes to all three, then you’re definitely the type of person who overshares. Here are the things you can do to fix this problem.
Why Is It Bad To Overshare?
Before we move to the ways you can take to stop oversharing, you must first realize why it’s bad to overshare in the first place. Knowing this will help you acknowledge the fact that this is poor social behavior to have, thus helping you fix the problem altogether.
It makes you seem like you disrespect boundaries
People who overshare tend to not have a notion of the importance of boundaries. Boundaries are important because it tells us when to stop doing and saying certain things. It’s highly inconsiderate to others to overlook this aspect.
If you overshare, other people will see you as someone who doesn’t know anything about boundaries, or know about them but simply disrespect them. Avoid having others think about you this way by knowing how to stop oversharing.
It makes you look socially inept
Oversharing is a characteristic of socially inept people. While there’s nothing wrong with being socially inept, especially if you’re doing something about that already, it can drive some people away when you do a lot of things socially inept people do. As established, one of these things is oversharing.
Yes, it’s okay to be socially inept. It’s a situation a lot of people are in and it’s something that can be fixed in time. However, it won’t help your case if you keep portraying the characteristics of a socially inept person by constantly oversharing.
Others can misperceive your sharing as bragging
A lot of people also see oversharing as bragging, especially if the things you’re oversharing are meant to paint you in a better light. A lot of people will believe that you say more than you need to because you want them to be impressed with you.
Even if this isn’t the case, your oversharing will force them to believe this as a fact.
It makes others not want to be in a conversation with you
Being in conversation with someone who overshares a lot can be highly frustrating. If you don’t know what that’s like, the people you’re talking to certainly do. You may have noticed already that the length of your conversations has gradually shortened over the years. This is because people no longer want to engage you in conversation. All because you keep oversharing.
If you’ve somehow encountered someone who also overshares, then see that as a good thing. It’s a good thing because you know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of that interaction. You can then use that experience as a basis as to why you need to stop oversharing.
Others will find it hard to empathize with you
Because people no longer feel the desire to interact with you, they also won’t be able to empathize with you at all. This then makes it incredibly hard for you to connect with other people. If you can’t do this with anyone, you won’t be able to befriend others.
Why You Overshare
Aside from knowing why it’s bad to overshare, it will also help you to know why you do it in the first place. Having this information in mind will help you finally stop this socially dangerous habit altogether.
You tend to be emotional about your stories
Sometimes, you may just not be able to help yourself but overshare because you’re the type of person who gets emotional with your stories. Because of this, you share way too many details, making you speak longer than you need to. You also end up mentioning details that are already irrelevant because of this.
The closest people in your life does it too
If the closest people in your life tend to overshare, especially as you were growing up, this could a reason why you do this as well. You got exposed to this behavior and you’ve adapted it at an early age. You used to believe nothing was wrong with this until you became an adult and others have started calling you out for it.
Underlying mental issues
Oversharing is also a sign of some mental illnesses. One very common and the most probably one is ADHD. If this could be the case for you, it’s best that you go out and seek professional advice as soon as possible.
You just want to be close with people
One possible reason why you overshare is that you just want to be close with people. In fact, you get too excited about this idea. As a result, you approach everything way too optimistically when you socialize.
There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic, of course. However, if your level of excitement is way off the charts that you end up oversharing, you may want to tone it down a notch from now on.
Finally, the most common reason why people overshare is that they’re socially inept. This could be the reason for you as well. You lack the knowledge and skill it takes to perform well in any social situation. Thus, you overshare. You don’t do this to brag or to steal anyone else’s spotlight, you simply do this because your social skills aren’t that refined yet.
Thankfully, you’re here to fix that very problem.
16 Ways To Stop Oversharing
Now that we’ve gotten the reason why it’s bad to overshare and the possible reasons why you overshare in the first place, it’s time to talk about the ways to stop it. Listed below are 18 ways to stop oversharing. Take them to heart and apply them from here on out.
