I never needed a drink or two to share my life story. An audience was enough. I grew up in a world with no boundaries. So, I learned how to stop oversharing the hard way. That means hazardous consequences. In other words, everybody knew my personal beeswax and the only one to blame was my foolish self.
There’s a saying: Love many. Trust few. Always row your own canoe. Here lies the oversharing lesson. It’s cool to stand alone sometimes. In fact, that’s better than trusting someone not worthy of your secret. Go ahead and share your love. But keep those secrets safe, baby. That’s how you love and also protect your heart.
Haircut or Therapy?
Salon time feels amazing. Haircuts are comfort. Fingers smooth trails through my hair. Massages warm the mind. Water cascades my scalp in a delicious rinse. It’s intimate. The stylist brings me a drink. Officially soothed, I unclench. A hairdresser runs hands through my tresses so softly. I sigh.
Combing and cutting begins; as does my storied overshare. How did I learn to shop oversharing? Thankfully, it’s not a Song of Ice and Fire, or an epic tale of any kind. I can keep it short enough. That’s necessary. As you can see from my profile pic, my cuts aren’t complicated. I like my hair simple. Same as I like my stories short. Life’s easier that way. So, why don’t I keep my life simple and also shut up?
Well, I said I liked simple. Unfortunately, I have yet to embrace doing things the easy way. That’s another matter. I often take the hard route. You see a kid struggle to peel an orange. So, you reach over to help. They snatch it away and clutch the fruit tight to their chest. “I do it myself!” They declare. Their fingers are an inch long AND thick. The peel unraveling will take them forever. That kid is me. I’d rather battle my way to exhaustion and learn a tough lesson. Save your alleged fruit-peeling expertise for someone who likes the easy way. Thus I’ve gained lots of lessons in my 50 years. I’m packed with ’em. Luckily, I’ve finally learned not to overshare.
Stop Oversharing – Stylists Gossip
I gained this lesson at the salon because of gossip. That’s right, I got burned, baby. My own flapping yap did it to me. I can’t blame a “hair artist” for sharing my stories. They’re fantastic stories! I didn’t make anyone sign a non-disclosure agreement. In fact, I’ve never asked a stylist to keep a story secret. I cared only about my tawdry tales. I’ve always been this way.
When I was a kid I’d sit at the way back of the yellow school bus. Many small town compadres gathered around for my anxious, whispered dirty stories. These were as dirty as a second grader can be. Let’s just say I had a gratuitous imagination and little experience. So, my filthy sex stories mostly involved a woman with a gigantic bush and the men who genuinely loved her. Still, they were much appreciated. Sometimes I even got applause. My yellow bus popularity was the grade school status equal to that blue checkmark on social media. This didn’t encourage me to stop oversharing. Positive feedback never does.
Thing was, we were all in on this together. There was no third party hairstylist or authority present to spill our secret. So, why did I take the chance and spill at the salon? I knew it could get around. I’m aware of gossip’s inherent appeal. I’ve stood in line at a checkout and seen the mags. My likeliest motive = loneliness. Realizing that emotional truth nugget helped me finally quit my horrendous oversharing habit. There are healthier ways to connect. I already knew them, actually. First step was sticking to ’em.
Brené Brown on Boundaries
Once I started holding back a bit, I created boundaries. That’s how I learned to stop oversharing. This video (below) of Brené Brown, celebrated researcher and writer, helps a lot. She teaches that boundaries are about respect. I learned to respect myself more once I learned to curtail my overshare. Even better, others respected me more too. Brown advises to establish what’s cool and not cool first. Then connect and share. That creates a foundation for respect.
True friendship with deep connection takes time and trust. The best of these relationships start with string boundaries. When these rules get broken, the best of friends may be lost. Once I learned to respect myself and establish boundaries, I also realized I’d made some incredible friends. These take years to develop. But they may also last a lifetime if you take good care of your connection. No oversharing or even gossip can match the joy and love of a true blue friendship.