Last year I observed my interactions with people and noticed that I was the one who usually shared things about my life freely.
I realised that most people don’t volunteer tidbits about their recent holidays, meals or anecdotes about their life. I do, and not just about my life but also funny things I might see on the news, or one of the socials. If I read a poignant article in a newspaper or magazine and thought it was of interest to a particular person, I’d scan it and email it to them. If I saw a dress, show, exhibition etc. I’d take a photo and send.
In my mind thinking, this might be relevant to x, based on a discussion we once had about y, or knowing they are going through something and this article might be of interest, that act of sharing keeps me connected to that person. For me, that is my way of adding value to their life or demonstrating I care for them if I am not physically able to do so.
Last year I asked myself is this ‘oversharing’? In trying to answer this I posed the same question to people I knew and their response was always that it wasn’t. We often view ‘oversharing’ as negative versus what I do. Aimed at sharing knowledge, to uplift and motivate action.
I have never done this in a pretentious manner, always in a way that would help someone to take that trip, start that blog, invest in that relationship, start saving, be more confident and open to the fact that ‘it’ gets better, and we can all do more and be more.
I wanted to know if I ‘overshare’, if so why, and was it a bad thing? I remember discussing this with a colleague last year (this has been on my mind for awhile). She felt it wasn’t ‘too much’ and, based on her observation in the environment we worked, it allowed people to slow down, chat, find out a little more of who we were outside of being colleagues. In that instance it connected people.
I often share bits about myself with people so I can get to know them better. Put them at ease and hopefully build stronger connections. It’s important in the world we live in where everything operates at turbo pace. More so for those of us not in our country of birth, making new lives in foreign lands.
It’s educational, inspiring and for those of us oversharers I think we can continue to do so but be mindful of why we feel the need to do so. Do I really need to be the one making sure everyone is talking? Do I need to be the one sharing ‘things to do’ all the time when one can merely pick up a copy of Time Out. What is it that I perceive to be the problem that needs fixing with people I know nothing about? Is my own house in order?
There has been a shift in society from people being connected ‘in real life’ to people navigating life remotely via technology. I think many are lonely and have lost the ability to connect with people.
There is nothing I love more than a good catch up. I used to reserve my Saturday mornings for talking to my friends for hours. Sunday evenings with my Parisian friend so she could practice her English and me, my French. Having a child has changed the amount of time I can spend on the phone, however meeting up in person is still a joy and good for the soul. When I can’t I will share something to still show those nearest and dearest that I haven’t forgotten them.
I guess I started thinking about this because I noticed I didn’t often get the same ‘moments of thoughtfulness’ from other people in my life. This made me think, am I not on their minds in the same way? Does it matter? Should I stop? If I stop, does that mean I have stopped caring for them or do I simply focus on my household? This makes me sad.
In trying to understand my why, I hope to be a better person, live in my purpose and be that person who inspires change for the better for all those I connect with.
Until next time.