It’s great to get along with your coworkers. It makes it so much easier to collaborate and get things done. In addition, research indicates that people with friends at work are more focused, happy, healthy, and engaged. Work is so much better when friends are involved!
So it makes sense to talk to your coworkers about what’s going on in your life. It’s a way to bond with them. You chat about the cool movie you saw over the weekend, describe what you ate for dinner last night, and show off pictures of your adorable cat. But you also need to be careful not to overshare.
Oversharing happens when you reveal too much personal information, and it starts to feel uncomfortable. You may be the one who is oversharing, or you may be the one listening to someone else overshare. Either way, it’s awkward.
Oversharing at work is generally not a good idea. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable or make your coworkers feel uncomfortable. Luckily, author Monica Torres is here to offer some suggestions on how to avoid oversharing and stop it when it starts.
How to avoid becoming an oversharer:
- Only talk about things that you would be comfortable hearing from someone else. Are you about to launch into a long story about your latest medical procedure? Stop for a minute and think about whether you’d feel comfortable hearing this type of story from someone else. If the answer is “no,” keep it to yourself.
- Be a little more private with people that you don’t know that well yet. If you don’t know your coworkers that well, work on building your relationships with them. But stick to safe subjects, like your adorable cat. Hold off on revealing the really personal stuff until you know them better.
- Don’t post super-personal stuff online if your coworkers and managers will be able to see it. People sometimes feel a little uninhibited when they’re posting online. But if everyone from work can see what you’re sharing, make sure you don’t go too far.
How to stop someone else from oversharing:
- Admit that you’re feeling a little uncomfortable. Thank your coworker for being so open and honest with you. But also tell your coworker that you’re feeling a little uncomfortable because you feel like he or she is telling you more than you should probably know.
- Change the subject. If openly telling your coworker that he or she is oversharing sounds too difficult, then try a less direct approach. When your coworker starts to reveal way too much information, redirect the conversation by bringing up a new, less-personal topic.
Torres, M. (2019, February 28). How to deal with an oversharer at work (and stop yourself from becoming one). HuffPost. Retrieved from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/oversharing-at-work-how-to-stop-an-oversharer_l_5c7412f6e4b06cf6bb29139b