Sharing too much, why?

I notice that sometimes when I begin talking to someone I tend to maybe "over share" things with them. It would seem more likely, given my past & stressors that I would shut down and stay shut down ALWAYS (I still do this too). But I've noticed particularly over the past handful of years that I tend to "TMI" people.
Anyone else? Anyone want to offer an opinion? Is it a cry for help? I'm lost....
 

Sideways

Moderator
I'm personally in the "say nothing" camp, but I know plenty of people who aren't, including several with histories of complex trauma.

I always feel like, in the moment, it's partly lack of self acceptance (which makes a lot of sense if you have a trauma history), and partly also a subconscious trust-testing exercise.

When someone dumps a whole lot of their trauma history in my lap unexpectedly, I can't help feel like they're expecting a negative reaction. Like I'm going to tell them they're crazy, or unlikeable, or that's gross, or plain old "you're too much". The underlying assumption being: people are untrustworthy, so I'm gonna make sure nice and early that I'm right about them...

If that's right (I think that may be from schema therapy), it's a coping strategy. A maladaptive one (because you freak people out, and sabotage your ability to form healthy relationships with healthy boundaries), but a coping strategy none the less. So, not something to be ashamed of, but to recognise and develop skills to work around, you know?

Could be totally wrong. Some people just like talking about themselves. But with trauma, it's less likely to be that. Because people don't typically like talking about their trauma.

In an entirely different realm, sometimes it's just cathartic. Getting it out of you, you know? It's still gonna sabotage your relationships, but also still not something to get stuck on. More like, "Okay, I do this, I don't want to do it, so let's work on boundaries and communication skills".
 

Sues

Confident
I usually don't say anything, but if I connect with another survivor, I sometimes want to over share. I think it's because I finally feel a connection and feel safe enough to talk about it. It's still super uncomfortable and awkward, and I'm thinking I'm scaring them away.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
There are periods I'd overshare and periods I'd just go completely fenced. Like you can't even know what my favourite colour is. And it's also possible to overshare in "shell" mode. Like overwhelming someone with whatever whatever and see how it goes, what counts is their response to that. I did it often without realising what it meant. Sometimes I happen to say something that comes like a frog in the middle of the chat and didn't even intend to say it or was thinking of it. These moments I don't like. I don't want to say it, I don't want to go through it, it just keeps on and on and it doesn't stop before it's over. Now I'm far better at that and well, I do my best to only make jokes but you can't do everything with just that.

But it's defo true it's a sort of trust test because before it happens with someone I don't want to do anything with them and am very guarded, and afterwards I can get quite sticky. No in betweens. It has given me the feeling over the years to be very intense, heavy on the head and not very likable.
 
I'm personally in the "say nothing" camp, but I know plenty of people who aren't, including several with histories of complex trauma.

I always feel like, in the moment, it's partly lack of self acceptance (which makes a lot of sense if you have a trauma history), and partly also a subconscious trust-testing exercise.

When someone dumps a whole lot of their trauma history in my lap unexpectedly, I can't help feel like they're expecting a negative reaction. Like I'm going to tell them they're crazy, or unlikeable, or that's gross, or plain old "you're too much". The underlying assumption being: people are untrustworthy, so I'm gonna make sure nice and early that I'm right about them...

If that's right (I think that may be from schema therapy), it's a coping strategy. A maladaptive one (because you freak people out, and sabotage your ability to form healthy relationships with healthy boundaries), but a coping strategy none the less. So, not something to be ashamed of, but to recognise and develop skills to work around, you know?

Could be totally wrong. Some people just like talking about themselves. But with trauma, it's less likely to be that. Because people don't typically like talking about their trauma.

In an entirely different realm, sometimes it's just cathartic. Getting it out of you, you know? It's still gonna sabotage your relationships, but also still not something to get stuck on. More like, "Okay, I do this, I don't want to do it, so let's work on boundaries and communication skills".
Brilliant response and I agree with several points. I would like to clarify something though. When I say "over sharing" I'm not referring to my past trauma Stressors, I'm referring to sharing too much personal information in general. Like, I don't sometimes stop at basic introductions if that makes sense?

Thank you!

I usually don't say anything, but if I connect with another survivor, I sometimes want to over share. I think it's because I finally feel a connection and feel safe enough to talk about it. It's still super uncomfortable and awkward, and I'm thinking I'm scaring them away.
Love this response
 
If it helps, sometimes the issue and tendency will be termed a 'boundary issue'. If someone bursts into conversation with others they scarcely know and appears to divulge very personal information in a manner that borders on reckless, the keen sense of embarrassment rooted in overexposure to judgement (perceived or real) suggests a boundary violation of a sort; i.e. indeed - Too Much Information. People run away, fail to return phone calls, and/or infrequently visit. We in turn stew...

For myself, speaking little or not at all concerning my history isn't strictly possible given my fairly stark isolation. A live human being willing to listen - or willing to afford me a chance tends to get a workout consistent with me emerging from some jungle setting with only the cloths on my back and a harrowing tale of how I survived. The temptation to incautiously overshare is quite constant. Certainly I'm not so tough that I can simply flip the switch to an 'OFF' setting, while beware the person who listens, but fails to respond verbally in a way that actually constitutes evidence of a humane inclination to afford actual support. An empty stare followed by wordless withdrawal of the other party is devastating to experience as many of us know.

Tempering such tendencies consistent with revealing aspects of our complex histories in a deliberate and staged manner consistent with building mutual trust and feeling relatively grounded and most of all - safe is a skill to be developed and doesn't come instantly or overnight. It can help too to practice compressing the tale into something that can be recited ever more quickly without triggering overwhelm and minute-by-minute recall of what happened when. To cope in the moment, I've fashioned what might almost be termed two or three-minute public relations briefs consistent with framing the unavoidable awfulness, speaking as though the worst of it happened to someone else or a client - albeit NOT me. Call in verbal toxic waste containment, shared but not strictly 'experienced' to the extent of inviting debilitating flashbacks before strangers.

If trust is in fact developed in relation to a new acquaintance, the gory details may be related in a series of comparatively short tales to lend necessary depth and color to what circumstances and events impacted you. All of this takes time most of all. The core idea is not to overwhelm your listener in one or two bursts, but rather to let the reality of a complex life history unfold without frightening the other party away.

Sometimes too I've found it of help to segregate aspects of my particular tale to different people; i.e. no one gets the whole story, and hence no one can authentically reject the whole of me if this makes sense. If the wheels and gears in my head are inclined to spin in ways consistent with establishing fallacious 'linkages' of rejection that may not stand later cool scrutiny, one thing I can do as a preventive measure is not to hit one person with the totality of my particular catalog of traumas; i.e. spread it out, keep the revelatory 'dosages' manageable for those so-entrusted, and don't expect miracles or incredibly mature responses from family and friends absent training, absent rudimentary psychological awareness. Good luck!
 
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grit

Not Active
Just my observation of your post and what l learned from my history, you were not taught of boundary as a child. I used to be the same...no trauma talk though (what trauma then...was not concisous at all)...but just showing me! The thing I learned more about setting boundary and context matter.

So now, I feel less excited to overshare confusing it with connection.
 
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