A little over a week ago, I wrote [the first in a series about healthy boundaries,][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/5526094] and in the writing, I mentioned oversharing, which struck a chord with many.
However, I think that it’s important to clarify what I mean by oversharing in the context of healthy boundaries and connecting with others.
I just looked up the word, and here’s the definition:
reveal an inappropriate amount of detail about one’s personal life.
And this it is. But who gets to decide what is an “inappropriate amount of detail”?
To me, the only answer is “I do. Me.”
Or you, if we’re talking about you and your level of sharing.
That is the key when it comes to personal boundaries and creating healthy limits.
Sure, other people can judge us for what we choose to share. They may back off, or determine that we are WAYYYYY too out them for them.
That’s true. And that’s their right.
Heck, people do that with me quite a lot.
However, that’s THEIR boundary issue, not mine.
Because when it comes to my healthy boundaries, I get to decide what I’m willing to share at any level of a relationship (or stranger-ship), and what is good for me to do so.
What my healthy boundaries are.
For example, I share a lot with you. All of you. People I know and people I don’t. And some of you may read what I write about my life and think, “Ugh, that’s too much.”
Or, when I’m on an early date, I’m quite frank about my freak flag. And I scare A LOT of otherwise enthusiastic people off.
And that’s OK. I’m comfortable with what I share and how I share it, because I’ve thought seriously about it, and discussed it with people who matter to me, so whether you think it’s too much or not, I don’t feel uncomfortable with you knowing XYZ about me.
On the other hand, I will often refuse to speak about the same things one-on-one via private message.
Well, to me, it’s more intimate and suggestive then, and it’s more wank-fodder-y feeling. Which I find gross, and so I decline. Because my personal boundaries guide me well and I feel good about them.
And often, then, the opposite reaction comes at me, “Why you no want to tell me these details about you sex, huh?”
In their eyes, I may be under-sharing.
Because personal boundaries are about me protecting, respecting and honoring me, not anyone else.
Just like yours are about protecting, respecting and honoring you, and not me or anyone else.
So, as you think on your own personal boundaries, start with worrying less about what might “scare others off,” or “make you vulnerable,” and think more on what feels GOOD and RIGHT to you.
Maybe ask yourself these questions:
- Are you sharing because you think this person deserves/needs to know?
- Are you sharing because you hope for something in return (attention, love, pity)?
- Are you sharing as a reciprocal conversation (they shared something comparable)?
- Are you sharing because you’re nervous?
- Are you sharing because you want to impress?
- If you share this now, and you get a negative reaction, or it ends your interaction, will it still be right to you?
And if it feels good and right, your are sharing just enough for where you are right now.
And as you grow and learn, you can adjust/experiment with what might feel good and right to you based on the results you get and what you want from your interactions.