The Toxicity of Oversharing and Explaining
By: Brittany Priore Illustration: Design For Mankind
For too long, I felt the need to explain everything to everyone and constantly overshare. I hated it. Every single time I left a friend, relative -- whomever, I felt empty. I felt like I had given so much of myself to them and for no reason at all.
This sparked two problems: the first one being that people began to feel "owed" and "obligated" to know about all aspects of my life. I was constantly poked and probed into spilling details about my life -- even intimate ones. And the second being that I began to leave nothing special or sacred for myself. I had nothing left to give to myself because I had given so much of me to so many other people.
If you're anything like me, you must understand how toxic this is for you. You are creating a toxic relationship not only with yourself but with your family and friends, as well. That's not fair to them and it's certainly not fair to you.
So, how do you fix this? Simply start creating healthy boundaries between you and the people in your life. If you don't want to tell someone something -- don't. If you find yourself picking up the phone to spill your soul to a friend -- think if it is necessary and if perhaps journaling it would be more suitable for that particular situation. If you find yourself in a conflict that involves a loved one demanding something personal from you -- tell them exactly that: "No, this is personal to me, I don't want to share it with you."
You don't owe anyone an explanation, but I have found it easier to lay down boundaries when I've explained myself to a person who is pushing against what I'm trying to do. If they don't agree -- oh, well. That's not your concern. Your concern is you and doing what makes you feel happy and healthy.