Monday, 25 March 2013

Over Sharing



We have all had to deal with over sharers. Some love to share all the graphic details of their latest stomach bug. This is actually quite helpful if it is done over lunch, as you are sure not to be hungry for a while.

Others will give you all the details of their latest surgical operation. You will have a full explanation of their treatment, how the procedure went, how long it took them to recover, their state of mind, who visited at the hospital, and so on, and so forth. The thing is, I wouldn't share such details with my close family, and I really don't know what they are trying to achieve by sharing everything with everyone. I have even seen acquaintances sending long weekly emails detailing what had happened to them, with gruesome details. Lovely. Sometimes being kept in the loop is not that great.


That said, being French seems to induce a different type of over sharing. For some reason, people love to share their sex and relationship issues with me. It is quite funny really. I remember having a morning coffee with colleagues and one of them, out of the blue, told me that she was having an affair with a married man. She was asking for my advice. I didn't know what to say. I muttered that, as long as it wasn't with my husband, well, I didn't care. I brushed it off. Frankly, I didn't want to talk about it. She praised my non-judgemental attitude and I felt like running a mile away.

A few weeks later, a male colleague of mine, who just had had a baby, complained that he didn't have any time to read with his wife in the evening, let alone do anything else. I almost choked on my chocolate croissant, muttered 'give it some time'. I made my excuses and left. What is going on?

Why do people feel the urge to share such things with me? I wouldn't tell them to my best friend. But the worst was yet to come. I bumped into a younger colleague of mine in a beauty salon. She explained to me in a very loud voice that she was going to have a Brazilian wax because her boyfriend liked it. Too much information. I politely nodded. Encouraged, she asked me what type of wax I was going to have. I panicked for a second and explained, in a low voice, that I liked the way the lady was doing the eyebrows shaping. It seemed to curb her enthusiasm.  I felt very embarrassed.

So here it is: I am not a relationship expert and I don't want to be one. I am, in fact, quite shy. I like being discreet. Please, don’t tell me everything!

21 comments:

  1. LOL. And if you lived here (USA) you'd be hearing weekly updates from complete strangers about the issues they were working on in their therapy sessions. Way too much information.

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  2. Carolina HeartStrings25 March 2013 07:43

    I'm often shocked by some of the things people want to share. Sometimes it's directed for me to hear and sometimes I am within easy listening distance of their cell phone conversations. I even had a lady lift her shirt to show me how she'd just had excess skin removed after loosing 100 lbs. Ugh. Either way it's tempting to outright ask folks to keep it to themselves.

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  3. Nobody ever tells me about their relationships, or if they do I just don't notice. Hey! maybe that's why they don't tell me! (Or, maybe they do)... oh dear I'm getting confused now :)
    I agree it's horrid to have unwanted details of peoples lives forced on you, I feel the same as you.

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  4. I am guilty of being a sharer. I share information about my life, but not relationship or sex-related info because I think that is disrespectful to my spouse. I try to share information about things that have occurred in my life that others may relate to, in hopes of connecting or, if it's something difficult, perhaps my story can help someone else. But I am not one of those who tells everyone what I am doing every moment of the day. That drives me a little nuts!

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  5. you are becoming British and those who share decided to become a little less British :) Honestly I don't mind if people share. Most times they are not really looking for advice, but just to hear themselves speak about issues that are on their mind.

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  6. You must have a sympathetic face. :)

    Watch 'Doc Martin' on the tele and try and be more like him. No one will confide in you again, guaranteed! :)

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  7. Good grief. I remember the days of my youth after having a kid or two when I would hear such birthing horror stories that I sincerely hoped they didn't share with pregnant women. When I began writing of the local newspaper, even tho I didn't write anything but good news, people quit talking to me. I liked it that way.

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  8. LOL, hope I did not reveal too many gory details about myself when we met in London (hell, it is practically a year ago)!

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  9. Let me share something with you. .... I feel the same way, I don't want too much information and yet I happily publish my life on a blog.

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  10. I know. I do the same! That said, I try not to over share on my blog. I talk about my experiences, but I am trying to keep a distance from my real life. That said, i really don't know if I have succeeded!

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  11. No you didn't! What surprises me is when, out of the blue, you get something wholly inappropriate...

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  12. Good for you! I hate birthing horror stories. I think that some things are better left unsaid or understated. maybe I am more British than I thought!

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  13. I really don't know why people tend to share such things with me. the thing is, I don't want to be rude. But sometimes it is simply too much.

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  14. That's very true. They just want to talk, talk, and talk. That said, I am not very patient. How do you keep a straight face in such circumstances?

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  15. The most inappropriate thing I have ever heard was an acquaintance sharing her multi faceted sex life stories, outwardly putting up a smiling face and inside thinking "please, stop it, I do not want to hear about it, a sex slave in a latex suit cleaning your staircase with a toothbrush". Can you match this? - I thought this only happened in movies ....

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  16. I like sharing too. But it has to be done in a respectful way, and it has to be a two-way street. I don't know how to react when I get unexpected comments!

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  17. I have heard some gruesome stories. The girl I bumped into at the beauty salon started to explain to everybody how she needed a wax in her, well, rear...And she went on and on about how the therapist did this. You don't want to know. Lovely.

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  18. I know! I never know how to react. I am sure that people tell you about their relationships. You have managed to blank it out. How do you do it?

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  19. Oh no! That would be way too much for me!

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  20. I can't believe that she did this! Disgusting!

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  21. I want to scream this when random people start their relationship troubles once they know I have studied psychology. Now when I meet people in the bus, at college or anywhere I tell them I am special educator. :)

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