Don’t force someone to sympathize with you
Sympathy is not something you should force out of people. It’s something they provide when the situation calls for it. If you focus your efforts for the sake of garnering sympathy, you’ll very much end up oversharing. You’ll try too hard a lot of people will be able to see right through this, especially those who are socially adept. It can feel like you’re trying to force the friendship.
Instead, tell your stories without the need to garner sympathy. As you continue to read this article, you’ll learn how to do exactly that. For now, though, just keep this in mind. Your actions will illustrate this eventually, thus helping you to finally stop oversharing.
Be more efficient with your words
One key factor why people overshare is they’re very inefficient with their words. They say things they don’t really need to, thus prolonging their speech.
That being said, make an effort to be more efficient with your words. Only say things that are relevant to your point or story, and avoid using words that add nothing to the overall thing.
This will take some getting used to if you’re someone who’s normally very inefficient with your words. For now, practice by doing this: record yourself telling a story you’re very excited about. Replay that record and see which parts you can cut off, and see how often you use words that aren’t relevant to what you’re saying. Once you’ve done that, record yourself telling that story again and see how better you sound.
Keep this in mind. You’ll ultimately be able to stop oversharing as long as you remember to be efficient with your words.
Make conversations balanced
Making conversations balanced will also help you stop oversharing. Avoid being the only one who speaks in the interaction, or being the one who overpowers the conversation. Make sure you two are equally as invested in the conversation.
If the other person isn’t speaking up enough, encourage them to. Ask questions. Try questions back at them. Talk about your interests, then goad them about theirs.
Be a better listener
Aside from being better at speaking, you will also need to be better at listening if you want to stop oversharing. Practice active listening. Whenever someone speaks, don’t only listen to their words, but the meaning behind what they’re saying.
On top of these, you should also be able to pick up on their body language as that can say a lot of things their words aren’t. As long as you can do all of these, you’ll be able to respond to anyone better. Then, you’ll be able to have more balanced conversations, thus helping you stop oversharing.
Only say things that are relevant to the topic
Another form of oversharing a lot of people tend to do is say things that aren’t relevant to what they were originally saying. As a result, they speak for way too long because they can’t get to their point fast enough.
Be extremely mindful of this. A lot of people may find this funny, even endearing at first, but they’ll eventually get tired of this habit. They’ll see it as pure ineptitude and they’ll cut you off before you can even make your point.
Whenever you want to say something, whether it’s a long story, a short joke, or an opinion that’s relevant to the topic, be sure to get to your point. Never say things that are irrelevant.
Know which things you shouldn’t share immediately
Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that there are things you shouldn’t say to other people immediately. There should be a lot of things in your life that you consider personal. Don’t share these things with people you’ve just met.
For one, it’s going to make you come off too strong. This level of oversharing is very much capable of making other people steer clear of you.
Second, you never know what the other person is going to do with that information you’ve just given. Only reveal personal things to people you trust. This isn’t saying you should be untrusting from now on, this is only letting you know that you should be careful with who you share your secrets with.
Keep it calm and cool
If you’re the type of person who gets way too excited whenever you’re interacting with someone, try to be relaxed from now on. It’s good that you’re excited to interact with other people, but try to direct that excitement on something else.
Instead of oversharing, show your excitement by also being a listener. Get excited about what they can share with you instead of what you can share with them. You can also direct that excitement by learning other social skills. Be better at socializing. We’ll get to this in more detail later on.
Stop seeking out other people’s attention
Don’t be an attention seeker. If you’re good at socializing, attention will naturally come your way. However, don’t go out there and interact with others in the specific hope of getting their attention.
If you actively try to seek out the attention of other people, you’ll come off manic and desperate. Not only will you overshare, but you’ll also overreact. Refer to the previous point. Keep it calm and cool. You’re not out to socialize to capture everybody’s affection. You’re simply there to make friends.
Always maintain a level of self-awareness
Self-awareness is a trait you need to practice from now on. Not only will this help you stop oversharing, but it will also greatly improve your social skills.
