Too much sharing leads to problems in good relationships and not so good ones.
I recently read a horror story of a woman who met a man on a dating site. He seemed perfect for her in every way. Within a few months she didn't know if she was coming or going and the man had stripped her of money, personal information and dignity. How could this have happened?
She wrote her on-line profile very honestly and answered a lot of questions in the hopes of finding someone compatible. Her intentions were very admirable, but instead of finding a compatible mate, she met a sociopath who could "invent" a man who would be perfect for her based on all the information she had provided. Instead of finding the perfect man, her profile allowed her to become the perfect prey of a psychopath.
A client of mine told me about a budding relationship where she and her new partner texted each other hundreds of times a day. I suggested she slow down. Not only was she losing sight of her life, but he was becoming her only focus. She took my advice and slowed down. When she did, he accused her of cheating and became very controlling about wanting to know where she was every second. Without my suggested "pull back," she would have been knee deep in a controlling relationship before she knew it.
Another client of mine told me about a first date where she shared so much about her divorce, her childhood and her proclivities. I asked about him. She didn't know very much about him at all. She said he liked him. I asked why. Again, she didn't know.
And yet another client shared everything with a man she met in an on-line chat room. They talked for hours every night before finally meeting two weeks later. When they met he told her that he had another girlfriend and was interested in finding someone who would be the third person in the relationship. He kept insisting that the connection was too powerful to break, and that she would have two people to love her instead of one. She felt close to this person who was now telling her to "expand her mind" and not be a "prude." Even though the arrangement he suggested was completely out of the question, she was reeling over how much they had shared and the "click" she had felt with someone who was not honest about his true intentions. She also felt very sad to lose someone she felt so strongly about for 2 weeks.
Oversharing. It has always been a problem but has become more so in the age of email and texting. Everyone seems to know everything about everyone. And that's a bad situation for a woman meeting men for the first time. Here are some suggestions to corral your tendency to overshare:
1. Don't put all your information out there. Let there be things that no one but your closest friends know. This is true for dating sites, Facebook or other social sharing places. Terrible people can find your information and either manipulate you with it, or they can share it with others you don't necessarily want it shared with. Don't put anything on the internet that you would not want your mother, grandmother, father, brother, sister to see. Do not send sexy photos. One wrong move and those photos are everywhere. It happens all the time.
2. Be aware of your surroundings. Being on the cell phone or texting makes you highly distracted and your child could be falling out of the stroller or your dog about to walk into traffic and you're not really paying attention. Put down the phone so you can be aware of who is around, who is watching you or your child. Know where other people are in case you need help. When you spend time each day being aware of your surroundings, you limit your sharing and raise your "street smarts," and that is a very good thing for any woman to do.
3. Don't be available every second of every day to everyone. Take time each day to put your phone and computer down. Read a book, go for a walk, or just turn it off and take a nap. A ringing phone is a request, not a demand. And that goes for texts as well. Take some time each day away from your phone. Learn some control and self-restraint. It is rude to be in a restaurant and looking at your phone or texting while visiting with someone else. If you start to curtail your oversharing in general, it will do you good when you need to step back and learn about a new person in your life. There is distracted driving and also distracted dating. You need to concentrate on really observing the new people you meet. You can't do that if you have one eye on your phone.
4. Don't spend all your time talking about you. You have to observe other people. You have to know who is sitting in front of you. On a date, don't treat is as a job interview for a job you want. Get to know the other person and see if he is someone YOU want to be around. If you talk about you, you, you, you will have no information to go on when you want to evaluate how things went. Ask open-ended questions and listen for the answers. Get a sense of who someone is from sitting with them and looking into his eyes, not just believing what you've read in email, text or on the phone. Re-learn to LOOK at people when they are speaking and you can learn a lot.
5. Stop sharing in public. No one wants to hear about your doctor appointment while in the supermarket buying groceries. Call your friends when you get home. Be aware of people around you. I've heard so many people swearing on their cell phones in the presence of older people and children because they are oblivious and only care about their own conversation. It's rude and crude. Come back to polite society.
There are many reasons to stop the oversharing, but your mental health and well being are the main reasons. You need to be safe and having all of your information out there or sharing in public can make you a victim. Being distracted isn't just a hazard behind the wheel, but a hazard in your life. If you are a single lady who wants to be empowered, you have got to stop oversharing and take control.
Tone it down. Your life will thank you for it.