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A cartoon illustration shows two people in conversation, one looking visibly uncomfortable. The text on the right side reads "When Sharing Becomes Oversharing." Highlighting the dangers to mental health, the image also features a logo with "10 almonds" and an illustration of almonds in the bottom right corner.

The Mental Health Dangers Of Oversharing

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Oversharers can be fun and amiable; the life of the party. In and of itself, this something that can be considered “pro-social” and thus healthy.

But the problem for one’s mental health in the long-run lies in the “over” part of oversharing. Sometimes, if not checking in with the other person’s comfort, oversharing can be “trauma-dumping”, and push people away. Alternatively, if the oversharing exposes an unmet need, it can make the other person feel obliged to try to help in some fashion, which in the long run may also cause awkwardness and withdrawal.

Some potential problems are purely internal, such the feelings of shame or anxiety that can come afterwards; “I should not have been so vulnerable”, “What if my friends think badly of me now?”, etc.

And of course, sometimes those fears are then validated by reality, if “friends” indeed take advantage of that, or withdraw their friendship. That’s a minority occurrence, but it doesn’t make it any less of a crushing thing if it happens.

Sometimes people overshare because of being a bad judge of what’s a socially-approved appropriate amount of sharing; sometimes people overshare out of a need for closeness, and perhaps the hope of hearing what one needed to hear previously.

The dangers of oversharing don’t mean that we should never speak about our experiences and feelings; in fact sometimes, it is the most healthy thing to do—be it because it’s something that needs communicating to a specific person, or because it’s something we just need to “get off our chest”.

In short, it can be good to share! It can also be good to do so judiciously, by conscious decision and not in response to a spur-of-the-moment impulse, and remember to prioritize our own safety.

Below, Alain de Botton explains more of the psychodynamics of this:

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10almonds tip, not included in the video: unsure whether your urge to share is too impulsive or not? Write a letter/email, and wait until the next day to decide whether or not to send it.

Want to read more?

Check out:

Breathe; Don’t Vent (At Least In The Moment)

Take care!

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