If you’re the type of person who’s capable of being self-aware, your words and actions will always be careful. You can always determine when to keep going and when to stop. Other people will find it incredibly easy to interact with you simply because you carry yourself very smoothly.
To practice self-awareness, always recall everything you say right after you say them. Do the same for your actions. Assess whether or not they’re relevant to the discussion or if they bring value to the conversation. At first, this may take you a while. The longer you do it, however, the quicker you’ll be at assessing your words and actions.
Never talk about the problems of others
Gossiping is the one thing you should never, ever do if you want to be a socially involved person. The problems of other people aren’t something you should be talking about. If someone else happens to do that, ignore them and add nothing to what they’re saying.
Gossiping and talking about the problem of others is a terrible trait to have. You may capture the attention of some people for a few minutes, but it will forever tarnish your reputation. On top of that, it will also ruin the life of the person you’re talking about.
A lot of people tend to resort to gossiping just so they can have something to say to the group. Don’t be this kind of person.
Share things others can relate to
This is another thing you can do to make sure you’re as efficient as possible whenever you share things with other people. Share things they can relate to. Avoid being too extraordinary or too impressive that no one can relate to you. If there are things about you that are impressive or extraordinary, other people will see them. They don’t need to hear it.
Share things from your past you know others can relate to. Work trouble, romantic relationship problems, dreams, funny things from school that you still remember, etc.
Everyone has stories like these. Tell yours and it might encourage others to share their stories that are in relation to the story you told. You’ll create a fun discussion that will make others reminisce about their past just by telling a story.
Avoid sounding “braggy”
It may not always be your intention, but it’s easy to be misunderstood as “braggy” and “arrogant” if you always overshare. It’s tough to avoid this if it’s a habit of yours already, but you can always keep being mindful of this. If that’s something you can do from now on, you’ll completely avoid being perceived as braggy.
This is another thing that can be benefited from being self-aware, so remember that tip in association with this as well. Besides, if you’re always mindful to not be braggy, it will circle around to your main goal, which is to stop oversharing.
Have a friend call you out in case you start oversharing again
This is a minor tip but it will help you out in the long run. Ask a friend to keep an eye out for you. Tell them about your problem with oversharing. If you two have known each other for a while, there’s a huge chance they already know this.
Tell them you want to stop oversharing from now on. To help with this, tell them to call you out whenever you start unintentionally oversharing again. Just in case you slip up and revert to your old habits. This can be hard to avoid, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time already.
Your friend can act as a firewall between who you’re trying to be and who you were in the past. You’ll need this if you want to stop oversharing as soon as possible. Help from a friend will always make you go further.
Practice talking in front of a mirror
You’ve already read from this article how important practice is. Take it a step even further. Practice another aspect of this by practicing telling your stories in front of a mirror. Look at yourself as you’re telling your stories. You may find this quite challenging to do, but you’ll want to do this if you want to appear as confident as possible while you’re being efficient with your words.
This will also help you become familiar with the stories you’re going to tell. That way, you won’t ever feel the need to overshare.
See a professional if the problem is more serious
As mentioned earlier, if the reason why you overshare is connected with a mental issue, be sure to check in with a professional. Do it as soon as possible. The longer you hold it off, the worse it’s going to get for you.
Remember that if the reason for your oversharing, and for your other social ineptitude is your mental health, seeing a professional is the best option, if not the only option for you. You can remember to do the other things here afterward. For now, though, do what you can to make your mental health better.
Be more socially adept
If you become socially adept, you’ll never feel the need to overshare. Your words will be as efficient as possible, others will enjoy listening to you, and your conversational skills will be exceptional.
That said, the best step for you to take now is to improve your overall social skills. Not only become better at conversations but work on your other social skills as well. From being a people magnet to knowing how to fit in, you need to be knowledgeable of them all if you want to be socially adept.
To that end, make sure you read the other articles we have on here as well. The linked articles provided above should be enough to get you started. However, feel free to browse around too.
Oversharing is a trait no socially adept person should have. If you can manage to stop oversharing today, the future will be so much brighter for your social life.